Monday, December 29, 2014

Public Pensions, Pension Reform, Tweets

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pension Reform, Criticisms

Monday, December 15, 2014

Illinois, Public Pensions, Absurdity

 Judge rules that all benefits are forever, no matter the public cost--

Illinois’s Pension Absurdity - WSJ: "... The fiscally delinquent state has accrued a $111 billion unfunded pension liability—a 75% increase from five years ago—in addition to $56 billion in debt for retiree health benefits. Incredibly, the state is spending more of its general fund on pensions than on K-12 education. One in four tax dollars pays for retirement benefits. Last year the state had to defer $7 billion in bills to contractors. This is after Democrats in 2011 raised income and corporate taxes by 67% and 30%, respectively. Little wonder that Illinois has the nation’s worst credit rating... Yet Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz... rejected all pension trims as a violation of the state Constitution... According to Judge Belz, there is “no legally cognizable affirmative defense” for impairing pensions benefit. Except, well, 80 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Federal courts have established that states may invoke their police powers to impair contracts. In the 1934 case Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that emergencies “may justify the exercise of [the State’s] continuing and dominant protective power notwithstanding interference with contracts,” which the U.S. Constitution otherwise prohibits.... " (read more at the link above)


Monday, December 8, 2014

Pensions make investing too complex

How pensions make investing too complex: "Pricey consultants have convinced many pension funds to pile into private equity, real estate and hedge funds, which don’t necessarily promise higher returns or long-term investing. KKR & Co., a private equity firm, has threatened to bar the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System from investing in KKR’s funds if the Iowa system complies with a public records request for information on what it is paying KKR in fees."


Monday, December 1, 2014

Only 7 percent of employers offer new employees traditional pensions

Nearly a quarter of Fortune 500 companies still offer pensions to new hires - The Washington Post: "... Only 7 percent of employers studied offer new employees traditional pensions, which pay out a certain amount at retirement based on a worker’s pay and how long they stayed with a company. So where can you still get a job with a pension? The plans are more prevalent in some industries versus others. For instance, defined benefit plans are still offered by most large insurance and utility companies, according to Towers Watson. But the plans are nonexistent among aerospace, construction and tourism companies, which only offer defined contribution plans, such as a 401(k) plan...."