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Average SF Pensions Are Higher Than Salaries

From, of all places, the San Francisco Chronicle:

Public Defender Jeff Adachi

Guess what’s the average San Francisco city pension?

Posted By: Heather Knight | June 19 2011

Here’s some fun facts. OK, maybe not so fun depending on your perspective.

The average retiree from San Francisco city government earns an annual pension of $46,272, according to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System. The average retiree who worked at least 30 years in city government earns an annual pension of $76,981.

The average pension for a retiree from the fire department is $108,552. From the police department? $95,016. And everybody else? $41,136

[C]ity retirees are doing pretty well compared to working San Franciscans. Census data shows the median family income in the city is $86,546. Per capita income is $44,373.

In other words, city retirees average $2,000 a year more from their pensions than San Franciscans who are still working get in salary.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi is gathering signatures to place a measure on the November ballot that would require city workers to pay far more of their salaries toward pensions. Currently, most pay 7.5 percent of their paychecks, but some highly-paid employees would pay double that in bad economic years under Adachi’s plan.

"I think it’s interesting that the average pension paid to a city employee is higher than the average earnings of most San Franciscans," he said. "When you start looking at the total cost of these pensions, it’s through the roof."

Mr. Adachi must have a death wish.

Larry Bradshaw, vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said the averages are skewed by highly paid workers and "your meat and potatoes city worker" like janitors and clerks earn pensions not much higher than $20,000.

Oh, high salaries are "skewing" the pension averages? That explains it, then.

SEIU still is the lone labor holdout in a ballot measure backed by Mayor Ed Lee, other city officials and most unions and headed for the November ballot

We assume that this is the Adachi ballot measure. In any case, what a surprise that the SEIU would fight their members having to pay more for their pensions.

By the way, according to other reports, San Francisco’s firemen and police can retire at age 50. It is practically ‘Athens on the Bay.’

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 20th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Average SF Pensions Are Higher Than Salaries”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    I know…………………Lets’ have a parade!!
    (tongue in cheek….so to speak)

  2. TerryAnne says:

    “Larry Bradshaw, vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said the averages are skewed by highly paid workers and “your meat and potatoes city worker” like janitors and clerks earn pensions not much higher than $20,000.”

    So, that means there are a whole s*it load of highly paid workers receiving a pension, since the average pension is almost double $20,000. If there were more of the “mean and potatoes”, the average pension would be closer to $20,000.

    Therefore, if the average of $46,000 is to be believed, there’s at least a one-to-one ratio of workerbees to bureaucrats, or a one-to-one ratio of $20,000 to roughly $70,000. Or about 1.5 or 2 workerbees to 1 super-bureaucrats who make over $100,000.

    Either way, it’s definitely not the meat and potatoes skewing this number…

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      And the really cool thing is, being born at the end of the baby-boom, when the bottom all drops out, I will get the consolation prize as a result of the larger portion of the bell curve gutting the whole thing. Thanks again! You got yours, but raspberries to me and my generation, right? Wouldn’t tick me off so much if y’all didn’t think it was so goddam funny.

    • TerryAnne says:

      Yep. I’ve pretty much given up thinking of retirement, being a Generation X and all. My generation is screwed beyond anything, since we’re the next big one after you all.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Imagine how it looks for Generation Me-Me, born at the start of the Ronaldus Magnus Era. Even the perpetual mooches are starting to realize that once the gravy’s run dry they aren’t going to have the same quality of living or chance to improve it.

  3. proreason says:

    It’s more outrageous than it seems.

    Prior to retirment, an average person has several significant expense categories that don’t carry into retirement: fica, savings, mortgage payaments, work-related expenses, lower tax bracets, etc.. That is why financial planners use a rule of thumb that only about 70% of pre-retirement income needs to be replaced by SS, pensions and retirement disbursements.

    It would be very rare for a private pension to replace more than 40-50% of final income.

    So, replacing more than 100% of average working life income is beyond the pale. Calling that a luxury pension isn’t hyperbole….it’s the truth.

    Redistibution. This time for the foot soldiers of the bureaucracy. The lifeblood of the marxist alliance is legalized theft of the wealth of the dispproved middle class.

  4. Mithrandir says:


    “….that would require city workers to pay far more of their salaries toward pensions.”Yeah? So? Many people save 50% of their income for future expenditures.

    You mean, the money WE PAID THEM in our taxes, and then they take a tiny portion of the money WE GAVE THEM, to put towards their OWN retirement and health care? These articles sound like they must dip into their own personal savings, –the money they made on the side, kitting and selling sweaters to keep up with financial demands–just to satisfy those greeding government people. Every dime they made was given to them by working/productive people.

    They aren’t PAYING anything, WE are paying for 100% of it. THEY just have to redirect SOME of the money they stole from working people, into their own fund so they aren’t a bigger parasite on society in the future!

    My G*d, Republicans LOSE the P.R. battle on nearly EVERY issue I can think of!From New Jersey, to Wisconsin, to California!– Pensions, homosexuality, gun rights, abortion, stem cell funding, everything….

    Good lord, they really need to hire me to be a consultant to focus on how to win an argument over these simpletons. These ‘experts’ and P.R. people are dissmal failures for the Repubs. I have seen it for decades now, and somehow the Republicans find a way to back down and lose winning arguments. Bah!~

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