Breaking News: Western States Withdraws

Last year the Western States Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund out of Portland, OR became the eleventh multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency. Last August that application was withdrawn. A month later it was refiled. Today it appeared on the MPRA website as being withdrawn again.

From their latest 5500 filing:

Plan Name: Western State Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund
EIN/PN: 94-6076144/001
Total participants @ 12/31/16: 7,463 including:
Retirees: 3,829
Separated but entitled to benefits: 2,825
Still working: 809

Asset Value (Market) @ 1/1/16: $334,210,200
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.28%) @ 1/1/16: $815,806,884 including:
Retirees: $481,304,744
Separated but entitled to benefits: $227,659,065
Still working: $106,843,075

Funded ratio: 40.97%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/15: $481,596,684

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/16: $326,919,954
Contributions (H): $11,278,560
Contributions (SB): $11,250,910
Payouts: $39,153,722
Expenses: $3,350,352

19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by MJ on March 28, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    hmmmmmm……809 people still working, paying in and expecting pensions who are paying/supporting 3829 retirees and 2825 separated but entitled to benefits

    Im sure the current contributions are getting some return on investments but doesn’t seem that 809 still working can support the other 3829 and counting

    What am I missing? Am I looking at this the wrong way?


    • Posted by Anonymous on March 29, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Well, if all or any of the contributions being made by the people still working are necessary to support existing benefit payments, then by definition you have a Ponzi scheme.


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm

        It is amazing to me just how many people (and especially those responsible for the proper operation operation of these Plans) don’t seem to understand that.

        Or ………. might it be that they DO understand it, but simply CHOOSE to use the argument that they need the continued contributions of actives as ammunition to sway opinion away from what’s REALLY necessary ….. a switch to (401K-style) DC Plans for the future service of all CURRENT workers.


  2. Posted by NJ2AZ on March 28, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Chances withdrawal is based on assumption a favorable “loan” is coming from treasury at some point?


  3. Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    John, (sorry off-topic but important)

    In Mary Pat Campbell’s most recent Blog-post she stated the following …………

    “A “super majority” vote of at least eight members would be required to take any actions increasing or reducing member benefits — including cost-of-living increases — or employer contributions if they are not consistent with actuarial recommendations, according to the bill.”

    That’s the first I heard that reinstating COLAs under S5 needed the super majority of 8 votes, not the simple majority of 7 votes that we have seen in all other articles.

    Is she Correct…….. Did the “passed” version of S5 require 8 vote (or only 7) votes needed to reinstate the COLA-increases ?


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on March 28, 2018 at 2:49 pm

      also interesting was Meep had PFRS going bust in 2032. while not nearly as soon as PERS or TPAF, thats still a lot sooner than some people seem to think


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2018 at 3:11 pm

        The 2032 didin’t surprise me at all. The “official” PFRS “drop dead” date in the 2050s was likely based on the 7.5% (or 7.65%) annual investment earnings assumption, and since what needed is really 7.5% on the LIABILITIES (not the ASSETS), when you have a 60% Funding Ratio, you really need to annually earn 7.5%/0.60 = 12.5% on your invested ASSETS.

        That’s likely the driver for the “official” drop dead date in the 2050s coming down to Mary Pat Campbell’s 2032.


    • Posted by boscoe on March 28, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      That is correct. Last minute amendments increased the COLA vote to 8, plus some other things. Here is the final statement to the Senate floor amendments.


      • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2018 at 3:21 pm

        Wow …… the Taxpayers have (at least temporally) dodged a bullet.

        And did you see this change (quoting from your link):

        “an actuarial certification that a change in the contribution rate of
        the members of the PFRS made by the board of trustees will not result
        in increased employer contributions.”

        How could a reduction in employEE contributions NOT result in an increase in employER contributions?

        I guess it depends on the interpretation of the word “result”, since there is no REQUIREMENT to pay the full ARC. I.E., you can just pay less in TOTAL, with ALL of the the reduction coming form lower employEE contributions. Hopefully the new independent actuary (referred to in your link) won’t buy such BS.


  4. Posted by dentssdunnigan on March 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Anybody else hear that big sigh of relief from the governor to the legislature …they just fixed their pension pension problems ….it’s now the unions that will get all the blame when the taxes start rising to pay the pensions because they now set the payments and the rules …


    • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      Public Sector Unions are a CANCER inflicted upon Civilized Society.


      • Posted by SeeSaw Jr on March 29, 2018 at 10:41 pm

        Public Sector Unions are a CANCER inflicted upon Civilized Society.
        Sad par is it never had to come to this- they just got way too GREEDY!


        • Posted by Tough Love on March 30, 2018 at 12:15 am

          Yes they did, but I “blame” it more on our Elected Officials ……. who CHOSE to take the Union’s money and betray the Taxpayers.

          That said, it remains that the financial beneficiaries of the Union/Elected-Official COLLUSION are indeed the Public Sector Plan PARTICIPANTS, so THAT is where Taxpayers must look to right this wrong, by VERY materially reducing their ludicrously excessive promised pensions (AND benefits)


    • Posted by Stanley on March 30, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      Very good story, but I don’t think management approached the problem in a very smart way. The comments were about 20 to 1 in favor of labor, but what do you expect at the Washington Pest. I doubt that too many Republicans post at either.


  5. Posted by T B on March 31, 2018 at 1:48 am

    Move everyone to Social Security

    Here’s my solution:



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