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Keyword: pension

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  • 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...
  • British pensioners to be told how long they have to live so they can manage savings

    04/18/2014 6:55:55 AM PDT · by Loyalist · 14 replies
    Financial Post ^ | 18 April 2014 | Peter Dominiczak, The Telegraph
    Pensioners will be given estimates of how long they have left to live to help them manage their savings, a minister has disclosed. Steve Webb said that the Government wants to provide pensioners with a rough life expectancy when they reach retirement to allow them to make better financial decisions. Experts will take into account factors including gender, where a pensioner lives or whether they smoke, the pensions minister said. Life expectancy should be part of “guidance” given to help people decide how much to save. In last month’s Budget, George Osborne announced the scrapping of rules that force most...
  • Obama plan: Cut tax breaks for richest retirement savers

    02/21/2014 10:56:56 AM PST · by reaganaut1 · 60 replies
    Market Watch ^ | February 21, 2014 | Robert Powell
    President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress in early March, as part of his fiscal 2015 budget, to reduce some of the tax advantages for employer-sponsored retirement plans for higher-income earners, according to published reports. Plus, the president wants to limit the value of all tax deductions, defined contribution exclusions and IRA deductions to 28% of income — and include an overall cap on all retirement accounts, including pensions, that could bring in $1 billion a year in new tax revenue, according to a Pensions & Investments report. According to the report, the proposals are designed to direct more of...
  • Chicago unions call for tax hikes instead of pension cuts (women, people of color hardest hit)

    02/19/2014 2:58:36 AM PST · by Libloather · 14 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 2/17/14 | Hal Dardick
    A coalition of Chicago public sector unions resistant to a push by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for changes to the pension system released a report Monday that concluded that the city should focus on new or higher taxes instead of significant cuts to benefits. The We Are One Chicago group contended that cutting pension benefits would send negative economic ripples through the city and suburbs where retired Chicago Public Schools and city workers live. The impacts of pension benefit cuts would hit women and people of color in disproportionate numbers and in turn hurt the economies in the city’s African American...
  • Paul Ryan’s military pay gambit backfires

    02/12/2014 3:14:56 PM PST · by SkyPilot · 60 replies
    Politico ^ | 12 Feb 14 | Juana Summers
    Under December’s budget deal, working-age military retirees — some of whom retire with pensions in their 40s after 20 years of service — would see those pensions grow at a slower pace. Their annual cost-of-living adjustments would be pegged to the rate of inflation minus 1 percentage point. But once they turned 62, they’d go back to receiving cost-of-living adjustments pegged to the full rate of inflation. The provision wouldn’t kick in until late next year, a delay Ryan says was designed to allow the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to consider alternative proposals for reining in the military’s...
  • House votes to restore military pensions

    02/11/2014 3:43:43 PM PST · by SkyPilot · 18 replies
    CNN ^ | 11 Feb 14 | Jennifer Liberto and Deirdre Walsh
    <p>The House on Tuesday passed a bill to restore pension increases for some 750,000 military retirees.</p> <p>The House voted 326 to 90 to undo cuts to cost-of-living hikes for military pensions for all current retirees and anyone who enlisted before Jan. 1. The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday.</p>
  • Is California Finally About to Address Its Looming Pension Crisis?

    02/11/2014 8:22:53 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 27 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 02/11/2014 | STEPHEN KRUISER
    Fingers crossed. A good sign is that Assembly leaders now say they will take on the massive shortfall in the State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) that provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for CaliforniaÂ’s 868,493 teachers and their families. Speaker John Perez says he wants to find a way to begin paying down the $80 billion unfunded liability for teacher pensions and the Assembly will hold hearing on the issue this month.While CalPERS, the other major public employee pension system, is in a weak position, CalSTRS is close to falling into the abyss. However, neither of the systems is...
  • California's — And America's — Pension Debacle On Its Way: Watch Your Wallets

    02/06/2014 6:36:25 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 9 replies
    IBD ^ | 02/06/2014 | Mark Bucher
    Hold on to your wallets, folks. Without a powerful intervention, California may soon become the first big domino to fall in America's public pension debacle. To help prevent catastrophe, the California Public Policy Center (CPPC) has just made public a new database detailing the size and scope of the state's outsized expenditures on public employees — the largest ever compiled in California. Legislators and voters should take note, because California can't afford another round of fact-free partisan warfare. As recently reported in the New York Times, the fate of California cities such as Desert Hot Springs — where civic bankruptcy...
  • The City and State Pension Crisis Has Only Just Begun

    01/30/2014 7:26:51 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 9 replies
    RCM ^ | 01/30/2014 | By Mark Warshawsky
    America has recently experienced a wave of municipal bankruptcies significantly fueled by underfunded pension and retiree health obligations to retired city workers, including policemen, firemen and teachers. The bankruptcies of Detroit and some California towns, the massive pension shortfall in Illinois only partially addressed by recent legislation, and the tense situation in Chicago with the mayor asking municipal workers for give-backs are just the beginning of difficulties that will appear across the country. Asset returns have come up short of what has been assumed. Generous unfunded retirement benefits with early retirement dates and expensive cost-of-living adjustments were doled out to...
  • Vets push Congress for fix to pension cut

    01/28/2014 4:45:33 AM PST · by SkyPilot · 5 replies
    The Hill ^ | 27 Jan 14 | Jeremy Herb and Kristina Wong
    Veterans groups are growing increasingly frustrated that Congress has not made any headway toward reversing a $6 billion cut to military pensions. The groups are determined to reverse the cut because they fear it is a first step toward larger cuts in military compensation and benefits. More than a dozen bills have been introduced in both chambers to repeal the cut, which reduces the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by 1 percentage point below inflation for retirees younger than 62. The change would take effect in December 2015. While more than a third of lawmakers have backed one or more of...
  • COLA Wars

    01/20/2014 4:39:27 PM PST · by SkyPilot · 26 replies
    National Review ^ | 20 Jan 14 | Pete Hegseth
    Why trimming military pensions irks this deficit-hawk veteran. With a $1.1 trillion budget wending its way through Congress and likely headed for President Obama’s desk, officials in Washington are no doubt patting themselves on the back for a job well done. Here’s who won’t be cheering the news: American veterans and military retirees and their families. Tucked away in this massive spending package is a provision that chops away at the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) raises for military retirees and family survivors, in order to save an estimated $6 billion over the next ten years. You could argue that I,...
  • New COLA 'fix' creates have, have-not disabled retirees

    01/16/2014 8:30:19 AM PST · by SkyPilot · 10 replies
    Stars and Stripes ^ | 16 Jan 14 | Tom Philpott
    Congress has rushed to protect the medically retired and survivor benefit recipients from the cap on annual cost-of-living adjustments it approved only a few weeks ago for all “working age” military retirees. The quick “COLA fix,” part of a massive “omnibus” funding bill for 12 federal departments, still leaves most military retirees under age 62 with future COLAs trimmed by one percent below the annual inflation rate, an erosion of retirement value set to begin in January 2016. The fix also creates a disparity in COLA protection between separate groups of disabled retirees, critics contend. It won’t affect retirees with...
  • "Had Mitt and I Won, This Would Not Be Necessary"

    01/15/2014 7:21:15 PM PST · by SkyPilot · 383 replies
    Slate ^ | 15 Jan 14 | David Weigel
    The feedback continues, with a bunch of military veterans and family members asking me how I could defend the callous COLA cuts to military pensions by way of explaining why Congress is trying to undo them. Another reader email: I strenuously object to being asked to sacrifice any more! I risked my life in two deployments to war zones, sacrificed my health (I'm also a disabled veteran), and jeopardized my relationship with my family for my country. I find Congress' latest demand a kick in the gut. We veterans and retirees have sacrificed enough without having to endure the...
  • Bills seek to deny freed terrorists unemployment, pension payments

    01/15/2014 10:59:42 AM PST · by Eleutheria5 · 5 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 15/1/14 | Lahav Harkov
    Likud Beytenu MKs prepared for the possibility that Israeli citizens will be included in the next prisoner release, submitting bills to deny terrorists National Insurance Institute allowances. "This bill is meant to stop the absurd situation in which a person enjoys benefits from the country he harmed," MK David Rotem (Likud Beytenu) said Wednesday. Rotem and coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) proposed almost identical bills taking away NII pensions and unemployment payments from terrorists freed in a prisoner release deal. The bills would not allow terrorists to receive funds from the NII during the duration of their original sentence,...
  • A Terrible “Deal” In Which Only Career Military Are Called Upon To Sacrifice

    01/14/2014 5:26:49 PM PST · by Jeff Chandler · 26 replies
    HughHewitt.com ^ | January 14, 2014 | Hugh Hewitt
    Incredibly, the House GOP has just agreed that the only group deserving budget punishment in the new spending deal is the career military. It is an obscene deal, one made worse by a patently cynical attempt to hide the blow to the military by “restoring” cuts to the pensions of wounded veterans. A vote for this betrayal of the military will haunt every Republican who supports it. When the first outlines of the budget “deal” emerged late last tear, I counseled caution as the final details could change.
  • Vast Majority of Military Pension Cuts Remain in Omnibus Spending Bill

    01/14/2014 2:26:56 PM PST · by SkyPilot · 17 replies
    The Washington Free Beacon ^ | 14 Jan 14 | Elizabeth Harrington
    The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill introduced Monday evening leaves the vast majority of pension cuts to military retirees intact, only exempting disabled veterans from the controversial provision included in last month’s budget deal. The spending bill amends a section of the bipartisan budget agreement that hit the military with reduced retirement pay, while also leaving generous benefits for civilian federal retirees untouched. The new spending bill, negotiated by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R., Ky.) and Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), would only restore retirement benefits for 17.5 percent of military retirees. Title...
  • 'A Promise Broken': Budget Deal Hits Military Retirees' Pensions

    01/10/2014 10:54:11 AM PST · by SkyPilot · 9 replies
    FOX News ^ | 10 Jan 14 | Christina Scotti
    <p>Last month’s congressional budget deal hit military retirees with 20 years of service or more in a very real and controversial way: It trimmed their cost-of-living adjustments [COLAs] by 1% each year until they reach 62.</p> <p>Veterans’ groups say this reduction could add up to an average of more than $80,000 in losses for retirees who are affected -- and a loss of confidence in the U.S. government’s word.</p>
  • Defending the Military Pension Cut (Barf Alert)

    01/08/2014 6:17:18 PM PST · by SkyPilot · 25 replies
    National Review ^ | 8 Jan 14 | Reihan Salam
    Congressional Republicans have been thinking up various clever ways to replace a cut in military pensions for under-62 military retirees with various other cuts in federal expenditures. This is a mistake. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget explains, the cut is modest: Among the elements of the budget deal that passed Congress last month was a small $6 billion change to the way military pensions are calculated for military retirees younger than 62. In the face of lawmakers who would roll back this change, both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal editorial boards defended the provision...
  • Chicago pension crisis called worst in nation

    12/31/2013 5:49:17 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 18 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 12/31/2013 | Rick Moran
    Calling the Chicago pension crisis the worst in the nation is saying something - like, how bad can it get? The city's underfunded pension system for teachers, firefighters, police, and transit workers threatens to punch a hole in the city budget that would devastate city services. The teachers' alone are $1 billion short of funds, while the city as a whole is looking at a whopping $27 billion shortfall. The state of Illinois is even worse off with more than $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Where is the money going to come from to fix the problem? Financial Times:...
  • AP IMPACT: The world braces for retirement crisis

    12/29/2013 7:00:27 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 14 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | 12/29/2013 | PAUL WISEMAN, DAVID MCHUGH and ELAINE KURTENBACH
    A global retirement crisis is bearing down on workers of all ages. How retirement systems vary, country to country Associated Press Spawned years before the Great Recession and the financial meltdown in 2008, the crisis was significantly worsened by those twin traumas. It will play out for decades, and its consequences will be far-reaching. Many people will be forced to work well past the traditional retirement age of 65 — to 70 or even longer. Living standards will fall, and poverty rates will rise for the elderly in wealthy countries that built safety nets for seniors after World War II.
  • Military Retirement Cuts: Prelude To Coming Social Security Changes

    12/28/2013 5:50:47 AM PST · by SkyPilot · 60 replies
    Forbes ^ | 20 Dec 13 | Robert Laura
    As someone who is constantly researching retirement, I find the recent funding cuts to military retirees very disheartening. Worse yet, I see this as a move to establish ground zero for the testing of changes to Social Security benefits. On Wednesday, the Senate passed a bipartisan budget that scales back cost of living adjustments for working age military retirees starting in 2015. Several sources including Military.com suggests that qualified participants could lose between $3,700 and $6,200 per year, or an aggregate between $83,000 and $124,000 before they retire based on rank, age and years of service. Despite some protests, a...
  • Retired teachers file first lawsuit against Illinois pension reform law

    12/28/2013 5:27:29 AM PST · by Libloather · 18 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 12/28/13 | Rick Pearson
    The Illinois Retired Teachers Association filed suit Friday challenging the constitutionality of the state’s historic but controversial plan to deal with the nation’s most underfunded public employee pension system. The lawsuit is the first of what could be many filed on behalf of state workers, university employees, lawmakers and teachers outside Chicago. The legal challenge argues the law, which limits cost-of-living increases, raises retirement ages for many current workers and caps the amount of salaries eligible for retirement benefits, violates the state Constitution. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of eight non-union retirees, teachers and superintendents...
  • Ryan knew about, ignored Military Pension Cuts 'Mistake' in Budget Deal

    12/20/2013 8:46:23 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 35 replies
    Breitbart Big Government ^ | 12-20-13 | Matthew Boyle
    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan admitted on Wednesday evening that cutting the pensions of disabled and injured U.S. military veterans as part of the deal he forged with Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) was a mistake. Apparently, Ryan knew the mistake was in the legislation for at least two full days before the House vote. He has not, however, provided any explanation for why he did nothing to fix it. While interviewing him on Kudlow Report on CNBC Wednesday evening, Larry Kudlow asked Ryan if he agreed with a statement Murray made on the Senate floor...
  • Patty Murray backs off military pension cut

    12/19/2013 4:30:20 AM PST · by SkyPilot · 37 replies
    Politico ^ | 18 Dec 13 | AUSTIN WRIGHT
    Sen. Patty Murray is distancing herself from a cut in military pensions in the budget deal she brokered with Rep. Paul Ryan. Her unease about a key element of her own deal, which passed the Senate on Wednesday and is now headed to President Barack Obama, comes amid a backlash from veterans groups and Senate defense hawks that has put her and her colleagues in a tough spot going into an election year. Murray’s response: The pension cut isn’t final. “We wrote this bill in a way that will allow two years before this change is implemented so that...
  • Next for pension reform: Chicago (only $29 billion in the hole)

    12/08/2013 5:35:40 AM PST · by Libloather · 24 replies
    For Chicago lawmakers who thought Tuesday's pension vote was politically dangerous, just wait until next year. Then on the docket in Springfield: gravely needed reforms for the retirement systems that benefit Chicago teachers, city workers, laborers, firefighters and police. **SNIP** Combined, the city of Chicago's four pension funds are $19.5 billion in the hole and only 36 percent funded. Add another $9.5 billion in unfunded liability from the Chicago teachers' fund for a grand total of $29 billion.
  • BREAKING: Detroit CAN file bankruptcy; pensions CAN be reduced forcibly

    12/03/2013 8:42:44 AM PST · by VideoPaul · 96 replies
    WXYZ-TV ^ | 12/3/2013 | Ross Jones
    Officially, the City of Detroit is the largest municipality in U.S. history to enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
  • Senate Democrats under the gun on proposed pension fix (Illinois budget cuts?)

    11/30/2013 12:04:40 AM PST · by Libloather · 14 replies
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 11/30/13 | Rick Pearson, Bob Secter
    **SNIP** At stake is Illinois' $100 billion pension shortfall that affects teachers outside Chicago, public university employees and state government workers. The worst-in-the-nation deficit is gobbling up tax money that otherwise could go to education and other programs, and has resulted in Illinois holding the lowest credit rating among the states. Illinois' pension problem also is being blamed in part for the state's struggling economy and high unemployment. **SNIP** The measure would have offered pensioners a choice of keeping their 3 percent yearly compounded cost-of-living increases in return for giving up access to state health care. Cullerton maintained that such...
  • Are Early Retirement Incentives A Good Deal for Cities? Not with defined-benefit retirement plans

    11/21/2013 4:08:32 PM PST · by MichCapCon · 6 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 11/20/2013 | James Hohman
    Michigan Radio reports that the City of Kalamazoo saved $7 million by offering an early retirement incentive to workers in 2012. The figure is fictitious. The city simply shifted costs from current operations to its pension fund, and not at a savings, either. Early retirement incentives boost employee's future pension payments in exchange for leaving the city's workforce prematurely. Employees near retirement age tend to have the longevity and experience that make them cost more than their younger colleagues. As these costlier employees are replaced by cheaper, younger workers the city's operating funds save some cash. This calculation, however, ignores...
  • Moody’s warns of bankruptcy in Scranton as city faces $20 million budget gap ( Penna )

    11/11/2013 3:08:11 PM PST · by george76 · 13 replies
    PA Independent ^ | November 11, 2013 | Eric Boehm
    Scranton could be headed towards another fiscal crisis like the one that resulted in city workers having their pay cut to minimum wage in 2012... Moody’s warned investors that Scranton could be facing the threat of default or bankruptcy thanks to a $20 million budget gap for the fiscal year that begins Jan. 1. The city is supposed to approve a new budget by Nov. 15, which would have to close that deficit to balance the budget. ... A similar crisis hit the city in July 2012, which lead to Mayor Chris Doherty cutting all city workers’ pay to minimum...
  • The Real Reasons We Have a Public Pension Crisis

    10/23/2013 7:10:19 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 13 replies
    The American ^ | 10/23/2013 | Caleb O. Brown
    America’s public pension funds are in trouble because sketchy Mr. Wall Street sold some slack-jawed pension fund managers on risky investments with promises of high returns that may never materialize. Or so Matt Taibbi seems to believe. In a recent piece in Rolling Stone, Taibbi blames public pensions’ current woes on “Gordon Gekko wanna-be’s” (sic), “scorched-earth takeover artists like Bain Capital,” and “Wall Street,” who used the financial crisis to lure weakened pension funds into investing in “alternatives.” Alternatives are investment vehicles that are different from stocks, bonds, and commodities in that they are typically traded by individuals without the...
  • Lois Lerner's Pension Could Be as Much as $102,600/Year, $3.96 Million Lifetime

    10/01/2013 9:39:23 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 15 replies
    CNS News ^ | 10/01/2013 | Pete Sepp
    Even before she retired last week, scandalized IRS official Lois Lerner's compensation was already attracting attention. While on administrative leave, federal rules allowed her to keep collecting a salary, one that reportedly totaled $177,000. So it was no surprise when speculation arose over how much Lerner could collect in federal pension benefits. Unfortunately, that speculation, which initially projected a benefit of over $50,000, might be off by about half ... and in the wrong direction. National Taxpayers Union calculations show that Lerner could qualify for a starting pension at the annual equivalent of as much as $102,600, and up to...
  • Lerner´s Pension Could Be as Much as $102,600/Year, $3.96 Million Lifetime

    09/30/2013 2:19:37 PM PDT · by Nachum · 12 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | 9/30/13 | Pete Sepp
    Even before she retired last week, scandalized IRS official Lois Lerner´s compensation was already attracting attention. While on administrative leave, federal rules allowed her to keep collecting a salary, one that reportedly totaled $177,000. So it was no surprise when speculation arose over how much Lerner could collect in federal pension benefits. Unfortunately, that speculation, which initially projected a benefit of over $50,000, might be off by about half ... and in the wrong direction. National Taxpayers Union calculations show that Lerner could qualify for a starting pension at the annual equivalent of as much as $102,600, and up to
  • Yes, Chile's Private Pension Model Works, Big Time

    09/27/2013 10:02:36 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 25 replies
    IBD ^ | 09/27/2013
    Pensions: In Chile, a major study shows the nation's private retirement accounts provide workers pensions worth 87% of their salaries, 73% of that from profits on savings. So much for the canard about the perils of markets. The story was front-page news in Chile's largest newspapers, El Mercurio and La Tercera, on Sept. 3, a powerful affirmation of what former Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain called "The Chilean Model" of private retirement accounts. The study of 28,000 households by Dictuc, a consultancy affiliated with the Catholic University of Chile, showed that male workers who contributed just 10%...
  • Corrupt — and Set for Life: NY officials convicted of fraud still draw taxpayer-funded pensions.

    09/24/2013 7:50:06 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    National Review ^ | 09/24/2013 | Jillian Kay Melchior
    A corruption conviction doesn’t necessarily stop elected officials from profiting at the taxpayers’ expense. But a new effort led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara aims to go after politicians’ public pensions when the courts find them guilty. “Our primary mission is to address and to undo injustice, and, in the public-corruption context, a galling injustice that sticks in the craw of every thinking New Yorker is the almost inviolable right of even the most corrupt elected official — even after being convicted by a jury and jailed by a judge — to draw a publicly funded pension until his dying...
  • POLAND CONFISCATES HALF OF CITIZENS' PENSIONS: Attempt to delay nation's looming debt crisis

    09/10/2013 11:11:03 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 26 replies
    WND ^ | 09/10/2013 | Jerome Corsi
    Quietly, as the looming possibility of a U.S. military attack on Syria dominated news internationally, the government of Poland announced a decision to confiscate half of the nation’s pension funds in an attempt to delay an impending government debt crisis. While details remain hazy, Reuters reported Sept. 4 that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced a government decision to transfer to ZUS, the government pension system, all bond investments in privately owned pension funds within the state-guaranteed system. For now, private pensions in Poland will be allowed to keep equity investments that in the Polish state-guaranteed pension system tend to...
  • New Guide: Illinois Pension Reform is Possible

    09/04/2013 3:45:11 PM PDT · by ThethoughtsofGreg · 2 replies
    American Legislator ^ | 9-4-13 | Andrew Bender
    The American Legislative Exchange Council Center For State Fiscal Reform’s latest publication, Keeping the Promise: State Solutions for Government Pension Reform, offers a solution-based perspective that should be valuable even for high-tax and higher-debt Illinois in its search for Illinois pension reform. Illinois pensions face a liability of at least $97 billion, with some estimates much higher. Gov. Pat Quinn has gone so far as to deny paychecks to the state legislature in attempt to put a more immediate cost on inaction. The governor’s office projected the defined-benefit liability will grow by $5 million per day, an improvement over last...
  • Philly schools' pension nightmare

    09/04/2013 10:35:29 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 4 replies
    Public Sector Inc ^ | 09/04/2013 | Steve Malanga
    The School District of Philadelphia's financial woes became a national story last week when the New York Times featured a piece on the district's efforts to borrow $50 million to make up a significant funding shortfall that actually threatened the start of the school year. In that piece the reporters attributed the district's problems to a range of issues, including rising pension costs and cuts to state education aid, but the piece also noted that it was unclear exactly what the system owed on pensions. However, a research piece earlier this year (mentioned in this June PSI blog item)...
  • How Pension Plans Beguiled Us (And how they will eventually tear apart communities)

    08/26/2013 11:35:16 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 35 replies
    FrontPage Mag ^ | 08/26/2013 | Prof. Mark Hendrickson, Grove City College
    Having a pension plan has been part of the American Dream for millions of workers. Put in thirty or thirty-five years with a company, retire, and then the company will send you a check every month for the rest of your life—an attractive prospect. The amount of the check is pre-determined. It is a “defined benefit” promised to the worker. Unfortunately, this simple vision has proved difficult to implement. The basic problem has been that pensions are a promise for the future, but nobody can guarantee the future. In our dynamic economy, the Schumpeterian process of “creative destruction” relentlessly weeds...
  • State to reduce pensions of 3 ex-firefighters

    08/21/2013 6:48:47 AM PDT · by texas booster · 13 replies
    The Seattle Times ^ | Tuesday, August 20, 2013 | Mike Baker
    Washington auditors have determined that pre-retirement salary increases led to more than $30,000 in excess pension payments for three former firefighters, and the state projects it will save the system more than $140,000 by permanently reducing their combined pension values. ... Dave Nelsen, the legal and legislative services manager at the state Department of Retirement Systems, said Lakewood officials who approved the raises believed what they were doing was OK. “I got no indication whatsoever that there was any desire to put one over on anybody,” Nelsen said. ... Even with the reductions, Hull, Bronoske and McGovern will still have...