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Pension Burden Grows As Retirees Live Longer

Klug: I Think the Age Needs To Be Looked At

March 23, 2014

WHEELING — With today’s average life expectancy around 79 years, a Wheeling police officer or firefighter who retires at age 50 is likely to draw pension benefits for about 30 years....

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Mar-24-14 11:21 PM

"fire fighter get to spend a week in Charleston lobbying".... Since when does THREE DAYS EQUAL A WEEK??? Maybe they TRADE SHIFTS so as to free up their schedule or maybe they even use their own vacation time to cover any missed work. SOMEONE NEEDS TO DO SOME RESEARCH IT WOULD BE A REAL EYEOPENER!!!

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Mar-24-14 8:47 PM

Wonder how a police officer and fire fighter get to spend a week in Charleston lobbying --partying to keep their pensions flowing with a Cost of Living every year but DO NOT LOSE ANY DAYS PAY FROM THE CITY OF WHEELING !!!!!!!!!!!! While in Charleston

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Mar-24-14 5:46 AM

This is another opportunity to combine city and county governments and realign pensions. Some government entities require employees to contribute a percentage to their own pensions while working.

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Mar-23-14 9:04 PM

Gee, ain’t it a shame to have to pay a pension to a person who has worked his productive years as a firefighter or law enforcement officer?

The maroon Klug does not even know that though U.S. life expectancy is close to 79 West Virginia, one of the LOWEST states for living long it is 71.8 for males (who mostly draw the pensions) and 78.9 for females. Thus, Klutz Klug should be doing the ‘snoopy dance’ in glee knowing that WV is nearly the same as it was in 1950!!

Klueless Klug needs to learn to ‘google’ for current statistics! hmmm....maybe he is past his prime and needs to draw his own pension based on sitting in a chair, shining up his pants seat, and calling REAL WORKERS a ‘burden’.

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Mar-23-14 8:32 PM

Why do you folks have such a dislike for people who save lives everyday.Next time you need help give your stockbroker a call,I mean they just received a 20 million dollar bonus,For doing what?

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Mar-23-14 7:42 PM

What do you guys think the Fed. Govt./ Politicians are going to do when the day of reality comes? The day that the unfunded liabilities must be faced. I'm betting it will be massive inflation. But then, I could be wrong. What can they do to keep the money flowing to all that it's promised ?

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Mar-23-14 2:57 PM

triton, from the story; "As of July 1, 2012 - the most recent date for which Wheeling has actuarial reports available - Wheeling's total police and fire pension liabilities were $51.6 million and $61.8 million, respectively. Fund balances of $14.6 million for the police and $13.2 million for the firefighters leave a total unfunded liability of about $85.6 million."

You claim they pay more into the "system!" Obviously not enough! LOL

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Mar-23-14 12:51 PM

And the part time political appointees can go full time for as little as 3 yrs and collect a pension based on those wages. Part timers can do make work jobs and yet collect benefits and pensions. They don't pay much of anything into the pension over their special jobs and yet can draw as though they have worked 25 yrs at full pay. That also applies to public officials who earn pensions as though they are full time employees. The full time workers get the shaft just as much as the taxpayer. Full time workers pay taxes and full pension shares but part timers (who can be girl friends, family or whatever) and get a pension while only working a few hours a week in some special job. Most often those are relatives slots that are never advertised and there is no competition or qualifications required. Rather than rag on cops and firemen who earn their way, or full time clerks who work a whole career, lets close the loopholes for the politicos and their special workers. Thats costly.

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Mar-23-14 12:45 PM

Often discussions about pensions are from people who are angry that they did not choose a job that had a pension. The article on pensions are, as usual incomplete. Public safety personnel have separeate pensions and pay more into them and for sure they can retire at about 50-55. Why is that? Actuarial studies indicate that is the only way to deal with public safety, they pay more, they get hurt more and they need to be gone as soon as possible after 50. Or they will cost local gov a ton of money. Its not for them, alas it is for the convenience of the gov. If not, currently Wheeling PD would be nearly 3/4 older men, who can still go on duty but cannot render effective duty and will have more illness and injuries than they would be worth. The more interesting pension issue would be the "part time" relatives and appointees who work as little as 20 hrs a week, get full benefits and pensions. There is more to that.

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Mar-23-14 11:45 AM

muckraker, Is the federal goberment pension system funded? In 2012 (last numbers available without a lot of searching) unfunded by 850 billion dollars! Now as the baby-boomers are retiring what do you suppose will result? The CBO estimates that by 2020 (6 years) the liability will be north of 1.5 trillion! We are broke, and promising IOU's. Funny stuff.

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Mar-23-14 11:41 AM

Why not require police and firefighters to retire no later than age 55 (and only after 20 years of service) and hold off on their pensions until age 60?

Some details can be tweaked but the bottom line is that taxpayers should not support the cushy retirements of municipal, county, state and federal workers while the taxpayers have no such guarantees.

Don't like it? Don't become a cop or a paper pusher.

And, wonderwhy? Wilbur Ross made a fortune by raising investment funds to purchase the assets of both LTV and Bethlehem Steel out of bankruptcy. He did not put those companies into bankruptcy nor did he dump their pensions onto the PBGC. He came along and invested in dead companies, called back thousands of workers, got the company back on its' feet in time to benefit from George W. Bush's tariffs on foreign steel and then sold the company to Mittal for $4.5 billion in cash and stock.

You are mad at him because he didn't screw his workers, like you do.

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Mar-23-14 11:05 AM

And it grows and grows, and we add more, and it grows and grows, and we add more and more equipment, and it grows and grows and grows and grows and grows and grows...and we add more. Meanwhile Wheeling shrinks and shrinks, and we take down more and more...and the kicker..those who remain are the targets, lose more and more and more.

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Mar-23-14 10:53 AM

Of course a person that lives longer will receive more total benefits, DUH! Most people that do retire early (like myself) do take less in retirement benefits and SS benefits. I do agree retiring at 50 or 55 and receiving full benefits is a little early.

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Mar-23-14 10:45 AM

Federal agents have mandatory retirement at age 57. Perhaps adding those seven years would help the cities as workers would be paying into their pensions for a minimum of seven more years. It's easy to take potshots at police and fire members, but how many would be willing to take the jobs? As I understand it, the police department is down 13 slots now,so agree or not, there is added danger with low staffing. Do you want the city police and fire protected by highly trainedpeople, or would you prefer all volunteers? Think before you answer.

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Mar-23-14 8:35 AM

ummmm, how many folks were denied their pensions after years of service? ISG, ICG. Ole Wilbur made billions off the backs of American workers! No wonderwhy!

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Mar-23-14 8:22 AM

So in reality they receive retirement funds for more years than they worked! Try a 401k plan like the private sector people have! Defined benefits thanks to the tax payer. Funny stuff.

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Mar-23-14 7:47 AM

Correct. The problem most likely will not be addressed politically until a real crisis appears to all. Unfunded liabilities on the Federal level of entitlements is at such a staggering level that this alone may crash our current economic system. This coming train wreck is a result of the voting will of the people and the politicians doing their best to get re-elected. It will take a majority of the will of the people to correct the problem. Much higher taxes and reduced benefits are both a fast track to political death. Here again, looks like massive inflation of currency will be what we will have.

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