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Defined benefits a diaster

Defined benefits a diaster

POSTED February 21, 2018 9:20 a.m.
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Editor, Ceres Courier,

Regarding, the commentary, "Why cities like Ceres face budget disaster," great article.

Since the public pension system is severely underfunded, city governments need to fund the retirements of former employees by taking money from government services as the increasing pension costs will likely continue to crowd out resources that otherwise would go to public assistance, recreation, libraries, health, public works, and in some cases public safety. Benefit costs are slowly crowding out the discretionary money available for states, districts, and schools to spend on other priorities.

"Defined retirement benefits" are creeping into budgets, especially when those benefits are underfunded. The unintended consequences are that it's unfortunate that future generations, unable to vote today, will bear the costs of many enacted pension programs, entitlements and boondoggle projects, requiring the younger generations to pay higher taxes and work later into their lives to pay for these promises.

The international business world is intelligent enough to know that defined benefits, neither capped nor precisely quantifiable in advance are financial disasters to any business, thus all businesses focus on the known, i.e., defined contributions alone.

Stealing from the young who have no votes, but silently shoulder the costs and bear the burden of unfunded promises of these programs to enrich the old seems to describe the government's expansion of entitlement benefits and other government services, along with the taxes young people will have to pay to support them, mostly to subsidize older Americans.

Even before those young folks can vote, our Golden State schools are on track to force substantial budgetary cutbacks on core education spending, as public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars away from education and other government services.

Ronald Stein, P.E.,
PTS Staffing Solutions,
Irvine, Calif.

LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed and include an address and phone number. Letters should be 250 words or less and be void of libel. Send to The Ceres Courier, 138 S. Center Street, Turlock CA 95380 or emailed to


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1 comment
TB: 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Move everyone to Social Security

Here's my solution:


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