Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Government Pensions Not Sacred

Here's an interesting story from this morning's WaPost discussing once sacrosanct government employee pension plans now on the chopping block.  It is high time.

Take a look at this impressive piece from National Affairs on how public sector unions have skewed the market with monopoly pricing power for government labor. As the Reverend Wright tells us, "the chickens are coming home to roost:"

What you say?  But CW, you are a pensioner, you too are on the government dole.  Indeed I am.  And I've written elsewhere (on that Navy blog that few of you ever read) that my ridiculously low annual medical insurance premium ($256) is a crime and should be raised, and that the military should begin to offer "lump sum" retirement payoffs to those interested in deferring benefits until later in life (something I most assuredly would have done).

There are solutions to these problems, but we have to be serious about them and not afraid to sacrifice sacred cows. 


"The Hammer" said...

"..."lump sum" retirement payoffs to those interested in deferring benefits until later in life (something I most assuredly would have done)." Come on CW, you would've just pissed the money away.

And speaking of pissed, where was our sports roundup on Monday? Been hanging out with all your Pentagon buddies with no time whatsoever for the people that made you a Worldwide force in the conservative blogosphere? Talk about ingratitude.

Bill said...

There are other options also. I expect there will be a change to military retirement that will be similar to reserve retirement. It will have to phased in over time but is certainly achievable. As you stated, those not willing to wait should be offered a lump sum amount.

The other area that needs to be addressed is cost of living increases. Public sector pensions are way too generous with these adjustments, including Social Security.

Anonymous said...

Sure they can cut military pensions. As long as they get rid of deployments, allow us to give two weeks notice and quit, start paying overtime for working past 1600, and get rid of duty.

How about we cut benefits on the servicemen who spent the last 10 years at war? You know the ones that did multiple tours of 12-15 months?

My point is that the military is not the civil service. It is uniquely arduous not only to the serviceman, but to their families. You can't judge military pensions against private or public pensions in a vacuum

Few people would elect to stay past their initial committment. 5 to 6 years serving your country is more than the vast majority of Americans do anyway.

Bryan said...

I agree the time has come to be more creative with our military retirement system. Having one standard (20 yr retirement at 40-50% percent pay) may not work anymore. Today, with the growth in support functions and CONUS-based operations we have more people who never or rarely deploy retiring with the same benefits as those who deployed regularly for most of their careers.

Perhaps a baseline level of retirement pay modified based on the number of deployments, time in combat zones, etc. would help reduce overall costs without being unfair to those who have sacrified greatly.

inetar said...

As a civilian, I agree with Anon 100 percent. You guys earned it.

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