Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bad Timing for Healey Pension Plan?

Am I the only one who thinks that it's crazy for Kerry Healey to be pushing her new pension scheme right now? The Dow lost 100 points yesterday and is down nearly 800 since this time last month. Is this the environment that you want to sell switching guaranteed pensions over to 401(k) style plans? I'm looking at my 401(k) right now and, let me tell you, it's not pretty. Of course, having said that the market will probably rebound today just to prove me wrong.

Offering 401(k) plans will be cheaper for the state, that's true. That's why almost every corporation has dropped their pension plan in favor of them. That's a small comfort, however, to the worker that plans to retire at the bottom of a bear market.

I do think that consolidating local pension boards is probably a good idea. I've often thought that there are a lot of savings that can be had if we reduce the overhead for cities and towns by encouraging them to pool resources. I'm not sure I'd put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak, but I don't see any reason that there should be more than one pension board for every three cities and towns in Massachusetts.