Your retirement…and how much harder you will have to work for it.

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Here is a little tidbit of information that I thought I would bring to you all. I hear a lot of things pros of this and cons of that, but today I heard a spin on something that I had not thought of yet. So let me explain it to you. I will use Roanoke as an example, but I would imagine that this is likely elsewhere as well. Forgive me if I do not know all the facts, if you need to correct me please do.

In Roanoke City , firefighters can retire with the rule of 70 (minimum of 45 years old) – this means that once your age and years of service equal 70 you can retire without penalty.

If you are, say, a solid waste technician (garbage man) you retire with the rule of 80 – age + years of service = 80.

This doesn’t mean you retire with a full pension. No, actually you use a multiplier (currently 2.1) to figure your retirement.
20 years = 42% of the average salary of your last 3 years.
25 years = 52.5
30 years = 63% – which I believe is the max. If you work 40 years you still get 63%.

But that is just the basics, lets dig a little deeper. We are still comparing the fireman and the garbage man.

Fireman = 56 hours a week
Garbage Man = 40 hours a week

But we have to work the same amount of years for the same retirement.

Let us take it a step further.

Let us say that a firefighter works 30 years to get his retirement of 63%. So that firefighter works 56 hours a week, 52 weeks a year for 30 years = 87,360 hours to reach retirement.

Let us say that a garbage man works 30 years to get his retirement of 63%. So that garbage man works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year for 30 years = 62,400 hours.

That means that the firefighter had to work an additional 24,960 hours just to get the same retirement. So let us put all those hours into perspective. 24,960 hours = 1040 days = 8.5 years of working.

We have to work an additional 8.5 years just to get the same retirement.

But wait, there is more.

Let us say that the firefighter and the garbage man both receive $30,452 each year as a salary. That figure is the starting pay for firefighters in Roanoke City.

Firefigher = $30,452 at 2912 hours a year = $10.46 per hour.
Garbage Man = $30,452 at 2080 hours a year = $14.64 per hour.

Not only do we have to work more hours, but our pay grades are not adjusted for that difference.

Now I realize that Firefighters and Garbagemen might not make the same salaries, but this was just an example. I also realize that there are other factors involved. I tried to make it as basic as possible. I also realize that we have benefits not factored into the salary.

What do you think?

I think change is in order…

Look for a post on the City Coucil Elections and the candidates who are running for the 3 open positions tomorrow. Until then let me know what you think.

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