What does Tulsa owe – in pensions $119 million. Yes, as pensions are threatening cities across America the polite term for this approaching disaster is called “unfunded liabilities.” See Detroit for more detail.
The report by Kevin Canfield in the Tulsa World today is mild and notes no reponsibility by city unions.
By way of context, the City of Tulsa must negotiate with seven different unions. This was made possible by President John F. Kennedy (JFK) who by executive order reversed a policy by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) thereby allowing unionization of public workers. FDR asserted unions by their nature are contrary to public service and a danger to the government. Both presidents were elected as Democrats – a sad side note at best.
Consider that government workers have “Civil Service” which mimics unions with extensive rules within the workplace. So why would a union (civil service) need a union? The answer is to twist the arms of temporary managers (elected officials) to provide future benefits (pensions) the owners of the enterprise (taxpayers) don’t see or fully understand. Thus the managers get immediate political support and the people who pay get screwed. Hello Detroit.
The board overseeing the city of Tulsa’s retirement program recommended Wednesday that the early retirement age be raised to 60 for new employees and that current employees and the city increase contributions to the plan.
John Harvey, a member of the Municipal Employees’ Retirement Plan Board of Trustees, told fellow board members that the proposal would help to ensure the “long-term stability and liquidity of the plan.”
Harvey led a trustees subcommittee charged with making recommendations.
They include four that pertain only to employees hired after June 30, 2014, and one the contribution rate increase that pertains to current employees.
As proposed, current employees’ annual contribution would go from 6 percent to 6.5 percent of their pay and the city’s annual contribution would go from 10 percent to 11.5 percent.
The four recommendations pertaining to new employees are:
To increase the early retirement age from 55 to 60.
To change the city’s Rule of 80 policy to a Rule of 90.
To decrease the multiplier used to calculate retirement benefits.
To increase the percentage by which early retirees’ pensions are reduced.