Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 13, 1975 · Page 52
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 52

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 13, 1975
Page 52
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Page 52 article text (OCR)

July 13,1975 State, Local Pensions Are Mortgaging the Future By Neai R. "The pension balloon is about to burst," according to the authoritative Empire State Report in a review of New York pension benefits for government workers, the most lavish in the nation. The grim fact, however, is that the pension crisis which helped to push New York City to the brink of municipal bankruptcy simply previews what will happen in city after city, state after state, unless citizens demand'quick. remedial action to control the boom in pension benefits, often based on underfunded and overcommitted trust funds. ., Since 1962. annual benefits under ail state and local retirement systems have soared from $1.6 billion a year to more than $5 billion - and that's minor compared to fiscal pressures to come. In !sevs York City alone, the pension payout is projected to be $3 billion a year by 1985. Avarice, cowardice and gross shortsightedness helped create the pension crisis that now threatens taxpayers and pensioners alike. The avarice was that of government em- ploye unions, which in the past 10 to 15 years have exerted raw political power to force city and state governments to grant ever-escalating pension and disability benefits. Pensions in government service used to be justified on the sound theory that government workers earned less than their private sector counterparts, and should at least be granted security in old age. But today, government workers have both average wages that have risen to 106 per cent of those in private industry, together with pension benfits that would be the envy of any private sector worker. The worst abuses are among firemen and police, who argue that their hazardous duty, with its tough physical requirements, mandates early retirement at generous benefit levels. In Oakland, Calif., for instance, a fire fighter, earning over $16,000 a year, can now retire at 46 after 25 years' service and receive 55 per cent of his final pay in pension. And then he can go out and get another full-paying job for another 10 to 20 productive life years. A New York City policeman, fireman or transit worker can retire at half-pay after 20 years of service - and the base pay for calculating his pension will be his last (and invariably highest) year of compensation, including overtime. If a policeman stays on the force for 30 years, his pension can be more than he ever earned on active duty. When he's old enough to qualify for Social Security, that's just gravy. The tread toward half-pay after 20 or 25 years, begun in New York, has spread rapidly across the country. Municipal finance expert Philip Dearborn observes that when such workers start second careers, society is really paying them 150 to 200 per cent of their real economic worth -- a hard-to-iustify luxury in an era of scarce public and private resources. Commentary PUBLIC OFFICIALS often aid and abet pension abuses. At the bargaining table, it's much easier for the mayor to grant pension benefits, which won't come due until long after he's left office, than to risk voter retaliation by agreeing to pay hikes that will have to be paid out of today's taxes. Local officials also let themselves be victimized by union whip-saw tactics, first granting high benefits for police or fire, then succumbing to pressures to grant comparable pensions for other groups of workers. Excessive pension benefits add up, literally, to mortgaging the future. Tou";'o politicians make the arrangements, but it's tomorrow's officeholders (and taxpay- ers) who will have to foot the bill. The public would benefit if excessive pension benefits could be revoked, but unfortunately they are a type of contract virtually irrevocable under law. Rarely does a government get a competent actuary to estimate its actual future pension costs. (New York, incredibly, uses actuarial tables based on 1908-14 experience.) Before granting police or firemen 20 or 25-year retirement, cities fail to consider that such workers will pay in only half as much to trust funds as lifetime workers but draw benefits twice as long. A few cities (including Washington, D.C.) have huge pension commitments but no trust funds at all to cover them. Finally, many state-local government pension systems let a worker draw full Social Security benefits, in addition to his pension -- in sharp contrast to the moneysaving practice of most private industry pension plans, which mesh the two income sources for retirees. What can be done to rescue the state and local pension funds from their morass? SEVERAL STATES have centralized ^ministration of several systems or consolidated their assets. The most comprehensive reform has occurred in South Dakota, which has established one state retirement system which replaces several former state or local systems. The result is a uniform public pension policy that eliminates "leap-frogging" by separate systems, reduces operating costs, and has a potential for higher return through expertise in investment. Continuous monitoring of public pension performance is carried out by a permanent committee of the legislature. Taxpayers are less likely to be frustrated with pension policy since there is only one, readily identifiable system. Employes have extra pension security because state government stands behind the plan. Finally, better personnel policies are loscered because workers can freely transfer to more promising jobs in other cities, or oeiween state and city jobs, since they carry their pension benefits with them. Another reform that hard-pressed cities should consider is providing second careers for police and firemen who have completed 20 or 25 years of service and are technically "too old" or "disabled" for their former iohs Such an approach, according to Edward Friend of the Society of Actuaries, would save on payroll costs, reduce pension costs, and "give retires an active life and a feeling of usefulness and continued service to the community." W. Va. 214 Gets \en Routing Charleston area motorists who drive to W. Va. 214. Fort Hill. Oakwood Road and Sherwood Forest will follow a new routing from the downtown area when the State Department of Highways closes old route 214 at the railway underpass Tuesday. The department has advised motorists using the South Side Bridge to proceed to Thayer Street where the traffic signal will allow them to cross onto MacCorkle Avenue. A new traffic signal has been installed on MacCorkle at the entrance to new W. Va. 214. RICHARD C.RASHDJ.D. GEORGE E.TOM A, MD. tatte practice tf OPTHALMOLOGY 424 MvMwi Strctt, $·· OMI., W.Va. Phone 768-7371 CUSTOM'S CLEARANCE Out to Chase High Prices! We're out to chase high prices with carpet as good as it looks... your choice of three heavy-weights, three distinctive styles, over 30 colors to choose from: Elegant saxony twist textured nylon 12 width, 15 handsome colors · Beautiful, textured plush nylon 1 ? width, 8 natural colors · Informal Jackstraw pattern nylon with built-in static control. Available with jute back or big, thick foam back 12' width, 2 colors to choose from. CHARLESTON 12x9'10" 12x12 15x11 12x15 SALE 6 3 Convenient locations *KanawhaCity *St Albans *Dunbar 99 sq.yd Dove gray tones heavy commercial Acrilan Confetti pink super nylon shag Fern green tones nylon stand up shog .... Orange and gold patterned Kitchen carpet Golden tan carved DuPont 501 nylon .... Terra cotta level loop commercial nylon... Red apple tite gauge commercial nylon... Canary yellow luxury nylon plush Tangerine tones carved DuPont 501 nylon Altec gold carved nylon shag Spring melon tones level loop commercial nylon Red and blue patterned Kitchen carpet Brass tones heavy nylon shag . aprica tones tite gauge commercial nylon .... Campaign super weight acrilan plush Cactus green sculptured DuPont 501 nylon Mixed spice level loop commercial nylon Eternal fire nylon shorty shag Bright orange carved DuPont 501 nylon Biscuit beige tones carved DuPont 501 nylon ... Lipstick red heavy nylon twist Brown and black patterned kitchen carpet Spanish yam luxury nylon plush Spring green heavy nylon splush Celery and avocado patterned kitchen carpet. 1 $69.00 i $95.00 S $79.00 S $89.00 i. $125.00 |: $99.00 i $89.00 { $95.00 I $85.00 S $139.00 S $99.00 S $65.00 p $99.00 i $95.00 fj $99.00 I $95.00 J . $99.00 5 $99.00 S $84.00 S $129.00 0 $79.00 i $95.00 j $129.00 i $119.00 S $65.00 * i*'-- OUR INFLATION FIGHTERS 1 We'll lock up inflated prices 'til they shrink down to bargain-size. DELIGHTFUL PLUSH SHAG Masland's delightful plush shag nylon of IDS- trous big, fat yarns makes this a timeless, elegant carpet. Designed to fit any decorating trend in 9 mode r n h e a t h e r t o n e colorations. Easy to live with because it takes a minimum of care. Luxury you can afford. COLORS: * Andre * Inca Gold * Ice Blue * Sapphire ie Caramel At if Kismet Green "* if Chestnut * Limeade * Copper Little bit prices KITCHEN PRINTS A combination of beauty and design with all the advantages of long wearing nylon in this easy care kitchen print. Perfect for kitchen, den, rec. room. Heavyweight with big, thick foam back, needs no additional pad. 12' width, 5 sparkling colorations. So beautiful, so practical, we call it "Easy Street". HIGH PRICE ROBBERY STOPS HERE! sq. yd. Big Shot Bargains Something worth shouting about . . . super value in a tough, rugged textured nylon that can take hard wear and you'll never believe the low price. This handsome carpet is available in 12* width 8 plain colors or a sturdy carpet with an interesting and practical textured design. Bold, bright and beautiful in 5 soil-hiding tweed colors. Your Choice rugged and beautiful "Big Shot" Bargains at tiny prices. Little Bit Prices ST. ALBANS PLAZA Summer Gold Nylon Mini Shag $79.00 Cinnamon Level Loop Nylon Commercial f "Jf.UU Russett Dacron Polyester Shag Plush $95.00 American Red Scotchgard Kitchen Print f 99.UU . lipstick Red Medium Length Nylon Shag $75.00 Tortoise DuPont 501 Nylon Sculptured $109.00 Amber Antron II Nylon Commercial; ^9TM.UU Andre Heavy Cable Nylon, Shag $89.00 Summer Wheat Polyester Scroll ....; ;. $115.00 Seal Brown Carved Nylon Plush $119.00 Autumn Tones Scotchgard Kitchen Print $89.00 Oatmeal Heavy Nylon Body Shag $119.00 Eternal Fire Carved Nylon Plush $99.00 Apple Green Medium Length Nylon Shaa *""."" New Gold Tight Gauge Nylon Commercial $89.00 Sprite Orange Cumuloft Nylon Scroll $129.00 Blue Green Scotchgard-Kitchen Print :. f 11S.UU Cobalt Blue Nylon Saxony Plush $139.00 Spring Melon Antron II Nylon Commercial * 108.WW Canary Yellow Pencil Point Nylon Shag $119.00 Glory Gold DuPont 501 Nylon Sculptured ? $89.00 Grass Rubber Back Nylon Commercial $39.01) Sandstone Tight Nylon Twist $139.00 Pumpkin Nylon Sculptured Shag $119.00 Plum Spice Heavy Nylon Shog Plush $139.00 12x15 BANKAMRICARD. Loaded with value You won't be caught paying high prices here. We've put inflation DUNBAR VILLAGE Charleston Store Ph.:925-4931 4218 MacCorkle Ave., Kanawha City Open: Won., Thurs., Fri. 9 A.M.-9 P.M. Tun., Wed. r Sat. 9 A.M.-5 P.M. Dunbar Store Ph.:768-8895 Dunbor Village Plaza Open: Men. thru Fri. 10:00 A.M.-9 P.M. Sat. 10-5 Sun. 1-7 under arrest! It's no secret that beauty and value come first when you consider buying carpet. Well, at Custom if we had to pick a candidate for a popularity contest, our SUPER GROUP IS LOADED WITH VALUE. · Exciting heavyweight cut 'n loop nylon 12' width, 10 lustrous multi-colors · Masland's new nylon casual plush shag deep 'n dense 1? width, 15 colors % Bold, bright and gorgeous nylon lustrous plush shag, 5 solid colors, 8 tweed colors x v : sum CROUP St. Albans Store Ph.:727-2948 St. Alboni Plaza Open: Men. thru Fri. 10:00 A.M.-9P.M. Sal. 10-5 Sun. 1-7 WE GRANT WISHES... rub ycur phone three times and give us a call. Tell us wha5 mokes it happen for you: shaggy shag, plush, sculptured in every magical color you con imagine, let us scheme along with you and show the deep, dense carpets that are so famous. Out of towners, call collect. V/e'll take a magic carpet ride to your front door with samples of every carpet we carry in our store. No obligation. 15x11 Olive Blue Sculptured DuPont 501 Nylon . . . . $119.00 12x12 Roman Gold Thick Nylon Textured Plush $109.00 15x9'3" Butterscotch Dense Nylon Plush $79.00 12x12 Candy Stripe level loop Rubber Back Comm.Nylon$ 19.00 12xlV6" White, .Corcoal Thick Nylon Shag Plush $119.00 15xl3'6" Butterscotch Thick Nylon Textured Plush $109.00 12x12 Red Nylon Sculptured Shog $109.00 12xl5'6" Spring Melon Commercial Antron II Nylon JlOS.Uv 12x14 Burlwood Gold Tip Sheared Nylon $112.00 12x12 Fiesta Orange Medium length Nylon Shag $79.00 15x9'9" Lotus Green Sculptured DuPont 501 Nylon- $99.00 ??xl 1 Jade Sculptured DuPont 501 Nylon $75.00 12x17 Copper Rust Heavy Acrilan Plush $139.00 12x12 Cream Yellow Thick Nylon Velvet Plush $99.00 12x12 Spray Green Nylon Sculptured Shog $95.00 12x12 Real Pink Medium length Nylon Shog $99.00 12x15 Gold on Gold Medium length Nylon Shog .... $119.00 12x9 Totem Red Blue Rubber Bock Nylon $19.08 12xl3'3" Sauteme Sculptured DuPont 501 Nylon $S9.N 11'6"xl8 Daffodil Stand Up Ny"on Shog $135.It 12x15 Green on Green Sculptured DuPont 501 Nylon . $119.N 12x12 Irish Rose Textured Nylon Shog Flush $1Z9.N 12x15 Blue Sculptured Nylon $119 Jl 12x12 Midnight Blue Two Tone Nylon Plush $99.91 12x15 Antique GoW Nylon Plush $11" Ji

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