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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bodysnatchers

It's revenge of the bodysnatcher's day - Halloween (or is that tomorrow, All Saints Day?). Whatever. PERS seems completely without shame. They are sending out recalculation notices with reckless abandon. Some members have received notices dated as recently as 10/29 (two days ago) announcing benefit adjustments to be effective on November 1 (tomorrow, All Saints Day). The ratio of bad news to minor good news is about 4 to 1. Polls of retirees on OPDG indicate that only one retiree for every four is getting a small benefit increase from the recalculations. This is diametrically opposed to what PERS brazenly told Judge Kantor on August 16, 2007. This qualifies as PERS' sleaziest move to date. Let's cut the benefits of 80% of recent retirees with a day or two's notice. Kinda hard to plan a budget based on a fixed amount that suddenly changes. I hope that Judge Kantor not only smacks PERS upside the head for this blatant flaunting of the law (see e.g. Judge Kantor's June 2007 ruling, or, perhaps, the Supreme Court's Strunk ruling in March 2005), but I hope they leave the entire PERB and senior PERS officials in a room with Jack Bauer or Alberto Gonzalez for some torture for their behavior. If all this doesn't constitute an "abuse of discretion" or worse, I can't imagine what qualifies.

Whatever Judge Kantor does I want him, the PERS Coalition, the Governor, and all retirees to know that it my humble opinion that what PERS is currently doing is blatantly criminal. It rises above the crap floating around about what Ted K knew about Neil's peccadillos (or is that pecker dildoes - sorry if I offended, I'm in a really foul mood today). It rises above Bernie Guisto's sleaze. What PERS and PERB are doing is just plain wrong and criminal. They deserve jail, not merely a trip into a court to have their hands and faces slapped. They deserve a visit from the Bodysnatchers and the Dementors. Please feel free to add your own opinions here. I know PERS is reading....

10 comments:

Richard said...

Bodysnatchers Indeed! When I explained the PERS "window retiree" mess to a friend of mine he stated: " I see what PERS is doing...they are dragging their feet hoping that X% of the "window retirees" will die before they ever get the retirement they were promised!"

I pray that the courts will correct this injustice since PERB doesn't have the balls to take full responsibility for errors and ommissions of PERS staff and the former PERB.

It occurred to me that Zombies don't have a soul and feel nothing. No guilt,no remorse, no pain...just pure evil doing the bidding of their masters.

adams384 said...

I also find it interesting that we are now rated 3rd (if my memory srves me) highest in the nation for a fiscally sound retirement system. We all knew that when the stock market came alive again the manipulated losses would even out. And how they did! How's about just dropping the whole mess, give back our bucks and go play with someone else for a change.

Richard said...

Actually, PERS is the second best funded public retirement system in the country. Florida is #1.

I agree with your statement, give our well earned retirement and we will head for Margarita Vill.

doubledips said...

PERS seems to be pretty blatant about their garnishing of our wages. With the Supreme Court decision in the Strunk case and the Kantor decision we should be able to contact the authorities and issue a cease and desist order to stop this criminal behavior. Is there any reason why this couldn't be done? I agree with richard and adam the evil emperor needs to be stopped.

mrfearless47 said...

doubledips:

The PERS Coalition has already filed a wage claim argument in the Arken case. It would have covered the issue you raise in your post. Unfortunately, the court ruled that the wage claim theory doesn't apply to PERS pension benefits and that element was deleted from the Arken case. So apparently we don't have that element to fall back on.

Lee & Tula said...

The snatchers got me a couple days ago, and shor-nuff I was $27.88 short on November's check.

"richard" was not exactly correct in his characterization of PERS/PERB. True about the guilt, remorse, pain... But like Stalin, they have no masters for whom they do the bidding!

I'm afraid that the relatively painless monthly snatch will result in too much ho-hum complacency and not enough victims will complain. I intend to return the appeal paper with: "Judge Kantor has said you can't. What part of "can't" do you and your California lawyers not understand?"

George said...

The "control" all of you look for can be found as "Criminal Contempt of Court", a pleading that a second-year law student could write up against PERS in this case.

What I fail to understand about lawyers, especially the lawyers on the PERS Coalition side, is why they don't go for the jugular more often.

Criminal Contempt is a slam-dunk in this case, because the elements (defying a Court Order and in such defiance, committing the crime of stealing money) are so visible and so easy to prove.

Criminal Contempt is so blatant in this case, it seems to me that it devolves down to the local affected citizen who has been wronged to take action.

A Citizen's Arrest of the PERS Board and appropriate officers of PERS with fiduciary responsibility would get the ball rolling.

The other thing that dumbfounds me is that no District Attorney has gotten involved. In their respective Counties, the District Attorneys are considered the Chief Law Enforcement Officers. They are required by their oaths of office to take action (the least action in this case would be empaneling a Grand Jury) to stem such flagrant lawbreaking.

Where are you, Mike Schrunk?

sharon & mike said...

In my [Sharon's]case the reduction took place without notice, beginning in October. Assuming there had been a mistake when my gross payment reflected a discrepancy, I called PERS and was told to send my inquiry in writing -- which I did, via fax, that same day. Two weeks later I received a call explaining that my benefit had been recalculated as explained in the notice dated September 20. I pointed out that I had never received any notice (and no, my address had not changed in 28 years), and requested that it be sent. It arrived minus the appeal form, so I had to contact PERS again; after much time spent on hold and getting transferred I finally managed to speak with someone who had access to the form and could mail it to me. By then it was October 19. My complaint of falling through the cracks -- twice -- was met with a comment about the large number of notices being processed and the inevitability of a few glitches occurring. So indeed PERS must be working in great haste to reduce as many retirees' benefits as possible prior to Judge Kantor's decision.

cheryl2685 said...

Hi,

You can include me in your statistics. My PERS letter came yesterday. It seems
my "overpayment" totals $8,514.32 and my benefit is being reduced by $60.00 mo
starting 12/01/2007. I'm in a bad mood.

I left my money in PERS for 34 years and annuitized as of 07/01//2003. I had not
worked for a PERS employer since 1985. I am a federal employee now. Due to
these circumstances, I don't get much sympathy from some friends and family with
respect to my issues with PERS. They seem to think I'm getting a good benefit,
anyway. Like, "What can you expect from a retirement system you haven't
contributed to for so many years?" I have always been grateful that I wasn't
working for a PERS employer in 2003, so I didn't have to consider leaving my job
to try to "preserve PERS benefits." Still, I think I've been lied to, dumped
on, and treated shamelessly by PERS along with some 38,000 other window
retirees.

Thanks so much for your blog. It's informative and entertaining. I really
appreciate the time and effort you are putting into it.

Cheryl

cheryl2685 said...

Hi,

You can include me in your statistics. My PERS letter came yesterday. It seems
my "overpayment" totals $8,514.32 and my benefit is being reduced by $60.00 mo
starting 12/01/2007. I'm in a bad mood.

I left my money in PERS for 34 years and annuitized as of 07/01//2003. I had not
worked for a PERS employer since 1985. I am a federal employee now. Due to
these circumstances, I don't get much sympathy from some friends and family with
respect to my issues with PERS. They seem to think I'm getting a good benefit,
anyway. Like, "What can you expect from a retirement system you haven't
contributed to for so many years?" I have always been grateful that I wasn't
working for a PERS employer in 2003, so I didn't have to consider leaving my job
to try to "preserve PERS benefits." Still, I think I've been lied to, dumped
on, and treated shamelessly by PERS along with some 38,000 other window
retirees.

Thanks so much for your blog. It's informative and entertaining. I really
appreciate the time and effort you are putting into it.

Cheryl