Retirement Roulette

Don't Gamble With My Pension

Our Retirement: Secure or a Gamble?

Don't Sign Petitions to Eliminate Pensions

A secure retirement is something for which we work all of our lives. Now, that security — and much more — are at stake if anti-worker politicians have their way this November. Through ballot initiatives and Constitutional Amendments, they're working to take away our secure nest eggs.

Despite a $70 million price tag for a special election in November, Gov. Schwarzenegger is betting our tax dollars that voters will pass these drastic pension takeaways plus a number of other initiatives targeting the state's public servants. And he is paying signature gatherers up to $10 a signature to make it happen.

But the truth is, Arnold has dealt all California's public employees into a new high-stakes game: pension poker. He is supporting these constitutional amendments that will force new hires to gamble on their retirement and shoulder the risk on their own, weaken the retirement system for everyone in California, and benefit Wall Street at the expense of working families. When these civil servants retire, they will be entirely dependent on risky 401(k)-type accounts.

All of us at the table — police, firefighters, teachers, retirees, school districts, local governments and taxpayers — will lose big if Schwarzenegger wins.

Schwarzenegger's plan will:

  • Force new employees to gamble their retirement in high-risk individual accounts similar to a 401(k)
  • These plans lost an average of 40% in the recent stock market crash
  • 401(k) employees earn 50% less than those in defined benefit plans like CalSTRS, CalPERS, LACERS, and LACERA
  • Strip cities like Los Angeles of qualified employees and leave them unable to attract and retain new hires
  • Eliminate disability and death benefits for public safety personnel
  • Dismantle retirement systems that have worked for decades
  • Squander $7.6 billion in public funds on steep start-up costs and even more on operational expenses

The coalition of labor and community groups, California Families Against Privatizing Retirement, is committed to defeating Schwarzenegger's disastrous plan. Keep checking this Web site for the latest information in the fight, including upcoming activities, how you and your organization can get involved and materials you can use to educate your members and the public.

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