MERF(y’s) LAW

21Jul10

Stratford's Pension Plan

Several weeks ago it occurred to us that Stratford teachers never ever complain about their pensions. There are never any reports of abuse, there are never any accusations of mismanagement and there are never any budget problems. We wondered why that is.

The answer, it seems, is that the Town of Stratford does not manage the teachers’ retirement program. It is managed by the State of Connecticut. So then we thought that the State must only manage funds for teachers. Not true! Surprisingly the State will accept any Municipal employee into the retirement fund called MERF (Municipal Employees Retirement Fund).

Sec. 7-427. Participation by municipalities. (a) Any municipality except a housing authority, which is governed by subsection (b) of this section or a regional work force development board established under section 31-3k, which is governed by section 7-427a, may, by resolution passed by its legislative body and subject to such referendum as may be hereinafter provided, accept this part as to any department or departments of such municipality as may be designated therein, including elective officers if so specified, free public libraries which receive part or all of their income from municipal appropriation, and the redevelopment agency of such municipality whether or not such municipality is a member of the system, as defined in section 7-452, ….
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/pub/Chap113.htm#Sec7-427.htm

So, Town Council, why are we not doing this?

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25 Responses to “MERF(y’s) LAW”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    I should add that it is available to any municipal employee. That includes Public Works, secretaries, clerks, health department employees, librarians, recreation, police, fire, EMS and even the mayor’s Chief of Staff. The mayor too (if he makes it to 5 years).

  2. 2 sudds

    Would this require the town’s current plan to be fully funded prior to joining??

    If not… the town leadership should be tossed-out if we are not in this by the end of the week!!!

  3. 3 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “Would this require the town’s current plan to be fully funded prior to joining??”

    Probably not. Why would you pay future liability now if you’re turning it over to the State?

    That’s like having to pay off your mortgage and THEN refinancing.

  4. 4 1george1

    So, Town Council, why are we not doing this?

    Hmmmmmmm?

    1 – Oversight?

    2 – Transparency?

    3 – Disproportionate Pension obligations, comparing oldest
    pensioners to the post 1998 gang?

    4 – Disproportionate Pension obligations, comparing
    Defined Contribution
    Defined Benefit

    5 – Forensic accounting?
    A) Take the EXCEL for all defined Benefit and break down by
    1. Alphabetical = see who is related to whom?
    2. Highest to Lowest = see what years the highest were hired
    and who were on Town Councils / Town Management / Town
    Attorneys / Town Committees, during HIRING years and PENSION
    award YEARS.
    3. YEAR
    – See the TRENDS, which JUMP OUT as SELF EVIDENT and how I can
    PROVE Jan 2006 – July 2009 = 43 MONTHS = 42 % INCREASE in PENSION OBLIGATIONS, due to:
    MIRONS / BURTURLAS / KELLY / FLOREK
    HENRICK (Mr. christian values)
    (firetrucks) FEEHAN
    – See the TRENDS, which JUMP OUT as SELF EVIDENT and how the
    changes in PENSIONS match up to
    2006/2009 Committees / Councils > “Mayor” / Attorney / Finance / HR
    2002/2003 Committees / Councils > Manager / Attorney / Finance / HR
    1998/1999 Committees / Councils > Manager / Attorney / Finance / HR
    1994/1995 Committees / Councils > Manager / Attorney / Finance / HR
    1989/1991 Committees / Councils > Manager / Attorney / Finance / HR
    1987/1989 Committees / Councils > Manager / Attorney / Finance / HR

    What happens when certain ranking police are willing to Murder and/or
    cover up murder for blood money?

    What happens when certain ranking Federal / State / Local political are
    willing to Murder and/or cover up political related murder for blood money?

    What happens when certain ranking Federal / State / Local political are
    willing to cover up political related macro theft for blood money?

  5. 5 jezebel282

    George,

    You were doing OK right up until #5. Then you destroyed your own argument. One of these days (we hope) you will learn when to STOP TYPING.

  6. 6 sudds

    “Probably not. Why would you pay future liability now if you’re turning it over to the State?”

    Ummm… (you feeling ok Jezzy-baby???) I meant does the STATE require it to be fully funded?!?!?! (why would they want to accept it if it’s 10’s of millions “in the red”???)

  7. 7 jezebel282

    Sudds,

    “I meant does the STATE require it to be fully funded?!?!?! (why would they want to accept it if it’s 10′s of millions “in the red”???)”

    I am not a pension expert. I know it’s certainly worth exploring. I am not sure what the actuary tables indicate versus current valuation. Perhaps some politicians should stop depleting the fund?

    I do know that previous councils (going back many terms) have so mismanaged the pension funding it’s almost incoherent now.

    Also, the State, I am sure, will demand regular and constant contributions from the Town and each employee. “I’m not running for office again so what the Hell” will not be acceptable.

  8. 8 sudds

    ““I’m not running for office again so what the Hell” will not be acceptable.”

    Well boys & girls… I think we all now KNOW why our pension is NOT administered by the state!!!

  9. 9 gforrester

    Well boys & girls… I think we all now KNOW why our pension is NOT administered by the state!!!

    Well not exactly Sudds. Each Pension agreement is contractually negotiated between the Town and the Union so before any such move could be made both parties, Union and Town, would have to agree to open the pension agreement. Then you have to compare the language between the current pension agreements and see if the State would accept the format that they are in or if it would require changes to the benefit agreement which might not suit one side or the other. I do however think it is worth looking into and you might suggest that the Town Council refer the issue to the Financial Advisory Commission which doesn’t seem to have much on their plate at the moment for review. This option has never been presented to the Pension Board, at least in the prior six years, so maybe they would actually be interested in removing themselves from the issue.

  10. 10 jezebel282

    Mr. Forrester,

    Does the FAC have the authority to look into it on their own or does the (sigh) Council have to ask?

  11. 11 gforrester

    Technically they should be asked but I could not see anyone getting too upset if they took it upon themselves to inquire.

  12. 12 ronmoreau

    Gavin,
    Does the BOE have a pension board?

    If yes. Is its funcion the same as the town pension board?

  13. 13 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “Does the BOE have a pension board?”

    Why would they need one?

  14. 14 jezebel282

    Does anyone know who the members of the FAC are?

  15. 15 ronmoreau

    jez,

    I believe John Fahan is one of them.

  16. 16 ronmoreau

    Ron,

    “Does the BOE have a pension board?”

    Why would they need one?

    How much does that cost us every year?

  17. 17 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “How much does that cost us every year?”

    How much does not having a pension board cost? Is that the question?

    Apparently, Tom Moore (ex Councilman) is on the FAC. So is John Fahan (ex Democrat). I’m a little mystified why the membership list on such an important commission is not published on the Town website.

    I am unsure whether the FAC can act on its own or only at the direction of the Council since the Commission is not described in the Charter.

    But it surely seems to me that somebody should make a phone call:

    Pension Fund Management, Tim Corbett, Chief Investment Officer (860) 702-3005

  18. 18 jezebel282

    Update:

    Silly me. I was looking under “Boards & Commissions”!

    FAC Membership list:

    James Connor (R)
    Kimberly Meuse (D)

    Electorate Members
    Eric W. Wilkins (R)
    Arthur K. Stengel (R)
    Ed W. Rodriguez (R) – Chairman
    Russell J. Hayden (R)
    Thomas G. Angelo (L)
    Thomas W. Moore (R)
    John Fahan (D)

  19. 19 1george1

    hypothetical argument / counter points = relevant!

    JEZE > You were doing OK right up until #5.
    Then you destroyed your own argument.
    One of these days (we hope) you will learn when to STOP TYPING.

    GEORGE > ACTUALLY # 5 was THE BEST PART OF THE POST

    JEZE > I am not a pension expert. I know it’s certainly worth exploring.

    GEORGE > OBVIOUSLY, based on the ABOVE.

    JEZE > I am not sure what the actuary tables indicate versus current valuation.

    GEORGE > OBLIGATION about $ 234 m / FUND about $ 85 m – difference
    About $ 150 million

    JEZE > Perhaps some politicians should stop depleting the fund?

    GEORGE > I blame GAVIN’S 6 years along with Norm / Burturla others from 95.

    JEZE > I do know that previous councils (going back many terms)
    have so mismanaged the pension funding it’s almost incoherent now.

    GEORGE > SEE # 5, which Jeze claimed I overtyped

    JEZE > Also, the State, I am sure, will demand regular and constant
    contributions from the Town and each employee.

    GEORGE > DEFINED CONTRIBUTION vs DEFINED BENEFIT = Solid ground!

    JEZE > “I’m not running for office again so what the Hell”
    will not be acceptable.

    GEORGE > What about IF we VOTE this way, MY JOB / BUSINESS gets
    business indirectly and certain Town / State committee members can
    get finders fees, donations, business clients from those they helped?
    QUID PRO QUO? – What is Kubic’s e-mail address?

    GAVIN > Well boys & girls… I think we all now KNOW why our pension
    is NOT administered by the state!!!

    GEORGE > Do I detect the scent of BOVINE SCATOLOGY?

    GAVIN > Well not exactly Sudds. Each Pension agreement is contractually negotiated between the Town and the Union

    GEORGE > TRUE

    GAVIN > so before any such move could be made both parties, Union and
    Town, would have to agree to open the pension agreement.

    GEORGE > TECHNICALLY TRUE

    GAVIN > Then you have to compare the language between the current
    pension agreements and see if the State would accept the format that
    they are in or if it would require changes to the benefit agreement
    which “might not suit” “one side” or “the other.”

    GEORGE > “might not suit” “one side” or “the other.” = UNDERSTATEMENT!
    1) The higher pay + more benefits for workers = The more for management!

    2) The higher pay + more benefits for workers / management, the more
    incentive town Committees have to put relatives and friends into Town and
    Board of education jobs, not unlike the COMMUNIST PARTY APARATCHIKS.

    3) Human nature is for people to work WITH people who HELP THEM and
    work AGAINST people they believe work AGAINST them.
    > Will over paid Managers / Workers donate to perpetuate or curtail?
    > Will over paid Managers / Workers hire Tax People, Lawyers, Real Estate,
    or Insurance (gavin), and other business people to skim PUBLIC ASSETS

    GAVIN > I do however think it is worth looking into and you might suggest
    that the Town Council refer the issue to the Financial Advisory Commission
    which doesn’t seem to have much on their plate at the moment for review.

    GEORGE > Now that Bob Sammis, Russ Hayden, Ben Barns, and George Mulligan
    are off the FAC and we loaded it with (George’s opinion) our puppet/proxies/ surrogates in order to get 3rd party endorsement for our RTC / DTC SCAMS,
    why not give it to people who will not rock the boat, nor expose the WHOLE TRUTH?
    The political parties leave Committees unfilled, not because they lack
    people that want to help stratford, but because they want to CONTROL
    the result of EVERY COMMITTEE!
    The Majority of the FAC VOTING was ALWAYS CONTROLLED and ART STENGEL
    told me in front of EVERYONE –
    “IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU WANT … WE HAVE THE MAJORITY VOTES.”
    I forget what I called ART and indirectly the others. He was stunned.
    None had the BALLS to call me on it, except about tone. No one DENIED!
    – It is what is wrong with Stratford + USA = The SCUM need a SPANKING!
    – I have to wonder about the parents and children of the politicos?
    – Henrick is not stupid. Occasionally he was candid. When he talked about
    his “Christian Values” the farewell night it really goes to what is accepted
    as appropriate by the people within the political parties and government?
    – I get frustrated by people like GAVIN + MALLOY, who are highly intelligent!
    But then MOST GOVERNMENTS which turn deviant, have extremely, highly
    intelligent people making decisions completely inconsistent with expectations
    of a general public, yet consistent with self interest / party interest.
    IT IS THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to HAVE their POLITICAL POSITIONS.
    As long as they are NOT committing CRIMES or TREASON.
    Then come DISCRETION and ABUSE of DISCRETION.
    > I can argue with JEZE or GAVIN and NOT like their positions and rebutt or
    write what I really think was written or what the writer did not realize.
    My Opinion: One of these days GAVIN will get his head outta his butt ….
    and the butts of those creatures he has been working with … SPES ME!

    GAVIN > This option has never been presented to the Pension Board, at
    least in the prior six years, so maybe they would actually be interested in removing themselves from the issue.

    GEORGE > “maybe they would actually be interested in removing themselves
    from” CRIMINAL CULPABILITY, by using a 3rd party Committee, appointed by
    GAVIN and the 9 dwarfs of the LAST Town Council, which was 6 Republicans
    and Gavin as a temporary Republican, not unlike Debbie Rose ….
    – The MUSIC stops, the seats change, some players drop, some players add in,
    but the people who own the Carnival do not care who wins or loses, as long
    as the money rolls in, for them.
    – The RACE TRACK owner does not care which ELEPHANT or JACKASS wins,
    as long as there are enough customers, spending money.
    – The Stock / Bond Markets, do not care if STOCKS go up or down, or who
    wins or loses, as long as they get paid from the Traders.

    If GAVIN and the other see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil POLITICAL
    MONKEYS had actually spent time the last 23 years to improve Stratford,
    we would have a 15 Mil Rate, and every business in town would be better
    situated, with the Town / BoE having decent to very good pay / benefits.

    GAVIN > Technically they should be asked but I could not see anyone
    getting too upset if they took it upon themselves to inquire.

    GEORGE > I guess Gavin did not expect my lack of respect for the integrity
    of certain FINANCIAL situations …?

    Mr. FAHAN is on the FAC – oozed in as GAVIN’S campaign manager,
    and when GAVIN was on the Town Council,
    Mr. FAHAN oozed in on Town Charter Revision Commission
    and when GAVIN + FREDETTE changed parties and immediately went
    on the Republican Town Committee, replacing Joy + Goodrich
    Mr. FAHAN oozed in on Town Council’s FAC.

    There is a term “KNOWN ASSOCIATE”
    It seems to apply to many political people, in my opinion

  20. 20 jezebel282

    George,

    “Mr. FAHAN oozed in on Town Council’s FAC.”

    I seem to recall that you were “oozed” onto the FAC as well.

  21. 21 1george1

    RELEVANT DIRECT REPLY TO JEZE:
    George, “Mr. FAHAN oozed in on Town Council’s FAC.”
    I seem to recall that you were “oozed” onto the FAC as well.
    (my “ooze relates to politics, not as a person)

    (My anonymous sources reinforced/confirmed my belief)

    I believe they put me on to the FAC with a single mission from the
    Town Council (Julian, Gavin, Moore, etc.):
    To look at the Jan 2008 POLICE PENSIONS and get FAC rubber stamp.

    ——
    had I been a critic verbally and in writing or not?
    ——

    There were 2 FIRE DEPT PENSIONS the same MONTH.
    They were also very high.
    They had no interest in those.

    ——

    Those Jan 2008 POLICE PENSIONS were accrued under Police Chiefs
    Michael Imbro (Tom Moore’s Brother in Law) and John Burturla.
    – All OT was under James Miron
    – Pensions were approved by the same Town Council’s PENSION BOARD.
    – Budgets for OT were under Feehan + Henrick. (both include GAVIN)

    The FAC contained Tom Moore monthy, his neighbor ART STENGEL,
    THOMAS ANGELO, & ED RODRIGUEZ who controlled the Majority of
    the VOTE.

    As GAVIN recently BLOGGED, the FAC has been under utilized.
    There was ONLY ONE TASK given to the FAC by his Council.

    To ART STENGEL / TOM MOORE’S credit they did get higher interest
    and better protection for TOWN MONEY by moving some from TD
    BANK NORTH (Berchem customer?)

    The CT POST had published my blistering letter about the selection
    process for the Town Charter Revision Commission about 2 months
    before the creation of the FAC.

    My sources indicate the Town council wanted to put me into a position
    of being on a COMMISSION which Rubber Stamped their PENSIONS because
    I have been s l i g h t l y critical of the ongoing grand theft.

    By creating a FAC and controling the MAJORITY VOTE, the Town Council
    predetermined the outcome.
    Thomas Angelo is highly capable and led the way for a subcommittee that
    included BOB SAMMIS and myself.

    BOB SAMMIS and I lobbied against the term “no discernable wrong doing.”
    It was voted out by the FAC.

    The FAC report retained: “no discernable wrong doing.”

    BOB SAMMIS and I issued separate Public Forum positions disavowing the
    FAC’S REPORT including “no discernable wrong doing.”

    Ed Rodrigues walked out, without giving his report.
    His report was rescheduled for a Monday later in the month.

    THAT Saturday night, 3 days before the new FAC REPORT presentation by
    Chairman Ed Rodriguez, created by Thomas Angelo – my tire was slashed.

    NET RESULT was FRONT PAGE Publicity that BOB SAMMIS + I were NOT
    going along with the LIARS of the TOWN COUNCIL, including …..

    Jeze, THANK YOU for your comment
    George, “Mr. FAHAN oozed in on Town Council’s FAC.”
    I seem to recall that you were “oozed” onto the FAC as well.

    It allowed me to use that as relevance to again set the record
    straight about those people RAISING YOUR TAXES and ALLOWING
    YOUR FRIENDS to be ABUSED, despite posing as YOUR ALLIES.
    > Is that some form of JOB’S COMFORTERS?
    > Who COMFORT’S ….. JOB’S COMFORTERS?
    > What happens when one SUPERIOR GROUP of JOB’S COMFORTERS
    decides to abuse others, like setting up soldiers to die in WARS and
    setting up Civilians to be victims of a variety of crimes?

    BOOK of JOB is an OLD TESTAMENT BOOK that various groups can relate
    to and use or abuse…
    – Hebrew
    – Romans / Greek / Aramaic versions
    – Catholic
    – Protestant / Christian
    – Mason / Shriner
    – Military / Police
    – Royalty

    I am NOT anti-Hebrew nor anti-Mason, when I raise spectre of Book of Job
    being abused.

    In # – letter substitution code of A=1, B=2, C=3
    Then the year 2001, backwards, spells J. O. B.
    Then the year 2001, backwards/MIXED, spells J. O. B.

    9/11/ 2001
    2010 ?

    J = 10
    O = 0
    B = 2

    GRAVEN IMAGE?
    “S” WORD – Live by the sword ….

  22. 22 1george1

    Jeze,

    Why is it that GAVIN will blog answers to other people,
    yet when I challenge GAVIN on the blog, related to PENSIONS …?

    SILENCE is CONSENT.

    By NONE of the councilors / candidates / appointed EVER debating me
    or my positions ….. are they admitting to being liars and courtesans?

    According to the O’MEARA report in the STAR, the BURTURLA faction
    admitted to reading this blog.

    ARE THE STATE POLICE and LOCAL POLICE and their ALLIES ADMITTING
    to being CRIMINALS and TRAITORS, hiding behind JUDGES and their
    “LEGAL ALLIES?”

    Jeze,
    How do you like that?
    After tweaking you … I threw written haymakers at YOUR ENEMIES!!

  23. 23 1george1

    Several weeks ago it occurred to us that Stratford teachers never
    ever complain about their pensions. There are never any reports
    of abuse, there are never any accusations of mismanagement and
    there are never any budget problems. We wondered why that is?

    Jeze’s answer, it seems, is that the Town of Stratford does not
    manage the teachers’ retirement program.
    It is managed by the State of Connecticut.

    Didn’t I hear Burturla and Florek state “their wifes were teachers?”

    Look at Berchem website?

    Is it possible that people in politics put wifes, cousins, daughters,
    and others in Teaching, Police, Fire, PW other government employ?

    I am not saying government employees are unprofessional … 😉
    Maybe some, exept our friends.

    When ONLY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES and UTILITIES and certain most
    favored “preferred venders” have the JOBS and MONEY to steal everything
    from everyone else……

    I N V I D I U M

    PITTING people against each other.

    It is not like it has not happened in the past?

  24. 24 jezebel282

    George,

    Not that it is relevant to your post (when are yours ever relevant?) but I need to make a correction.

    Some BOE employees are subject to the Town’s Pension Board. Who? Everyone who is NOT a teacher.

  25. 25 1george1

    Jeze,
    Some of the BoE employees became involved in the Defined Benefit
    Plan with the 3 year golden parachute under O’Connell and about
    the time of Norm – Crudo.

    Certain Police, Fire, PW, and other workers and officials were unhappy
    with the dilution and further underfunding of the PORTFOLIO.

    RETROSPECTIVELY, the UNDERFUNDING becomes obvious as intentional.

    Do you …. or anyone else …. know why it was planned for the
    DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLAN to become UNDERFUNDED after
    3 years of being FULLY FUNDED?


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