Pensions, the Hidden Costs of Public Safety

Pensions, the Hidden Costs of Public Safety

Pensions, the Hidden Costs of Public Safety

Pensions, the Hidden Costs of Public Safety

Excerpt

"We've got into a deeper and deeper morass," M. Lewis Thompson, manager of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System (LAFPPS), told a reporter in 1972, "and there's no cheap way out." Thompson knew what he was talking about. The LAFPPS, which covered the city's 10,187 firemen and policemen, had on its rolls 6,358 retired officers and survivors, roughly two beneficiaries for every three officers, to whom it paid $41 million in benefits. To meet the system's current expenses and to amortize its prior obligations, the city council appropriated $63 million--45 percent of the fire and police departments' payrolls and 11 percent of the city's total expenditures. With another $18 million going to the City Employees' Retirement System, which covered the city's nonuniformed employees, Los Angeles spent more on pensions than on anything else except schools and police. While the LAFPPS's revenues exceeded its expenditures by $46 million in 1972, the system's obligations grew by even more. And its unfunded liabilities--a deficit equal to the difference between the system's liabilities and its current assets--jumped from $888 million in 1971 to $1.1 . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.