In The News: Pensions

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Arciero's Reform Bill Unanimously Passes The House

Nov 22 2011

By Andrew Silvia, Westford Patch

The bill follows a measure passed by the House in Arciero's last term that eliminated such pensions for elected officials, and this latest step has seen praise from government watchdogs, such as Michael J. Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "Special pensions are very costly and should be eliminated," said Widmer. "They are just another example of sweetheart deals."
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Lawmakers Approve Mass. Pension Bill

Nov 15 2011

WBUR

The Massachusetts Legislature has approved an overhaul of the state’s pension system that would raise the minimum retirement age for future state employees to 60. The measure aims to save $5 billion over the next 30 years and reduce the state’s $17 billion unfunded pension liability. Backers also say it will help preserve the state’s credit rating, which was recently upgraded by Standard & Poor’s.

“It’s a positive step,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. “On the other hand, the pension legislation applies only to new hires, so it won’t have any short-term impact of any significance."

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East Bridgewater fire chief's status in lawyer's hands

Nov 12 2011

By Maria Papadopoulos, The Enterprise

Taxpayers have a right to know about a public employee’s extended sick leave, and how a municipality is handling their claims, said Mike Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "They’re paying for it, and it reflects a policy that they have a right to know about,” Widmer said.
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Teachers' generous sick leave benefits far outstrip what private sector provides employees

Oct 23 2011

By Charis Anderson, South Coast Today

"There is clearly a double standard, in which public sector benefits are out of line with what's available in the private sector," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy organization. "It's a divide in cities and towns because the public, most of whom work in the private sector — the voters — are being asked to support and pay for benefits they've long since lost or never had."
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Editorial: Some reform is better than none at all

Sep 27 2011

The Daily News

People are living longer, which is why the age at which those in the private sector can collect Social Security keeps going up; and some 39 other states, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have enacted reforms similar to those being contemplated on Beacon Hill.
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Our View: Modest pension reforms deserve quick passage

Sep 23 2011

The Salem News

eople are living longer, which is why the age at which those in the private sector can collect Social Security keeps going up; and some 39 other states, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, have enacted reforms similar to those being contemplated on Beacon Hill.
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Editorial: Don’t add to pension problem by upping cost-of-living raises

Sep 19 2011

The Boston Globe

On the upside, cuts in the Senate measure will save $9 billion over 30 years, according to calculations by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Senate approves pension overhaul

Sep 16 2011

By Mark Arsenault and Noah Bierman, The Boston Globe

“The rating agencies expect $5 billion in savings,’’ said Widmer, and it is “enormously important’’ that the state hit the target. If the agencies lose confidence in the finances of state government, they could reduce the Massachusetts bond rating, which would increase the cost of borrowing money.
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Senate approves pension cuts

Sep 16 2011

By Chris Camire, Sentinel & Enterprise

This measure will cost the state and municipalities $2 billion over 30 years, said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Widmer described the provision as a sweetener aimed at making the deal more appealing to unions.
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Unions oppose Senate pension bill

Sep 15 2011

By Matt Murphy, WWLP / State House News Service

Though Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer also criticized the plan for proposing an increase to the cost of living wage base for retirees, the unions called the suggested bump in the base from $12,000 to $13,000 “not overly generous” and “inadequate.”
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