Monday, July 25, 2011

Like Pigs at the feeding trough - Educators line themselves up for taxpayer-funded benefits of $100,000 a year or more

The fact that the number of $100K pensions has skyrocketed is a key indication that the people setting themselves up for these outrageously high retirements have no care for anyone else but themselves. Greedy Bastards who claim to have worked for this waste of taxpayers money. The educators only paid in 11% of their pay in and in return collect the other 89% from the taxpayers......Nice return when you get 800% back on your investment.

They claim that they are entitled to it because they worked hard over their careers...the many taxpayers who will be footing the bill for these blowhards worked hard also, they just didn't have a HACK based & written law mandating a major ripoff of the taxpayers assisting them.

These HACKS can make up all the reasons they want to justify this ripoff of the taxpayers. It is still an affront to all those who have to pay the way for these ripoff artists who have used the law to feather their own nest with a " I got mine" selfish attitude.

Educator’s pensions skyrocket
Expert: ‘Urgent need for reform’
By Chris Cassidy - Boston Herald
Monday, July 25, 2011

The number of retired Bay State public school employees raking in six-figure pensions has skyrocketed — more than doubling in just four years — contributing to a booming retirement bonanza that could plunge the Bay State into a deep financial crisis unless lawmakers move quickly to fix the system, experts told the Herald.

The latest pension records indicate 140 educators, most of them administrators, are enjoying retired life with taxpayer-funded benefits of $100,000 a year or more — up from 93 in 2009 and 55 in 2007, a Herald investigation found.

Topping the list is retired Randolph Superintendent Arthur Melia, with an annual pension of $147,492.

“I always strived to be No. 1 at everything, you know?” Melia told the Herald. “This was part of the law and part of what I earned over 32 years.”

Former Concord Superintendent Brenda Finn ($145,724) and retired Whittier Vocational Superintendent Karen Sarkisian ($142,913) round out the top three.

The June 30 figures from the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System also showed educators’ pensions last fiscal year totaled $2.1 billion, up $300 million in two years.

“This is a serious problem, and there’s an urgent need for reform,” said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Just as companies have found they can’t afford defined pension plans because they’re too rich, governments are finding the same problems.”

“This is the tip of the pension iceberg,” said David Tuerck of the Beacon Hill Institute. “Sooner or later Massachusetts will reach a crisis point, where we find ourselves unable to maintain normal functions of government and are unable to pay for these pensions because of resistance of taxpayers to further tax increases.”

Critics point to the state’s generous formula that gives public retirees 80 percent of their three highest consecutive earning years. They warn the state is putting off the day of reckoning.

“They need to act fast,” said Jim Stergios of the Pioneer Institute. “This is something that’s not going away, and it’s going to eat up other services we’re trying to afford”

Gov. Deval Patrick introduced a pension reform bill in January that would push back retirement ages and base pensions on a retiree’s five highest years of service. A legislative subcommittee held a hearing in March and is considering other ideas, including putting a maximum cap on pensions, and expects to present a bill in early fall, state Rep. John Scibak said.

“The real thing I’m striving for is a system perceived both by state employees and the general public as fair and equitable,” said Scibak, who chairs the Public Service Committee.

The rising pensions are a result of a superintendent shortage and the grueling nature of the 24/7 job, which have driven up salaries, said Tom Scott of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.

“There is a big problem with finding qualified people . . . even in this job market,” Scott said.

Paul Toner of the Massachusetts Teachers Association said strong pensions keep teachers from leaving the profession and that teachers now pay a higher percentage of their salary — 11 percent — into the system.

“A good pension is a major retention tool,” Toner said.

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