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 [...]

23 04, 2019

Workers Are Pushing for Their Share of U.S. Bankruptcy Payouts

2019-04-23T13:51:15-07:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , |

Workers can lose everything when their employer files for bankruptcy. At least for now. A pro-labor movement sparked by the employees of Toys “R” Us Inc., and taken up by Sears Holdings Corp., has reached the U.S. Congress. Representative Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat, said he plans to reintroduce 2017 legislation that would define worker claims in bankruptcy as administrative expenses, meaning they’d be paid in full, like the investment bankers, consultants, lawyers and liquidators who earn millions of [...]

11 04, 2019

Treasury and IRS move backward by giving a green light to offering retiree pension buyouts

2019-04-11T08:57:10-07:00April 11th, 2019|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , |

Recently, the IRS walked back protections that limited a company’s ability to offer a lump-sum payout for the monthly benefit provided by its defined-benefit pension plan. This strategy of offering lump sums allows companies to reduce their liabilities before purchasing a group annuity from an insurance company — a process known as “de-risking.” This de-risking strategy made the headlines in the U.S. in 2012 with an initiative by General Motors GM wanted to transfer its liability for retiree benefits to [...]

27 11, 2018

Lawmakers considering multibillion-dollar bailout for some retirees with failing pensions

2018-11-27T14:38:18-08:00November 27th, 2018|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering a multibillion-dollar bailout for retirees who are members of certain collapsing pension plans, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. The proposal, a draft of which was obtained by the Post, would require the Treasury Department to spend as much as $3 billion annually to subsidize payments for retirees enrolled in designated pensions. The bailout is one of several proposals under consideration by a special congressional committee wrestling the pension crisis. Lawmakers are also considering solutions such as new [...]

17 07, 2018

Jeremy Gold, Actuary Who Warned of Pension Crisis, Dies at 75

2018-07-17T09:21:15-07:00July 17th, 2018|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: |

Jeremy Gold, an actuary who more than 25 years ago warned of the financial debacles now slowly playing out among the cities and states that sponsor pension plans for their teachers, police officers, bus drivers and other workers, died on July 6 in Manhattan. He was 75. The cause was myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia, his son, Jonathan, said. In 1985, Mr. Gold became one of the first American actuaries to work on Wall Street, straying from the profession’s typical [...]

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