Bloomington: Pension Funding Reality

by:  Diane Benjamin

A big part of the Bloomington Budget discussion has been pension funding.  In November the City Council adopted an aggressive funding plan to save money in later years.  The chart below shows the problem.  The numbers come from this link:  http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=5930 Page 250.  The Police and Fire pension funds were the worst funded.  These 2 are not the only funds the City contributes to.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

police-fire2

Citizens need to take a closer at what is really happening.  Below is a chart for the next few years showing the INCREASE each year that will be required to fund just these 2 pension plans.

The Mayor and City Manager want taxes raised.  Obviously raising $2-4 million more a year will not solve the long-term problem.  What taxes will be raised next year, and the next year, and the next, etc?  Where will the almost $15,000,000 come from in 2023?

PensTotal2

If you think the Council was overly optimist with the new funding plan, look at the chart below – it shows what the State recommends.  That chart is from:   http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6614 Page 24.

The Council was trying to do the right thing.  Without the new funding plan, by 2041 payments to fund just Police and Fire pensions would be over $50,000,000.

Aldermen Stearns and Lower are trying to face reality.  The Mayor, City Manager, and other Council members want citizens to believe that a tax increase now will fix everything.  They don’t want to discuss cuts.

Monday night, during the regular 7:00 pm Council meeting, a public hearing will be held on the budget.  They need to SEE and HEAR from you.

statepens2

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Comments

  1. Many, many people have been getting ripped off for years regarding their pensions not to mention the reported insolvency of the social security system. The guarantee of these pension promises are naught when management fails to protect and procure the joint contributions necessary to keep the giant ponzi scheme rolling. The justice system pertaining to “just us” not you or me is of no help and more or less contributes to the lack of real justice. It is foolish thinking to pretend that the so called state guarantees or contracts are any different. In all due respect to the many good firemen, police officers, and other municipal employees all I can say is, “good luck suckers.” You will soon find that you are no more special than the rest of us.

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  2. Why blame the police and firefighters? They had no say in the decision municipalities made to defer pension contributions for YEARS, if not decades!

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    • Not blaming then – and the cities did pay in what the state said to pay. Now the state has changed the formula and demanding more funding. Look at the payroll pages on the City site. They are paying an enormous amount of money for every employee now. Complaining won’t solve the problem. There isn’t enough money to fulfill promises made by people who did it for votes and are now long gone.

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      • No, the cities were allowed to defer payments until a later date. Just like a balloon mortgage. Now it’s time to pay up, and the cities are behind the eight ball. Yes, it is a mess.

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  3. Chuck Nicholson says:

    Wow! It appears that this pension problem did not happen over night. The sad part is that these city workers will get the shaft thanks to the state demanding more funding. As John Brandt said at the meeting the other night that there is not enough cuts to fix this problem without cutting pensions. So with this Democrat taxaholic Mayor Renner and his city manager with their 7 potted plants………………………I fear that tax hikes are on their way!!!

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