In The News: Pensions

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176 Massachusetts state retirees collect $100K pensions

Mar 21 2011

By Matt Carroll, The Boston Globe

“There is an urgent need for comprehensive pension reform,’’ said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Soaring pension and health care benefits are cannibalizing municipal services.’’
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Holliston man calls for details on pension, benefits costs

Mar 2 2011

By Kendall Hatch, MetroWest Daily News

A report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recently detailed the magnitude of what cities and towns across the state owe for retiree medical benefits, with obligations rising as health care costs go up and state law restricts how municipalities can act. Bill Dowd brought up the costs for those medical benefits, as well as unfunded town pensions, during last year's spring Town Meeting.

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A pitched battle

Feb 27 2011

By Elaine Thompson, The Worcester Telegram

“What's fair is fair,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which released a report this month showing that the state's biggest 50 municipalities face $20 billion in liabilities for retiree health care benefits. “If the state can make these changes without going through collective bargaining, municipal officials should have the same power.”
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Editorial: Discipline lacking

Jan 20 2011

The Boston Herald

“You’ve got a problem (with next year’s budget), but spending is supposed to match revenues,” Widmer said. “Just kicking the can down the road is not an answer.”
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Editorial: Another step toward real pension reform

Jan 20 2011

The Daily News

In a statement endorsing the latest reform initiative, Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, noted that "unlike the 2009 and 2010 legislation, which simply closed long-standing loopholes, these proposals offer a comprehensive reform of the pension system, which strengthens its long-term financing while preserving a generous retirement program for state and municipal employees."

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Patrick proposal would reshape public pensions

Jan 19 2011

By Michael Levenson, The Boston Globe

“Unlike the 2009 and 2010 legislation, which simply closed longstanding loopholes, these proposals offer a more comprehensive reform of the pension system which strengthens its long-term financing while preserving a generous retirement program for state and municipal employees,’’ Widmer said in a written statement.
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Gov to retire double dipping

Jan 18 2011

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herald

“While these changes will save billions over the long term, they provide virtually no short-term relief because the changes affect only new hires, not current employees and retirees whose benefits may be protected by law,” Widmer said.
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Patrick lays out new pension system reforms

Jan 18 2011

By Matt Murphy, Belmont Citizen-Herald / State House News Service

Massachusetts Taxpayers Association President Michael Widmer said the proposal would bring state and municipal retirement benefits more closely in line with those provided through Social Security.
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Editorial: For a more stable future, state should rein in pension costs

Jan 1 2011

The Boston Globe

Between recommendations from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the work of a blue ribbon commission that scrutinized the pension system in 2009, and Patrick’s past proposal, there’s no shortage of good ideas for changes that would provide proper security for future public employees without strangling future taxpayers.
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State prison workers changing jobs, padding pension

Nov 24 2010

By Mike Beaudet, FOX TV

Mike Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said there is only one reason a manager would move to become a correction officer shortly before retiring. “Probably not a career goal except for the fact that you have an enhanced pension. So that is the one and only reason why somebody would move into a correction officer position at the end of his or her career,” he said.
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