Friday, December 10, 2010

Commissioners Call For Last Minute Hearing on Pension

PENSION FORUM
The Board of Commissioners requested that a forum be provided in which County Employees could ask questions or make comments regarding the proposed 2011 Pension Contribution rate. Finance Department staff will be present to answer your questions related to this important benefit.

Date: Monday, December 13, 2010

Time: 5:00 PM

Location: Maloof Auditorium
Likely, because they see a swell of public support coming for the police, and outrage by all county employees, the commissioners call for a meeting concerning raising our pension contributions by 100%.

Strange though how they called for the meeting at the last minute, not giving enough time for the word to get out so people can attend. The email was sent to all county employees today, December 10, at 1:14 PM.

Click here to read a letter by Burrell Ellis addressing the pension fund.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I TOLD YOU SO... If you stay you certainly can't say you had no warning and only have yourself to blame.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand the deal about the $43 million dollar loan or whatever it was to the county for the early retirement...and how that was a positive for the pension fund which is apparently experiencing a shortfall. Seems to me the $43 million would be better invested in the stock market to get us solvent. But then again I'm just an employee dumb ass.

Anonymous said...

I think the BOC scheduled that evening "information session" after giving the increase the first reading's thumbs up vote. I got the impressionit was going to be an extended rehash of Rader's rant that it is not a decrease in pay because it is our money and we'll see it after retirement......and it's not our fault because we are bound by law to raise contributions based on funding levels.

More of the......... we can't do anything and we spent the money that could have been used to to fund the furlough days, vacations, cost of living increases etc..... on frivolous stuff that wasn't NEEDED!

Gold BadgeBadge said...

Decatur is like Washington ........ a decision not to return to higher tax rates is a tax cut.... continued increases in deductions with no offsetting or partially offsetting increases is not a decrease in compensation.....

Yes Commissioner Rader, my compensation has not decreased......it is just not keeping up with the cost of living and the exponentially increasing cost of deductions.

On top of all of that, the new healthcare package is gonna cost me more out of pocket with higher monthly rates! I need those second and third jobs just to stay where I am in the scheme of things.

Don't forget to put in your part time job approval forms.....they're due this month. I really don't want to play the bad supervisor in January.

Anonymous said...

Rader is an idiot! He honestly expects us to believe it's not really a paycut because "it's still our money??" The only way that is true is if you DON'T retire from DeKalb. Then you get back everything you put into the pension. If you DO retire from DeKalb, you're paying DOUBLE for the same pension benefit you were always going to get. You benefit hasn't increased! Nice try Rader, but we're not as stupid as you think we are!

LoFlyer said...

The pension increase is a reality of the DeKalb employee pension policy that has been under-funded for most of the last decade. When the economy crashed so did our pension fund.
The Georgia legislature did something right for a change and produced a law mandating local governments actually finance their pension funds rather than hope and pray that the economy would magically get better and produce the earnings to finance our pensions.
Over the last months I did a lot of research on the pension minutes. What I found was that the retiree pension representative, “Robbie” Robertson was absent for a crucial six months during the deliberations of the ill-conceived pension incentive. Of the two employee representatives only one, Mr. James Butler was doing his job of looking out for the pension. The other employee representative, Mr. Christopher Prickett was amazingly silent in the recorded pension minutes. He was there but did not offer any recorded contributions to the discussions. I owe Mr. Butler a heartfelt apology for things I have accused him over the last year in this blog. Mr. Butler was doing his job and attempting to keep us informed. Mr. Butler if we ever meet face to face feel free to slap me around a couple of times, you did a thankless job and deserve our sincere thanks. My deepest apologies are humbly extended.
What my pension minutes research revealed was that Pension Board (PB) extended a 23 million dollar loan to the county to pay for the counties funding of the 23 million allocated for the “gold-plated” 50 percent added to the annual leave incentive to the retirees. Total exposure for liability to the pension fund was placed at 43 million dollars by the bean counters. Total outlay to the pension is a 23 million loan plus the 43 million liability of new pensioners resulting in a total outlay of 66 million dollars to the pension fund.
When I left in May I was informed that the pension fund was valued at approximately 960 million dollars or roughly funding 80 percent of the pension liabilities. The new Georgia pension law forces the county to accurately fund the employee pension benefits. This is important because local governments can no longer ignore under-funded pension funds that they are legally and contractually required to honor to their employees.
66 million of 960 million dollars is about 14.5 percent of the fund. So out of the 100 percent increase in both employee and employer pension contributions as required by the new law, the retiree incentive cost was 14.5 percent of the total increase to both parties.
Like the balanced budget laws that forces local government to act responsibly to their citizens and budgets, Georgia law now forces local government to pay for their legal obligations to employee pension funds.
This is a good law at a bad time for DeKalb employees and government revenues. From researching the PB minutes it is more than apparent that DeKalb government officials had little intention of fully funding the pension fund. They were going to leave you guys holding the pension bag while they run the county into the ground. The Georgia legislature has mercifully prevented this. (At least to the pension fund)
Your going to have to bite the bullet on this one mates.
The very best of luck!

Self Storage Dekalb said...

Follow the money! Virtually all government entities have been bought and paid for and this is no different.

Anonymous said...

There IS light at the end of the tunnel guys. Remember when you actually enjoyed coming to work and the reasons you went into police work. You CAN have that again at a normally run department where you can safely operate. You'll feel MUCH healthier once you make that move, TRUST ME. I hear even the supervisors now there are told where they must check J2 at haha. ...MY GOD

Anonymous said...

"What I found was that the retiree pension representative, “Robbie” Robertson was absent for a crucial six months during the deliberations of the ill-conceived pension incentive."

It this is true Loflyer, you vacillate in you comments about Robertson...saying one time he has done a good job and saying that you will not run for his pension rep position and then you say what is quoted above. If what is in quotes above is true, you should run Robertson out of the pension rep slot and the other person who you say had a sock in his mouth during the deliberations has to go too. We need real representation on OUR pension board. We need people on the board who will fight for the pension and the employees and not go along with the stupidity and self serving crap that the politicians and their apparent friends on the pension board want to do. This pension is for the well being of the employees and not at all for the reelection of any self serving, stupid, and I mean stupid ass politicians.

Anonymous said...

Thank you LoFlyer for the reasonable explanation of the need to increase the pension contributions. And thank you to the state legislature for holding the DeKalb government's feet to the fire, ensuring that sufficient funding will keep the pension fund solvent. I know this is a hard pill to swallow in tough times. Between the increase for the pension, the increase for insurance, and furloughs, the hardworking men & women all across the county are surely feeling the pinch. I feel for you, but the pension must be kept solvent!

Anonymous said...

i get the pension is going up..but what about 2011 furlough days.. .

LoFlyer said...

To all, my opinions change as new and more accurate information becomes available.
I am an engineer by background, and I did a good job of surviving the county environment by admitting my mistakes and telling the truth until my last director and manager. I would not have lasted another six months unless the retiree incentive had intervened.
I will continue to modify my opinions on this blog as reality dictates. I will never tell you anything less than the truth as I see it.
Life's a beach mates! Enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

LoFlyer..no one is saying that you are not truthful. You are a great person to run for the pension rep.
Please run for this job.

Anonymous said...

DID ANYTHING NOTEWORTHY COME FROM THE MEETING LAST NIGHT?????

Anonymous said...

Don't know about the meeting.....I was on duty and couldn't attend. My expectations were/are very low.

Anonymous said...

Yes we do need some new blood. You cannot represent an organization when you live 600 miles away. I personally know Chris Prickett and he is so disgruntled that he is now only concerned with himself. That attitude is fine for him nut not when you are supposed to be serving the well being of the whole. O.K. so we might have to eat the pension increase for future betterment but I don't see how furloughs help our betterment. Maybe we need to zero in on something not mandated by the state legislature. Keep up the fight.

Anonymous said...

Anyone employed by Dekalb County and contributes to the pension should be extremely concerned about the representation we now have on the board and we need to get people on the pension board who will look out for the pension and nothing but the pension. We need reps who will attend the pension meetings and have the insight to give input that benefits the pension in favor of the employees and no one else. This loan or whatever it was to the county for the last early out was not a good move for the pension in my opinion. If Robertson lives 600 miles away and he could not attend the meetings, we need to get someone else. I don't care how much he may know, he doesn't do the pension or employees any good if he is not at the meetings to offer input in favor of those he is supposed to represent. I'm asking Loflyer to reconsider and run for Robertson's slot and keep the heat on Robertson to make sure he is attending the meetings and doing what we elected him to do until his term is over. We need advocates on our behalf on the pension board. An empty chair does us no good neither does and empty suit sitting in a chair at the meetings. On one of the past postings I noticed that we have numerous money managers investing for the pension, collecting big fees. I'm not saying the fees are not earned but I'm wondering why we have so many money managers. I'd like to hear a response to this. Our pension is and will be very important to all of us in the future. It is not something that may be used so far in the future that we can afford to worry about it later of leave it up to someone else as we have been doing. We need representatives that will stay on top of our interests. Go get
'em LoFlyer.

Anonymous said...

Board of Commissioners, I agree that there is a need for cut backs and furlough days but it is very bad business to do it to those employees that expose themselve to physical danger and life and death stress danger. Our police department is the military here. Pres. Obama knows that he should not dump on his military. Why can you figure this out? We would like to see you lead by example and cut in your own yard before you cut in anyone eles's yard. Leave the police department alone to do it's job with the least amount of stress as possible. Isn't it better for the county and the citizens to have as content police department as possible? You are training them and driving them off to other agency's. The entire BOC should be more concerned with police employee retention. Look for county government waste and unnecessary bureaucratic expenses first. Support your police department. The officers already work extra jobs to make ends meet which is a strain of family life and causes more stress. OPEN YOUR EYE's BOC. It seems to me that the police department is in disarray right now. Thanks..Joe Citizen.

Anonymous said...

LoFlyer. Everyone knows that the stock market and our deferred comp and IRA's were all down in 2008. But since the low in the stock market in March 2009 the DOW stock market is up several thousand points. From March to December 2009, the market was up big as it is all of 2010. Why is the pension in trouble then? Are these many money managers that the pension has, getting our pension the best possible returns? Is there anyone on the pension board that would know if we are getting a good return from all the many money managers the pension has on board? I saw a post somewhere on this blog awhile back that the pension was looking to get someone to put some of the pension money in emerging markets. When I read that I thought that was like waiting out side the Georgia dome during the first 3 quarters and then buying a ticket for the third quarter. I believe the emerging markets were up a lot well before I read that the pension was finally thinking of getting into emerging markets. Am I correct on this ? I'm not making any accusations, just wondering if I am right. I have nothing to refer to since we don't really get much information passed down to us from our pension rep's as far as I know. Coments welcome.