Thursday, November 19, 2009

The State 401K…

It seems time that those working for the taxpayer should have benefits that are aligned with the people paying for them. Why do the benefits given to state workers seem so much more lucrative? It stems from a time when working for government meant taking a pay cut, and benefits were a way to attract people. Those days are long gone.

When the private sector is not hurting like it is today, these differences are ignored by most, but when times are tough people notice things they should have always noticed. The state pay system must be changed to be in line with the private sector.

As governor I will propose a 401K style program for state workers that will be fair and competitive. By doing that the state will reduce its unfunded pension liabilities, and start paying their workers similar to their bosses; the tax payers. The state will match up to 3 – 6% of the amount of money an employee chooses to save. The state employee will need to participate in their retirement just like we do.

Vacation time will be limited to 4 weeks per year maximum, and MUST be used in that year. No more saving up time to retire early. The retirement age will be at 62 like the rest of us unless they want to start early on their own dime. Medical plans will reflect the average employee contribution of the private business market in Colorado.

It is not about punishing anyone; it is about putting our house back in order. We need to continue the efforts to streamline government through technology advances and reducing the scope of government in our lives.

The state can’t afford the union contracts and more importantly the system has to change so it is self regulating and not dependent on economic times otherwise we will end up with out of balance benefits because of politics.

It will be a challenge to change the mindset of the state employee unions and employees but it is the right and fair thing to do to run a responsible state government…

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