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Distribution of answers submitted by America.
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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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 employee 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). 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Eugene, OR.
Doesn't matter to me. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Miami, FL.
Eliminate all benefits and allow only monetary compensation. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr ago from a Republican in Alief, TX.
End goovernment employment. 1yr ago from a Libertarian in Chicago, IL.
I don't know much about it. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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). 1yr 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). 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr ago from a Green in Medford, OR.
None of the choices ring right - it's so complex I just don't know. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr 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. 1yr ago from a Republican in Berlin, NH.
Yes, but leave retirement plans for military alone. 1yr ago from a Republican in Dayton, OH.
Yes but big pension payouts are more rare than what people think. Of course the system should be overhauled but in a way that is fair and equitable to workers while being affordable for the public to fund. If you eliminate or minimize government pensions, government will not be able to recruit and retain quality workers. They would all move to the private sector. 1yr ago from a Republican in Burnsville, MN.
It depends. Federal employee retirement is employee supported with relatively little cost to the government. Other government retirement, like for California police and firefighters, are insane; 90%+ of their annual income at age 50? It is unsustainable and needs reform. 1yr ago from a Republican in San Juan, TX.
If we take workers pay and invest it in the pension fund, we cannot reduce their payments, it is money they earned. Wisconsin's Governor looted his state employees pension and he should go to prison for that. It is NOT a hand-out, it is an entitlement (not like AFDC or WIC) because they took money out of the workers' paycheck for 30 years and now they MUST pay them their own money with interest. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Florence, SC.
Pension plans for the younger workers should be adjusted--probably trimmed, and probably with larger employee contributions. There should be no changes for those mid-way through their careers or already retired as there is not enough time to adapt to the new plans. 1yr ago from a Republican in Alexandria, VA.
Yes, improve the retirement benefits for Federal, State and local employees, and mandate ALL corporation of a particular size to contribute to and support retirement benefits for any employee with more than 20 years of service. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Billerica, MA.
We can't default on pensions that people paid into for decades, that people earned. That's part of the compensation they agreed to when they were hired. We need to stop borrowing from pension funds for other projects and start fully-funding them, as per our agreements. We've been robbing Peter to pay Paul; that's why we have such a shortfall. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Crystal Lake, IL.
I know teacher's pension plans are even more borked than regular social security plans. I hear tale of extravagant pensions for higher ranking officials. We need reforming alright... we need to protect the welfare of the senior citizens whose work we build on today. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Pomona, MO.
Committed pension plans should be left alone - that includes not only civilian but military as well. Any plans made regarding changing the structure of pension plans should be looking forward not backwards - then let employees compete in an open market to see if the plans are competitive. If the government cannot get people to work for them or the quality of the workforce drops, then changes may be needed. Without understanding impact a change will have, it is not worth speculating. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Waterbury, CT.
Yes, they should be reformed so that they can meet the promises made to older workers while still providing younger workers with reasonable options that won't bankrupt the municipality. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Washington, DC.
For elected officials and those making 100K or more only. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Bainbridge, OH.
Yes. Pensions should be commensurate with the worker's pay. 1yr ago from a Republican in Dallas, TX.
The pensions were originally designed to compensate these workers because govnt jobs didn't provide bonuses or any wage upgrades while a person had those jobs. Give them what they earned and contracted their work lives for. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Hays, KS.
Federal employee pensions need to be reduced to match the norm of average people. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Grandview, MO.
Yes on some issues but, but a complete overhaul is probably not the answer. If I retire with 25 years of service I will only receive around 500 a month and with the Obamacare laws most of that will go for health insurance. 1yr ago from a Republican in Notasulga, AL.
Yes, madate they ALL pensions are funded in each calender year and held for the individual in their personal social security trust, not under the control of anyone except the worker. 1yr ago from a Republican in Springfield, MO.
Let the individuals put the money from their retirement earnings into a personally managed account, phase out government control of it over a 2 year period. 1yr ago from a Republican in Skamokawa, WA.
Pensions are continuing to be needed to keep people out of the "poor house". Without pensions and Social Security there will elders needing some sort of financial support and care. That will need to be developed in future plans. 1yr ago from a Green in Ely, MN.
Abolish government pension plans. fire all government workers. no government jobs. 1yr ago from a Libertarian in New Vineyard, ME.
The problem with government pensions are they are way too rich and are higher than many people's wages when working. It.needs to be reduced. 1yr ago from a Republican in New Britain, CT.
Yes but only if the reform does not affect current retirees. The issue can be addressed if individuals currently employed increased their percentage of contribution. 1yr ago from a Democrat in Hummelstown, PA.