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    Entries in labor (2)


    The Impact of New Overtime Rules on Government

    The federal change won’t just hit state and local personnel costs.
    BY  JULY 28, 2016

    A new federal rule that more than doubles the number of employees eligible for overtime pay has state and local governments scrambling. Already, governments are facing tight budgets and slow revenue growth. But the new rule, which goes into effect Dec. 1, threatens not only to increase personnel costs, but operating costs as well.

    The rule change, which was issued by the Department of Labor in May, affects the earnings of both public- and private-sector workers. Governments are looking now at how much it will impact payrolls. But nonprofits are warning that the rule could also result in substantially higher rates next year for governments that contract services out.

    The change is an update to the Fair Labor Standards Act and doubles the minimum salary that full-time white-collar workers must earn to be exempt from getting overtime pay to $913 a week, or $47,476 per year. The salary level was set at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census region, which is currently the South.

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    Pension Envy: Lessons From Well-Managed Plans

    Bad press has blurred the fact that not all public pension plans are underfunded and overly generous.
    BY  APRIL 28, 2016

    Public pension plans have gotten a lot of bad PR in recent years. And while some of that bad press is certainly warranted, it's wrong to assume they're all a failure. In fact, there are many plans across the country that are humming along fine.

    Case in point: Missouri's Local Government Employees Retirement System, or LAGERS. Last year, a reporter for the Springfield News-Leader wanted to know why the city's pension plan was just 80 percent funded -- far below the fund's aggregate 94 percent funding level. LAGERS has the ability to compel payments from cities, so the reporter, Amos Bridges, wondered if the fund was letting Springfield off the hook.

    As it turned out, LAGERS wasn't. The current funding level only reflected active employees; It was closer to 90 percent when incorporating retirees. Additionally, LAGERS had Springfield on a payment plan to get back to a fully funded status.

    "Defeated in my search for a scandal, I had to admit: These LAGERS people seem to know what they're doing," Bridges wrote.

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