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Thread: changing state legislation for retirement

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    Default changing state legislation for retirement

    my department is state funded (texas) and currently our retirement is based off the rule of 80 (age + years of service = 80). which means most of our guys will be in their sixties when they can retire. we are penalized 5% each year before age of 60. we need to make a change to the state legislation in order to make a change in our situation. we'd like a 20 year retirement. (state troopers have a 20 year retirement). if anyone has any experience or information they can offer in dealing with state governments it would be greatly appreciated. we are a small department and are not in a union.

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    Are you TMRS??

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    we are under the standard ERS.

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    Change to TMRS??

    Will not get you out at 50 unless you start early

    Problem would be to get your city to do it



    Other than that do not think you can get it changed unless some how get under the LECOS classification

    Or start a separate insurance

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    we've tried in the past getting under LECOS and we may try to do it again. we had a bill written up and some politicians on board but it didn't go anywhere. from what some of the guys say, DPS wasn't too thrilled about the idea.

    we don't work for municipality so TMRS is out of the question.

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    In the current political and economic climates, I think you're more likely to see the state troopers lose their 20 year retitement than get it for yourselves. Especially since you're not union and you're in Texas.

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    And it may come down to money. I'm sure someone will work up the numbers (if they haven't already) on how much more changing a given retirement system will cost.

    I suspect that will be your biggest battle.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    I don't think trooper retirement is going anywhere. texas economic climate isn't that bad.

    we're a small department with 30 guys. the financial burden is there however it's not an issue.

    this is from our last legislative go round in 2006:

    "ERS estimates that 31 current employees would qualify as firefighters under the bill, and would thereby receive improved retirement benefits. The bill would add $0.1 million to the unfunded actuarial accrued liability of ERS, and add $0.5 million to the actuarial liability of LECOS. The annual increased costs to the state for paying these amounts would not be significant."

    being so small I feel like we don't have a shot with some of the interest in Austin. I feel like we're out of our league and writing and meeting with representatives may not be the best route. most of the politicians probably don't even know we exist. would joining a union give us more leverage? how hard would a union fight for 30 guys retirement benefits?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kswahl1 View Post
    I don't think trooper retirement is going anywhere. texas economic climate isn't that bad.

    we're a small department with 30 guys. the financial burden is there however it's not an issue.

    this is from our last legislative go round in 2006:

    "ERS estimates that 31 current employees would qualify as firefighters under the bill, and would thereby receive improved retirement benefits. The bill would add $0.1 million to the unfunded actuarial accrued liability of ERS, and add $0.5 million to the actuarial liability of LECOS. The annual increased costs to the state for paying these amounts would not be significant."

    being so small I feel like we don't have a shot with some of the interest in Austin. I feel like we're out of our league and writing and meeting with representatives may not be the best route. most of the politicians probably don't even know we exist. would joining a union give us more leverage? how hard would a union fight for 30 guys retirement benefits?
    Not in Texas

    A neighboring city did go from funding their own retirement to TMRS

    Might look into that

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    Not to be too much of a naysayer. With all the criticism of public employees and their retirement benefits by what is mostly conservatives politicos I doubt you'll see any type of retirement enhancements approved in the near future.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Not to be too much of a naysayer. With all the criticism of public employees and their retirement benefits by what is mostly conservatives politicos I doubt you'll see any type of retirement enhancements approved in the near future.
    Plus they have to convince the state of Texas not locals

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    Quote Originally Posted by kswahl1 View Post
    I don't think trooper retirement is going anywhere. texas economic climate isn't that bad.

    we're a small department with 30 guys. the financial burden is there however it's not an issue.

    this is from our last legislative go round in 2006:

    "ERS estimates that 31 current employees would qualify as firefighters under the bill, and would thereby receive improved retirement benefits. The bill would add $0.1 million to the unfunded actuarial accrued liability of ERS, and add $0.5 million to the actuarial liability of LECOS. The annual increased costs to the state for paying these amounts would not be significant."

    being so small I feel like we don't have a shot with some of the interest in Austin. I feel like we're out of our league and writing and meeting with representatives may not be the best route. most of the politicians probably don't even know we exist. would joining a union give us more leverage? how hard would a union fight for 30 guys retirement benefits?
    2006????? That's eight years ago by my math. A LOT has changed politically and economically since then in this country. I'd wager that Texas is not totally immune to this trend.

    Update: Just did a quick google search of Texas ERS. Houston Chronicle reported in Deceber 2013 on the coming billion dollar shortfall. Buckle up; they're gunning for you!
    Last edited by captnjak; 04-19-2014 at 07:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    And it may come down to money. I'm sure someone will work up the numbers (if they haven't already) on how much more changing a given retirement system will cost.

    I suspect that will be your biggest battle.
    It MAY come down to money? Let me clear it up for you. It ALWAYS comes down to money.

    Politicians of all stripes see a dwindling amount of money to dole out to the groups they owe. They want that public employee pension money. It has been described as the largest single pool of money left in this country. They are all drooling over it.

    There is also a huge push from the right wing in this country to have all public pensions converted from defined benefit to defined contribution systems. This puts the money into the hands of Wall Street fund managers who can charge fees to each individual as opposed to the large group. There is no economy of scale. We are talking billions of dollars in mmanagement fees for them. Read whichever newspaper in your locality comes from the viewpoint of the right. You will most likely see stories of pension system abuse and editorializing about "greedy" public employees and their "overly generous" benefits. Check out FOX news. They'll pat you on the back with one hand while reaching into your pocket with the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    Check out FOX news. They'll pat you on the back with one hand while reaching into your pocket with the other.
    Exactamundo. Public employees are the last group of middle class workers to enjoy a defined benefit retirement. Conservatives seemed determined to blow it up.
    Last edited by scfire86; 04-19-2014 at 09:14 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Exactamundo. Public employees are the last group of middle class workers to enjoy a defined benefit retirement. Conservatives seemed determined to blow it up.
    Really? Better tell that to the Democratic leaders in your state: http://www.mercurynews.com/pensions/...tewide-pension
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Really? Better tell that to the Democratic leaders in your state: http://www.mercurynews.com/pensions/...tewide-pension
    I agree there are some Dems. Mostly Repubs in our state. Reed attempted to put an initiative on the ballot. It failed. He's out of office the end of the year.

    The majority of folks pushing to blow up pensions in CA are conservatives.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    I agree the timing may not be the best and the future of public pensions is quite murky. I'm simply focused on the now and the disparity between TECOS and ERS. I don't want to be jumping off the tailboard when I'm 62 and break a hip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Really? Better tell that to the Democratic leaders in your state: http://www.mercurynews.com/pensions/...tewide-pension
    For the record, I didn't mean to imply that Democratic politicians are on our side. There are many throughout the country who are gunning for pension reform.

    It does NOT seem to be part of the Democratic Party national platform to oppose all pensions across the board. From what I see, the Democrats react to local conditions on this topic.

    It DOES seem to be part of the Republican Party platform across the board. From what I see, Republicans are philosophically opposed to public employees receiving what they've already earned. They fund think tanks to spread mis-information about the systems. They have basically tried to turn us into the enemy of sound fiscal policy.

    I saw a reference to a so-called economic policy think tank in an article in the local right wing mouthpiece. I googled the board members' personal info. About 80% of the board of directors were highly placed members of Wall Street investment houses. They want to manage our money on an individual basis as opposed to group pensions. The management fees would be stupendously profitable for them. REGARDLESS of performance. What could be better (for them)?

    The truth and actual facts rarely get in the way for these people. The problem is that the public WILL listen. Many of them are struggling. Some of them see our salary, pensions and benefits as being too much for too few. Forget the fact that very few of them would be willing to do our jobs. Or able. Take a look at the comments sections under any online article. Plenty of haters out there. And they vote.
    Last edited by captnjak; 04-20-2014 at 12:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kswahl1 View Post
    I agree the timing may not be the best and the future of public pensions is quite murky. I'm simply focused on the now and the disparity between TECOS and ERS. I don't want to be jumping off the tailboard when I'm 62 and break a hip.
    Can you just bow out and put money in 401k or something????

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    I'm not really seeing the issue with your retirement making you work until you are 60. Based on the formula you posted

    Hired at 20, retire at 50 with 30 years (30+50 = 80)
    Hired at 25, retire at 53 with 28 years (28+53 = 81)
    Hired at 30, retire at 55 with 25 years (25+55 = 80)
    Hired at 40, retire at 60 with 20 year (20+60 = 80)
    Hired at 50, retire at 65 with 15 years (15+65 = 80)

    Only someone hired at 40 years of age or older would have to work until they were 60 unless I misunderstand the retirement formula you posted.

    Most fire retirements are based on an expectation that firefighters will retire between age 50 and 60, this doesn't seem to be a terrible retirement system from the little you've posted.
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    Good above example

    Maybe the retirement check is not that much and wants higher at 50???

    http://www.ers.state.tx.us/Retiremen...le_to_retire_/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Here and there View Post
    I'm not really seeing the issue with your retirement making you work until you are 60. Based on the formula you posted

    Hired at 20, retire at 50 with 30 years (30+50 = 80)
    Hired at 25, retire at 53 with 28 years (28+53 = 81)
    Hired at 30, retire at 55 with 25 years (25+55 = 80)
    Hired at 40, retire at 60 with 20 year (20+60 = 80)
    Hired at 50, retire at 65 with 15 years (15+65 = 80)

    Only someone hired at 40 years of age or older would have to work until they were 60 unless I misunderstand the retirement formula you posted.

    Most fire retirements are based on an expectation that firefighters will retire between age 50 and 60, this doesn't seem to be a terrible retirement system from the little you've posted.
    It's not terrible until you compare it to state troopers who retire after 20 years of service regardless of age.

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    They do have a reducer factor for police


    http://www.ers.state.tx.us/Retiremen..._for_CPOs/COs/

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    Sure, who doesn't think their retirement could be better, I know I'd love to see mine improve.
    I'm just not seeing the mandatory old age home firefighters from the formula given. It would appear the average 25-30 year old firefighter can retire in their mid 50s.
    If someone amenable to seeing firefighter retirement improve can poke holes in the argument, good luck when going to the public and politicians under the current political climate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here and there View Post
    Sure, who doesn't think their retirement could be better, I know I'd love to see mine improve.
    I'm just not seeing the mandatory old age home firefighters from the formula given. It would appear the average 25-30 year old firefighter can retire in their mid 50s.
    If someone amenable to seeing firefighter retirement improve can poke holes in the argument, good luck when going to the public and politicians under the current political climate.
    Agreed. For some reason conservatives seemed determined to want to blow up pension plans for all public employees. No reason for them to change since a large number of public employees continue to vote for them.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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