#144 Jun 29, 2012
Stockton, which officially declared insolvency and its desire to restructure its debt, also filed a separate list of its major unsecured creditors.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System, which manages Stockton's pension plan, tops the list.
The retirement system has a $147.5 million claim for unfunded pension costs.
Other top creditors include investors holding $124.3 million of Stockton's pension obligation bonds,
#145 Jun 29, 2012
The Three Words That Made Pensions Untouchable
The article calls the legal principle the “California Rule.”
The article’s author, University of Minnesota law professor Amy B. Monahan, argues the California Rule is off the mark. She contends the state’s court system improperly infringed on legislative power and the pension rule doesn’t fit with both contract and economic theory. Her review of case law found the state Legislature never said pensions were untouchable.
“California courts have put in place a highly restrictive legal rule that binds the legislature without the court ever finding clear and unambiguous evidence of legislative intent to create a contract,” Monahan wrote (emphasis in original).
I recommend reading Monahan’s entire article. But if you would rather belong to the Voice-of-San-Diego-Reads-55-Pa ge-Law-Review-Articles-So-You- Don’t-Have-To Club, she makes one point that addresses the pension funding challenges faced by San Diego and other governments.
Monahan says the law should allow governments to make prospective changes to current employee pensions. In other words, she believes California courts should reverse their position and give governments the right to cut pension benefits for the time current employees haven’t yet worked.
This change would give governments the chance to face their existing pension problems head-on by addressing the debt owed to current workers without infringing on employees’ contractual rights. These kinds of pension cuts, she contends, could even benefit workers. In the face of mounting budget pressures, she says, government employees might prefer pension cuts to salary freezes or layoffs.
In short, Monahan concludes making current pensions untouchable is both bad law and bad policy.
#146 Jun 29, 2012
Pew Report: Pension and Benefits Gap Continues to Widen
For objective studies on the municipal and state pension crisis, please read these by:
the Harvard Kennedy School Mossavar-Rahmani Center and on the Social Sciences Research Network.
They clearly prove the urgent need for "drastic reform" now.
Public pension funds not only are underfunded by more than an order of magnitude, they are "recklessly" shifting more investments into higher risk at the very time they should be reducing risk.
Links are here:
#147 Jun 30, 2012
Saving the California Dream Fox 11 Friday Night
well worth a watch
The Pension Pot Boils
From the OC to DC, citizens and government agencies are clamoring for more transparency on public pensions.
#148 Jul 2, 2012
was that Fridays story or an earlier
Is Friday's up yet- I could not find it...
The Mother of All Pension Fact Checks
There's no better columnist on public pension and retirement issues than Governing magazine's Girard Miller.
I've found him fair and easy-to-understand. And as a financial advisor he has an expertise that adds depth to his coverage. I learn something new in every article he writes and have quoted him in my own stories.
A recent Miller piece does something I've always wanted.
It's a fact check on a dozen claims made all the time by both sides of the public pension debate. Among the statements Miller addresses:
• "The pension mess was caused by greedy people (from the other side), not us."
• "There's no crisis. The stock market will recover and then there is no problem."
• "My pension contract is protected by the Constitution and can't be violated."
• "The solution is to replace pensions with 401(k) plans, like the private sector
#149 Jul 3, 2012
Anyone see the special on Channel 11 last night???
A few days ago, the Pew Center on the States released a report on the nationwide gap between promises made to public employees for pensions and what states are spending to close the gap.
On Monday, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued its long-awaited revision of accounting standards for public pension systems that could undercut the official numbers reflected in the Pew report.
It has to do with what's called the "discount rate," in effect a pension system's estimate of future annual earnings on trust funds.
California's pension systems, like those of other states, have adopted discount rates well in excess of 7 percent, nearly twice as much as typical corporate pension systems, which are required to use super-safe projections.
These rosy expectations have the effect of minimizing the systems' unfunded liabilities and thus reducing pressures to reform benefits or raise contributions.
The difference is huge. A Stanford University study has estimated that were California's four big state pension systems to use a 4 percent discount rate, they'd be nearly a half-trillion dollars underfunded.
The new GASB standards, years in the making, don't go that far, but they do require unfunded liabilities to be carried on state balance sheets and, under some conditions, require super-safe municipal bond rates to be displayed.
Pension funds would still be free to make whatever earnings assumptions they wish, but the risk of high discount rates would be more easily seen, and that could increase pressure on politicians to reform.
The Pew and GASB reports provide new context for the pension debate. Another bit of data will be added to the yeasty mixture this week: the California Public Employees' Retirement System will probably end the fiscal year on Saturday with a net loss in trust fund value, even weaker than the previous year's paltry 1.1 percent gain.
Gov. Jerry Brown, however, has pleaded with the Legislature, so far in vain, for reform, saying that failure to act would make voters reluctant to pass new taxes.
"I am committed to pension reform because I believe there is a real problem," Brown told the Legislature in January. "Three times as many people are retiring as are entering the workforce. That arithmetic doesn't add up. In addition, benefits, contributions and the age of retirement all have to balance."
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/26/4588412/dan-...
#150 Jul 4, 2012
Jerry should be given more time.
The Democratic leadership should be given more time
MORE TIME IN SAN QUENTIN
The real Democratic "leadership" is the Unions.
The dems watered down pension reform so far even Jerry could not go along.
Did everyone see that the Dems missed the deadline for putting reform on the ballot???
What about COLA for existing workers Jerry?
#151 Jul 6, 2012
Here are 12 half-truths that deserve to be debunked in 2012.
ne of my pet peeves in the ongoing debates over public pension reform is the way partisans on each side try to pitch half-truths and myths to support their arguments. The other side seldom believes any of these, but they help rally the allies on the speaker's side. Sometimes the press naively re-circulates these fallacies, which leaves the general public even more confused about what to believe. There's an old saying in politics that if you tell the same lie long enough, the public will eventually believe it — and that apparently is the mentality of lobbyists on both sides. In an effort to start the new year with a clean slate for public debate, I'd like to set the record straight on a dozen of the most glaring fallacies and silly slogans.
This is a lengthy column, so readers can go to the link above then click on to any one of these topics to jump to that subject:
1. "The pension mess was caused by greedy people (from the other side), not us."
2. "There's no crisis. The stock market will recover and then there is no problem."
3. "The solution is to replace pensions with 401(k) plans, like the private sector."
4. "Experts consider 80 percent to be a healthy pension funding ratio."
5. "Only 15 percent of pension costs is paid by employers. Investment income pays the lion's share."
6. "My pension contract is protected by the Constitution and can't be violated."
7. "States are already fixing the problem with reasonable pension reforms."
8. "The solution is collective bargaining. There is no need for drastic legislation."
9. "This is a $3 trillion problem when you measure it using honest (risk-free) math."
10. "We earned more than 8 percent in the last 25 years, and will do so again."
11. "The average public pension is $23,000."
12. The $100,000 pension club.
“Hilltop Park Above All”
Since: Sep 08
#152 Jul 6, 2012
American Airlines just filed a brief in BK court to permit them to cancel health care and other benefits to its pensioners.
#153 Jul 6, 2012
Well, my challenge to you and TT is... Since you are technology advanced as to cut and paste.... The editorial in today's Pasadena Star News has a very interesting writing about Montebello's woes. If you are interested in the truth as you claim.... You will cut and paste it. If you don't you will show the rest of the audience that you are self-serving and only interested in delivering LIARLARI's propaganda. Take the challenge if you are men enough!
“Hilltop Park Above All”
Since: Sep 08
#154 Jul 6, 2012
The bravely unsigned editorial has nothing to do with pension reform, so I won't discuss it further here.
Your rabid "Personalities Before Principles" obsession is rearing its head again. Remember the 1b definition of corruption.
Also, I didn't know how to cut and paste until I asked others in another thread what that was, and how to do it. If you want to learn, just ask, and someone will tell you how to do it, as they did for me.
As it is a legitimate news item about Montebello, I will, of course, post it in topix, as I do to all Montebello stories that I see, or have called to my attention.
#155 Jul 6, 2012
Figures.... Coward! Just like your MASTER
#156 Jul 6, 2012
So you post about American Airlines yet you fail to address something that pertains to Montebello directly? You are good at name-calling.... Try this one for a size..... COWARD!
“Hilltop Park Above All”
Since: Sep 08
#157 Jul 7, 2012
Your past difficulty is raising its confused head again. The AA story about pension reform directly relates to Montebello Pension Reform, The story you cited does not.
If you have more trouble with the big words, or their definitions, please don't hesitate to ask for help first, so you don't just appear ignorant, yet again.
#158 Jul 7, 2012
I rather appear ignorant according to your twisted definition, rather than a COWARD! No wonder you have such spite towards public servants.... You were too much of a COWARD to become one!
#159 Jul 7, 2012
Evidently this ex-montebello firefighter does not stick to the topix at hand but spams topix with multiple posts with his rant.
What is his myopic motivation?
He must have a yellow handicraped tag hanging from his rear view mirror
#160 Jul 7, 2012
Handicapped folks are either born that way or made as a result of an accident! Neither one is a matter that should be taken lightly. However, what else can you expect from the likes of all of you? Now, do you want to explain how does your so-called observation pertain to the topic at hand? I'm curious to see what you can conjure....
“Hilltop Park Above All”
Since: Sep 08
#161 Jul 7, 2012
Your ignorance which comprises the topics of civility, civics, the Montebello of THIS millennium, and reason now has a new category: my past employment.
In December, 2014, when my last 25 year confidentiality agreement expires, I might have more to say on that matter, but maybe not, as mere facts tend to not affect the corrupt. For a hint, what was happening around Kristallnacht, 1989?
#162 Jul 7, 2012
?? What are you smoking?
#163 Jul 7, 2012
Is it just too spooky for you firefighter?
I said handicraped.
Do not get the disabled rights police involved.
They can't help it if they were born that way.
What's your excuse?
Did you make any connection between the editorial and this thread?
How does Bill fit into this framework?
Could you not explain?
Please enlighten us (yet again) ad nausium in the appropriate thread.
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