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Old 04-28-2011, 10:56 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
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News Headlines (http://www.cnbc.com/id/42798719 - broken link)

Quote:
The value of the all state funds' assets peaked at $3.2 trillion in 2007 then fell by more than a quarter to $2.8 trillion in 2008, when the financial crisis took hold, according to the Federal Reserve.

Last week, two public pension fund associations said the assets held by retirement systems rose to $2.93 trillion in 2010, indicating the worst of the crisis may be over.

While retirement systems can pay for pensions to current retirees, they are short more than $600 billion for future benefit payments, a report from the Pew Center on the States said earlier this week.

Those in the $2.9 trillion U.S. municipal bond market are worried that the large obligations could affect the credit-worthiness of many states. On Wednesday, two of the three major rating agencies raised flags about the fiscal condition of New Jersey, citing the state's $31 billion public pension shortfall.
As with Medicare us currently retired geezers are in a different boat in MANY states. Illinois, New Jersey and a few others are another story.

?
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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Even then those same plus other experts testified to copngress in state of the state hearings not long ago that pension funds are not really a worry. Overall they average 2% of state budgets.I would be much more worried about the state liabilty starting in 2017 from massive increase in state mediciad obligation really;which nelsen of nebraska said would bankrupt his state in getting a exemption in the healthcare bill.We have al;reqady seen that mnay priavte pension funds have been under funded and the result in mnay like the airlines.Its funy that the article did mentio the heqaring testimnay since it was jus a month or two ago by the experts.

Last edited by texdav; 04-28-2011 at 11:47 AM..
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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Yep. Under funding pension and healthcare funds for retirees has been a favorite budget balancing trick for companies, and governments at all levels for awhile. It can be done quietly, and not be seen by most shareholders and voters. Better to self-fund if possible. Can't count on corporate executives and politicians to look out for anyone's best interest, but their own.

I hate that I have become so cynical, so I just tell myself it took some time to get educated.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:01 AM
 
338 posts, read 625,435 times
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As someone with a NJ state pension (my husband's actually), yes it's a pretty disconcerting feeling knowing how badly underfunded the pension is. With a few exceptions, no money has been put in by the state for well over a decade.

Our current governor is talking about lots of reforms, so we shall see. But he also has not made a state contribution to date.

Glad we have savings because who knows what the future will bring.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:04 PM
 
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"Underfunded pensions" is another way of saying "overpromised benefits".

Let's see them public sector unions squeeze money out of rocks.

Dinosaurs, waiting for the comet to hit.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
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Default An overly broad generalization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
"Underfunded pensions" is another way of saying "overpromised benefits".
Let's see them public sector unions squeeze money out of rocks.
Dinosaurs, waiting for the comet to hit.
Maybe. But here I go again like a broken record: Stop and think how many different pension systems there are among the fifty states. Police, fire, teachers, cities, counties, states. And the truth is that the sustainability of these different systems, and the levels of their funding, vary all over the map. Some provide medical coverage for retirees and some do not. Some are funded with a hefty dose of employee contributions and some are not. Some have generous retirement benefits and some do not, and there is everything in between.

Now stop and think about something else: Which of these systems are you most likely to read about? That's a rhetorical question because the answer is so obvious. We read about the ones that are in the most trouble and also the ones in which the benefits are the most outrageously over-generous. Outrage sells newspapers and attracts TV viewers.

Please note that I am not arguing that all is well with public pensions. I know there are enormous problems. I am just pointing out that the above post has validity in some situations but not in others.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:01 PM
GLS
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Maybe. But here I go again like a broken record: Stop and think how many different pension systems there are among the fifty states. Police, fire, teachers, cities, counties, states. And the truth is that the sustainability of these different systems, and the levels of their funding, vary all over the map. Some provide medical coverage for retirees and some do not. Some are funded with a hefty dose of employee contributions and some are not. Some have generous retirement benefits and some do not, and there is everything in between.

Now stop and think about something else: Which of these systems are you most likely to read about? That's a rhetorical question because the answer is so obvious. We read about the ones that are in the most trouble and also the ones in which the benefits are the most outrageously over-generous. Outrage sells newspapers and attracts TV viewers.

Please note that I am not arguing that all is well with public pensions. I know there are enormous problems. I am just pointing out that the above post has validity in some situations but not in others.
Your premise is valid. Future reading will most likely be focused on those plans which are no longer able to send out checks.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,367 posts, read 24,109,773 times
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Quote:
We read about the ones that are in the most trouble and also the ones in which the benefits are the most outrageously over-generous.
Actually they keep on hitting Teachers which are neither. They stay away from the Taboo ones like Police or Fire.

What starting to happen now is that public employees are now starting to pay into the system each paycheck and some areas are talking amount creating plans that are similar to 401Ks.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:42 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,234,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
Actually they keep on hitting Teachers which are neither. They stay away from the Taboo ones like Police or Fire.

What starting to happen now is that public employees are now starting to pay into the system each paycheck and some areas are talking amount creating plans that are similar to 401Ks.
Some public employees have been doing this for years. It's not new.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:36 AM
 
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Okay, points well made and taken...BUT, let's try out a new idea here.

How about paying everyone a salary, and then leaving it up to them to save for retirement. This is probably what existed for, oh, a million years, give or take a few hundred thousand.

Who invented this nutty system whereby the place where you work has to take care of you the rest of your life? Did the Mongols have pensions? "Come ride with me," commanded Ghenghis Khan, "And I will provide three meals a day, and medical bennies for life."

If it looks like socialism, smells like socialism, tastes like socialism,..., yup, must be socialism: spreading the cost of public employees' retirement across everyone's paycheck.

Well, I want out. I will save for my own retirement, thank you, and you save for yours. But stop over-taxing me and my mates so that you can have a happy retirement simply because you chose to work for the goobermint. The goobermint doesn't produce much of value, but rather destroys value.
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