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Keyword: pension

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  • 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 · 15 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...
  • 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...