MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - The head of the state government’s largest union is blasting a new report that says public employees get sweeter and more secure pension deals than the rest of us. Marty Beil of the Wisconsin State Employees’ Union says many public workers get paid less than those doing similar work in the private sector – and trade today’s wages for better retirement security. Beil also says taxpayers get a better deal that way, because they don’t have to pay Social Security taxes on retirement savings like they do for wages.
Wednesday, the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute reported that a private worker making $70,000 gets $411 less a year in pension benefits than a public employee making just $48,000 per annum. And the head of the institute, George Lightbourn, said public employees are having their pensions protected while the recession has eroded retirement benefits in the private sector.
Beil calls the report “propaganda” and “public employee bashing.” And he blasted media outlets who gave the report big headlines while downplaying another report that praised Wisconsin’s public retirement system. That report, from the Pew Center, said Wisconsin was 1 of just 4 states which had enough money set aside in 2008 to cover its pension obligations to public workers.