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  1. #1
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning

    PRICHARD, Ala. — This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.

    Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full.

    Since then, Nettie Banks, 68, a retired Prichard police and fire dispatcher, has filed for bankruptcy. Alfred Arnold, a 66-year-old retired fire captain, has gone back to work as a shopping mall security guard to try to keep his house. Eddie Ragland, 59, a retired police captain, accepted help from colleagues, bake sales and collection jars after he was shot by a robber, leaving him badly wounded and unable to get to his new job as a police officer at the regional airport.

    Far worse was the retired fire marshal who died in June. Like many of the others, he was too young to collect Social Security. “When they found him, he had no electricity and no running water in his house,” said David Anders, 58, a retired district fire chief. “He was a proud enough man that he wouldn’t accept help.”

    The situation in Prichard is extremely unusual — the city has sought bankruptcy protection twice — but it proves that the unthinkable can, in fact, sometimes happen. And it stands as a warning to cities like Philadelphia and states like Illinois, whose pension funds are under great strain: if nothing changes, the money eventually does run out, and when that happens, misery and turmoil follow.

    It is not just the pensioners who suffer when a pension fund runs dry. If a city tried to follow the law and pay its pensioners with money from its annual operating budget, it would probably have to adopt large tax increases, or make huge service cuts, to come up with the money.

    Current city workers could find themselves paying into a pension plan that will not be there for their own retirements. In Prichard, some older workers have delayed retiring, since they cannot afford to give up their paychecks if no pension checks will follow.

    So the declining, little-known city of Prichard is now attracting the attention of bankruptcy lawyers, labor leaders, municipal credit analysts and local officials from across the country. They want to see if the situation in Prichard, like the continuing bankruptcy of Vallejo, Calif., ultimately creates a legal precedent on whether distressed cities can legally cut or reduce their pensions, and if so, how.

    “Prichard is the future,” said Michael Aguirre, the former San Diego city attorney, who has called for San Diego to declare bankruptcy and restructure its own outsize pension obligations. “We’re all on the same conveyor belt. Prichard is just a little further down the road.”


    Alabama Town
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  2. #2
    pac201's Avatar
    pac201 is offline Used up and retired
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    “Prichard is the future,” said Michael Aguirre, the former San Diego city attorney, who has called for San Diego to declare bankruptcy and restructure its own outsize pension obligations. “We’re all on the same conveyor belt. Prichard is just a little further down the road.”



    And the vultures circle...

    Sad state of affairs, I went to school with Eddie, sad to see things go so bad for someone you know.
    Job security...

    Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

  3. #3
    Captain America's Avatar
    Captain America is offline Reed and Malloy were my FTOs
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    Far worse was the retired fire marshal who died in June. Like many of the others, he was too young to collect Social Security. “When they found him, he had no electricity and no running water in his house,” said David Anders, 58, a retired district fire chief. “He was a proud enough man that he wouldn’t accept help.”



    Nice reward for years of faithful service and sacrifice.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  4. #4
    cntryboy0531 is offline THE five-oh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post


    Nice reward for years of faithful service and sacrifice.

    To many members of the public this is how they would like it to be. "Hogs feeding at the public trough"

    Work until the job kills you, or work and leave with nothing but a plaque to show for all the dangerous shit you put up with on their behalf, because they were too rich, or too much of a pussy to get out and do it themselves.

    Do I sound bitter?

  5. #5
    Xiphos's Avatar
    Xiphos is offline I Void Warranties
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    Is that town still paying out welfare entitlements?
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

    I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

    Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman

  6. #6
    dadyswat's Avatar
    dadyswat is offline Officer First Class
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    When I read one of these stories it sounds like the city or county is paying the retirement just like they would a regular employee, don't they have regular managed pension funds?

    Here in a Ohio they have to meet a 30 year funding rule and they last time after 9-11 when the fund had problems it was the retirees that took the hit on their medical. medical went from $85/mo to $700+/mo. I think it's the active members turn this time.

  7. #7
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadyswat View Post
    , don't they have regular managed pension funds?
    Ha! I knew it! I knew there was supposed to some kind of requirement for those things!
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


 

 

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