Have we ever heard of Congress’ members planning to reduce spending by starting with their own pensions? [“Lucrative pensions for Congress draw criticism,” Politics, Nov. 29]. The majority of Congress is comprised of wealthy upper-class individuals, even millionaires. For years members have been reaping the monetary benefits, and when retirement rolls along, many have…More
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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.More
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…More
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,…More
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…More
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…More