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Keyword: pension

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  • 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...
  • CalPERS Seeks To Escape Fiscal Reality Of Failing Pensions

    03/11/2015 6:35:26 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    IBD ^ | 03/11/2015 | David Tawil
    To the outsider, CalPERS — the largest U.S. pension fund, created by California state law and run by an arm of the state of California — may seem like the champion of the working man, fighting for the rights of municipal employees and pensioners. But that perception may be undeserved, per the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of Stockton, Calif., where CalPERS sought to shift to taxpayers (an even larger and more sympathetic party than CalPERS) the financial burden to support what some consider CalPERS' outrageous costs. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein openly opined, "CalPERS has bullied its way about in this...
  • Moody's downgrades CPS credit rating [ Chicago Public Schools ]

    03/07/2015 5:45:37 AM PST · by george76 · 7 replies
    Chicago Sun Times ^ | 03/06/2015 | Maudlyne Ihejirika
    Moody’s Investors Service on Friday announced it had reduced its rating on Chicago Board of Education debt to one level above junk bond status. Moody’s downgraded the rating to Baa3 from Baa1 on the board’s general obligation debt. That rating applies to a total of $6.3 billion in outstanding debt held by Chicago Public Schools. That lowered rating, according to Moody’s, “reflects CPS’s continued reliance” on its reserves to cover ongoing operating expenditures, “particularly pension contributions, which will steadily increase in the coming years.” ... the lowered CPS rating also takes into account the city’s own credit rating, which also...
  • Closing School Retirement System the Right Choice

    03/02/2015 7:21:41 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 23 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 2/28/2015 | James Hohman
    Michigan House Republicans recently released a reform agenda that calls for closing the state-run school employee retirement system to new employees. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, reiterated the proposal. The necessity of closing the current defined-benefit pension system and instead offering new employees a defined-contribution plan is simple: the state underfunds pensions. According to the legislative auditor general, the system has been underfunded in all but one of the past 30 years. The system carries a $25.8 billion unfunded liability. Michigan taxpayers are now on the hook for 13 times more in unfunded school pension liabilities than the...
  • The Trillion-Dollar Pension Crisis Is Only Getting Worse Because People Are Living Too Long

    02/16/2015 10:47:39 AM PST · by blam · 22 replies
    BI ^ | 2-16-2014 | John Mauldin
    John Mauldin February 16, 2015We do not have to look to Greece to find massively underfunded obligations. Here in the US we can find hundreds of examples, willingly created by politicians and businessmen who proclaim they are working for the public good. We call them pension funds, but they’re just another form of unfunded debt. A sovereign bond is a promise to pay a certain amount of money over time. A defined-benefit pension fund is a promise to pay a certain amount of income over time. The value of either is determined by the ability of the government or the...
  • The University of California's Pension Fiasco

    01/05/2015 2:24:12 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    National Review ^ | 01/05/2015 | Lawrence J. McQuillan
    The University of California’s Board of Regents recently voted to increase student tuition up to 25 percent over the next five years. UC president Janet Napolitano said the tuition hike was necessary “to maintain the University of California in terms of academic excellence.” But the real reason for the tuition increase is that the UC system needs funds to bail out the mismanaged pension system that covers retired employees of its ten campuses. Let this be a lesson to the rest of the country: Public officials rarely take responsibility for the messes they make. Rather, they deny culpability and send...
  • Investing in the ObamaFund; Treasury rolls out a new savings plan without a Congressional vote.

    12/30/2014 3:32:07 AM PST · by Liz · 16 replies
    wsj.com ^ | 12/29/14
    EXCERPT—--the WH wants you to consider a retirement plan that will invest in nothing but US government debt. Any financial professional who advised this—would be sued for malpractice. But asset allocation is merely one of the problems with the new “myRA” fund rolling out this month. A form of Roth IRA that allows people to save after-tax dollars and watch them grow tax-free until retirement, the new myRA offers a single investment option. It’s a private version of the G Fund that is available to federal workers and has lately been delivering annual returns of about 2% on its portfolio...
  • 29 Oct 2014: CALIFORNIA TEACHERS' PENSION STILL INSOLVENT

    12/17/2014 2:13:06 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 19 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 29 Oct 2014
    California public employees now enjoy the highest benefits of any state in the nation. To pretend to fund this largess, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is an “outlier” among public pension plans in using creative accounting to blur its grossly underfunded status. This has allowed its school district clients and unionized employees to short-check their annual payment for the nation’s most lucrative teachers' pension benefits. But pressure from Moody’s credit rating agency is causing CalSTRS clients and unionized teachers to make big increases in pension and benefit funding. The latest “hokey-pokey” drama is the California State Teachers’ Retirement System...
  • Japan's Gov't Pension Fund Warning For Citizens: Abenomics Better Work, Or Your Pensions Are Toast

    12/12/2014 7:49:56 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 10 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 12/12/2014 | Tyler Durden
    Once upon a time, the world's biggest government pension fund, Japan's $1.1 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, or GPIF, was apolitical, and merely focused on preserving the people's wealth. Then everything changed, and with the reckless abandon of a junkie on a crack cocaine binge, aka Abenomics, the GPIF management was kicked out, and its entire mandate was flipped from preserving wealth, to gambling on #Ref! P/E stocks, in hopes of recreating the wealth effect of the super-rich (the only problem: Japan has reached its breaking point and the higher the USDJPY, and thus the Nikkei rises, the more...
  • CALIFORNIA FACES DEATH BY PENSION

    12/11/2014 7:15:28 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 32 replies
    American Spectator ^ | 12/11/2014 | By Steven Greenhut
    When the November election was still a long way off, Sacramento-area streets were already plastered with campaign signs for a little-noticed political race: candidates are running to serve on the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, better known as CalPERS. While not as high-profile as the statewide and congressional races, these seats are arguably of equal importance to Golden State taxpayers. CalPERS, the largest state pension fund in the country, not only manages more than $257 billion in assets, but also loves to use its political muscle to prod corporate America into “socially responsible” (read: leftist-friendly) investing. Sacramento,...
  • Report: Colorado schools, cities have $10 billion in hidden pension liability

    12/03/2014 10:29:40 AM PST · by george76 · 14 replies
    Watchdog ^ | December 3, 2014 | Arthur Kane
    Colorado’s schools and governments have about $10 billion in hidden pension and health-care benefit liability, a “sinkhole” that could cost many individual taxpayers $10,000 or more to fill, a report from the Chicago-based nonprofit Truth in Accounting found. Sheila A. Weinberg, TIA founder and CEO, said the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association hasn’t collected enough from school districts and local governments to cover retirement costs for all the local employees. “It is pushed off year after year until these plans don’t have enough money to pay for retirees,” she said. “They’re either going to have to raise taxes or cut...
  • Illinois Pension Debt Soars To $111 Billion

    11/18/2014 3:40:41 AM PST · by george76 · 12 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 11/17/2014 | Tyler Durden
    Pension debt in the Land of Lincoln is a big problem. So big, in fact, that it would take three years of a complete government shutdown, during which the entire general fund went toward pensions, just to break even. No funding for schools, no money for public safety and nothing for health care and human services. Illinois’ unfunded pension liability grew to more than $111 billion this year, according to official estimates. That’s a $48 billion increase just since 2009. ... That $111 billion pension shortfall means the state now has only 39 cents of every dollar it should have...
  • California pension funds are running dry

    11/15/2014 5:32:20 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 54 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 11/15/2014 | MARC LIFSHER
    A decade ago, many of California's public pension plans had plenty of money to pay for workers' retirements. All that has changed, according to a far-reaching package of data from the state controller. Taxpayers are now on the hook for billions of dollars more to cover the future retirements of public workers, with the bill widely varying depending on where they live. The City of Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System, for instance, had more than enough funds in 2003 to cover its estimated future bill for workers' retirement checks. A decade later, it is short $3 billion. The...
  • Corbett cuts $72M from state budget, calls for action on pension reform

    10/24/2014 10:33:38 PM PDT · by Tamzee · 7 replies
    Pittsburgh Business Times ^ | July 10, 2014 | Paul J. Gough
    Gov. Tom Corbett blasted the General Assembly and line-item vetoed more than $70 million from the budget but signed the rest of it into law Thursday. The line-item veto removed $65 million in proposed spending from the General Assembly's own funding, which he said was equivalent to the legislators' surplus, as well as $7.2 million from general appropriations. (snip) Corbett reserved more ire for the General Assembly in what he said was its failure to address the public-pension crisis, an issue he has campaigned for big changes including a move toward a 401(k)-style system for new state employee and public...
  • O Beholden Canada: America’s northern neighbor is beset by familiar pension-funding problems

    10/20/2014 7:33:08 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 8 replies
    City Journal ^ | 10/20/2014 | Steve Malanga
    This summer, Montreal residents witnessed a strange sight: local police abandoned their traditional uniform pants and instead donned casual attire, ranging from camouflage and fluorescent-colored trousers to multicolored slacks. Some cops bizarrely even donned skirts. The dressing down was all done to show cops’ anger at the Quebec provincial government’s proposals to cut the costs of municipal pensions by getting workers to contribute more toward their retirement. Call it Canada’s summer of pension discontent. Governments throughout the country are grappling with as much as $300 billion in unfunded government-worker retirement debt. In a country of just 38.5 million people, that’s...
  • CalPERS gets decision: Judge rules Stockton can sever its city pensions (CA)

    10/01/2014 4:14:40 PM PDT · by aimhigh · 27 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 10/01/2014 | Dale Kasler
    In a potentially groundbreaking decision, a federal bankruptcy judge today struck down the sanctity of government pensions in California, saying the city of Stockton has the right to sever its contract with CalPERS. The verbal ruling from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein, two years after Stockton filed for bankruptcy, was the decision CalPERS longed to avoid.
  • Public Pension Funds Face $2 Trillion Shortfall, Moodys Warns

    09/26/2014 11:53:54 AM PDT · by george76 · 31 replies
    zh ^ | 09/26/2014 | Tyler Durden
    the 25 biggest systems by assets averaged a 7.45% return from 2004 to 2013, but liabilities tripled over the same period leaving them facing a $2 trillion shortfall as investment returns can’t keep up with ballooning obligations. The top 25 funds account for 40% of the entire US public pension system with Illinois, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Louisiana at the top of the 'most underfunded' list. .... the New York-based credit rater’s calculation of liabilities tripled in the eight years through 2012, ... liabilities are crowding out spending for services, roads and schools.
  • Crooked judge heads straight to public retirement pension

    09/25/2014 8:09:20 AM PDT · by redreno · 2 replies
    http://www.reviewjournal.com ^ | 09/24/2014 | By JANE ANN MORRISON
    When Steven Jones is sitting in prison (and I’m pretty sure the despicable abuse of his judicial powers will persuade a federal judge he’s unworthy of probation), don’t feel too sorry for him. He probably won’t have money woes when he gets out. While he’s pumping iron behind bars, he can rest assured he might be able to get up to 75 percent of his $200,000 a year salary as a judicial pension, at least at some point. That’s the way the system works. A pension is an earned benefit, so you can be a teacher convicted of molesting children...
  • How Cities Are Solving Their Pension Problems – and the Bill That Makes It Easier

    08/11/2014 1:06:39 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 8/10/2014 | Jarrett Skorup
    There’s a saying among those who analyze public sector pension systems: “Pension don’t get funded – they get underfunded.” That is certainly true around Michigan. A review of the defined benefit pension systems for the 100 largest cities in the state shows that the vast majorities are underfunded – that is, that the municipality has promised more benefits than it has put away money for. But there is hope. Many cities have begun shifting new employees to a 401k-type, defined-contribution plan. For these plans, workers are given a (usually generous) match of money put into a fund. It is impossible...
  • New York City Pension System Is Strained by Costs and Politics

    08/04/2014 10:01:22 AM PDT · by Theoria · 8 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 03 Aug 2014 | DAVID W. CHEN and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
    For years, New York City has been dutifully pumping more and more money into its giant pension system for retired city workers. Next year alone, the city will set aside for pensions more than $8 billion, or 11 percent of the budget. That is an increase of more than 12 times from the city’s outlay in 2000, when the payments accounted for less than 2 percent of the budget. But instead of getting smaller, the city’s pension hole just keeps getting bigger, forcing progressively more significant cutbacks in municipal programs and services every year. Like pension systems everywhere, New York...
  • Pension Malpractice and Fund Raids: Everyone's doing it!

    07/29/2014 5:47:06 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/24/2014 | Jack McHugh
    A Wall Street Journal editorial bemoans gimmicks used to “pay for” a federal road funding bill without either raising taxes or cutting other spending, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday: “Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp is paying for the additional spending with a combination of new custom fees, transfers from a fund to repair leaky underground fuel-storage tanks, and changes to pension taxes. This "pension-smoothing"—which will supply $6.4 billion of the revenue—is an especially ugly budget ruse, and thus increasingly a Congressional favorite. “Under smoothing, employers are given permission to delay contributions to pension plans,...
  • Detroit retirees vote in favor of Pension Cuts

    07/22/2014 4:12:53 AM PDT · by taildragger · 17 replies
    Link only:http://www.clickondetroit.com/consumer/detroit-retirees-vote-in-favor-of-pension-cuts/27081476Many covering this Story at this early Stage can't be posted on FR.
  • Michigan Teacher Pension Costs Increase To Nearly $1 Billion Per Year

    07/16/2014 11:20:01 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 8 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/14/2014 | Tom Gantert
    What started out as a $155 million tab in 2012 for public school employee pension and retirement health care costs will increase to $945 million by 2015, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. The driver of the escalating costs is MPSERS' unfunded liability. The pension system's unfunded liability was $25.8 billion in 2013, up from $24.3 billion in 2012. The state's payments also go to defray retiree health care costs. The costs for the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System includes the $882.7 million the state is projecting to spend on retirement contributions for K-12 education in 2015 plus the...
  • Public School Administrators Complain About Pension Costs; Don't Offer Solutions

    07/03/2014 2:15:18 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/1/2014 | Tom Gantert
    School superintendents across the state are starting to take their message about rising teacher retirement costs directly to parents. Midland Public Schools Superintendent Michael Sharrow wrote June 16 that retirement costs were costing the district an extra $60 per student. Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Susan Zurvalec also told parents in a letter the district's budget woes were tied to costs related to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. Teachers across the state still get traditional pensions as retirement benefits. Other state workers and most people employed in the private sector have 401(k)-type retirement plans. The unfunded liability for teacher...
  • NJ faces another credit rating slash: S&P (Nail in Christie's Coffin)

    06/03/2014 5:52:42 AM PDT · by C19fan · 6 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 2, 2014 | Staff
    New Jersey could be downgraded again because of its growing budgetary imbalance and underfunded public pension, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services warned on Monday. S&P had already cut the state's rating to 'A+' in April. Wall Street's two other main credit rating agencies soon followed in slicing the state to a single-A rating. That put New Jersey among the three lowest-rated states, along with California and Illinois.
  • School Board Member: Close Teacher Pension System

    05/12/2014 7:57:09 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 7 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/8/2014 | Tom Gantert
    Ann Arbor Public Schools Board Vice President Christine Stead says it's time for schools to move away from the traditional defined benefit pension plan she says is taking money out of the classrooms. Stead said she'd support a 401(k)-type of retirement benefit plan for school employees as long as it took into consideration that school employees were taking less in pay during their working careers for some type of secure pension in retirement. Stead said there needs to be a different solution than the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS). "We are seeing MPSERS continues to erode our ability...
  • Utah's Lessons for Pension Reform

    05/07/2014 1:18:26 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/4/2014 | James Hohman
    In 2010, then-Utah State Sen. Dan Liljenquist led a successful state pension reform effort that dramatically reduced the risk of a meltdown of the underfunded system. The reforms gave new employees a choice: They could switch to a defined contribution retirement system or continue in a defined benefit system in which employees would bear the risks associated with underfunding. Specifically, the state would cap its annual contributions to the pension system at 10 percent of payroll. If contributions were required to increase above that rate, those who chose to remain in the system would be responsible for the difference. (A...
  • NY’s Top Court Orders Disclosure of Union Pension Records

    05/07/2014 8:02:31 AM PDT · by aimhigh · 17 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 05/06/2014 | Jacob Gershman
    New York’s highest court on Tuesday held that the names of state and local government retirees receiving pensions may not be shielded from the public. The 6-0 decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which reversed a consistent string of lower court rulings, was a setback to public employee unions in the state that have fought for years to prevent a conservative fiscal watchdog group in Albany from collecting the pension records and including them in a searchable database.
  • Dem Calls For Long-Term Solvency Of Pension System; As State Senator Voted To Underfund It

    05/05/2014 2:55:11 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/2/2014 | Tom Gantert
    Gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer says one of his plans if he is elected is to ensure the long-term solvency of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS). However, as a state senator in 2007, Schauer voted along with most other legislators specifically to underfund that system. House Bill 4766 balanced the budget by reducing the pension fund contribution — which is one of the reasons MPSERS today has an estimated unfunded liability of $24.3 billion. MPSERS contribution rate per year. Schauer’s education plan would also require all charter public school employees to participate in MPSERS. The expanding unfunded liabilities...
  • Sebelius stays on just long enough to get government benefits

    04/22/2014 4:06:13 PM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 27 replies
    Daily Caller ^ | April 21, 2014 | By Alex Pappas
    When the embattled Kathleen Sebelius announced her intention to resign as secretary of Health and Human Services, she pledged to stay in President Barack Obama’s cabinet until her replacement was confirmed by the Senate. Turns out, there may be a financial incentive for the former Kansas governor to take her time getting out of Washington. Next week, Sebelius becomes eligible to receive a government pension and continue certain taxpayer-funded health-care benefits when she hits her five-year employment mark with the federal government, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) policy indicates. Under OPM rules, Sebelius, who was sworn into office on April...