Western Pennsylvania Teamsters Pension

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday:

The Western Pennsylvania Teamsters fund — which has about 48 cents for every $1 in benefits it owes to retirees and workers — notified participants in April that it is considering cutting benefits in order to insure that the fund doesn’t become insolvent. The plan is expected to pay out nearly $129 million in benefits this year but will collect only about $54 million in contributions.

If the current level of benefits is maintained, the fund is projected to run out of money in 2028.

….

Mr. Lickert and Mr. Mettley speculate that trustees for the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters fund will submit their proposal to Treasury [for benefit cuts under MPRA] no later than the first quarter of next year.

Since a 5500 form for 2016 was recently filed let’s check the updated funded status of this plan (and it’s not as rosy as the article presents).

Plan Name: Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund

EIN/PN: 25-6029946/001

Total participants @ 12/31/16: 22,588 including:

  • Retirees: 12,482
  • Separated but entitled to benefits: 5,917
  • Still working: 4,189

Asset Value (Market) @ 1/1/16: 656,304,285

Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.28%) @ 1/1/16: $2,726,411,320 including:

  • Retirees: $1,692,854,184
  • Separated but entitled to benefits: $329,473,396
  • Still working: $704,083,740

Funded ratio: 24.07%

Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/16: $2,070,107,035

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/16: $718,421,370

Contributions 2016 (MB): $61,489,534

Contributions 2016 (H): $144,616,015

Payouts 2016: $131,565,722

Expenses 2016: $5,888,003

 

The $54 million in expected contributions that the Post-Gazette reports is likely accurate as that approximates what is reported on the Schedule MB but the 2016 contribution amount listed on the Schedule H was $144,616,015 which is some $83 million more than the MB number. Could this be the PBGC helping out already?

24 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Robert McHenry on October 24, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information-its very sad. Even worse is that no-one seems to care. I hope that the MPRA legislation is reviewed soon before this situation gets worse.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on October 27, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Why stop there make it applicable to ALL governmental obligations…..

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm

        Stopping (certainly STARTING) with pension is appropriate. After all, the Union/Politician cabal granted these ludicrously excessive pensions with absolutely ZERO justification.

        Bondholders simply LENT the gov’t their money. They didn’t CHEAT anyone as did the Unions and the workers ….. the latter being the financial beneficiaries of the Union/politician collusion (via their ludicrously excessive pension promises).

        Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous (not Earth, the other Anonymous) on October 27, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Sorry, your bias is showing. We are talking about legal bankruptcy here. Courtrooms, judges, evidence, and actual money at stake. Keyboard Kops can use CAP LOCKS, repetition, inflammatory superlatives, and repetition to bully through their …opinion… But that won’t cut it in the real world.

    As far as the Court is concerned, the state owes money to the bondholders, a legal debt. The state owes money to pensioners, another legal debt. The state doesn’t have enough money to pay both fully. Despite what you have managed to convince yourself, you can not prove pensions are excessive, let alone “ludicrously excessive”. You cannot prove there was collusion, let alone illegal collusion.

    If the money that should have been contributed to pensions was instead diverted to other uses, there is no justification, morally or legally, to confine the cuts to the pension system.

    “make it applicable to ALL governmental obligations…..”

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Well, I guess we’l just have to agree to disagree.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on October 28, 2017 at 8:04 pm

        The Fed govt should put up or shut and start with their taxpayer funded P&B instead of overworking the printing presses!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on October 28, 2017 at 8:20 pm

          They ARE pursuing reductions in their worker pensions RIGHT NOW.

          Read the news.

          Reply

          • Posted by Touch LOVE on October 28, 2017 at 9:31 pm

            Looks like the proposed cuts in Federal P&B are off the table for 2018.

            https://federalnewsradio.com/your-money/2017/10/feds-saved-from-retirement-cuts-in-2018-budget-resolution-with-house-vote/

            Too bad, while FED worker P&B is MUCH MUCH MUCH lower than that granted State & Local Public Sector workers, they’re still much more generous than the 401K Plans that Private Sector workers typically get from their employers.

          • Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 28, 2017 at 11:43 pm

            But federal worker wages are much higher than either private or state/local pay, which, on average, brings their total comp higher than either, especially at the lower educated levels

            https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/52637-federalprivatepay.pdf

            SMH

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 12:25 am

            Quoting SMH…………….

            “But federal worker wages are much higher than either private or state/local pay, which, on average, brings their total comp higher than either, especially at the lower educated levels”

            Lets split that quote into 2 pieces

            (A) But federal worker wages are much higher than either private or state/local pay

            (B) which, on average, brings their total comp higher than either,

            Provide a link to support each claim.

          • Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 29, 2017 at 12:55 am

            Again?

            At any rate, I believe what Anonymous at 8:04 pm is referring to is not the relative pay of fed/state/private workers, but to the fact that the federal government has a…

            unfunded liability, both for civilian and military workers that never gets mentioned in all the state/local angst.

            SMH

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 1:10 pm

            SMH, So what.

            Didn’t your mother ever teach you that 2 “wrongs” don’t make 1 “right” ?

            State and Local Public Sector Total Compensation (via ludicrously excessive pensions & benefits) is MATERIALLY greater than comparably situated Private Sector workers called upon to pay for it.

            That’s plain WRONG, and we don’t need to look at OTHER wrongs to see that there is an immediate need to address it via material reductions for all CURRENT workers (AND for retirees where the financial condition so necessitates).

  3. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 29, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Figure 4 on page 12 of the above document shows the dispersion of federal and private workers within each education level. If nothing else, it shows how inadequate the “average” concept describes the relationship between public and private. There are a lot of private sector workers at each level who make much more than the “average” public sector. And why EQUAL, but not better, is virtually meaningless. There are just too many variables.

    As Jeffrey Neal says…

    “We have no idea how federal pay compares to the private sector. So let’s stop acting like we do,”

    Or Tom West 

    “So why do they stay in the public sector?

    Following that line of reasoning, it’s tautologically impossible to *ever* be ‘screwed on pay’, in either the public or private sector.”

    (Figure 4 is for wages only, not total compensation.)

    SMH

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 12:43 am

      Your link doesn’t answer the question …………. your link only compares Federal wages to Private Sector wages.

      Where is the comparison to State and Local Public Sector wages (and Total Comp)?
      ____________________

      P. S. The HUGE problem of overcompensating State & Local Public Sector workers has nothing to do with Federal employees. It’s the Taxpayers in States & Cities that are called upon to pay for the ludicrously excessive State & Local Public Sector pension & benefit promises …………. so it is THEIR compensation to which that of State & Local Employeess should be compared (NOT to that of Federal employees).

      Reply

  4. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 29, 2017 at 1:07 am

    It’s only logical, captain.

    According to Biggs, state/local workers earn lower wages than the private sector in almost every state; twelve percent lower on average nationwide.

    And federal workers earn higher wages, on average, than the private sector.

    Ergo…

    SMH

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 1:24 am

      Oh how conveniently you OMITTED that when you add pensions and benefits to wages …to get Total Compensation…….. it’s the Public Sector workers that have a HUGE advantage.

      In fact per the SAME Biggs study (the AEI Study), in both your home State of CA and in NJ, NON-SAFTEY Public Sector workers have a 23%-of-pay Total Compensation advantage, and with Police & Fire the highest paid & pensioned workers, that 23% Public Sector Total Compensation ADVANTAGE would have have been even higher had they not been excluded from the Biggs Study.

      Readers ………… Think about that.

      How much MORE money would YOU have upon retirement if YOU received an EXTRA 23% of wages to save and invest in every year of your career, $500K, $1 Million, perhaps even 2$ Million?

      Well, that a good measure of how much of OUR money the insatiably greedy Public Sector workers are stealing from us.

      Reply

  5. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 29, 2017 at 2:05 am

    http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/AEI-Working-Paper-on-Federal-Pay-May-2011.pdf

    ” Compared to similar private sector workers, we estimate that federal workers receive a
    salary premium of 14 percent, a benefits premium of 63 percent, and extra job security worth 17
    percent of pay. Together, these generate an overall federal compensation premium of
    approximately 61 percent.”

    No state, not even Connecticut, has a compensation premium of 61 percent. (According to Biggs.)
    …………………….

    And you can take that to the bank. And they will laugh you right out the door. I keep trying to tell you, so you won’t embarrass yourself further, these numbers are not chiseled in stone (#23% bulls hit)
    There are just too many variables. Too many “assumptions”. Too many conflicting sources of data.

    Biggs…
    ” For instance, when I
    analyze federal employee wages using the methodology that the progressive-leaning Economic
    Policy Institute has used in numerous studies of state and local government salaries, I find an
    average federal salary premium of not 2 percent but of about 14 percent. My point is not that 2
    percent is “wrong” and 14 percent is “right,” but rather that there is a range of reasonable
    answers found in studies of federal salaries and the CBO’s result is likely toward the lower end of
    that range.”

    ” My point is not that 2 percent is “wrong” and 14 percent is “right,” but rather that there is a range of reasonable answers found in studies of federal salaries…”

    Lighten up, you possibly make more yourself than an “equivalent” public sector worker.

    SMH

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      So when you CAN’T address the fact that STATE and LOCAL Public Sector Total Compensation (via ludicrously excessive pensions & benefits) is MATERIALLY greater than comparably situated PRIVATE Sector workers called upon to pay for it…….. you AGAIN go back to talking about FEDERAL worker compensation.

      Your continued attempts to distract the readers from the huge STATE & LOCAL employee Total Compensation ADVANTAGE over comparable PRIVATE Sector employees isn’t working.

      Reply

  6. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 29, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Simply responding to your post, Mr. LOVE…
    Posted by Touch LOVE on October 28, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    “Too bad, while FED worker P&B is MUCH MUCH MUCH lower than that granted State & Local Public Sector workers, they’re still much more generous than the 401K Plans that Private Sector workers typically get from their employers.”
    ………………………….
    SMH response…
    “But federal worker wages are much higher than either private or state/local pay, which, on average, brings their total comp higher than either, especially at the lower educated levels”
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    The rest of the thread is history… you doubting my statement and asking for substantiation (although we have already played that game in at least one previous thread). It was not “you AGAIN go back to talking about FEDERAL worker compensation.”, it was me responding to your doubts about federal compensation… again.
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    And the future thread would be sadly predictable.

    1) #23%bulls hit… I trust you will have that carved on your headstone, or inscribed in the family Bible. You may take it as gospel, but Biggs estimates do not agree with several other studies of the same period. Mostly because of his assumed discount rate. No need to go into that further.

    2) Such as it was, that study was conducted with data up to nine years old. Nine very volatile years.

    3) Whether one uses Biggs’s “23% advantage” or Munnell’s “roughly equal” total compensation, those are averages. One just cannot ignore the compensation dispersion, which all the “human capital” studies mentioned: the fact that at lower education levels, public workers earn much more than their private sector peers; at highest education levels they earn much less, and the middle, there is a large cohort that earns “roughly the same” in total compensation.

    4) If history is a guide, the rest of the thread leads to rude epithets, ad hominem attacks, and puerile “bulb changer” memes.

    Et bien, comptez pas sur moi.

    SMH

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      SMH,

      Yes, I sated…

      ““Too bad, while FED worker P&B is MUCH MUCH MUCH lower than that granted State & Local Public Sector workers, they’re still much more generous than the 401K Plans that Private Sector workers typically get from their employers.””

      Is is NOT true, with Federal DB Plans having a 1% per-year-of service formula factor (Plus a modest DC contribution) vs State & Local Plans with Non-Safety per-year-of service formula factors most often from 1.50% to 2.5% and with Safety-Worker per-year-of service formula factor factors often 2.5% or greater? And any greater Federal wages CERTAINLY does NOT offset that HUGE STATE and LOCAL P&B advantage.

      _________________________________

      And then you go back on your RANT disparaging the very (Biggs AEI) study from which YOU often draw to support your (erroneous) conclusions.

      ____________________

      And I didin’t miss the fact that your AGAIN reference Federal compensation. Still trying to draw attention AWAY FROM the FACT that State & LOCAL Total Compensation far exceeds that of comparably situated Private Sector workers called upon to pay for it ………. and by 23% of pay in BOTH CA and NJ?

      Reply

  7. Posted by Earth on October 29, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Earth to TL:

    I didin’t miss the fact that your spelling and syntax are slipping. Again. May be time to let the keyboard cool down and Chill for a while.

    When SMH starts talking French, he’s basically tuned out anyway.

    Reply

  8. “The $54 million in expected contributions that the Post-Gazette reports is likely accurate as that approximates what is reported on the Schedule MB but the 2016 contribution amount listed on the Schedule H was $144,616,015 which is some $83 million more than the MB number. Could this be the PBGC helping out already?”

    No- 90 million in receivable withdrawal liability payments. The 5500 includes an audited financial statement…

    Reply

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