Posts Tagged ‘pension’

The Real Cost of Public Pensions

Abstract: Policymakers at every level of government are confronting the cost of fringe benefits for public-sector workers. The difficulty of placing an economic value on public employees’ pensions, however, means that policymakers rarely know whether benefits are excessive, especially as interest groups take advantage of the confusion by advancing misleading arguments. This paper discusses how to properly calculate the cost of public defined-benefit pension benefits, compares the cost of these benefits to private-sector retirement plans, and refutes two of the most common arguments that public pension benefits are somehow modest.

The generosity of public-sector pension benefits has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, as states and local governments search for ways to close their budget deficits. The intense battles over public-sector collective bargaining in Wisconsin and Ohio, for example, have been seen as conflicts over whether to reduce public-pension benefits for future retirees. Whether pension cutbacks are justified, however, depends crucially on whether existing benefits are excessively generous compared to those in the private sector. More broadly, policymakers cannot know if total compensation in the public sector—including salaries, benefits, and job security—is at an appropriate market level without a proper understanding of pension costs.

Read more by Jason Richwine, Ph.D. from Heritage.org May 31, 2012

Poland Confiscates Half Of Private Pension Funds To “Cut” Sovereign Debt Load

While the world was glued to the developments in the Mediterranean in the past week, Poland took a page straight out of Rahm Emanuel’s playbook and in order to not let a crisis go to waste, announced quietly that it would transfer to the state - i.e., confiscate - the bulk of assets owned by the country’s private pension funds (many of them owned by such foreign firms as PIMCO parent Allianz, AXA, Generali, ING and Aviva), without offering any compensation. In effect, the state just nationalized roughly half of the private sector pension fund assets, although it had a more politically correct name for it: pension overhaul.

By way of background, Poland has a hybrid pension system: as Reuters explains, mandatory contributions are made into both the state pension vehicle, known as ZUS, and the private funds, which are collectively known by the Polish acronym OFE. Bonds make up roughly half the private funds’ portfolios, with the rest company stocks.

And while a change to state-pension funds was long awaited - an overhaul if you will - nobody expected that this would entail a literal pillage of private sector assets.

Read more at ZeroHedge.com

My Hometown: What Detroit’s Demise Says About America

Detroit native calls Motown’s economic and social ills a warning for the nation.

My ancestors helped build Detroit. The Fourniers were fur-trappers and farmers living hard by the Detroit River until the fledgling auto industry beckoned in the early 1900s with a better deal: $5 a day and a pension.

In the 1960s, my father opted out of the family business to be a police officer. He served Detroit for 25 years as part of the elite motorcycle unit that doubled as the riot squad. One of my earlier memories is of my parents, dressed in church clothes, leaving our house to attend the 1967 funeral of a riot cop.

Mom and dad raised four children at 15285 Coram in the city’s northeast corner, the same block upon which they were raised. All this to say: I love my hometown. And I hate what Detroit’s demise might bode for our country.

Read more by Ron Fournier at NationalJournal.com

Here Comes Obama’s Raid On YOUR Retirement

Yeah, it’s going to do you a lot of good….

President Obama’s budget, to be released next week, will limit how much wealthy individuals – like Mitt Romney – can keep in IRAs and other retirement accounts.

Under the plan, a taxpayer’s tax-preferred retirement account, like an IRA, could not finance more than $205,000 per year of retirement – or right around $3 million this year.

Read more by Karl Denninger at market-ticker.org

How They Will Steal Your Retirement

I’ve laid this out before but it’s time to do it again, because it’s coming folks.

The recent ditty on how “nobody needs more than $3m for retirement”, defined as “whatever you need to get a $200,000 annuity”, is just one facet of how this will play out.

Since I started writing The Ticker I have been repeatedly asked where one should put their assets to evade confiscation, whether through outright acts of theft, devaluation or any other means.

Read more by Karl Denninger at market-ticker.org

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