May 5, 2008

City or workers? Who's paid the most into retirement funds?

Here are the records through 2005, courtesy of the comptroller's office:

Click here for PDF file

The short answer is that through 2005 the city collectively put about $64 million into the general city, police and fire retirement funds while the unions put about $26 million into them.
In that time, the funds have paid out about $112 million while growing to more than $500 million in all.
The whole thing is a lesson in the value of investing money. Now if only I had some money to invest....

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks again, Steve, for providing the facts.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmm

Seems like this is what Cockayne has been saying right along! Too bad the Union Hacks are too brain washed to see the truth!!

Keep it up Cockayne! You've got the unions against the ropes!

Cockayne addict said...

That's quite a rate of return.

Perhaps the city invested in oil futures?

Cockayne addict said...

I'm not interested in the city's funny math.

I'm just interested in having my taxes reduced, my cost of living reduced and my quality of life improved (by reducing the cost of government.

Go Cockayne, Go Cockayne, Go Cockayne GO!!!

Back-Yarde-a-gan said...

...and we can do that by employing a city manager.

Go Yardie, Go Yardie, Go yardie GO!!!!

Anonymous said...

Another reason why the City should be able to move the money without the input of the "what will I get out of it" union.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Great work on this! It's good to see the truth comming out! I'm sure the Unions will put a spin on this some how!!

Anonymous said...

I don't see any reason why Art needs to form a special committee to research this. All the information they need is right here.

Just move the money and get it over with.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this will shut up the union apologists who keep spreading lies about where this retirement money comes from. Obviously most of the money came from the taxpayers, and the city was responsible for investing the money very wisely. The unions should be greatful to the city.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Steve Collins.

Anonymous said...

26 million went for administration ......


I often wondered why we needed administrators .

Anonymous said...

The committee is a waste of time. This is the union's way of getting representation at the table thanks to Mayor Ward.

There is nothing to negotiate. The unions know this, but are looking for anyway possible to get negotiations opened so they can have increased access to these funds. It's BS!

Transfer the funds and get it over with. This is the most obvious and easy way to immediately impact the budget now and in the future. It is a no brainer.

I hope the council stops kissing union but and does the right thing.

If you pole the council, I am certain that anyone who was endorsed by the unions is against GASB 45 and the COO.

Anonymous said...

So what will the unions come up with now for why this should not happen?

Obviously they have not contributed all the money like they have been claiming. In fact the city has contributed 71% of the funds. That's a pretty significant number and blows a huge hole in their argument.

Riding that train.....

Anonymous said...

KEN GET RID OF THE UNION AND ALL THE FAVORS THEY WANT FOR THERE SUPPORT.

Anonymous said...

The City has saved at least a few million dollars because they did not have to contribute to two of the larger obligation pensions - Fire & Police - since as far back as 2001. If the City were to drain these two funds down as proposed, the likelihood is they will have to start contributing again while destabalizing the funds in these uncertain times (Don't forget, the funds are invested into the Stock Market which could easily and quickly dive). So, if the City has to contribute again as would be mandated, where's the savings? It's "fuzzy math"!

Anonymous said...

Fuzzy math?!?

Another union fear mongerer!

Screw the city, screw the taxpayers, we are the backbone of this city and you owe us. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

12:00:

Easy to throw stones at "The Union" but you have not responded in any meaningful way to the fact that the City has, and will continue to save big money by not having to contribute to two big pension funds in the City while markedly increasing the chance of having to in order to get a windfall amount now. The risk could be huge.

Anonymous said...

When is the city going to put FACTS on the table?

Anonymous said...

My major concern about dipping into the pension is will it stop? Let's face it, the teachers' union was depleted, because the state kept on taking and taking and taking. Remember, once you set the precedent, you never return.

It's like the income tax. Way back in 1991 when Weicker proposed the income tax, he was able to get the last couple legislative holdouts, because he promised that the income tax was only "temporary." Yeah, right. Look at us now. Not only is it NOT temporary, it's gone up.

I'm not a union person, but I don't believe in supplementing the city's budget on the backs of the city workers whether it's the city pension or anyone else's. If it does go that way, the union is entitled to something in return. We should just not take without giving something back. The money is not ours to take. Remember, it was NEGOTIATED in good faith by the city. You all act as if it was taken by force. If you don't like how it was negotiated, talk to the city attorneys who negotiated it way back when. Making union workers out to be greedy is unfair. I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot, some of you people, including Mr. Cockayne, would be hollering to the rafters about how unfair it is.

Also, Mr. Cockayne, I have a real problem with your comment in the Press today that you meet a roadblock with regard to pension dipping. That is totally false. Obviously the mayor stated he is looking into forming a commission to look into the issue and the union has stated it doesn't have a problem with the idea, but there must be concessions from the city, too. Where's the roadblock? It's not going to happen overnight. Let's not be melodramatic about this, Ken. I know you enjoy seeing your name in the paper, but constantly bringing up the same subject over and over again is getting to be a bit much and running to Glenn Klocko everytime you ressurect the issue is childish.

Anonymous said...

Ken,

I have no problem with you stating the facts as you see them. There are major concerns ethically with at least three councilman regarding this issue.

Seeking a committee to look into this is a stall tactic and a roadblock. It will delay this decision at least a year, probably two and the taxpayers will be left footing the bill.

The councilmen who were endorsed by the unions will all vote against the COO and will gladly delay the GASB 45 decisions and will advocate for the unions to have this negotiated, which by the way, the state has already ruled is unnecessary and does not need to happen.

Also we are not talking about "pension dipping" and balancing the budget by "raiding a pension". This is a fund that is not barely overfunded, it is over funded by about $300 million. Taking $77 million, or probably about half of that they way money grows to fund health care coverage for the unions. The city will be taking "their money" to cover "their benefits".

Other towns are in the same boat and those that have overfunded pensions are considering the same thing. Still some towns have forced the unions to start paying towards their healthcare - now that is a novel idea!

Anonymous said...

Glenn Klocko, by saying that transferring money from the employees' trust funds would lower the mill rate, is suggesting that the trustees violate the terms of the trusts. These trust funds are protected by state statute, city charter , local ordinance and most importantly, labor agreements. The trustees' sole duty is to protect the funds for the benefit of the beneficiaries, which are the city employees. Moving money with the intention of lowering the mill rate breaches the fiduciary responsibility of the trustees. The trustees, (which includes the mayor) could be held criminally responsible and personally libel. What Klocko is suggesting is ignorant, at best, and possibly ilegal. The mayour should rein this loose cannon in. Who is running this city anyway?

Anonymous said...

It is irrelevant who contributed money to the trusts and how much. Once the money is in there, it belongs to the trust, and the only way to get it out is to change the terms of the trust. The problem with that is according to state statute and the charter, the changes must benefit the employees. Moving funds to lower the mill rate does not benefit the employees. actually, it is making the employee pay twice for their post employment benefits. Those post employment benefits are part of the employees' compensation package and are earned from year to year. That is the whole point of the GASB45. Gasb45 doesn't require municipalities to create a fund for these benefits, only to account for them. Actually, by creating an irrevocable trust for these benefits, (which is a requirement of the GASB45 , should towns choose to set up pre-funding) the city creates the same problem they have with fhe pension funds. Once the funds are in the trust, they are the responsibility of the trustees and can only be used according to the terms of the trust.

Anonymous said...

Who does Klocko work for?

Anonymous said...

Wrong.

The state has already ruled the transfer can take place.

Also, the trustees (city employees) get benefits from the tranfer with the vesting.

Anonymous said...

So Glen Klocko stands to benefit if this goes foreward?

Conflict?

Where is Kenny when we need him?

Anonymous said...

Ken is probably out trying to correct the problem. If my taxes can be reduced by what Ken is trying to do, then I'm all for it. Go Ken, Go.....right after those union hacks who are bleeding this city.

Anonymous said...

~Ken is probably out trying to get his name on the front page again...unfortunately, he doesn't know his ass from his elbow.

There are no "union hacks" just "political hacks" trying make the union a scapegoat for all our ills...

We have serious problems and need serious leaders, not fluffy kenny and his "evil union" rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Kenny: an old adage that you might want to heed.

When you have dug yourself into a hole, stop digging!

Anonymous said...

9:27...Of course there are union hacks, otherwise they wouldn't be taking a free ride from the city. Free health insurance, pension, etc etc. I say cut jobs, and layoff. Thats what our city needs. You union hacks are bleeding our city. Get in the real world and pay your own health insurance, lets see if you can survive in the real world without hiding behind the union. I agree with Ken, the union needs to go. The public now knows the truth about the union.

Anonymous said...

11:14

If the public needs to know the truth about the union, then why doesn't Cockayne spell it out to the people.
He has access to the information, if he wants it.
Why doesn't he share it with the people?

Or does he know that it won't be as bad a he is trying to portray it?

Anonymous said...

You people are a bunch of cynical jerks. if that money was negotiated in good faith (someting that you obviously aren't capable of doing) you wouldn't be shooting your mouth off. Why don't you do the taxpayers justice and stop whining or go away. did you endorse Cockayne for your own special interest or do you control him?

Anonymous said...

9:27 YOU are the one taking a free ride. no one can be a wise guy like you tp you cause you don't have the guts to say who you are. Taking pot shots and calling people names while you won't stand up and be counted is taking a FREE ride.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is free you cynic.