"Far more important is the age-55 minimum for retirement. This and so much else about the state’s benefits flies in the face of the new reality for private-sector workers.
"Since the advent of the 401(k) retirement account and the consequent decline in guaranteed pensions, the majority of working men and women know they must design, and pay for, their retirement. To do so, they must sock away a significant portion of their income. They should not be expected at the same time to subsidize, through state taxes, overly generous pensions for public workers.
"Ditto for health plans, especially at the municipal level – the last refuge of the $5 co-pay, says the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Cities and towns, hard hit by cuts in local aid, are begging the Legislature for relief, the ability to change health insurance plans outside collective bargaining. That change could save $100 million in the first year alone."