Tuesday, July 07, 2009

pensions and G20

Already covered in local media, but the Philly Inquirer had a piece over the weekend on the potential takeover of some municipal pension funds by the state. See:

Proposal would have state take over city pension plan. by Jeff Shields . July 4, 2009

Here is something to think about... Lots of talk about how leasing of the parking authority assets could be used to shore up the city's pension systems.. For all numbers I have heard on what the net payoff would be... give or take $200 million that is... the city's pension system would still be one of the worst funded in both the nation and across the state and would still be caught up under this plan. That amount would pretty much put the pension plan back where it was just 2 years ago. At that point the ICA at least was talking about it as: "At some point, it's impossible to catch up".


and the WSJ has a blurb on the upcoming G (20 minus 12) conference that is coming up with some discussion of what it means for the G20 conference here later on. Remember, these folks are coming here for real work, not sightseeing.


update: more on pensions. I just saw noticed this though it's clearly not new. An ammendment dated may 20 to the Act 47 has this little blurb in it:

changes in actuarial assumptions as further detailed below, a more current actuarial valuation would almost certainly find the total City retiree liability to be well above $1.0 billion. With the additional principal balance on pension obligation bonds issued in 1998 to help fund retiree benefits going forward, the City’s current overall retiree liability is believed to rise well above $1.25 billion. (emphasis added)

note the use of the word above.

Hmm..... And people think I'm pessimistic. Was that $1.25 billion number bantered about in the Act 47 debates down at city council? and the city vehemently disagreed with this post of mine where I pointed out the billion dollar bonus. In fact I think the city's position is still that any talk like this is "likened .... to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater."


Blogger Conservative Mountaineer said...

Oh, great. I, as a suburbanite and PA taxapayer, will be forced to shoulder some of the burden for egregious pensions for over-paid lazy sloths in the City of Pittsburgh.. and that includes the Police and the Firefighters.. salaries and pensions should be reduced.. just like those of us in the private sector.. don't like it.. get another job!

Lovely. South Carolina or North Carolina, here I come (re: NC, here I return). Screw the City of Pittsburgh. Royally.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger Conservative Mountaineer said...

Oh, and I don't go into the City. I don't watch or root for ANY of the sports teams.. so spare me the "well, don't you share in the Pittsburgh experience" crap.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 7:53:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...


I, for one, am so great that everyone within 15 miles of me experiences positive externalities.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 7:58:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

And dry heaves every Thursday at 11:00 p.m. I'm working on that.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 8:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Johnnyg said...

Conservative Mountainer,

Go back and read Forbes from a few weeks ago. Pittsburgh is in very good company. We've gotten here first, but the rest of the nation is right behind us. You may run, but you can't hide.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger n'at said...

dang. another unsatisfied customer. taxation is a manometer of sorts. local, state and federal: the volume of funds is always the same, but the body politic will produce pressure no matter which way the system has tilted.

excellent time for another bourbon monarchy, eh?

"cut and run" to the carolinas, and do your part to water down the genteel order of operation down thar...

Meanwhile, we'll continue to stone the ghost of Edmund Burke up here.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 10:15:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...


I've always thought of Pittsburgh as pretty Burkean for the U.S. "Because we've always done it that way" seems fairly typical of both Pittsburgh and Burke.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

I told a friend of mine that GM and Chrysler would not be the only automakers given government assistance. They'd merely be the first. Since I made that statement, Toyota and Honda have received a combined $7B from the Japanese government, and if it weren't for a literal final-hour intervention by the German government, Porsche would have ceased to exist back in March. (Apparently, Toyota, Honda and Porsche build inferior products that nobody wants. *lol*)

Pittsburgh is in the same boat as GM and Chrysler: they won't be the only city with a pension crisis. They'll merely be the first, and after reading the first two comments above, I can't wait until the cities in North Carolina have their own pension crises.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 3:48:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

For the cities in NC (at least the ones I know in the Triangle) to have as big of a pension crisis as Pittsburgh, the economy would have to be such a disaster that nobody in Pittsburgh would be able to laugh. For the most part, the cities in NC are growing in population and have room to raise taxes without pushing people out. Property taxes in Durham were less than 1/2 of what they are here, there was no local income tax, and the sales tax was lower. In other words, they have room to maneuver.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 5:10:00 PM  

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