Opinion: We can agree on need for pension reform

November 06, 2013

AFP-NE was in the Omaha World Herald Public Pulse this weekend, speaking on public sector civilian union pension reform in Omaha.  Here’s what was printed:

“As you can imagine, Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska (AFP), Omaha’s city government and the public-sector unions don’t always see eye to eye. Yet one issue we can all agree on is that the civilian pension fund needs reform (Oct. 28 World-Herald).

“The proposed cash-benefit plan could work wonders in protecting taxpayers’ dollars and civil servants’ retirement. Granted, it would still have liability risks.

“A defined-contribution plan would be a more ideal reform, as employees would be responsible for making their own paycheck dedications and choosing their own investments, much like most of us do in the private sector with 401(k)s. With cash benefits, the city makes all those decisions and is required to pay employees an annuity upon retirement regardless of the rate of return on the investments.

“Nevertheless, cash-benefit reform is still a major step toward fiscal sustainability, by limiting a civil servant’s benefits to a balance in his or her retirement account rather than unrealistically promising a percentage of income for life. For this reason, AFP proudly joins the city and unions in supporting reforms.

-Matt Litt, M.Ed., Director, Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska

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