From the Quincy Patriot Ledger:  Governor Patrick "has signaled his intention to end runaway health care and pension costs for state employees. Medical benefits and pensions for public employees in Massachusetts have been out of whack for a very long time. The system is organized to invite abuse. Even people who technically aren’t public workers – those who sit on local or state boards, for example – are in too many cases granted access to generous benefits.

"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."


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