Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Retirement scam: A slick union trick

I really can not say it enough we are headed for a Pension Tsunami unless we reform our pension system we will continue to see a rise in our taxes and a tax burden on our children that will be insurmountable. The pensions are constitutionally protected and with retirement ages as they are, they are not sustainable without massive tax increases or reform. Legislators must work in the best interests of all Granite Staters not just the very wealthy unions they pander to time and time again. Public pensions must change to a defined contribution plan instead of the current defined benefit plan. The private sector figured out over 20 years ago that defined benefit plans do not work now it is time for the public sector employees to realize this as well. Wake up Granite Staters before it is too late. It is time to elect fiscally responsible individuals and not those who pander to special interest groups.

The following piece appeared in the Union Leader.

Retirement scam: A slick union trick

Wednesday, May. 21, 2008

NEW HAMPSHIRE'S public employee unions are trying to trick legislators into rejecting t significant public pension reform the state needs.

The unions, under the banner of the New Hampshire Retirement Security Coalition, have been arguing that two competing bills to reform the New Hampshire Retirement System carry nearly identical costs.

"The chair of the New Hampshire Retirement System Board of Trustees recently testified before the House that there is virtually no cost difference between the House and Senate versions of HB 1645," read a coalition press release issued Monday.

That statement is unquestionably misleading. The short-term costs of both bills are close. The long-term costs are not. The unions claim that the long-term costs are almost identical. But Lisa Shapiro, the retirement system chairman (the very person the unions cited as saying the bills had "virtually no cost difference") said that, in fact, there is "absolutely a difference with the long-term costs."

The House's proposal includes reforms such as raising the retirement age of police officers and firefighters and excluding car allowances from the compensation used to calculate retirement benefits. Those and other serious structural changes are not included in the Senate version. And that is the real reason the unions oppose the House version. It would make sensible reductions in the state's overly generous retirement compensation.

Ironically, the coalition alleges that the House version "is designed to strip away the state's promise of retirement security" to public employees. In reality, only by making such changes can the promise of retirement security be kept. Without them, the retirement system continues on a rapid road to insolvency and future public employees will have to swallow even bigger benefit reductions. Legislators need to pass the House version (Senate Bill 463) to make sure that doesn't happen.

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