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Keyword: pension

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  • World’s Biggest Pension Fund Loses $51 Billion in Stock Rout

    07/30/2016 6:26:17 AM PDT · by CorporateStepsister · 9 replies
    Bloomberg ^ | July 30 2016 | Yuko Takeo and Shigeki Nozawa
    Japan’s $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund lost 3.8 percent in the year ended March 31, or 5.3 trillion yen ($51 billion), the retirement manager said Friday in Tokyo. That’s the biggest drop since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. GPIF lost 10.8 percent on domestic equities and 9.6 percent on shares in other markets, while Japanese bonds handed the fund a 4.1 percent gain.
  • Six Numbers Showing Detroit’s Pension Problems

    07/27/2016 5:10:55 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/24/2016 | Josh Paladino
    Cities across Michigan and the nation are struggling to pay out their promised pensions. Retiree liabilities were a root cause of Detroit's bankruptcy before a grand bargain trimmed benefits and required the city to set its pensions on a path toward solvency. Here are six numbers that explain the pension problems in Michigan’s largest city and what is being done going forward. 1. Nine Years – That’s how long Detroit could fund its entire transportation system with the money it will spend on its pension bankruptcy settlement. According to Detroit’s 2015 audit, transportation costs the city $100 million per year....
  • CalPERS posts worst year since 2009, with slim returns

    07/18/2016 8:56:52 PM PDT · by bkopto · 29 replies
    LA Times ^ | July 18, 2016 | James Koren
    California’s largest public pension fund made a return of less than 1% in its most recent fiscal year, the fund’s worst performance since 2009. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System said Monday that its rate of return for the year ended June 30 was just 0.61%. What’s more, Ted Eliopoulos, the pension fund’s chief investment officer, said the poor year has pushed CalPERS’ long-term returns below expected levels. “We have some challenges to confront,” Eliopoulos said during a conference call. “We’re moving into a much more challenging, low-return environment.” CalPERS assumes that, in the long-term, it will earn investment returns...
  • TEAMSTERS (IBT) Nash Finally Sentenced, Gets Off Easy

    04/16/2002 2:52:21 PM PDT · by knak · 10 replies · 564+ views
    nlpc ^ | 4/15/02
    Almost 55 months after confessing felonious conduct, Teamster money-laundering scandal figure, Jere Nash, has finally been sentenced. U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas P. Griesa (S.D.N.Y., Nixon) sentenced Nash Apr. 9 to a mere two years probation for his role in a series of schemes which lead to the embezzlement of some $885,000 from the Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters' treasury and to $538,100 in illegal campaign contributions to the failed reelection campaign of expelled IBT president Ron Carey. The sentencing appears to have been hush hush: the four N.Y.C. major dailies and the two Washington, D.C., dailies apparently did not cover the...
  • State Government Up to Its Eyeballs in Pension Debt

    07/01/2016 7:36:05 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 6 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/28/2016 | James Hohman
    Unlike Washington D.C., Michigan’s state government is constitutionally prohibited from spending more than it takes in each year and borrowing to make up the difference. Yet state taxpayers are still liable for large amounts of state debt, for purposes both practical and problematic. The debts of greatest concern to residents are general obligation bonds, backed by general taxpayer dollars. Payments come right out of the annual general fund tax revenue the state uses to support the rest of what it does. Michigan’s recently passed budget includes $137 million to make payments on this debt, paid from state’s general fund (largely...
  • San Francisco seeks to ban pension fund from investing in gun industry

    06/28/2016 6:07:31 PM PDT · by Lonely Bull · 23 replies
    KTVU ^ | Jun 28 2016
    SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a measure that would ban the city employee retirement system from investing in companies that participate in firearm and ammunition manufacturing. The resolution by the supervisors could have a ripple effect throughout the country as the debate about gun control grows in the wake of a mass shooting in Orlando two weeks ago at a gay nightclub that left 50 people dead and several others injured. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is trying to gather support nationwide by asking the mayors of both Boston and New York...
  • Average Chicago property tax bill up nearly 13 percent

    06/14/2016 2:15:58 PM PDT · by george76 · 26 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 6/14/2016 | Hal Dardick
    Chicago homeowners should brace themselves for sticker shock when they open their mailbox at the end of the month: property tax bills on average 13 percent higher than last year. The big increase is mostly being driven by the record tax increase Mayor Rahm Emanuel engineered last fall to fix city pension funds for police officers and firefighters. Cook County Clerk David Orr released tax rate figures Monday, revealing the practical effects of City Hall's painful decision. The owner of a single-family home with the current average sale price of about $225,000 can expect to see a property tax bill...
  • Denver Public Schools fixing out remainder of controversial 2008 debt deal (Michael Bennet)

    04/17/2013 8:28:40 AM PDT · by george76 · 4 replies
    Denver Business Journal ^ | : Apr 6, 2013 | Heather Draper
    Denver Public Schools has quietly put the rest of its controversial variable-rate bonds with swaps on the market to sell as fixed-rate debt. Five years after issuing a 30-year, $750 million school pension bond that turned into a financial quagmire for the district, DPS is selling $519.8 million in fixed-rate, refunding certificates of participation (COPs), set to price during the week of April 15, according to an announcement Friday from Fitch Ratings. ... DPS "fixed out" — or issued debt at a fixed interest rate — half of the original $750 million in debt in 2011, and paid nearly $42...
  • Contaminated Water Dominates Flint Headlines, But Pension Earthquake Looms

    05/19/2016 4:55:46 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 3 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/16/2016 | Tom Gantert
    Contaminated drinking water has dominated daily headlines in Flint, but a looming crisis of a different kind casts a pall over the city’s financial future: A $285 million unfunded pension liability is consuming ever more of the city’s budget. In 2015, Flint paid $20.4 million to cover retirement system costs. To put the burden of pension obligations into perspective, that amount is 42 percent of the city's general fund budget. The financial stress has been growing: In 2010 Flint paid just $13.4 million into this system. The general fund represents just one part of the city’s budget (the water and...
  • State Fails to Make Required Teacher Pension Fund Contribution

    05/16/2016 5:07:18 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 16 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/12/2016 | Tom Gantert
    For the sixth year in a row, Michigan officials failed to pay the full amount the state's own experts say is required to adequately fund the school employee pension system. In addition to the risks associated with adding to the billions in unfunded liabilities the system has already accumulated, this is also imposing more stress on local school budgets. According to rules of a defined benefit pension system, the state is supposed to contribute an amount called the “annual requirement contribution,” or ARC, into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) every year. For 2015, actuarial accountants say that...
  • Stanford: Public Pension Debt Jumps 84%, to $4.8 trillion

    05/11/2016 6:54:55 AM PDT · by george76 · 8 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 11 May 2016 | Chriss W. Street
    the public pension debt for the 50 states and the District of Columbia jumped 84 percent in recent years, from $2.625 trillion in 2008 to $4.833 trillion in 2014. ... The highest pension debt/household is in Alaska, with an estimated $113,137 figure; Illinois and California are in the second and third highest rankings at more than $77,000 per household.” The lowest state pension debt per household is in Tennessee at $17,761. Illinois has the lowest “market funded ratio” (value of pension assets divided by market liability), at 23.3 percent. The other 49 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. have a market...
  • How the Teamsters pension disappeared more quickly under Wall Street than the mob

    05/10/2016 3:26:06 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 18 replies
    Market Watch ^ | 06 May 2016 | Elliot Blair Smith
    This is the first of a two-part series on the Central States pension fund. The second part looks more closely into why its investment performance suffered. Real estate investments in Las Vegas casinos and hotels once threatened the integrity of a Teamsters pension fund that the federal government wrested away from corrupt trustees and organized crime after five years of legal battles. A quarter-century later, the professionals who replaced them—Central States Pension Fund administrators; the Goldman Sachs & Co. and Northern Trust Global Advisors fiduciaries; and Department of Labor regulators—stood watch while the financial markets accomplished what the mob had...
  • Commentary: Congress can solve Illinois' pension crisis

    05/03/2016 3:51:19 AM PDT · by Fhios · 28 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 5/3/2016 | Diana Furchtgott-Roth
    "... One new idea that has not yet been proposed is for Congress to empower states to have the ability to reform their insolvent pension plans. Such legislation would pre-empt state laws that prohibit states from making necessary reforms. It would allow pension reform laws passed by state assemblies to take effect. ..."
  • "This Is Going To Be A National Crisis" - One Of The Largest U.S. Pension Funds Set To Cut Retiree

    04/20/2016 7:28:06 PM PDT · by Nachum · 78 replies
    zero hedge ^ | 4/20/16 | Tyler Durden
    A dark storm is brewing in the world of private pensions, and all hell could break loose when it finally hits. As the Washington Post reports, the Central States Pension Fund, which handles retirement benefits for current and former Teamster union truck drivers across various states including Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, New York, and Minnesota, and is one of the largest pension funds in the nation, has filed an application to cut participant benefits, which would be effective July 1 2016, as it "projects" it will become officially insolvent by 2025. In 2015, the fund returned -0.81%, underperforming the 0.37%...
  • BREAKING: Obama Just Gave Himself A MASSIVE Pay Raise… FOREVER! $$$

    03/18/2016 10:50:13 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 98 replies
    The Political Insider ^ | 3-18-16 | Charles Kosar
    While Americans are suffering in the Obama economy, President Barack Obama is seeking to increase the money available to him after he leaves the White House. The Congressional Research Service reports that for requests for both 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, Obama's proposed federal budget would expand funding through the Former Presidents Act. In 2017 alone, Obama wants nearly an 18% hike in expenditures… $588,000. That means $3.865,000 in appropriations will be available to spend on former Presidents! The 2016 proposed budget includes an additional $25,000 increase. The Former Presidents Act, enacted in 1958, provides living former presidents with a...
  • Obama seeks hike in post-presidency payments

    03/18/2016 10:47:35 AM PDT · by upbeat5 · 9 replies
    Fox News.com ^ | March 18, 2016 | Morgan Chalfant
    President Obama sought to increase the amount of money available for the federal government to spend on former presidents in advance of his White House exit. In his budget requests for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, Obama proposed hikes in the appropriations for expenditures of former presidents, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service published Wednesday. The report, which discusses the pensions and other federal benefits offered to former commanders-in-chief by way of the Former Presidents Act, specifies that Obama’s 2017 budget proposes a nearly 18 percent hike in appropriations for expenditures of former presidents. He successfully requested...
  • Study Finds Public Pension Promises Exceed Ability to Pay

    03/18/2016 8:16:08 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 23 replies
    New York Times ^ | 03/18/2016 | By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
    When Detroit went bankrupt in 2013, investors were shocked to learn that the city had promised pensions worth billions more than anyone knew — creating a financial pileup that ultimately meant big, unexpected losses for Detroit’s bondholders. Now, researchers at Citigroup say the groundwork has been laid for similar conflicts across the developed world: Governments have promised much more than they can most likely pay to current and future retirees, without revealing the disparity to investors who bought government bonds and whose investments could be at risk. Twenty countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have promised their...
  • CPS tells principals it lacks the cash to get through this year ( Chicago )

    03/10/2016 6:28:50 AM PST · by george76 · 21 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | March 10, 2016 | Juan Perez Jr.
    Chcago Public Schools officials told principals on Wednesday that the district is "short of the necessary cash for the remainder of the school year" partly because of a pension payment of nearly $700 million due this summer. ... Last month, principals had to absorb $26 million in midyear budget cuts to district-operated schools. Principals tapped internal accounts, cut planned technology and textbook purchases and didn't fill vacant positions to avert layoffs. On Wednesday, principals were told to hold off on $45 million budgeted for "non-personnel" expenses. The district said it wants to save another $10 million through a limit on...
  • THE WATCHDOGS: Pension funds lost millions on deals with Daley nephew, Obama pal

    02/28/2016 6:24:19 PM PST · by lowbridge · 11 replies
    chicago.suntimes.com ^ | february 27, 2016 | tim novak
    A real estate venture created by President Barack Obama’s onetime boss and a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley squandered $68 million it was given to invest on behalf of pension plans for Chicago teachers, cops, city employees and transit workers, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found. The five public pension funds haven’t made a dime on the investments they made nearly a decade ago with DV Urban Realty Partners, a company created by Obama’s ex-boss Allison S. Davis and Daley nephew Robert G. Vanecko, records show. In fact, the financially troubled pension plans have lost most of the...
  • Forcing Green Politics on Pension Funds

    11/20/2015 9:57:34 AM PST · by JeepersFreepers · 14 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | November 18, 2015 | Andy Kessler
    Last month the Obama administration's Labor Department issued Interpretive Bulletin 2015-01, which tells pension funds what factors to use when choosing investments, including climate change. Only a few tax lawyers noticed, but with U.S. pensions at $9 trillion, this is a gross power grab that will hurt the retirees it claims to protect. This government is essentially saying: Don't you dare invest in anything that causes or is hurt by climate change, or you'll be sued for failing your fiduciary responsibilities. Energy, utilities and industrials are 20% of the market. How can pension funds now own any of them? Pushing...
  • Ruling gives Sandusky back $4,900-a-month Penn State pension (while behind bars)

    11/13/2015 3:00:13 PM PST · by Libloather · 15 replies
    AP via MSN ^ | 11/13/15 | MARK SCOLFORO
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The state must restore the $4,900-a-month pension of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky that was taken away three years ago when he was sentenced to decades in prison on child molestation convictions, a court ordered Friday. A Commonwealth Court panel ruled unanimously that the State Employees' Retirement Board wrongly concluded Sandusky was a Penn State employee when he committed the crimes that were the basis for the pension forfeiture. "The board conflated the requirements that Mr. Sandusky engage in `work relating to' PSU and that he engage in that work `for' PSU," wrote...
  • U.S. Budget Deal Dings Corporate Pensions

    10/29/2015 7:17:57 PM PDT · by 11th_VA · 13 replies
    WSJ ^ | Oct 28, 2015 | By Vipal Monga CONNECT
    Companies with corporate pensions will end up paying a price if a sweeping budget and debt deal proposed by Congress becomes law. The House of Representatives is expected to pass legislation as soon as Wednesday that would eliminate the risk of a government default until after 2016 and increase government spending for the next two years. But the plan proposes steep increases to fees that companies pay to the nation's pension insurer, to help fund the added budget spending. According to the proposed budget, companies that have defined benefit pension plans would have to increase the fees they pay to...
  • Tax Watchdog Highlights the Millions Some Receive in Pension Benefits

    10/26/2015 8:48:37 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 15 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 10/23/2015 | Anne Schieber
    It began as an idea to drive home for regular people the high cost of government pensions. It has become an ongoing project in a growing number of communities. Five years ago, the taxpayer advocacy group Taxpayers United of America set out to find out how much former government employees are collecting in pension benefits, and publish both the amounts and the names of who’s getting these checks. The group also estimates the lifetime payouts from those pensions. “It really rings home for the average citizen,” said TUA’s executive director, Rae Ann McNeilly. “When people can see that this could...
  • Colorado state pension plan to miss full-funding target by 14 years [ PERA ]

    10/20/2015 7:38:15 AM PDT · by george76 · 8 replies
    Denver Business Journal ^ | Oct 19, 2015 | Monica Mendoza
    Colorado’s pension plan is on track to be fully funded by 2055 — 14 years after the 2041 target date set by the Colorado Legislature in 2010. Now, lawmakers will need to decide if they want to stick to the 2041 target date, or agree that it will take longer than they planned for the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association to have the money to pay for the promised benefits to PERA’s 529,000. The probability of the financial projections, as well as other variables, were discussed today with members of the Colorado Legislative Audit Committee, who heard the results of...
  • Illinois To Delay Pension Payments Amid Budget Woes: [Trunc]

    10/14/2015 12:31:43 PM PDT · by amorphous · 17 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 14 Oct 2015 | Tyler Durden
    By now, Illinois' budget problems are no secret. Back in May, after the State Supreme Court struck down a pension reform bid, Moody's move to downgrade the city of Chicago thrust the state's financial woes into the national spotlight. Since then, the situation hasn't gotten any better and despite hiring an "all star" budget guru (for $30,000 a month no less), Bruce Rauner was unable to pass a budget in a timely fashion leading directly to all types of absurdities including everything from the possibility of shortened school years to lottery winners being paid in IOUs. Now, as Bloomberg reports,...
  • When pensions implode: Silicon Valley’s lesson for New York

    10/12/2015 7:23:00 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 36 replies
    New York Post ^ | 10/12/2015 | By Lawrence McQuillan
    San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, is home to eBay, PayPal and Cisco. Yet despite its enormous wealth, a San Jose house right across from a fire station burned down in 2013 because the station lacked fire trucks. This year, police staffing is down in San Jose. Its roads are pocked with potholes. And again, fire engines are mothballed. How is all this possible? The answer is that nearly 25 percent of San Jose’s budget pays for generous pensions — called “defined-benefit” plans — that guarantee retired city workers as much as 90 percent of their former salaries...
  • CORRECTED-Chicago businesses brace for potential doubling of property taxes

    10/02/2015 11:10:51 PM PDT · by george76 · 18 replies
    Reuters ^ | Oct 2, 2015 | Dave McKinney
    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has disclosed that his record property tax hike plan entails significant cuts for nearly 300,000 homeowners, leaving Chicago businesses predicting they will face hikes of up to 50 percent. The second-term mayor last week proposed a $544 million property tax increase, the city's biggest ever, to help fix one of the worst-funded city pension systems in America ... Emanuel's office, which has said one in four dollars of the tax hike would come from the city's central business district, did not contest the 50-percent figure. But a mayoral aide insisted Emanuel's plan is his best effort...
  • Three-fourths of NJ sheriffs double-dip, led by 25-year ‘retiree’

    09/07/2015 1:16:15 PM PDT · by WonkyTonky · 31 replies
    Watchdog.org ^ | August 30, 2015 | Mark Lagerkvist
    For the past quarter century, Armando Fontoura has been looting a New Jersey state pension fund. But it won’t do any good to call the cops. Fontoura is sheriff of Essex County. A dean among double-dippers, he draws $207,289 a year from public coffers – $144,896 in salary plus $62,393 from pension as a retiree of his own office. Today is the 25th anniversary of Fontoura’s faux retirement. So far, he has collected $1.35 million in retirement cash without ever giving up his full-time county paycheck On Friday, Aug. 31, 1990, Fontoura retired as county undersheriff at age 47. The...
  • Second Largest US Pension Fund To Sell 12% Of Stocks Holdings In Advance Of "Another Downturn"

    09/05/2015 8:03:02 PM PDT · by SkyPilot · 9 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/02/2015 17:49 -0400 | Tyler Durden
    While many continue to debate if what with every passing day increasingly looks like a global recession, one from which the US will not decouple no matter how many "virtual portfolio" asset managers claim the contrary, there are those who without much fanfare are already taking proactive steps to avoid the kind of fallout that the markets have hinted in the past month of trading, is inevitable. Some such as Calstrs: the nation's second largest pension fund with $191 billion in assets (smaller only than Calpers), which as the WSJ reports is "considering a significant shift away from some stocks...
  • BlackRock, Obama Campaign Donors Stand to Benefit from Cuts to Military Pensions

    08/26/2015 5:24:20 PM PDT · by Freedom of Speech Wins · 2 replies
    www.ibtimes.com ^ | 6-15-15 | Matthew Cunningham-Cook and David Sirota
    BlackRock, Obama Campaign Donors Stand To Benefit From Cuts To Military Pensions By Matthew Cunningham-Cook Obama U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Catholic Health Association conference in Washington June 9, 2015. Executives at the financial firm BlackRock helped support both of his election campaigns. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst Obama U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Catholic Health Association conference in Washington June 9, 2015. Executives at the financial firm BlackRock helped support both of his election campaigns. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst Obama U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Catholic Health Association conference in Washington June 9, 2015. Executives...
  • Union rallies outside Patriot Coal over pension benefits

    08/18/2015 9:31:35 AM PDT · by aimhigh · 35 replies
    Yahoo Finance ^ | 08/18/2015 | Jonathan Mattise, AP
    SCOTT DEPOT, W.Va. (AP) -- Busloads of United Mine Workers of America miners and retirees roared in protest outside Patriot Coal headquarters Monday, as the bankrupt company looks to nix a union contract that includes pension contributions and health benefits. From a makeshift stage on the bed of a tow truck, UMWA President Cecil Roberts bellowed out to a camouflage-clad crowd of 1,500 to 1,800 miners and led them in a march to nearby Patriot headquarters. UMWA packed twenty-two buses of miners from Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, according to union spokesman Phil Smith.
  • Pension doomsday: How will Illinois pols cope with this crisis?

    07/26/2015 8:40:19 AM PDT · by Second Amendment First · 47 replies
    Chicago Trubune ^ | JULY 24, 2015
    More bad news for Chicago (and Illinois) taxpayers arrived Friday morning in a 35-page, double-sided packet. On one of the last pages: "The entire Act is void." Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak tossed out Chicago's pension reform law. City Hall had negotiated the pension changes for municipal and labor employees with many of the city's unions on board. But Novak, using the Illinois Supreme Court's May pension opinion as her sword, ruled that the city's plan violates the Illinois Constitution: A public worker's pension is a contract that cannot be "diminished or impaired." lRelated Revenge of the pension...
  • BLACKSTONE PRESIDENT: There's a hidden crisis in America that no one is talking about

    07/20/2015 8:08:48 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 19 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 07/20/2015 | Bob Bryan
    If you haven't taken it upon yourself to start saving for retirement, you could already be in trouble. Even worse, you could be part of a national crisis that's brewing under everyone's radars. In an earnings call Thursday, Blackstone president and COO Tony James articulated the problem and its origins. "I have the view that the hidden crisis in America that no one is talking about is what's going to happen with all of these 20, 30, 40-year-olds who no longer have corporate pension funds of defined benefit," he said. "So, they have got 401(k)s and they are making little...
  • Why Pensions Are A (Big) Black Swan – Chicago’s Unfunded Liabilities Are 10 Times Its Revenues

    07/19/2015 7:44:43 AM PDT · by george76 · 33 replies
    Investment Watch ^ | July 17, 2015 | John Rubino
    Why Pensions Are A (Big) Black Swan – Chicago’s Unfunded Liabilities Are 10 Times Its Revenues, 50% Of Their Cash That Will Have Go To Pensions. [ Full title ]. ... When talk turns to what might derail today’s debt-driven “recovery,” the big names and easy stories get most of the attention: China with its soaring debt, volatile equities and heavy-handed intervention; Japan with its stratospheric debt and science fictiony demographics; Greece, which needs no explanation; the developing countries with their weak currencies and mountain of dollar-denominated debt. And of course America’s triple bubble of stocks, bonds and derivatives. Underfunded...
  • Pension Shocker: Plans Face $2 Trillion Shortfall, Moody's Says

    07/18/2015 6:25:47 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 28 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 07/18/2015 | Tyler Durden
    Last month, in "Cities, States Shun Moody's For Blowing The Whistle On Pension Liabilities," we highlighted a rift between Moody’s and some local governments over the return assumptions for public pension plans. To recap, when it comes to underfunded pension liabilities, one major concern is that in a world characterized by ZIRP and NIRP, it’s not entirely clear that public pension funds are using realistic investment return assumptions. The lower the return assumption, the larger the unfunded liability. After 2008, Moody’s stopped relying on the investment return assumptions of cities and states opting instead to use its own models....
  • Bad Math and a Coming Nationwide Public Pension Crisis

    07/09/2015 5:27:25 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 22 replies
    New York Times ^ | 07/09/2015 | By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
    When Jim Palermo was serving as a trustee of the village of La Grange, Ill., he noticed something peculiar about the local police officers and firefighters. They were not going to live as long as might be expected, at least according to pension tables. After Mr. Palermo dug into the numbers, he found that the actuary — the person who advises pension plan trustees about how much money to set aside — was using a mortality table from 1971 that showed La Grange’s roughly 100 police officers and firefighters were expected to die, on average, before reaching 75, compared with...
  • Most Michigan Teachers Leave Before Qualifying For a Pension

    07/08/2015 5:41:09 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 11 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/5/2015 | Tom Gantert
    Fewer than half of Michigan teachers will end up qualifying for retirement benefits under the state’s public school pension system. That means the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System, which carries a $26.5 billion unfunded liability, is not only a raw deal for taxpayers, it’s not a very good deal for most teachers either. According to one estimate, just 43.4 percent of teachers will stay in the system for the 10 years required to become fully vested. When teachers leave the system before that time — to move, switch jobs, stay home with children or for another reason — they...
  • The Coming Era of Pension Poverty

    07/02/2015 9:08:11 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 18 replies
    Of Two Minds ^ | 07/02/2015 | Charles Hugh Smith
    Assuming "growth" will fund all promised pensions and entitlements is magical thinking.The core problem with pension plans is that the promises were issued without regard for the revenues needed to pay the promises. Lulled by 60 years of global growth since 1945, those in charge of entitlements and publicly funded pensions assumed that "growth"--of GDP, tax revenues, employment and everything else--would always rise faster than the costs of the promised pensions and entitlements.But due to demographics and a structurally stagnant economy, entitlements and pension costs are rising at a much faster rate than the revenues needed to pay the promised...
  • Pension Armageddon: Can California voters avoid it?

    06/26/2015 5:37:27 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | 06/26/2015 | BY STEPHEN EIDE
    Not all Californians believe that drought is the greatest threat to their state’s future. Early this month, a bipartisan group of current and former local officials filed the “Voter Empowerment Act of 2016,” a statewide ballot measure aimed at reforming the politics of public pensions. Its passage would forbid politicians in California from lavishing expensive retirement benefits on workers without explicit voter approval. The effort is being led by Carl DeMaio, a Republican former member of the San Diego city council, and Chuck Reed, a Democrat and former mayor of San Jose. If they prevail, the effects will be felt...
  • U.S. government still paying one Civil War pension to woman in Wilkes Co.

    06/17/2015 9:45:24 PM PDT · by Leaning Right · 16 replies
    fox8 TV ^ | may 26, 2014 | staff
    WILKESBORO, N.C. — Each month, Wilkesboro’s Irene Triplett collects $73.13 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a pension payment for her father’s military service — in the Civil War. Triplett, 84, is the last living person collecting a pension payment for service in the Civil War. Pvt. Mose Triplett was born in 1846 and lived to the age of 92. After his first wife’s death, he married Elida Hall, nearly 50 years his junior, in 1924. In 1930, Irene Triplett was born when her father was 84 and her mother was 34.
  • How can Illinois fix its pension problems? Ask Wisconsin

    06/11/2015 2:19:06 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 11 replies
    Chicago Business ^ | June 11, 2015 | JOE LUPPINO-ESPOSITO
    Instead of looking to policymakers and accountants for help with state pensions, reformers across the country realize they need to hire a few more lawyers. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has to deal with serious pension problems after a unanimous state Supreme Court shot down the 2013 reforms of his predecessor. The Illinois Constitution does not allow cutting promised pension benefits, but Rauner seems willing to take the legal steps necessary to make the reforms stick this time around. Illinois is not alone. Reforms made by Oregon's state legislators in 2013 included a reduction in cost-of-living increases. But Oregon's Supreme Court...
  • 1.25 million affected by Japan Pension Service hack

    06/02/2015 3:23:42 AM PDT · by dynachrome · 1 replies
    Japan Times ^ | 6-1-15 | TOMOKO OTAKE
    The national pension system has been hacked, leading to 1.25 million cases of personal data being leaked, the Japan Pension Service announced Monday. In a scandal reminiscent of the nation’s botched handling of pension records about a decade ago, people’s pension IDs, names, addresses and birth dates have been stolen through illicit accesses to fund workers’ personal computers, fund officials said. The data were leaked when agency employees opened an attached file in their email containing a virus.
  • ‘Kiss your pension fund goodbye’? Economist warns government could seize 401(k)s

    05/25/2015 5:06:04 PM PDT · by SkyPilot · 81 replies
    Economic Collapse News ^ | 25 May 2015 | Andrew Moran
    The United States government could start seizing 401(k) plans, says one economist who believes a recent Supreme Court ruling sets the stage for Washington to initiate any such plans. Economist Martin Armstrong published a blog post Monday that took a look at the recent Tibble v. Edison case. The court concluded that employers have an obligation to protect their workers’ 401(k) plans from mutual funds that provide deplorable returns. Armstrong thinks this could give the federal government the arsenal to begin seizing private funds and take companies to court if mutual funds perform poorly. This comes as the Obama administration...
  • The Gathering Bond Storm in Chicago

    05/19/2015 11:00:58 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 15 replies
    Economy and Markets ^ | 05/19/2015 | Rodney Johnson
    Recently the bond rating company Moody’s Investor Service cut their ranking of Chicago to junk status. The move ticked off a lot of people in the Windy City who think Moody’s overstated the case. I agree that Moody’s is wrong… not because they went too far, but because they didn’t go far enough. Chicago is not close to bankrupt. It’s completely bankrupt. People are just afraid to say this out loud. The city’s pensions are underfunded by $20 billion. Moody’s gave a rating that reflects how the city is performing. City officials are just angry Moody’s called them out. The...
  • THE WATCHDOGS: Generous pension benefits only one part of state, city financial crisis ( Chicago )

    05/18/2015 7:03:55 AM PDT · by george76 · 13 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | 05/17/2015 | Chris Fusco, Dan Mihalopoulos and Patrick Rehkamp
    One of every four retired workers from the state of Illinois, the city of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools is getting a pension of more than $60,000 a year. That’s 80,365 people in all. For 13,240 of them, those checks provide a yearly income of $100,000 or more, a Chicago Sun-Times/Better Government Association analysis of pension records has found. An additional 20,004 have pension incomes totaling between $80,000 and $100,000 a year. ... the root of the problem is that government officials kept promising lifetime benefits to workers — and, in many cases, to their surviving spouses should they...
  • Role of government powers at issue in pension case

    05/07/2015 7:32:46 AM PDT · by redreno
    http://news.yahoo.com ^ | 05/06/2015 | By GEOFF MULVIHILL
    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey's top court weighed the budget repercussions of ruling on a pension dispute between Gov. Chris Christie and public workers' unions on Wednesday while one justice wondered if the state had engaged in a "bait and switch." The state Supreme Court probed whether the state has a contractual obligation to pay what it agreed to in a 2011 pension overhaul law and tried to get lawyers from both sides to explore whether such a finding would represent an overstepping of the courts' role and put it in the middle of the state budget process every...
  • Here's Moody's latest sobering take on Chicago's pension crisis

    05/02/2015 8:00:06 AM PDT · by george76 · 15 replies
    Crain's Chicago Business ^ | May 01, 2015 | Thomas A. Corfman
    Chicago has a simple financial choice: Stay in frying pan or get in the fire. That in simple terms is what Moody's Investors Service said in a report today about the difficult options the Emanuel administration faces over the city's woefully underfunded pension funds. The city must cut spending and raise taxes now or the risks of becoming insolvent will grow, forcing even harsher decisions later. The credit rating agency offers a sobering reminder of what's at stake in the eight-page report, which focuses on the pensions problems. ... A CUT ABOVE JUNK. Moody's, typically the most conservative of the...
  • CPS' financial straits cost taxpayers with sharply higher interest rates on bond sale (Chicago)

    04/23/2015 1:27:44 PM PDT · by george76 · 3 replies
    Chicago Sun Times ^ | 04/22/2015 | Chris Fusco
    The Chicago Public Schools — already facing a federal criminal investigation of its CEO and a projected $1.1 billion budget deficit next school year — now must pay a price for those problems through higher interest rates on a new $300 million bond deal. The rates lured investors to buy the bonds, which CPS says it will use to pay off recently completed construction projects. But they also mean Chicago taxpayers will pay more over the life of the borrowing deal, financial analysts said Wednesday. The main bond issue — for $280 million to be repaid over 25 years —...
  • TEACHER'S PENSIONS

    04/22/2015 7:22:46 AM PDT · by knarf · 40 replies
    self ^ | April 22, 2015 | knarf
    I've done a lot of thinking about this and I'd like feed back
  • Scott Walker Wins the Accountants’ Primary - rock-solid pension system...

    04/02/2015 2:08:01 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 4 replies
    The National Review ^ | April 2, 2015 | Brett Joshpe
    Scott Walker Wins the Accountants’ Primary - Wisconsin’s rock-solid pension system makes him presidential material. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s signature legislative achievement, Act 10, was one of the most polarizing and galvanizing pieces of state legislation in recent memory. The law, which severely weakens public-union powers and mandates public-pension sanity, is providing a blueprint for other Republicans around the country. Walker’s public-pension stewardship also demonstrates why he is on the short list of serious presidential contenders....... [snip] ...As states have become more sensitive to burgeoning pension costs in recent years, and with increasing regulatory scrutiny and media attention on possible...