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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2010 | By Tony Perry and Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
After losing billions of dollars in recession-wracked investments, public pension funds in California are seeking to pare back the historically generous retirement benefits they provide to government workers, but not without push-back from unions. About 70 local governments, stretching from Redding to Long Beach, are coming up with new, stingier formulas for calculating pension benefits for future hires. This month, proponents turned in more than 75,000 voter signatures to put a measure on the November ballot to require San Francisco city employees to pay more toward their retirement funds.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
One day after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa won a key vote to roll back pensions for newly hired city employees, the president of one of the state's larger private sector unions defended the mayor, saying he is "not the enemy" of workers. For weeks, Villaraigosa's push to raise the retirement age and cut benefits for new civilian employees has drawn fire from Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents 10,000 city employees. The group — along with five other employee unions — has threatened a lawsuit and repeatedly compared the mayor to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican and national lightning rod for union ire over his efforts to take away public employee collective bargaining rights.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 2012 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
A judge has rejected an effort by Bell's former police chief to more than double his pension to $510,000 a year, saying that the City Council never approved his extravagant contract and that city officials tried to keep his salary secret. Randy Adams, who was fired as the city was engulfed in scandal, would have become one of the highest paid public pensioners in California had his request been approved. The cost of doubling Adams' pension would have fallen primarily on Ventura, Simi Valley and Glendale, where he spent most of his career.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2000
Re "Flawed Social Security Plans," editorial, May 17: Any plan to revise and improve Social Security payouts can only use a very small percentage of the input taxes, and such a plan needs to be developed over time, in the open, by people who have more than their political futures in mind. Al Gore wants an instant fix, not for the good of the country but to give him a target to shoot at for his political gain. George W. Bush is being careful. He has already disclosed that the ultimate plan should not change anything except the way approximately two percentage points of the input may be considered for investment.
BUSINESS
May 10, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Boeing Co. proposed putting newly hired machinists in a 401(k)-style retirement plan to ease a pension liability it estimates at $46 billion. The company's machinists union has said it opposes the proposal, among the most significant concessions Boeing sought as it opened formal talks on a new three-year labor contract. The 26,000 machinists now get a defined-benefit pension that guarantees a portion of their income in retirement. Chicago-based Boeing also wants to restructure machinists' top wage rates, which it says exceed market averages, and reduce healthcare costs.
OPINION
January 28, 2005
Re "State Workers Wary of Pension Idea," Jan. 23: Proponents of the plan to turn public employee pensions into stock market crapshoots claim Census Bureau figures show that state and local government workers earn more than private-sector workers. Sure, if you compare the salary of a fast-food hamburger flipper or retail clerk with that of a policeman, fireman or government auditor, which is what the Census Bureau did, the public employee probably makes more. The Census Bureau data simply group all these employees as "service workers."
BUSINESS
March 12, 2006
"Retirees Said to Need $200,000 for Healthcare" (March 7) hit me particularly hard. I am an 81-year-old retired Los Angeles County employee whose basic healthcare needs are met. I earned my pension and health coverage. But I have many friends and acquaintances who worked at least as hard and as long as I did but who in their golden years are having serious problems making ends meet. Why? Because healthcare in this country is broken, as are the promises of a secure retirement.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Ford Motor Co. will offer about 90,000 U.S. salaried retirees and former employees vested in its pension plan a lump-sum payment to buy them out of monthly benefits. Ford, which also reported lower first-quarter earnings Friday because of losses in Europe and Asia, said the plan was an innovative strategy to reduce its pension obligations. The automaker won't put up any operating cash but rather will make the one-time payments from existing pension plan assets. "We believe this is the first time a program of this type and magnitude has been done in an ongoing pension plan," said Bob Shanks, Ford's chief financial officer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2010 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
Then-City Administrator Robert Rizzo designed a supplemental pension plan for himself and 40 other Bell city officials that will provide them far larger taxpayer-financed retirement packages than previously estimated, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Times. The supplemental plan was paid for entirely by Bell tax funds. It allowed Rizzo, who was charged last week with public corruption, and other city employees and all City Council members to circumvent retirement limits set by California.
WORLD
April 8, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A Shanghai tycoon has been sentenced to 19 years in prison in a pension funds scandal that toppled the city's Communist Party chief, Chen Liangyu, the official New China News Agency said. Zhang Rongkun was found guilty of bribery, share price manipulation, financial fraud and misuse of public funds, the news agency said. The court also ordered the confiscation of $186 million of Zhang's assets.
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