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Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: Pensions

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February 11, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Pension reform: the well-being of city employees; realities don’t reflect rhetoric

Messing with the well-being of city employees

In The Seattle Times’ Business section aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia warns that Boeing is running big risks in forcing major concessions from its unions [“Analyst Aboulafia lauds 777X, berates Boeing for creating ‘ill will', Business/Technology, Feb. 6].

He comments, “If you don’t have the workers on your team working with you and feeling good, you’ve lost a big chunk of the battle.” It is well known that the forced concession angering Boeing machinists is the substitution of a 401(k) plan for their defined-benefit pension.

Yet, on the following page, former State Auditor Brian Sonntag suggests that Seattle might do well to follow this same path with our city employees [“Seattle’s pension system is unsustainable,” Opinion, Feb. 5]. Do we really want those supplying our essential city services, many of whom make considerably less than Boeing workers, to work for us feeling they are no longer respected players on our city team?

Edith Ruby, Seattle

Realities of retirement planning do not reflect rhetoric

What if everyone who has a mortgage had to make all of their future payments right now? It would not be surprising to find that the total sum could not be paid if the amount owed on those mortgages “came due all at once.” Although this is what former State Auditor Brian Sonntag presents as a problem, it is not what happens with mortgages, nor does it happen with pension obligations.

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0 Comments | More in Pensions | Topics: Boeing, Brian Sonntag, Edith Ruby

October 27, 2013 at 8:29 AM

State hasn’t paid its share

2008 recession continues to affect those who had nothing to do with it There is a lot of pressure for the state Supreme Court to overrule lower court rulings on state employee pensions [“Supreme Court: rule against pension lawsuits, Opinion, Oct. 24]. A recent editorial pressures the court to rule against state employees because the state needs…

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0 Comments | More in Economy | Topics: economy, Pensions

March 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Public pensions should be replaced with contribution plan

Defined-benefit retirement plans are sustainable The Seattle Times editorial “Replace public pensions with contribution plan” [Opinion, Feb. 28] is wrong. Defined-benefit retirement plans are sustainable. In fact, a well-designed and properly managed defined-benefit plan is a very effective, cost-efficient benefit with less cost to the taxpayer. In Washington, employees pay 50 percent of the cost,…

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0 Comments | More in Economy | Topics: Pensions, public employees, Retirement

March 6, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Contribution plans to replace public-employee pensions

Plan would aid economy, threaten power structure Your proposal to shift public-employee pensions out of defined benefit plans and into private 401(k)-like plans makes too much economic sense to ever be adopted [“Replace public pensions with contribution plan,” Opinion, Feb. 28]. As things now stand, the private economy through tax revenue must ultimately support government pensions…

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0 Comments | More in Economy | Topics: Pensions, public employees, Retirement

February 27, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Lawmakers’ pensions criticized

State figures are also a concern Before The Times publishes articles critical of Norm Dicks’ pension as a retiring U.S. congressman, it should look right here in our own state of Washington [“Congress retirees’ pensions too high?” page one, Feb. 22]. I think you will find many public employees in this state who receive similar…

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0 Comments | More in Congress, Washington Legislature | Topics: Norm Dicks, Pensions, Retirement