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Should pension plans for federal, state and local government workers be transitioned into private plans?

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Last answered 18secs ago

Pension Reform Poll Results


645,418 votes



410,357 votes


Distribution of answers submitted by America.

3 Yes answers
2 No answers
0 overlapping answers

Data includes total votes submitted by visitors since Oct 17, 2013. For users that answer more than once (yes we know), only their most recent answer is counted in the total results. Total percentages may not add up to exactly 100% as we allow users to submit "grey area" stances that may not be categorized into yes/no stances.

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* Data estimated by matching users to U.S. Census data block groups via the American Community Survey (2007-2011)

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Data based on 30-day moving average to reduce daily variance from traffic sources. Totals may not add up to exactly 100% as we allow users to submit "grey area" stances that may not be categorized into yes/no stances.

Data based on 30-day moving average to reduce daily variance from traffic sources. Totals may not add up to exactly 100% as we allow users to submit "grey area" stances that may not be categorized into yes/no stances.

Learn more about Pension Reform

The average retired federal employee receives a pension (retirement plan) of $32,824 annually. Total unfunded pension liability for all U.S. cities and counties is an estimated $574 billion. In addition to their pensions, federal employees are offered a 401(k) plus 5% matching, whereas the average private employer is offered 3 percent matching of 401(k) without pension.  See recent pension news

More stances on this issue

Defined benefit plans are the ones that have cost problems because they promise a certain monthly pay out upon retirement. but because of medial advances people are out-living the money set aside for the pension benefit so it costs more than what was put to the fund. Additionally, Congress sets the tax code that limits what companies can pay into the pension funds so the funds are under-funded. Less pension expense, equals less company expense deductions, equals more taxable revenue, equals more taxes to the Government (see the MAP-21 legislation). 8mons ago from a Republican in Denver, CO.

Yes, government pensions should be brought into line with those available in private industry, individuals allowed to contribute to their account, and have constant access and view to their account information. No big payouts apon retirement, and based on a percentage of their income while employed plus whatever they have added to the account. 8mons ago from a Republican in Grafton, WI.

As a doctor I make 60,000 a year less than I could make in the public sector. The benefits balance this reduction in wage. If you're going to cut my benefits then raise my salary so it's commensurate with MGMA average. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Eugene, OR.

Doesn't matter to me. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Miami, FL.

Eliminate all benefits and allow only monetary compensation. 8mons ago from a Republican in Potwin, KS.

Yes, but only beginning with "new hires"; current employees remain under the pension plan they're under right now as long as they maintain employment with the federal/state/local government with who they are employed by and vested in that particular pension plan. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Tulsa, OK.

Their future benefits should be based on the ability of the pension plan to pay due to Defined Contributions, similar to a 401K or IRA. They should be eligible to start taking a reduced pension at age 50. Pension funding should in no way be dependent on future contributions. 8mons ago from a Green in Potwin, KS.

If they are on government payroll, then just like an employee belonging to a private company that offers pension, they should be entitled as well. Given that it is publicly funded, however, it should match the average pension plan rate for private companies, instead of being higher. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Baton Rouge, LA.

Not all government "pension plans" are equal. For instance, military retirement pay, arguably a pension, is generally reguarded as "deferred payment for services renderd risking able body, life and limb." This should be protected and carried out based off a career of service to the Country. Congressonal benfits, earned for one term of service, are not compensation of a risk of health through service. Evaluate each on a case by case basis, understanding the compenstation relative to the time and impact of service. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Las Vegas, NV.

Current pensions for senior citizens should not be phased out, but state and federal pension spending is out of control and should be fair based upon certain standards. People who have no pensions should not be required to pay bloated pensions through high taxes. I believe the pension issue has caused many large companies to move their businesses out of the United States. 8mons ago from a Republican in Alief, TX.

End goovernment employment. 8mons ago from a Libertarian in Chicago, IL.

I don't know much about it. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Cary, NC.

I think that Congress's pension plans should be eliminated as they haven't worked for them. If a state or fed employee breaks the law, they shouldn't receive a pension plan. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Fairmont, WV.

They are the 1% that still ofder pensions, all others have to rely on 401k savings and other plans, it should be equal, becuase they are working in government they should not be more special than others working as hard if not harder than them. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Union City, NJ.

No. pension plans provide billions of dollars to businesses. However, co-contributions by the government entity and individual should be enough to be self supporting for the future retiree. These retirement plans should be guaranteed by US government (just like SS). 8mons ago from a Democrat in Baton Rouge, LA.

Your everyday civilian government worker should maintain a public pension. Elected officials should NOT receive ANY pensions. This encourages them to actually perform admirably at their jobs so they can get re-elected, otherwise they lose their paycheck. It needs to be an incentive to work FOR the voters rather than a guaranteed paycheck for life (like they currently have). 8mons ago from a Democrat in Glen Ridge, NJ.

Phase out into privately managed plans for future workers but continue social security contributions...including Congressional representatives. 8mons ago from a Republican in Independence, MO.

Government pension plans should be no better and no worse than those provided to average workers. Elected officials should be able to contribute to a 403b plan with matching equivalent to the average matching paid to private employees in the jurisdiction from which they were elected. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Edneyville, NC.

I think the government workers getting a pension and nobody else getting a pension is not very fair. Why do they get special treatment when the working citizens aren't even going to see all the money they put into Social Security because Congress has already spent it. 8mons ago from a Republican in Denton, TX.

Everyone, including Congress, should belong to the Social Security System. Any additional savings should be through privately managed plans. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Jensen Beach, FL.

Government workers should pay into Social Security and use that as their pension plans but have the ability to voluntarily put extra money away into private plans like IRAs. 8mons ago from a Green in Gretna, LA.

Pensions should be required of all business and federally protected as belonging to the workers, NOT AN ASSET of the company, to prevent raiding by Vulture Capitalists. 8mons ago from a Green in Medford, OR.

None of the choices ring right - it's so complex I just don't know. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Mukilteo, WA.

Governments aren't businesses. Running on sound business principles is one thing. Welshing on pesnions after they are earned is ethically and morally wrong. Further, it has lasting and negative impact on our economy as seniors, having worked their enitre life for a fixed benefit plan, find that plan puned to a shadow of its former self. In teh interim get out of the pension business with new employees and work to get an alternative retirement benefit inplace. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Montgomery, AL.

As the husband of a career teacher, pensions are a vital benefit to compensate and retain qualified workers and professionals that typically earn less than their private sector counterparts. For those who work an entire career in government (fed/state/local) service, they should be compensated and supported for that financial sacrifice throughout their retirement years. 8mons ago from a Republican in Madison, NH.

Their pension plans are way out of line. Congressmen/women should not have special plans for a lifetime of benefits! The current pension plans for government workers was expanded during affirmative action with many unqualified workers being employed by the government. This should all be stopped and something more reasonable be considered. 8mons ago from a Democrat in High Point, NC.

For existing plans, no. For new employees, allow the option of private or not. Pension/Retirement plans should be excluded from bankruptcy claims and federal/local leadership heavily penalized if not meeting their required participation. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Lafayette, LA.

The current Fed pension plan is fully funded. Regan and those that followed never fixed the old grandfathered in plan that is in debt. That plan needs to be fixed so that it is sustainable for those who have been promised compensation. The only reason we are hearing people squawk about pension plans is that the Fed government has borrowed from it and doesn't want to pay it back. 8mons ago from a Democrat in Colorado Springs, CO.

Pension plans are a good thing that support these people, however it is not right to have that much unfunded. New funding needs to be raised and other government monte needs to be moved around. 8mons ago from a Republican in Berlin, NH.

Yes, but leave retirement plans for military alone. 8mons ago from a Republican in Dayton, OH.

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