Trump’s Tax Plan

Earlier this month at the Enrolled Actuaries meeting the first general session included gossip about what the new president’s plan for tax rates would be:

  • Individual tax rates at 12%, 25% and 33%
  • Corporate tax rates from 35% to 15% with the elimination of most corporate deductions

Earlier today a plan came out:

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Public Pension Reporting and Disclosure: The Dark Side

In a continuing effort to forestall having public pension plans file 5500 forms that would allow for relevant disclosures and honest comparisons the CSLGE and NASRA jointly released a paper on how well the current patchwork system of governments reporting on themselves is working by cherry-picking examples from five systems:

  • California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)
  • Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (PERSI)
  • Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS)
  • South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA)
  • Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS)

New Jersey (with that 37.5% funded ratio) was not one of the systems picked and, when comparing the commendable features listed for those five systems to what New Jersey does, for good reason.
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NJ Gubernatorial Candidates Agree on Pensions


But beyond admitting the obvious?

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No ‘Cause For Alarm’ These Days

The busy season is over and it’s time to catch up on some movies.  The first, chosen randomly from my Dark Crimes collection, was Loretta Young and Barry Sullivan in Cause for Alarm from 1951. They had pensions back then as a reward for meritorious service but times have changed.

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NYS Teamsters Plan To Refile – With a Twist

On August 30, 2016 trustees of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund out of Syracuse, NY became the ninth multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency. On April 5, 2017 they withdrew that application but, according to a story in the Albany Times Union, are planning to refile with a twist (emphasis added):

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Breaking News: Fifteenth Union Plan Files

The Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan out of Austintown, OH just became the fifteenth multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency.

From their latest 5500 filing here is the plan’s relevant data:

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AFPP for NJ Pension Reform


501(c)(4) organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying so long as it pertains to the organization’s mission. 501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to engage in political activity, endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns, but 501(c)(4) organizations can do all of the above. In regards to supporting these organizations, donations made to 501(c)(3) organizations are deductible to the full extent of the law as charitable contributions. Donations made to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible, though some businesses who make these contributions often write them off as advertising or business expenses.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), per their latest 990, is 501(c)(4) and takes in over $80 million in contributions and grants. Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF),  per their latest 990, is 501(c)(3) and takes in over $20 million in contributions and grants.

I bring this up since AFPF (the ones who can’t engage in political activity) announced on their website today that they are investing six-figures in a pension reform effort in New Jersey.

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