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TMFBro (< 20)

How'd you like a six-figure pension? Work for the government



June 10, 2010 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: NYT

The New York Times has an article on the its home state's pension problems:

"In Yonkers, more than 100 retired police officers and firefighters are collecting pensions greater than their pay when they were working. One of the youngest, Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with a base pay of about $74,000 a year. His pension is now $101,333 a year.... According to pension data collected by The New York Times from the city and state, about 3,700 retired public workers in New York are now getting pensions of more than $100,000 a year, exempt from state and local taxes. "

There's more talk these days about the coming intergenerational war (such as this article by Anatole Kaletsky), when younger folks balk at paying higher taxes to fund the retirement benefits of baby boomers. But there's another war coming: public vs. private workers. How will citizens like paying higher taxes so public employees can retire early, get inflation-adjusted pensions, and health care in retirement?

Government employees will say this is compensation for earning a lower income. That may be true in some cases -- for example, a federal prosecutor who could earn more as a defense lawyer. But I was a private-school teacher for five years and earned much less than a public-school teacher.

For more on the coming pension calamity, visit


Robert Brokamp is the senior advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. 



6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 10, 2010 at 11:54 AM, IBDvalueinvestin (98.56) wrote:

I too am sick and tired of Police officers with no higher education retiring in the 40's and making more than me while their sitting home in their pool drinking a 6 pack. Sure does not seem the system is fairly adjusted.

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#2) On June 10, 2010 at 12:01 PM, mhonarvar (< 20) wrote:

complaining about police and firefighters pensions?

they put their lives in danger everyday...the worst danger facing someone on wall st is a paper cut.

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#3) On June 10, 2010 at 12:37 PM, gringo35 (< 20) wrote:

They know the risks associated with the job.  I've done high risk jobs before and I don't expect the f^&*% government to compensate me for my lower wage!!!!  That's my fault for being dumb enough to sign on for their bullshit for 8.5 yrs of military service.  So way I see it everybody's gonna have to take a haircut there Bif.   Here's a great idea.  Everybody is responsible for their own retirement!!!!  What a novel concept huh?  If employers want to compete with each other for the best in the talent pool then they can pay for it with 401k's etc instead of these rediculous 40yr unsustainable pension promises.  At least that way we don't have to rely on actuarial shenanagins that most of these morons use to figure out pensions for people.  It's really not that complicated.  But hey pensions kinda fall in line with the socialists really well so it's no wonder these have always been negotiated for the labor unions aka.(the Socialist and Communist Parties of America) 

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#4) On June 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM, Unedumacated (< 20) wrote:

Dear IDBValueInvestin,

Sounds like your harboring a little hostility.

Education is not a piece of paper that you pay dearly for.  It is the ability to see through the BS and focus on results not the hype.  By the time you realize that working for someone else IS the trap you'll be too old to do anything about it.

As far as being mad at the cops.  Why?,  They might be the only ones who'll actually come when you need help.

Why be mad at people who have succeeded at winning the work trap.  You time might be better spent figuring out how to do it yourself.

 It's not what you know, it's what you do with what you know.

Good luck.

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#5) On June 11, 2010 at 11:20 AM, russiangambit (28.83) wrote:

> they put their lives in danger everyday...the worst danger facing someone on wall st is a paper cut.

But why are they paid higher than the military? It makes no sense.

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#6) On June 11, 2010 at 12:41 PM, GetReal619 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for the enlightening article and link.

The true cost of the pensions of public is just now coming to light, as they often do, only when it becomes to big to ignore.   

Studies show that public safety employees: 1) live longer the the general population.  2) The odds of a workplace death are lower than the average American, and 3) their retirements ,as we now see, are crazy compared to the rest of the working world and finally 4) are paid higher than people with comparable education, skills and background.   

 It will always be unsustainable to pay people more in retirement than they make in their working life.  We need to call puplic employee unions on their false facts regarding pay, job danger, length of live after work and comparable pensions.  To much is just to much. 


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