Merger ends Minneapolis pension feud

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 30, 2011 - 8:33 PM

Two century-old Minneapolis police and firefighter retirement funds are no more, as is a longstanding legal dispute over their fate.

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jackpinesavDec. 31, 11 8:35 AM

The story conveniently does NOT discuss the mismanagement of the fund for years by managers and the ignoring of the issue by previous councils for years. As one of the few adults in the room who forced the issue in order to resolve the problem, Barb Johnson derserves better.

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worldcitizenDec. 31, 11 8:39 AM

What this article doesn't say is that this agreement dumps this criminal liability into PERA and the laps of the taxpayers of Minnesota. The politicians and union bigshots that caused this should all be thrown in jail.

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lordhawhaw1Dec. 31, 11 9:13 AM

We continue to subsidize bad choices and bad decisions in this country. The voters of Minneapolis should be held accountible for electing an unbroken string of democrats who get their campaign money from unions who then get their negotiated employment contracts signed off by those same politicians they helped elect. Now the rest of us are forced to suffer the consequences of this corruption. We need a guy with guts like a Scott Walker who is willing to take on a sleezy system.

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ebenezerDec. 31, 11 9:21 AM

Don't forget, folks, when looking at who is responsible for the pensioners being in the spot they were, the retirees had a choice back when the plans were closed to join the alternative plan instead of staying where they were. Now, when there is not enough money in the plan they chose to pay their overly generous retirement payments, they try to hold up the city and the taxpayers for their own previous decision based entirely upon greed. They should have been forced to take cuts to make the the plan work, and the judge appparently agreed. Now, as the previous writers mentioned, the rest of the state taxpayers have to pay the bill for mismanagement, greed and plain milking the the plan for administrative slaries and pension payouts. This is a travesty of justice, and should not have been tolerated.

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gopher68Dec. 31, 1110:02 AM

I don't believe that this merger drops any funding liability in the laps of other minnesota taxpayers. I think the benefit is that the city plan assets (investments) get commingled and managed by the state plan (PERA). The state plan has a better rate of return than the city plan, which means the city can take longer to fund the pension, reducing each annual funding bill. So, if this is true, the key point is that the city, NOT THE STATE, is on the hook to fund whatever pension liability remains. I'm not positive that what I wrote is true -- it would be nice if the articles were more clear on this point to help readers understand exactly what this merger means.

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scottkyDec. 31, 1110:08 AM

What I would like to know, and maybe the Star Tribune could investigate, is how many public pension finds are still out there that could be absorbed by PERA? It seems just as one problem pension fund is absorbed, another one appears. Lets see what all is still out there...

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whataboutmeDec. 31, 1111:10 AM

all police and fire pensioners will still be paid the benefit from the money in the pension funds, which is in the hundreds of millions of dollars now safely out of unscrouplous incompetant hands of the previous managers. The city is responsible for making up some funds but it is a non factor after factoring the age and death rates of the pensioners involved, soon there numbers will drop by 30-40% making funds go over 100% funding and leaving a profit cash cow for the state. thats a fact

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sheflandDec. 31, 1112:31 PM

Glad its over, for now anyway. For the most part Steve Brandt has done a very good job of reporting the issues involved in an non biased view. Thanks Steve. Its very few FF's and police in the whole scheme of things are affected, remember everyone from 1981 and on is already in PERA. Our average age of retiress affected is 73 I believe. Why don't you people with all your comments use your real names?

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gopher68Dec. 31, 1112:31 PM

@whataboutme, those are two points I've never seen in an article. First, the asset managers are unscrupulous? How so? Have they made bad investments? What kind? Second, pension liabilities are carefully measured by actuaries who use detailed mortality tables. That's how they determine how much the pension liabilities are. Unless the retirees die en masse at a much faster rate than what's indicated by the mortality tables, it's unlikely that the pension plans will ever be significantly overfunded.

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