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City Council approves pension boost for school police

The City Council today approved a measure that will increase the pensions of school police officers and let them retire earlier to receive the full benefits.

Other councilors agreed with Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester) that the officers, who are unarmed, deserve better compensation for the often dangerous work they do as first responders at city schools.

The measure would move the school officers into the same pension group as other public-safety officers and would let them retire at 60 instead of 65. They are currently in the same retirement group as general city workers and clerical and administrative workers.

Officials say the move should have little impact on the city budget because there are only 75 school police officers.

Councilor Steve Murphy (at large), who chairs the council's public-safety committee, said the measure is really righting a wrong, because the school officers should have been put in the public-safety retirement classification to begin with.

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All public employees should be on a standardized state pension.

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The standardized state pension system should be dissolved in favor of a normal 401k-style retirement plan.

Officials say the move should have little impact on the city budget because there are only 75 school police officers.

That's like saying you should let me kick you in 10 years since you won't feel any discomfort today.

If people deserved to be paid continuously for work they've completed in the past, leave that decision to whoever is in office when they retire. Otherwise pay people today for work they complete today and let them make their own decisions regarding income after retirement.

Note: For those who say it's unfair to trust public worker's future to the whims of the market, the workers are free to invest their entire 401k in government bonds which is just as safe as expecting a pension payment.

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This year's school budget lays off 3 out of 4 truancy officers.

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Defined contribution system rather than an IOU taxpayer bailout defined benefit system.

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The school police have a very dangerous job which illustrates the dismal failure of the Boston Public schools where political correctness trumps the safety of the kids

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I've almost got a Wingonut Bingo ... but I need a couple more!

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What's a pension?

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What's "retire?"

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401(k)s have been disastrous policy. 401(k)’s were a way to make rich people richer: Why the 401k is a failed experiment.

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The pension is like a remnant of the society we once aspired to be before greed was elevated to the status of a national religion.

And those who were never beneficiaries of the arrangement lash out in their fits of jealousy because it's easier than trying to finish the job those old aspirations implied.

The funniest thing about 401k's was the impact on the market. Before it was launched, Wall Street was mainly a place of institutional investors and some hobbyists.

But the big K drove huge herds into the market and that fed volatility and ever crazier speculative plays to chase yield like Mortgage Backed Securities or derivatives. The place was overwhelmed by all the money.

And it made the public more timid about bucking corporations as they were shareholders now. It also put a lot of people in situations where they had to suddenly keep track of all that market crap.... shareholders...

And wasn't it bleak when the whole mess tanked after 2007?

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According to the Globe, we're realy F$^ed

I dare say that I have written about the issue before (make sure you read all the way through my response to Michael), with some better insight than the Globe article had.

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... you are flat out wrong. Among other things, you ignore the fact that it was trhe boomer generation that accepted (relatively willingly) a big jump in Social Security taxes over the course of their whole working careers in order to build up huge surpluses and NOT impose an insupportable burden on younger workers. Do you really think that most boomers benefited from Bush II's squandering of that surplus (along with reversing Clintons deficit reductions) on unfunded wars and tax cutws that mostly went to a tiny number or the wealthiest Americans?

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I understand that you disagree, and as I related previously, that's okay with me. Reasonable people can have differing opinions.

Without meaning to hijack the thread, I do want to ask this in response: it seems to me that you are drawing a link between the squandering of the surplus (which I understand to mean the surplus in the general budget from the late 1990s) and the pending insolvency of the social security trust fund. Are you suggesting that the surpluses should have been used to shore up social security, or that the social security trust fund was raided to pay for the wars (or other programs or tax cuts), or have I misunderstood your comment entirely?

Also, while I agree that the tax cuts of the Bush II era were ill-advised, I believe that they were relatively trivial (from a foregone revenue standpoint) when compared to the overall downward trend in taxes in the 50 years following WWII (coinciding with the prime working years of the Boomers). Accordingly, while there is much blame for many things to be laid at the feet of W., I'm not sure he can fairly get the blame for wrecking Social Security (maybe for not doing enough, or anything to fix it, though).

Lastly, no honest discussion about social security can avoid what I view as the key issue - we just cannot continue to run a system based on lifespan assumptions from the 30s and 40s. 65 and 67 are not going to cut it. Unless we start telling young workers right now that the magic age is somewhere in their 70s, we are lost.

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... to create a sufficient surplus to cover the costs of retiring boomers. Although this money was collected, it was used as sort of a slush fund (IOUs put into the pot -- IOUs that would have to be paid for at some point -- including during the period when boomers began retiring). Clinton (and Gore as candidate) were committed to reducing the overall budget deficits in advance of the boomer retirement bubble, so as to lessen the hit caused by paying back the IOUs (when funding for boomer retirements was actually needed). Bush and pals saw the reduction of deficits (and the building up of any surplus) as a threat -- and decided to undo what Clinton had done by massive tax cuts (to get back to where things were pre-Clinton) -- then when Bush went to war, he put that onto the credit card rather than undoing some tax cuts in order to help pay for this.

Just raising the income level subject to the SS tax somewhat would stave off any problems in balancing the SS retirement fund books. No need for screwing younger workers by making them work until they drop -- except for the fact that the top income earners donate more money to politicians -- and don't want to pay even a little biut more in SS taxes (and these rich people include plenty of folks both older and younger than boomers).

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An overgenerous underfunded retirement mechanism used by politicians to bribe public employees into voting for them which ultimately either gets a massive bailout via taxation from all working people or is voided by a bankruptcy judge leaving public employees without any retirement.

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How is the Universal HuB pension program coming along?

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From a long ago employer. Thanks for asking, your concern is heartening.

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Watch the original committee hearing and yesterday's vote (at 25:00).

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