Category : Pensions

(NPR) Older Americans Are Increasingly Unwilling — Or Unable — To Retire

Bob Orozco barks out instructions like a drill sergeant. The 40 or so older adults in this class follow his lead, stretching and bending and marching in place.

It goes like this for nearly an hour, with 89-year-old Orozco doing every move he asks of his class. He does that in each of the 11 classes he teaches every week at this YMCA in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

“I probably will work until something stops me,” Orozco says.

He may be an outlier, still working at 89, but statistics show that there may be more people like him in the near future. About 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older is now in the workforce. That number is expected to increase, making it the fastest-growing group of workers in the country.

Older adults are turning their backs on retirement for many reasons. Some, like Orozco, just love what they do. Others, though, need the money, and there are a lot of reasons why they do.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, Personal Finance, Social Security, Theology

(MarketWatch) Former SEC lawyer sounds alarm on ‘the greatest retirement crisis’ in history

He pointed to a “woefully unprepared” U.S. population.

“In the decades to come, we will witness millions of elderly American’s, Baby Boomers and others, slipping into poverty.” he said in a podcast this week with the Peak Prosperity blog. “‘Too frail to work, too poor to retire’” will become the new normal for many elderly Americans.”

Siedle threw out some startling numbers to show just how much pensions are underfunded, a pervasive problem made worse by their inability to reach performance targets, which is typically set around 7%.

“Warren Buffett BRK.A, +1.41% himself has said that is an unrealistic return,” Siedle said in the interview. “Wall Street’s solution to every investor problem is, and will always be, pay us more fees.”

Investors then pay those higher fees for “ever riskier rolls of the dice,” in an effort to chase returns, which “has resulted, predictably, in worse performance.”

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Posted in Aging / the Elderly, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pensions, Personal Finance, Personal Finance & Investing, Social Security

(CNBC) 40% of the American middle class face poverty in retirement, study concludes

Nearly half of middle-class Americans face a slide into poverty as they enter their retirement, a recent study by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School has concluded.

That risk has been driven by depressed earnings, depressed asset values and increased health-care costs — causing 74 percent of Americans planning to work past traditional retirement age. Additionally, both private and public pension plans have been allowed to become seriously underfunded. So what can be done?

Fundamental changes in the structure of the U.S. economy, combined with increased health-care costs and lack of saving, have created a financial trap for millions of American workers heading into retirement.

Roughly 40 percent of Americans who are considered middle class (based on their income levels) will fall into poverty or near poverty by the time they reach age 65, according to the study.

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Posted in Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pensions, Personal Finance, Social Security

(NYT) A $76,000 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash

A public university president in Oregon gives new meaning to the idea of a pensioner.

Joseph Robertson, an eye surgeon who retired as head of the Oregon Health & Science University last fall, receives the state’s largest government pension.

It is $76,111.

Per month.

That is considerably more than the average Oregon family earns in a year.

Oregon — like many other states and cities, including New Jersey, Kentucky and Connecticut — is caught in a fiscal squeeze of its own making. I

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Posted in City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, State Government, Taxes

A Picture is Worth 1000 words–The baby Boombers are Reaching Retirement

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Budget, Children, Economy, Health & Medicine, History, Marriage & Family, Medicaid, Medicare, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Social Security, Taxes, Young Adults

(BI) U.S. public pension plans are headed for a disaster on the current trajectory

The combined debt held by U.S. public pension plans will top $1.7 trillion next year, according to a just-released report from Moody’s Investors Services.

This “pension tsunami” has already forced towns like Stockton, California and Detroit, Michigan into bankruptcy. Perhaps no government mismanaged their pension as badly as Puerto Rico, where a $43 billion pension debt forced the commonwealth to seek protection from the federal government after having defaulted on its obligations to bondholders ”” a default which is expected to spread to retirees in the form of benefit cuts.

While the disastrous outcome of Puerto Rico’s pension plan ”” which is projected to completely run out of assets by 2019 ”” represents the worst-case scenario, the same series of events that led to its demise can be found in most public pension plans nationwide.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, City Government, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, State Government, Stock Market, Theology

(Gallup) 3 in 10 US Workers Foresee Working Past Retirement Age

In reality, however, many working Americans simply can’t afford to retire. Fewer workers today than in the past say a pension will be a major income source in retirement, and many have been unable to save sufficiently during the economic slowdown of the past decade. Seven in 10 employed adults told Gallup in April that they are worried about not having enough savings for retirement. As a result, they now need to work as long as possible to build up their retirement nest eggs.

At the moment, most workers are forgoing any thought of retiring before 62, the minimum age to receive partial Social Security retirement benefits, while nearly a third are planning to hold off until after age 67.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, Personal Finance, Social Security, The U.S. Government, Theology

(WSJ) Charles Moore–Western countries must honestly face The Middle-Class Squeeze

Since the financial crisis of 2007-08, which Western leader could boast of spreading ownership in any important way? In the U.S. and Britain, the percentage of citizens owning stocks or houses is well down from the late 1980s. In Britain, the average age for buying a first home is now 31 (and many more people than before depend on “the bank of Mom and Dad” to help them do so). In the mid-’80s, it was 27. My own children, who started work in London in the last two years, earn a little less, in real terms, than I did when I began in 1979, yet house prices are 15 times higher. We have become a society of “have lesses,” if not yet of “have nots.”

In a few lines of work, earnings have shot forward. In 1982, only seven U.K. financial executives were receiving six-figure salaries. Today, tens of thousands are (an enormous increase, even allowing for inflation). The situation is very different for the middle-ranking civil servant, attorney, doctor, teacher or small-business owner. Many middle-class families now depend absolutely on the income of both parents in a way that was unusual even as late as the 1980s.

In Britain and the U.S., we are learning all over again that it is not the natural condition of the human race for children to be better off than their parents. Such a regression, in societies that assume constant progress, is striking. Imagine the panic if the same thing happened to life expectancy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Senate, Taxes, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Bloomberg) Premature withdrawals from 401(k)s Replace Homes as American Piggy Bank

Premature withdrawals from retirement accounts have become America’s new piggy bank, cracked open in record amounts during lean times by people like Cindy Cromie, who needed the money to rent a U-Haul and start a new life.

Her employer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, had outsourced Cromie’s medical transcription work. Cromie said the move cut her income by as much as 60 percent, at times leaving her with minimum-wage pay.

So, last year, at age 56, she moved about 90 miles from her home in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, into her mother’s basement. To make ends meet as she moved and then quit the job, Cromie pulled out $2,767 from her retirement savings.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Pensions, Personal Finance, Theology

(Church Times) Pensions Board accused of ”˜immoral’ loans

The daughter of a 92-year-old priest who is paying interest on a loan agreed with the Church of England Pensions Board at 8.6 per cent – more than twice the cur-rent average – has questioned the morality of the scheme.

In 1985, the Revd Eric Quin took out a shared-equity loan in order to purchase a three-bedroom cottage in Cheshire for £45,750. With his wife, he paid £20,750 to put down a 45-per-cent deposit. The Pensions Board paid the remainder, £26,500, on the understanding that it would be entitled to 55 per cent of the final sale price.

The initial interest rate was three per cent – much lower than the 12-per-cent mortgage rate at the time. This rate was gradually increased in line with the pensions of all the fund’s members. Mr Quin is now paying interest at a rate of 8.6 per cent. The property has risen in value to £200,000.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pensions, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(Gallup) Many Baby Boomers Reluctant to Retire

True to their “live to work” reputation, some baby boomers are digging in their heels at the workplace as they approach the traditional retirement age of 65. While the average age at which U.S. retirees say they retired has risen steadily from 57 to 61 in the past two decades, boomers — the youngest of whom will turn 50 this year — will likely extend it even further. Nearly half (49%) of boomers still working say they don’t expect to retire until they are 66 or older, including one in 10 who predict they will never retire.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Medicare, Middle Age, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, Social Security, Stock Market, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Bloomberg) Illustrating a broad shift, at 61 She Lives in Basement While 87-Year-Old Dad Travels

While plenty of baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, have become affluent and many elderly around the U.S. face financial hardship, the wealth disparity of this father and daughter is emblematic of a broad shift occurring around the country. A rising tide of graying baby boomers is less secure financially and has a lower standard of living than their aged parents.

The median net worth for U.S. households headed by boomers aged 55 to 64 was almost 8 percent lower, at $143,964, than those 75 and older in 2011, according to Census Bureau data. Boomers lost more than other groups in the stock market and housing bust of 2008, and many also lost their jobs in the aftermath at a critical point in their productive years.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Children, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Medicare, Middle Age, Pensions, Personal Finance, Psychology, Social Security, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(Globe and Mail) Gary Mason–California’s troubles are on every corner

The department of finance has said California’s debt was paid down to less than $28-billion (U.S.). But that doesn’t include government employee pension and health benefits that have been promised but not funded. Stanford University estimates that unfunded pension liabilities are as much as $497-billion.

Meantime, a report by the Pew Center suggests that unfunded state retiree liabilities are $77-billion and growing. Most agree that until California deals with these two areas, it will only be pecking away at its monstrous fiscal challenges. It’s difficult to imagine state legislators not having to deliver some extremely unpleasant news to tens of thousands of government employees in the coming years.

Despite its financial woes, California continues to talk about a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco that would cost tens of billions. On another front, the state ruled against allowing fracking for oil and gas despite having the largest shale deposits in the country. Many believe this one move alone could have helped release California from the grips of financial despair.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(SMH) In Australia, the Case to raise the pension age to 70: report

The pension age could be pushed back to 70, and older Australians forced to use growing equity in their homes to help pay for government services under proposals designed to help Australia cope with an ageing population.

In a paper titled ”An Ageing Australia: Preparing for the Future”, the Productivity Commission projects Australia’s population will grow from about 23 million in 2012 to about 38 million by 2060, with a substantial increase in the number of retirees as people live longer.

That will mean lower overall participation in the workforce, and more pressures on governments to pay for higher health, aged care and pension costs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Australia / NZ, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Theology

(CEN) The Anglican Church of Canada asks for extra time to tackle pension problem

The Anglican Church of Canada has asked clergy for its support in a plea to Ontario pension fund regulators to give it a three year extension of time to address a cash crunch in the church’s pension plan.

In a July 2013 letter to the 1,600 active members and 2,600 retirees covered by the church pension programme the plan administrators told the clergy their approval was needed before the government would grant the plea for more time. “With funding relief, we will have three years to try to improve our plan’s funding level,” they wrote. “At the end of three years, we will do another valuation of the plan. If there is still a solvency funding shortfall, we will likely have no choice but to cut benefits.”

The average age of plan participants is 52.5….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pensions, Personal Finance, Stewardship, Theology

(Island Packet) South Carolina Episcopal diocese alleges retirement savings held hostage

Church Pension Group issued a statement Tuesday saying it is trying to ensure that clergy and employees in parishes that have left The Episcopal Church have access to their funds, in accordance with federal laws.

“In doing so, we are following protocols required by the Internal Revenue Code to avoid any adverse consequences for the participants in the plans,” the statement said. “We expect to complete this process shortly. In the meantime, all funds remain invested in the options selected by these employees, and all accounts are fully viewable on (a) website.”

[Canon Jim] Lewis said he has consulted lawyers for the diocese and is unaware of any legal issues precluding employees from rolling over their plans. He believes that preventing employees from doing so could be illegal.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Pensions, Personal Finance, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

The Episcopal Church Holds Hostage Pensions of More Than 80 Disassociated Staff Members in S.C.

The retirement savings of more than 80 non-clergy employees of the Diocese of South Carolina and its parishes are being held hostage by their former pension plan at the Episcopal Church (TEC).

The lay employees have been trying to arrange for the rollover of their retirement savings since February, when they first contacted the Church Pension Group, which provides retirement, health and other benefits to employees of The Episcopal Church, its parishes, dioceses and other institutions. The employees became eligible to rollover their funds into another qualified plan when their employer, the Diocese or the parishes that voted to disassociate from the denomination, officially ceased to be employed by any TEC organization or parish.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pensions, Personal Finance, TEC Conflicts

(NY Times) Loans Borrowed Against Pensions Squeeze Retirees

To retirees, the offers can sound like the answer to every money worry: convert tomorrow’s pension checks into today’s hard cash.

But these offers, known as pension advances, are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, threatening their retirement savings and plunging them further into debt. The advances, federal and state authorities say, are not advances at all, but carefully disguised loans that require borrowers to sign over all or part of their monthly pension checks. They carry interest rates that are often many times higher than those on credit cards.

In lean economic times, people with public pensions ”” military veterans, teachers, firefighters, police officers and others ”” are being courted particularly aggressively by pension-advance companies, which operate largely outside of state and federal banking regulations, but are now drawing scrutiny from Congress and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better … It’s Brutal

…the Labor Department’s latest jobs snapshot and other recent data reports present a strong case for crowning baby boomers as the greatest victims of the recession and its grim aftermath.

These Americans in their 50s and early 60s ”” those near retirement age who do not yet have access to Medicare and Social Security ”” have lost the most earnings power of any age group, with their household incomes 10 percent below what they made when the recovery began three years ago, according to Sentier Research, a data analysis company.

Their retirement savings and home values fell sharply at the worst possible time: just before they needed to cash out. They are supporting both aged parents and unemployed young-adult children, earning them the inauspicious nickname “Generation Squeeze.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Medicare, Pensions, Personal Finance, Psychology, Social Security, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

(FT) US pension insurer warns of rising deficit

The finances of the US’s multi-employer pension schemes have deteriorated so quickly over the past year that the body that insures them will almost certainly run out of cash in 20 years, according to a new report.

The chances of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation ”“ the publicly created but privately funded body that insures the nation’s occupational pension schemes ”“ going bust went from 1 in 3 at the end of 2011 to more than 9 in 10 by the end of 2012, a report prepared for the PBGC and released on Tuesday said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Resolutions passed by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles' Convention

Read them all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Middle East, Parish Ministry, Pensions, Personal Finance, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

(FT) Church of England faces a huge pension deficit

Justin Welby, a former oil executive, may have hoped to have left the problems of Mammon behind on his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury, but he could be plunged into an immediate cash crisis.

The Church of England’s pension deficit could reach £500m by the end of this year, putting a huge financial burden on congregations, an independent pensions consultant has warned.

John Ralfe said congregations, who already pay £68m annually to support the Clergy Pensions Scheme’s 24,000 members, will have to find £108m a year if an existing plan to eliminate the deficit over 12 years is not extended.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Parish Ministry, Pensions, Personal Finance, Stewardship, Stock Market

Local Paper Front Page–Retirement worries grow; 30-somethings most uneasy

Americans in their late 30s are now the group most likely to doubt they will be financially secure after retirement, a major shift from three years ago when baby boomers nearing retirement age expressed the greatest worry.

The survey findings by the Pew Research Center, released Monday, reflect the impact of a weak economic recovery beginning in 2009 that has shown stock market gains while housing values remain decimated….

“My biggest fear is not being able to retire,” [37 year old Nicole] Gilliard said as she came out of the courthouse on Meeting Street after work Monday. “I have a 5-year-old, and my biggest fear is that I’m going to have to keep working to put her through school.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Pensions, Personal Finance, Psychology, Social Security, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(USA Today) Women face a host of obstacles to retirement

When Jeanne Majors, 63, took an early retirement in December 2005, she assumed that she would pick up a part-time job and be in good financial shape. She didn’t know that her future would quickly fall apart.

Majors, who is single and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., learned the hard way about the retirement obstacles that most women face today. When the economy slid into the recession, she lost her part-time job and could not find another.

“They wanted somebody young,” Majors says. “Or if I was a man, somebody would have hired me at my age. I’m not sorry that I retired, but things didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. Everything went bust.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Economy, Medicare, Pensions, Personal Finance, Social Security, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The U.S. Government, Women

(APM's Marketplace) Housing, jobs and retirement stay on voters' minds

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of convention season. Cue the balloons. The Republicans had their turn last week, the Democrats come next. And there are plenty of personal finance issues being aired by the two guys who want to be president. But what are the issues voters are most interested in?

Marketplace’s David Gura recently traveled through both states hosting this year’s conventions as part of our coverage of the how all the tub-thumping plays out where it really matters: the economy.

Gura started down the I-4 corridor, which cuts through Daytona Beach, Orlando and site of the Republican Convention, Tampa. That highway has a high concentration of undecided voters. Some view it as the line between the more conservative north and more liberal south.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Social Security, The U.S. Government

South Carolina Pension fund misses the mark on returns

South Carolina’s pension fund investments have generated far less over the past year than hoped, but officials say there’s no cause for alarm.

Preliminary numbers from the state’s Retirement System Investment Commission show a return on investments of 0.6 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30. The state assumes a 7.5 percent annual return when calculating what it needs to keep the system solvent long-term.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Credit Markets, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, State Government, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(WSJ) Rising Health, Pension Costs and other Challenges Mean it is a Tough Time for Cities

Fiscal woes that have caused high-profile bankruptcies in California are surfacing across the country as municipalities struggle with uneven growth and escalating health and pension costs following the worst recession since the 1930s.

Budget crunches already have prompted Michigan lawmakers to authorize emergency fiscal managers, and led the mayor of Scranton, Pa., to temporarily cut the pay of all city workers to the minimum wage.

In a majority of the nation’s 19,000 municipalities””urban and rural, big and small””stagnant property tax revenues, less aid from states and rising costs are forcing less dramatic but still difficult steps.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Urban/City Life and Issues

Because of Rule Changes this week, States Face Pressure on Pension Shortfalls

The new rules could hit pension plans in states like Illinois and New Jersey particularly hard, and even raise borrowing costs for certain municipalities, analysts say. “This could be the event that incites a bigger policy response than what we’ve seen so far,” says Matt Fabian, managing director at Municipal Market Advisors, a research firm.

The exact impact of the new rules by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board isn’t clear. According to researchers at Boston College, pension liabilities at 126 state and municipal pension plans would jump by roughly $600 billion, or about 18%. The estimate is based on 2010 financial data and doesn’t reflect the stock market’s recent rebound or moves by many U.S. states to rein in pension costs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Rush to retirement by South Carolina State workers feared

Thousands of state workers could find themselves facing a life-changing decision later this month ”” whether to retire or not ”” and with less than a week to make it.

Lawmakers are poised to make major changes in the state’s Retirement Systems that would affect the more than 214,000 state and local government employees covered by that pension system.

State senators want some of the changes to take effect July 1.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

David Brooks–The Debt Indulgence

Every generation has an incentive to borrow money from the future to spend on itself. But, until ours, no generation of Americans has done it to the same extent. Why?

A huge reason is that earlier generations were insecure. They lived without modern medicine, without modern technology and without modern welfare states. They lived one illness, one drought and one recession away from catastrophe. They developed a moral abhorrence about things like excessive debt, which would further magnify their vulnerability.

Recently, life has become better and more secure. But the aversion to debt has diminished amid the progress. Credit card companies seduced people into borrowing more. Politicians found that they could buy votes with borrowed money. People became more comfortable with red ink….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Psychology, State Government, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology, Theology: Scripture