A friend works in New York State, his union deal, determines his pension based on his last 3 years pay. There are dozens of venues for him to increase those last 3 years to more than double his usual income. He complains that no overtime is permitted, and he is limited to only getting double the pension one would expect based on his usual salary. He is a teacher.
"Unions should pay a good part of their retirement funding, health care costs, and shouldn't be able to bump up pay in the last year, two or three and more than double their lifetime pension. People shouldn't be routinely retiring at pensions higher than the average pay for a civil servant in the job they retire from at 44."
I totally agree.
The examples you cited don't have to worry about saving for retirement unlike the majority in the private work force.
A friend of mine was working only three days a week at our state's university. About 10 years ago she was offered either possible lay-off in the near future or retirement. She took the later. At the time she was 50 yrs. old. She immediately started to draw a pension, about $14K per year, not a large amount, but given her age at the length of time she'll be drawing it's quite significant. Her health insurance, which is state paid, is terrific much better than mine, which is good. If someone in private business would have been in that position they'd probably have only received a severance package.
This is only one case. It's no wonder our state is short of money & our taxes are so high.
Many states have lost significant revenue because of foreclosures.