3 04, 2020

Coronavirus Is Making the Public Pension Crisis Even Worse

2020-04-03T15:14:13-07:00April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

For years, the country’s public pension plans have faced a yawning gap between what they owe and what they can pay. From the State of California’s public employees’ retirement plan, with more than 1.6 million participants, to tiny funds for employees of local mosquito-control programs in Illinois, public pensions are the time bomb of government finance. Now the coronavirus pandemic has it ticking faster. Already chronically underfunded, pension programs have taken huge hits to their investment portfolios over the [...]

26 03, 2020

Stimulus deal includes temporary relief for retirement plans

2020-03-26T07:22:31-07:00March 26th, 2020|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , |

The Senate approved on Wednesday a roughly $2 trillion economic stimulus package for affected companies and workers that also provides some temporary relief for retirement plan sponsors and participants. Final approval is expected Friday in the House of Representatives, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she expected to debate the measure on the floor. Defined benefit plan sponsors gained a one-year holiday from making their 2020 contributions, but did not get other measures sought, including delayed reporting or [...]

3 03, 2020

Students at UK universities brace for next round of strike action

2020-03-03T14:17:42-08:00March 3rd, 2020|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

Universities in the UK are revving up for the second round of faculty strikes, set to start on Feb 20, 2020 for 14 days as announced by The University and College Union (UCU), which represents both lecturers and non-academic staff. According to the Telegraph, the strike will affect 74 universities in the UK. In November and December last year, UCU members at 60 universities were involved in a strike that lasted for eight days – affecting around one million [...]

27 12, 2019

Congress Saves Coal Miner Pensions, but What About Others?

2019-12-27T15:25:56-08:00December 27th, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , |

The $1.4 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last week quietly achieves what a parade of select committees and coordinating councils could not: rescue a dying pension fund that is the lifeblood of nearly 100,000 retired coal miners. For the first time in 45 years of federal pension law, taxpayer dollars will be used to bail out a fund for workers in the private sector. And now that there’s a precedent, it might not be the last. “We could [...]

23 12, 2019

How do French pensions compare to the rest of Europe?

2019-12-23T10:16:37-08:00December 23rd, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

Proposals to change the French pension system have provoked mass strikes across France, bringing some parts of the country to a virtual standstill. But just how good do the French have it when it comes to pensions? French unions have called the current strikes in response to a proposal by the government to reform the country's current pension system. The government says its reforms are largely about fairness and transparency - at the moment France has 42 different pension [...]

5 12, 2019

France strikes: Unions protesting pension reform disrupt transport, shutter schools and force Eiffel Tower to close

2019-12-05T16:20:58-08:00December 5th, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , |

Crippling strikes began in France on Thursday in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the retirement system. Transport unions led the protests and were joined by air traffic controllers, teachers and health workers. As a result, 90 percent of high-speed TGV trains did not run. The Eurostar train service — connecting Paris, London, Brussels and Amsterdam — announced significant cancellations. Air France and British budget airline easyJet said they were axing flights. Meanwhile, many schools were closed, and [...]

11 11, 2019

Poland Approves Plans to Overhaul Pension System

2019-11-11T13:07:26-08:00November 11th, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

Poland is moving its state-guaranteed private pension benefits to IRA-like accounts. The shift is designed to trim the Polish government’s liabilities and save $5 billion thanks to reduced retirement outlays. The government-backed private system, called OFE, is valued at about $43 billion. Private pension funds are owned and run by firms like MetLife, NN Group, and Aviva. The government is transferring assets to fill a budget gap and minimize uncertainty. Poles’ private pension money will be moved to the [...]

11 11, 2019

What it would mean for pensioners if Kenney creates an Alberta pension plan

2019-11-11T13:05:17-08:00November 11th, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , |

Naturally, some questions arise whenever anyone floats the possibility of transferring billions of public dollars from one fund manager to another. Speaking Saturday during a keynote address to close the Manning Conference in Red Deer, Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney laid out measures that will be explored as part of what's being called the Fair Deal Panel. He announced initiatives that include creating a provincial police force, establishing a formal provincial constitution and opting out of federal cost-sharing programs. The [...]

6 09, 2019

U.K. to seek feedback on retail price index used in calculating pension benefits

2019-09-06T14:20:35-07:00September 6th, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , |

The U.K. government is planning a consultation in January on the future of the retail price index, a metric that defined benefit plans use to calculate pension benefits. Sajid Javid, the U.K.'s chancellor of the exchequer, as the country's finance minister is known, said Wednesday that because no index change can occur without a change in U.K. law and because of the government's current focus on delivering a Brexit plan, the government will not be in position to eliminate [...]

30 05, 2019

House Bill Makes Significant Changes to Retirement Plans

2019-05-30T14:17:23-07:00May 30th, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

Last week, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019” (H.R. 1994) by a vote of 417-3. The bill makes numerous changes affecting employer-provided retirement plans as well as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and other tax-favored savings accounts. The bill contains provisions designed to expand and preserve retirement savings, simplify administrative requirements, expand the use of Section 529 plans, and enhance revenue. Some of the key provisions affecting retirement [...]

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