Dec 15 2016
Noticing Santa Barbara County now owes a billion dollars in pension payments. That’s a lot of debt for people who are not working. Further we hear that because the stock market return has dropped bellow 7%, the county it going to need $400 million extra per year, every year soon to keep the payments going to retirees. A billion is like the county taking 1,000 four bedroom houses from Montecito, or maybe like taking 2,500 houses from the east and west sides, selling them and handing the proceeds over to non working retirees. One way or another the County will get this money out of taxpayers.
So a good solution is to put this obligation back in the hands of those who have the most concern with getting their pension payments. The County should divide up these invested pension monies and return them to the individual pensioners in a one time payment. Each pensioner can then control what happens to their retirement money. Clearly 1,800 retired County employees will find better interest rates than County’s risk averse fund handelers. The silent hand of the market will make better, more nimble financial decisions than a lumbering government any time. County pensioners will take a hit maybe… but this solution will put pensioners back in control, relieve County from being a giant stock advisor/bank and absolve taxpayers from paying for County financial bungling.