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A fiscally prudent proposal

By Staff | Jun 16, 2010

To the editor,


Reform of the current pension system for Sanibel’s city employees is necessary, and Sanibel citizens should support their City Council’s fiscally prudent proposal to do so.


Countries such as Germany, Greece, Spain and the UK, as well as many state and municipal governments in the USA, are waking up to the fact that current entitlements for their employees are not sustainable. Sanibel is fortunate to have many fine employees; however it seems, from the June 3 Island Reporter copy of their question-and-answer e-mail on the subject of pensions, that their self-interest has overshadowed the pressing issue of the long-term health of the city’s finances.


They state, “Currently, Sanibel’s retirement plan for general employees is slightly above the state average.” In fact, their benefits are approximately 80 percent higher than all state, county and most municipal government employees in Florida.


In addition, the proposed reforms do not change benefits for past services, but apply only to future years of employment. Thus, those who have been with the city for years will experience only modest changes in their expectations for retirement.


Long term, the council’s proposals to modify the pension plan will have the largest budgetary impact in reducing expenditures, while continuing to provide a competitive pension benefit to the city’s employees.


James LaVelle