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The Suddenly Poor Life: Millions Will Lose Their Pensions

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by Goldhedge, Mar 4, 2016.



  1. tom baxter

    tom baxter back from 2004

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    Most do, with mountains of debt and no savings.
     
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  2. oldgaranddad

    oldgaranddad Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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  3. the_shootist

    the_shootist The war is here on our doorstep! Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    I couldn't sleep at night!
     
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  4. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Lotta people going to be pissed off that still remember .......... hoffa................. just sayin.

    Why 29%? Half way between a 1/4 but less than 1/3.......Why not a nice round 25% or 1/3 or 30% or 33%.
    Yep sorry Tom you were going to get 3K a month but now your going to get $2130.........
    Tom now knows it was never his because he never held it.........
    Tom knows he is now at their mercey..........
    Tom knows it was all lies........ all the years of sweat and toil......
    Tom knows he is no longer anyone's bitch........
    Tom realizes all the union reps made HUGE money.
    Tom realizes all the financial people made HUGE money and got their money UPFRONT.................
    Tom realizes everyone got paid their share and then some of his of his share........
    What they fail to realize is Tom's wife passed away a few years ago........
    Tom has some kids & grandkids so he turns everything over to them.......
    Tom just got a cancer diagnosis................................................................
    Tom was a sniper in Nam...... and has nothing else to loose.....................
    Tom knows there are THOUSANDS all over the country just like him........
    Tom knows it's hunting season............
     
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  5. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    Teamsters are died in the wool dems too.
     
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  6. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  8. oldgaranddad

    oldgaranddad Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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  9. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    ((Apparently these officers can't wrap their heads around how an incremental $40 million contribution from the City of Dallas will solve their pension's $3 billion funding shortfall...they aren't the only ones.))
    Why should the city make up for their funds criminal operators, jail all the bastards that made the crooked investments.
     
  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Monument to waste
    • 8 hrs ago

    Speaking of monuments that should be torn down, let's get rid of that ostentatious dome in Harrisburg, which serves as a monument to wasteful, do-nothing government.

    Here's just one example among many: the "shadow budget."

    We'll let Nathan A. Benefield explain. He's vice president and COO of the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank that seeks to influence public policy. He's commenting on the budget mess state lawmakers created with the help of Gov. Tom Wolf.

    "The spending plan Wolf let become law represents just 40 percent of total state spending," Benefield explained in a recent op-ed. "An astounding 60 percent of state government's costs are 'off book' in a largely unknown and rarely scrutinized 'shadow budget.'

    "This shadow budget includes more than 150 'special funds' that often increase each year without review. Funds like the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund; the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund; and the Race Horse Development Fund, which alone allocates $250 million per year."

    What you should know about the state budget is that lawmakers approved spending $32 billion this fiscal year — but came up $1.5 billion short on the revenue side. Add last year's revenue shortfall of $700 million to the mix and lawmakers gave their blessing to a spending plan that is $2.2 billion in the red even though the state constitution requires a balanced budget. Making matters worse, Gov. Wolf accepted the plan, though he chose not to sign it — as if that somehow lets him off the hook for yet another round of state government fiscal incompetency.

    Meanwhile, Republican senators stitched together a patchwork quilt of tax proposals to fill in the hole they dug — proposals that would dig deep into the pockets of Pennsylvania's working class citizens. This tax hike package, as Benefield outlined, "would slap additional taxes on things like home heating bills, electricity, and even cellphone service."

    That's not all. According to an economic analysis by the Beacon Hill Institute, the Senate plan also "would cost 3,600 jobs and $932 million in disposable income."

    Fortunately, Republicans in the state House weren't enamored with their colleagues' handiwork. And so they turned their attention to that "shadow budget" we told you about with all of those "special funds." After a few weeks work, according to a report in Penn Live, House Republicans found "about 40 special funds containing $2.2 billion in uncommitted money sitting idle that if taken is believed would have no impact on the operation of programs they are intended to fund."

    Commendations to House Republicans. We hope their hard work is embraced by the Senate and handed off to the governor, who should sign on without reservation. That said, the problem with state government isn't too little revenue, it's too much spending. That taxpayer money piles up in "special funds," where much of it lays idle, is proof of Harrisburg's incredibly wasteful ways.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_b41333c9-98c8-508d-bedd-4e580893b6e6.html
     
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  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    What will the House do? It's Pennsylvania's $2B question
    • By MARC LEVY Associated Press
    • 13 hrs ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The question of what Pennsylvania's House Republican majority will do about a $2.2 billion hole in the state budget is sending ripples of worry through some quarters.

    House GOP leaders have been quiet this month after the Republican-controlled Senate passed a bipartisan revenue plan in July that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf supports.

    It is now two months since the Legislature overwhelmingly approved a 3 percent spending bump in the shadow of state government's largest shortfall since the recession.

    "I don't think anyone thought it was going to go on this long," said Mark DiRocco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. Why it has "no one seems to understand," he said.

    The quandary comes two years after Wolf and Republican lawmakers battled through a record-long, nine-month stalemate.

    One of the biggest spending increases in this year's budget bill went to services for people with autism and intellectual disabilities, making it the best budget in a decade for those residents, said Maureen Cronin of the Arc of Pennsylvania. Now, Arc chapters from around the state are watching with rising concern.

    "When they call me, they go, 'Is this going to be another nine months?'" Cronin said. "It's unnerving to watch. Every day, we're like 'What else is going to happen?' We appreciate how legislators are looking under every rock to try to find funds. But, at this point, we need a budget."

    Looming in September is the potential for another downgrade to Pennsylvania's battered credit rating and Wolf may need to start freezing cash for state programs or postponing payments to vendors.

    The Capitol is largely empty. Fingerpointing is sporadic.

    Wolf is saying little and, with the government ostensibly operating normally, there's little public pressure to act, House members say. The House is scheduled to return to session Sept. 11, and votes are unlikely before then.

    Instead of trying to hammer out a deal with Wolf or Senate leaders, top House Republicans have hunkered down and let rank-and-file members float ideas. They have had little contact with Wolf, Democratic lawmakers or Senate leaders.

    "The governor's sitting around waiting, the Senate's sitting around waiting and our leadership is sitting around waiting to see if there's an organic solution," said Rep. John Taylor, R-Philadelphia. "But I would predict there's not."

    Taylor, some moderate Republicans and many House Democrats see an income tax increase as the fairest way to resolve an entrenched deficit that has dogged lawmakers since the Recession. But Wolf isn't asking for an income tax and, with the Legislature ruled by anti-tax GOP majorities, House Republicans are searching for other sources of cash.

    "There's a lot of little pieces that have to come together yet, but we all want to avert a financial crisis," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Stan Saylor, R-York, said Thursday.

    After years of opposition, House GOP leaders may eventually join Senate Republican leaders in allowing a vote on a Marcellus Shale natural gas production tax, a key pursuit of Wolf's. However, many House members who support the idea say they want a bigger tax than the $100 million proposal included in the Senate's revenue package.

    House Republicans otherwise dislike the Senate's revenue plan. Even House Democratic leadership has been silent, reflecting rank-and-file discomfort.

    Particularly objectionable is $1.3 billion in borrowing; $400 million in higher taxes on consumers' utility bills, primarily natural gas service; and $200 million in anticipated license fees by allowing an expansion of commercial casino offerings.

    When it comes to expanding gambling, many House members side with allowing bars and truck stops to install slot-machine-style gambling terminals, rather than authorizing more commercial casinos.

    House GOP members are trying to assemble a plan to divert cash from off-budget programs. How much money is actually available is in question, and siphoning cash from such operations as transportation projects or emergency response centers could be politically thorny.

    Meanwhile, Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, said he wants hundreds of millions of dollars in "corporate welfare" squeezed out. Rep. Carl Metzgar, R-Somerset, is among a group pressing House GOP leaders to pare the nearly $32 billion budget bill that lawmakers approved June 30. And $600 million in aid to Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Lincoln and the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary school remains in limbo in the Legislature.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_06197026-7527-5239-9127-65c065f54aa3.html
     
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  20. oldgaranddad

    oldgaranddad Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Temporary solution, continuing misery
    • 8 hrs ago

    Welcome to Pennsylvania, land of temporary solutions and insufficient fixes.

    A case in point was the layoff last December of 522 workers who staffed the state's call centers for unemployment compensation. This meant folks already stressed about losing their income could not get the wheels turning for essential benefits or to resolve issues affecting their benefits -- because their calls weren't getting answered.

    This occurred because the state Senate, commanded by Republicans, would not approve Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's request for $57 million to supplement the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund, part of which is used to manage Unemployment Compensation Department operations. Thus the layoffs.

    And so people gave up calling the call centers and started lining up -- some with children in tow -- at unemployment office doors even before the sun rose in a desperate attempt to get help. This deplorable situation went on until April, when some hires were finally made after the department received $15 million from lawmakers. Of course, this was far short of the requested $57 million, resulting in the hiring of just 186 workers to fill 522 furloughed positions.

    Bottom line: This insufficient fix was merely a temporary solution that has led back to where we began. In other words, folks dependent on unemployment compensation once again are greeted with busy signals -- over and over again -- when they call the call centers for help. That's not to mention the backlog of appeals and interminably long waits for claims processing.

    Does anybody in Harrisburg have a heart?

    At least members of the House Labor and Industry Committee have interest. They held a public hearing this week at which Brenda Warburton, executive deputy secretary of the state budget office, tried to answer questions for Wolf's acting secretary of Labor and Industry. Asked by state Rep. John Galloway, D-140, of Falls, how much money is needed to properly fund the department, Warburton answered the question with a question: "What is the target customer service level?"

    Huh? How about the level at which there are enough call center workers to answer calls without making worried applicants call back dozens of times or line up outside office doors in the cold and dark. Let's call it an appropriate level -- maybe somewhere in the vicinity of the 522 employees who were furloughed last year. We're not bureaucrats, but that seems like a reasonable starting point, or maybe it's the end point.

    Either way, it doesn't seem that difficult to gauge what's needed to get the process at least near where it should be.

    Galloway said what's needed is "leadership, and we're looking to the governor and the Department of Labor to lead by example and give us a number."

    Well said. It will then be up to lawmakers to turn that number into actual funding. Given lawmakers current inability to fund this year's overall state budget, seems to us leadership needs to emerge out of the Legislature as well.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

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  22. mtnman

    mtnman Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Ya know what? I couldn't care less about a Union worker losing his pension. Those union workers as a block killed manufacturing in this country. Anyone that can add or subtract could see that the numbers just don't add up, huge monthly paycheck for doing nothing is not sustainable, yet they followed what the Union bosses said and voted accordingly.
     
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  23. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Maybe if the remaining actually worked 40 hrs instead of 15 and F'ing off the 522 are not needed........
     
  24. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    I love how people blame the working man and spare the bosses...https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathan...sts-of-firing-americas-top-ceos/#1a9d19f14bc7 Follow the money boys...
     
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  25. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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  26. hammerhead

    hammerhead Not just a screen name Gold Chaser

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    They were lining up in the early morning hours, some with children in tow to fill out job applications? How commendable.
     
  27. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Actually they were lining up to get into Career Link (unemployment) offices to try to get help in applying for unemployment.
     
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  28. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    How is it that Unemployment is so low under obama that there is still such a need for this infrastructure to hand out UE and welfare checks? They havent been lying to us about the real unemployment rate have they??
    ((when some hires were finally made after the department received $15 million from lawmakers. Of course, this was far short of the requested $57 million, resulting in the hiring of just 186 workers to fill 522 furloughed positions.)) 186 people making over $80K each at this rate??


     
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  29. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Through their teeth.
     
  30. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    This is a big deal here. Shorthand: The democrats stopped paying in the required amounts over the last 15 years or so. Now we are in a gigantic hole for these promised pensions. The adults have just got control of both houses and the governor's office, and reality in hard math has appeared. The solution proposed is to cut EVERYTHING the government here spends on, and also cut current pension increases, cut what the current workers are promised, and put all new hires on a 401k type program. This is some hard medicine, but if we don't take it now we will need cancer type surgery in the future. Of course there is much wailing and crying, esp. from the education racket, oh we can't cut education that will be doom. Let me tell you something, 100 years ago children were educated in a shack with a wood stove, the books were old, there was no food provided, yet the average 8th grader was better educated than today's college graduates in many ways. We have the internet now, in my opinion why are we doing brick and mortar schools? Why are we wasting capital on giant schools and all the staff, when one teacher can teach 100's over the internet? Pure nonsense. Abraham Lincoln taught himself by reading books by candlelight. He was very well educated. I personally learned very little in formal school, most of what I have learned was from reading books, not somebody writing on a chalkboard.
     
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  31. hammerhead

    hammerhead Not just a screen name Gold Chaser

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    I realize that.
     
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  32. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Oops...........my mistake.
     
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  33. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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  34. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Remember me last Christmas?

    At least $37 million in bogus payments were made to veterans who were dead, according to an audit released by the Social Security inspector general, The Washington Times reported over the weekend.


    Investigators compared the records of the Department of Veterans Affairs to those receiving Social Security and discovered that nearly 4,000 people who were listed as dead by the VA were still getting their regular payments.

    Some of those people who were recorded as dead, it turns out, were actually still alive. Others, however, were indeed deceased but continued receiving their checks anyway.

    Yep, social security killed me and told the VA I was dead.
     
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  35. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    Know a guy who road his BMW motorcycle through Mexico.

    He had an interesting observation.

    Coming back to the US he noticed all the homeless on street corners flying their signs.


    He noted that in all his miles through Mexico he saw ZERO homeless people on corners.

    Apparently, people actually look for work in Mexico and find it!
     
  36. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  37. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Pension Ponzi Exposed: Minnesota Underfunding Triples After Tweaking This One Small Assumption...

    [​IMG]
    by Tyler Durden
    Sep 2, 2017 11:44 AM


    Defined Benefit Pension Plans are, in many cases, a ponzi scheme. Current assets are used to pay current claims in full despite insufficient funding to pay future liabilities... classic Ponzi. But unlike wall street and corporate ponzi schemes no one goes to jail here because the establishment is complicit. Everyone from government officials to union bosses are incentivized to maintain the status quo...public employees get to sleep better at night thinking they have a "retirement plan," public legislators get to be re-elected by union membership while pretending their states are solvent and union bosses get to keep their jobs while hiding the truth from employees.

    So what allows this ponzi to persist? It all comes down to one simple assumption: Discount Rates. You see, if you simply discount future liabilities at a high enough discount rate then you can make any massively underfunded pension ponzi look like a stable, healthy retirement gold mine.

    In fact, just over a year ago we took a look at what would happen if we calculated the true underfunded level of America's public pensions at more reasonable discount rates. The result showed that the media's highly referenced underfunding of $2 trillion soared to something closer to $5-$8 trillion when more reasonable discount rates were employed.

    We decided to take a look at what would happen if all federal, state and local pension plans decided to heed the advice of Mr. Gross. As one might suspect, the results are not pleasant. We conservatively assume that public pensions are currently $2.0 trillion underfunded ($4.5 trillion of assets for $6.5 trillion of liabilities) even though we've seen estimates that suggest $3.5 trillion or more might be more appropriate. We then adjusted the return on asset assumption down from the 7.5% used by most pensions to the 4.0% suggested by Mr. Gross and found that true public pension underfunding could be closer to $5.5 trillion, or over 2.5x more than current estimates. Others have suggested that returns should be closer to risk-free rates which would imply an even more draconian $8.4 trillion underfunding.



    [​IMG]



    Now, the state of Minnesota has gracefully stepped forward to beautifully illustrate our point. Upon making a few minor "tweaks" to their various funds' discount rates, the state found that their aggregate pension underfunding more than tripled from roughly $16 billion to over $50 billion. Here's more from Bloomberg:

    Minnesota’s debt to its workers’ retirement system has soared by $33.4 billion, or $6,000 for every resident, courtesy of accounting rules.

    The jump caused the finances of Minnesota’s pensions to erode more than any other state’s last year as accounting standards seek to prevent governments from using overly optimistic assumptions to minimize what they owe public employees decades from now. Because of changes in actuarial math, Minnesota in 2016 reported having just 53 percent of what it needed to cover promised benefits, down from 80 percent a year earlier, transforming it from one of the best funded state systems to the seventh worst, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    The Minnesota’s teachers’ pension fund, which had $19.4 billion in assets as of June 30, 2016, is expected to go broke in 2052. As a result of the latest rules the pension has started using a rate of 4.7 percent to discount its liabilities, down from the 8 percent used previously. As a result, its liabilities increased by $16.7 billion.

    But other factors also helped boost Minnesota’s liabilities: Eight of Minnesota’s nine pensions reduced their assumed rate of return on their investments to 7.5 percent from 7.9 percent, while three began factoring in longer life expectancy.


    All of which resulted in this:

    [​IMG]


    Of course, Minnesota's underfunding didn't just magically "soar by $33.4 billion" as Bloomberg puts it...in reality, the state's pensions were always underfunded by ~$50 billion...the only difference is that that some pension administrators finally decided to stop lying to their retirees and report reality.

    All of which rendered this Bloomberg map from just two months ago showing an 80% funding ratio for Minnesota completely obsolete...

    [​IMG]



    ...Sorry, Minnesota teachers but you're almost as screwed as your counterparts in Illinois...you just didn't know it until your bosses finally decided to stop lying to you.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-...nding-triples-after-tweaking-one-small-assump
     
  38. hammerhead

    hammerhead Not just a screen name Gold Chaser

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    It's all good, searcher bro man dude. I'm not privy to collect and I realize unemployment can help cross a bridge but it also lends to dependency and non-productivity.
     
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  39. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  40. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Kentucky Public Employee Retirements Surge As Fears Of Pension Collapse Mount

    [​IMG]
    by Tyler Durden
    Sep 6, 2017 4:35 AM


    Slowly but surely it is becoming increasingly clear to public workers in states with massively underfunded pensions that they've been lied to for the past several decades as their states can't possibly afford to pay for the retirement they've all been promised. As a local radio station in Bowling Green points out today, fears over potential pension changes in Kentucky have resulted in a surge of early retirements as workers move to lock in payouts before any potential cuts go into effect.

    More state workers retired last month than the year before amid concerns that the legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin will make changes to state retirement plans.

    David Smith, executive director for the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said state workers have been retiring after consultants hired by the state recommended drastic changes to the pension systems.

    “There are folks that are saying you know what, I don’t care, I’m going to lock in my retirement now and get out while I can and fight it as a retiree if they go and change the retiree benefits,” he said.

    The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that there was a 20 percent jump in state worker retirements last month.

    “Who are they going to replace them with if they truly offer up what they’re proposing or what was proposed? Who is going to want to work for state government? I wouldn’t,” Smith said.

    As we pointed out last week, Kentucky's public pensions face a daunting funding hole of $33-$84 billion, depending on your discount rate assumptions, according to a recent analysis conducted by PFM Group.

    [​IMG]



    The problem is that the aggregate underfunded liability of pensions in states like Kentucky have become so incredibly large that massive increases in annual contributions, courtesy of taxpayers, can't possibly offset liability growth and annual payouts. All the while, the funding for these ever increasing annual contributions comes out of budgets for things like public schools even though the incremental funding has no shot of fixing a system that is hopelessly "too big to bail."

    [​IMG]



    So what can Kentucky do to solve their pension crisis? Well, as it turns out they hired a pension consultant, PFM Group, in May of last year to answer that exact question. Unfortunately, PFM's conclusions, which include freezing current pension plans, slashing benefit payments for current retirees and converting future employees to a 401(k), are somewhat less than 'perfectly acceptable' for both pensioners and elected officials who depend upon votes from public employee unions in order to keep their jobs...it's a nice little circular ref that ensures that taxpayers will always lose in the fight to fix America's broken pension system.

    Be that as it may, here is a recap of PFM's suggestions to Kentucky's Public Pension Oversight Board courtesy of the Lexington Herald Leader:

    An independent consultant recommended sweeping changes Monday to the pension systems that cover most of Kentucky’s public workers, creating the possibility that lawmakers will cut payments to existing retirees and force most current and future hires into 401(k)-style retirement plans.

    If the legislature accepts the recommendations, it would effectively end the promise of a pension check for most of Kentucky’s future state and local government workers and freeze the pension benefits of most current state and local workers. All of those workers would then be shifted to a 401(k)-style investment plan that offers defined employer contributions rather than a defined retirement benefit.

    PFM also recommended increasing the retirement age to 65 for most workers.

    The 401 (k)-style plans would require a mandatory employee contribution of 3 percent of their salary and a guaranteed employer contribution of 2 percent of their salary. The state also would provide a 50 percent match on the next 6 percent of income contributed by the employee, bringing the state’s maximum contribution to 5 percent. The maximum total contribution from the employer and the employee would be 14 percent.

    For those already retired, the consultant recommended taking away all cost of living benefits that state and local government retirees received between 1996 and 2012, a move that could significantly reduce the monthly checks that many retirees receive. For example, a government worker who retired in 2001 or before could see their benefit rolled back by 25 percent or more, PFM calculated.

    The consultant also recommended eliminating the use of unused sick days and compensatory leave to increase pension benefits.

    Even if all of that is accomplished, State Budget Director John Chilton said Kentucky would still need to find an extra $1 billion a year just to keep its frozen pension systems afloat. Moreover, absent tax hikes the state will ultimately be forced to cut funding for K-12 schools by $510 million and slash spending at most other agencies by nearly 17% to make up the difference.

    Meanwhile, PFM warned that the typical "kick the can down the road approach" would not work in Kentucky and that current retiree benefits would have to be cut.

    “This is the time to act,” said Michael Nadol of PFM. “This is not the time to craft a solution that kicks the can down the road.”

    “All of the unfunded liability that the commonwealth now faces is associated with folks that are already on board or already retired,” he said. “Modifying benefits for future hires only helps you stop the hole from getting deeper, it doesn’t help you climb up and out on to more solid footing going forward.”

    Of course, no amount of math and logic will ever be sufficient to convince a bunch of retired public employees that they have been sold a lie that will inevitably fail now or fail later (take your pick) if drastic measures aren't taken in the very near future.

    Nicolai Jilek, the legislative representative for the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police, said expecting first responders to work until they are 60 is problematic given the physical requirements of the job.

    “We’re very grateful that PFM is just offering recommendations … that they are not lawmakers because his plan would be horrible for first responders,” Jilek said.

    Stephanie Winkler, president of the Kentucky Education Association, shared a similar sentiment.

    “The PFM had some pretty drastic recommendations that we think are not what’s in the best interest of public school employees and public school students,” Winkler said.

    Jim Carroll, president of Kentucky Government Retirees, said his group would likely sue if the legislature proceeds with PFM’s recommendation to roll back the cost of living adjustment that retirees received between 1996 and 2012.

    “We think its very clear that the cost of living adjustments that were granted to us are ours as long as we are retirees in the system,” Carroll said.

    As such, no matter the long-term consequences, we suspect the "kick the can down the road" approach to pension reform will continue to win right up until the plans actually run out of money...then we'll all lose together.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-...etirements-surge-fears-pension-collapse-mount
     
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