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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The Problem of Having to Sleep-in Late?

Going back to the topic of the 'baby boomers', John from Denver has sent me this interesting reflection on the coming structural problems which will be produced by so much retirement. Plus the disconnect between the social and the private: corpoartions/institutions take one view, government think-tanks another. Aren't we all supposed to be working longer? Any more thoughts anyone?

However weird California seems, the revenue collections for Colorado now show a definite upward trend. For now.

Unemployment shows no sign of improving, in fact we are probably due for a couple more +1,000 job loss situations in some of the local IT shops before Christmas. But internal to my organization we have come to the conclusion we will not have to cut any more people, and plan on hiring around 5 (for a 5% staff increase), after New Years'.

Significant to your thesis, we are now waking up to a major problem within two years. Because of a mix of incompetence, grand-standing, pandering to special interests, etc. it has been possible for State employees to use their own funds to buy credit for additional years of service in the State retirement system. In fact, it was financially favorable to do so, up until last December, when the pension system management board decided to force the retirement plan to increase the cost. The purchase option wasmodified to increase the cost of purchasing additional years by 50%, withthe date of implementation Nov. 1, 2003.

This has resulted in a stampede of people buying additional time before the deadline. Thousands of state government workers (of an eligible population of 28,000) have bought nearly enough or more to retire, now. In my own case I went from having nine years of service credit, with eleven years of work life remaining, to having twenty years of service credit, and being pension eligible, now (unfortunately, I have my own contributions to future demographics enrolled at two different universities and a wife that would kill me if I retired eleven years before her) I've been working full-time since I was 17, knowing now that the worst that could happen if I lost my job is that I would have to sleep late does funny things to your head - is this what it's like to be rich?

In the last month we have realized we will lose over 50% of our staff within three years, and I am hearing reports of the same thing from all over. I'm a technical manager with +30 years of experience, and pretty typical for my group. All of my peers at my level plan on leaving within no more than five years. Only one of the managers at the next level up will be around for even that long, so in the managerial ranks we will see 70% - 80% turnover in five years. Within our programming group we will lose 50% within two years. On it goes, for health workers, financial analysts, criminalinvestigators, welfare workers, etc.

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