Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Experts say retirement changes would cost the state

If Speaker of the House Jim Tucker was expecting overwhelming support for his scheme to put public employee retirement at the mercy of the marketplace, he might have been disappointed by the result of the first hearing on the subject.

The emerging consensus seems to be that changing state retirement systems to a defined contribution plan would cost more than the current defined benefit plan, according to experts cited in this story by Advocate reporter Sarah Chacko.

Opinions vary on why Tucker is so bent on taking away one of the good things about public service in Louisiana - the promise of a retirement plan that is not subject to the whims of the stock market.

Whether his zeal is out of disdain for the people who work in public positions - including teachers and school support staff - or it is out of allegiance to the private fund managers who stand to be the real winners in a defined contribution plan, or even out of a misguided belief that his idea would truly be good for the state, one thing is certain. His plan would not be in the best interest of the people who've made public service their life's work.

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