Posted: 12/05/2011 02:37:18 PM PST
Updated: 12/05/2011 10:10:29 PM PST
At its meeting Tuesday to discuss reforms to the city's retirement system, the San Jose City Council shows every sign of inflicting a numbing new language on voters: "Pension."
Because this is an all-service column, let me introduce you to a basic lexicon. The key thing to remember about Pension is that any time you come across a term that sounds like English, it does not mean what you think it does.
COLAS: A classic example of Pension's pitfalls. Bet you thought we were talking Coca-Cola, Pepsi or RC, maybe even Red Bull or Zam Zam. Naturally, it couldn't be so easy. COLA stands for cost-of-living allowance.
Forget any health advice. If you're an employee, a COLA is always good. If you're a taxpayer, not so much.
VESTED RIGHT: Sounds like good sartorial advice, doesn't it? Get yourself a sharp vest, maybe a leather number with pockets for every tool under the sun, and you'd be vested right. But no: In Pension, a vested right means anything promised to an employee since third grade, including your oxblood marble collection and that sweet 1973 Camaro in your garage.
Submitted by Todd Bray