The Marin Post

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How do we get out of pension hole?

Sometimes I read a particularly good article or editorial that really needs to be shared. This is one.

While we wait for the CA Supreme Court to hear the remaining pension spiking cases before them, it's wise to expect that they might opt to dodge the bullet yet again in addressing the crux of the problem - The California Rule. As John Takeuchi states, "It has to be changed, so that pension liabilities don’t crowd out more government services." We hope they will have the courage to do so, but history tells us this is probably wishful thinking.

If the court doesn't address that so-called 'law', the other two options stated in this op-ed should go into effect immediately:

On that second option, all California government agencies state that they need to pay more "to attract and retain the best and the brightest". This is definitely debatable, but let's assume it's true. If paid a good, above average or often outrageously generous salary, why should taxpayers then be on the hook for retirement benefits for 20 to 30 or more years post employment? In the private sector, in addition to very moderate Social Security benefits, most workers save and invest for their retirements or have 401-k type plans.

It's way past time for all workers to be treated equally in the public and private sectors. Governments - and taxpayers - simply cannot afford to continue amassing huge unfunded public retiree debt and remain solvent. MMWD is the current local poster-child for what happens when overly-generous salaries plus runaway pension and healthcare obligations dictate the cost of providing water to the public.