City’s public works pension program works

Most taxpayers are aware Nashua’s current budget crisis is due to the state’s mismanagement of the state retirement system and its refusal to keep its word on chipping in 30 percent of the retirement cost.

What most taxpayers don’t know is that this financial crisis would be much worse if the city didn’t have the success of the Public Works pension fund. Since Division of Public Works employees are part of a healthy pension system we manage, these employees aren’t part of the state retirement system.

Some time circa late 1940s early 1950s new hires for the Public Works Division were required to join the new Public Works retirement system. Existing employees had the choice to stay with the state system or to move into the new Public Works pension fund. This move by forward thinking public officials benefits the city now. Nashua’s long term financial health will improve if officials move all new employees into this healthy pension fund.

It’s not fair to change the deal current city employees have regarding retirement. It makes financial sense and is fair to require new employees of the city to join the Public Works pension fund. Numbers should be run by city’s finance department to see how much money would be saved if new hires from the last full fiscal year were placed in the Public Works pension fund.

Certainly, there will be push back from all sides, each side coming up with a litany of excuses as to why this idea won’t work. I urge elected and appointed officials to try to make this plan work. It will help the long term financial health of our city. Employees and taxpayers will benefit from this plan.

Tracy Pappas lives in Nashua and serves as a Board of Public Works Commissioner.