I’ve found our new General Treasurer, Gina Riamondo, to be very open and honest about our pension problems, as shown in last weekend’s article in the ProJo. However, her honesty also provides a glimpse at some underlying biases.
She considers 401(k)-style plans — widely offered in private industry — too risky. She favors a defined-benefit plan but one that is “sensible.” It’s not reasonable, she says, to expect to retire at age 62 with 80 percent of your pay, compounded by annual cost-of-living increases that will double the pension of a retiree who lives into his or her 80s. (emphasis added)
Riamondo thinks that the retirement vehicle that just about every0ne in the private sector uses is “too risky” for public employees. Does Riamondo think public employees are not smart enough to handle their finances like those of us in the private market? Or does Riamondo have more concern about the public sector workers (and the powerful union political machine they fund) than she does about the taxpayers who pay the bill. Either way, this attitude won’t get us to where we need to be.