‘It’s really over’ for most of us 4,061

USA Today had a story about corporate plans heading for extinction noting:

Most U.S. companies no longer offer defined-benefit pensions, which typically provided guaranteed monthly payments to workers when they retired….[A]ccording to Mercer’s 2020 Defined Benefit Outlook…63% of companies with defined-benefit pensions “are considering termination” of the plan within half a decade…. Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, said in a recent interview: “It’s really over in the private sector. The question is, just when does the last plan close down?” The number of pension plans offering defined benefits – which means the payouts are guaranteed – plummeted by about 73% from 1986 to 2016, according to the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Which got me to thinking where my profession of Enrolled Actuary (EA), which exists solely to certify to the funding of Defined Benefit plans, is headed.

There have been 8,747 EAs minted since 1974 when ERISA came in and they made anyone with three years of relevant experience and a modicum of test taking ability an EA if they wanted to be one. Currently there are 4,061 EAs on the active roster (with a re-enrollment period set to start next month). Of those there are 261 in New Jersey and 10 in Union County. Of the first 1,000 EAs created 69 remain active. Lists by name for the latter two categories are below.

We may be losing the large single-employer, multiemployer, and eventually public sector defined benefit plans but for EAs in the small-plan market the business is there though moved over to the Defined Contribution side. I would suggest that if 401(a)(4) testing required EA certification the designation would easily survive the next decade, though not doing the work originally intended.

 

34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on December 10, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    [A]ccording to Mercer’s 2020 Defined Benefit Outlook…63% of companies with defined-benefit pensions “are considering termination” of the plan within half a decade…The number of pension plans offering defined benefits – which means the payouts are guaranteed – plummeted by about 73% from 1986 to 2016.
    HOW many Fortune 500 companies offer DB pensions to rank and file employees in 2019? I would bet less than 5%, if that. And what level of BENEFIT do the REMAINING DB pensions offer in the real world? I would bet about 50% of current salary with NO COLA’s and minimum retirement age of 65-68. The fact is 60% of ALL private sector companies (80%+++ of private sector employees work for small business, less than 20% work for the Fortune 500) offer NO pension plans at all. No DB. No DC, no 401K. Nothing. Nada. Zero. WHY the F’ do we keep hearing this BS about “private sector DB plans” ??? Becoming extinct or otherwise??? They DON’T F’ing EXIST!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 12:47 am

    73.6 percent of all statistics are made up.

    (Mark Suster)

    “While over 90 percent of all firms have between 0 and 20 employees, these firms only employ 19.2 percent of all private sector workers.”

    “On the other hand, while only 0.4 percent of all firms have over 500 employees, this small group of businesses employs 50.6 percent of the nation’s private sector workforce, with most of those employees working for C corporations.”

    (Tax Foundation)

    Wonder Dog

    “I would bet less than 5%, if that…”

    “I would bet about 50% of…” yadda, yadda, yadda.

    You and TL should get together and bet on all your phony statistics.

    Reply

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on December 12, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      You and TL should get together and bet on all your phony statistics.
      Dougie, you made me CRY!
      Pot Meet Kettle!

      .

      .

      Reply

  3. I have a big problem with the language of “guaranteed” monthly payments through one’s retirement. Besides death and taxes can anyone here name anything, anything at all that is guaranteed for life?

    Reply

    • But but but …..aren’t Sanders and Warren going to relieve all of our debt? lol. Can’t we do the same for our pension plans? Oh wait. I guess everyone in the world will be making the same amount after they are done. Lol.
      The only guarantee is in fact death—-
      And the fact that the sun will rise in the East. That and the tides are the only constant in this life.

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 9:41 am

      ” Oh wait. I guess everyone in the world will be making the same amount after they are done. ”

      I don’t think even the most ardent socialist wants that. It’s scare tactics.
      Ronald Reagan made a famous LP (wow, LP? a blast from the past) criticizing Social Security and Medicare as leading to socialism.

      “pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school, where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him.”

      But he did say “as one conservative let me say any person in the United States who requires medical attention and cannot provide it for himself should have it provided for him.”
      He did advocate programs to pay for medical care for poor senior citizens. This targeted intervention allowed government to meet the true need without creating what he called a compulsory, one-size-fits-all model that “forc[es] all citizens, regardless of need,” into a single program.

      I’m not a Bernie fan, but I don’t think even he wants “everyone to be equal. “

      Reply

      • I was joking. What I don’t like about sanders and Warren is that they don’t seem to appreciate working hard for something and always seem to make people victims even when they aren’t. I voted for McCain then Obama and then even Hillary. Don’t forget, I was burned personally by a fat disgusting Republican. I swore I would abandon the party that I voted for every damn time prior to 2008, and still have on the state level. However, the dems have moved way to left for me. Warren tweeting how A white cop murdered Mike Brown was personally it for me. I cannot endorse someone like that under any circumstance. 🤷‍♀️ What can I say.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on December 11, 2019 at 11:05 am

          Quoting ……………

          ” Don’t forget, I was burned personally by a fat disgusting Republican. ”

          Christie’s increasing your contribution and suspending a portion (Public Sector COLA increases ….that Private Sector Plans don’t include anyway) of a HUGELY excessive pension is hardly being burned.

          Want to trade your pension for what a comparably paid Private sector gets from his/her employer ?

          Reply

          • However you feel about the pension, will you at least stipulate to (forget the fat part I guess) the fact that he is disgusting in terms of his abuse of power?? Bridgegate, the Booker election, beachgate, etc….oh yeah. Mastro got $7MM of taxpayer money to tell us that “he didn’t nuthin about what his cronies were doing on the bridge, and in fact Bridget Kelly is just a flustered girl who can’t control her emotions”. 🙄
            Even Trump pushed him aside. And that is saying something.

          • Posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 5:27 pm

            Years ago, The termite inspector told me there are two types of houses; those that have termites, and those that will have termites.

            Cohen says there are also two types of people, those who Trump has turned on, and those he will turn on.

            I want to be there when he says “Kellyanne Conway? I didn’t know her very well. Don’t know much about her.”

          • Posted by Tough Love on December 11, 2019 at 8:08 pm

            Quoting El gaupo …………

            “However you feel about the pension, will you at least stipulate to (forget the fat part I guess) the fact that he is disgusting in terms of his abuse of power?? Bridgegate, the Booker election, beachgate, etc….oh yeah.”

            Oh yeah, I agree in spades. And ALSO for allowwing that lady REED(?) to goose her pension via a change in the law specifically for her…. disgusting !

            —————–

            But ……… his suspending Public Pension COLAs just warms my soul ……….lol

        • Posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 12:37 pm

          You have no idea what E might have earned in the private sector. None. There are hundreds of thousands of New Jersey workers who earn more than enough for a comfortable retirement with little or no pension. There are some public workers in New Jersey (very few), who, with the value of their pensions, will break into the top five percent, barely.

          If you want a pension, get a government job. They are still available. If you want to get “rich”, you’re not gonna get it as a cop or fireman, or a state truck driver.

          And yes, New Jersey workers were burned by Christie. They were burned long before then, but Christie burned them even more, with gusto, primarily to earn his conservative creds for a federal government job. Maybe even THE federal government job. How did that work out for you, Chris?

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on December 11, 2019 at 8:04 pm

            Stephen,

            I doubt if E the PO needs you a retired light-bulb-changer for support.

          • Posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 8:58 pm

            That’s twice today I have agreed with you.

            1) Not to put to fine a point on it, but Trump is dangerous… and evil.

            2) The handsome one does not need my support. From the first sentence on, it should be clear; the comment was directed at you, not him. With all your assumptions and opinions, you just don’t know how he might have done in the private sector.

            I mentioned in another post that I would not take a LEO job, even if I were qualified. I am not. I am not a people person (yeah, hard to believe.) No way I could deal with the public on a daily basis, for better or worse. Someone who can, who also has leadership abilities, could make much more than a cop by working in insurance, real estate, mid level management, etc. People like to refer others to Transparent California to “prove” public workers are overpaid. If TC would collate in all private workers, the first public worker would be a hundred pages down the list.

            Then, of course, there’s that other thing.
            “…Why Pretty People Make 12% More Money Than Everybody Else”

            Business Insider, Nov. 4, 2014

            And, “…an extra inch of height can equate to roughly an extra $800 a year.”

            EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS AN INCH!!!

            American Psychological Association, July, 2004.

      • Posted by Anonymous on December 11, 2019 at 11:22 am

        Glad to hear it, but a lot of people aren’t (kidding, I mean.)
        I had to refresh my memory on the Mike Brown killing. Kamala Harris made a similar tweet, by the way, and I strongly disagree with both of them. One of many reasons I would never want to be a cop, even at twice the pay. (In addition to the fact that, like most people in the U.S., I am not qualified.) No matter what the dog says.

        Reply

        • While I don’t need the support, I certainly do welcome it Earth 🌍
          You sound like a decent fellow.
          If your data on height is accurate, my old lady is screwed(TL May say that she is already screwed having to deal with me the past 21 years, but that is a topic for another thread) as she is only 4’10”

          Reply

          • Posted by nj2az on December 12, 2019 at 12:09 pm

            but how tall are you?

            I am a bit over 6’…shrinking as i age. many years ago i had a ladyfriend who was 4’11”. think it took a toll on my posture :p

          • I’m 5’11. My kids are both taller than her. Lol. By at least half a foot.

        • Posted by Anonymous on December 12, 2019 at 4:29 am

          There is still…
          “…Why Pretty People Make 12% More Money Than Everybody Else”

          Tread carefully now.

          Reply

  4. Posted by aka chicken little on December 11, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    John, what about getting an MBA at Princeton or Wharton Business School? It seems to me that a smart former actuary would be very employable with an MBA. One of my hiking friends is a retired international banker. I’ll ask him what he suggests.

    Reply

    • Posted by aka chicken little on December 11, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Your own insurance agency might be worth looking at. Starting out might be challenging but once established I think you would have it made. I would suggest a state capital with a major university as an ideal location. Hopefully a major university with a good football program.

      Reply

  5. E, as it stands now, only death and taxes are guarantees. We don’t know for sure that the sun will rise or what the tides will do as life as we know it can cease at any moment due to a myriad of different factors most of which we have no control over.
    Just sayin……

    Reply

    • If what you say happens with the sun and the tides…..then yea, death for the whole species will occur. Lol.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on December 11, 2019 at 8:13 pm

        Give Trump another 4 years, and Democracy as we have known it for almost 250 years may come to an unpleasant end.

        Reply

        • I agree with you that he has lied more than ANY president ever has, hell probably more than any politician. I am not a fan. I just think that the other side has moved far too left for my tastes. Sanders and Warren make Obama look like a conservative for Gods sake. I honestly think the middle class would be much worse off if they got in instead of Trump.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on December 12, 2019 at 12:36 am

            I too do NOT want any of the super-liberals (Warren & Sanders) to get in, but Trump is SOOOOOOOOOOOO incompetent, unhinged, immoral, and plain nuts, that anyone else (Bloomberg, Biden, Pete B, even Hillery C.) is a MUCH better option.

          • Posted by NJ2AZ on December 12, 2019 at 12:18 pm

            hard pass on Bloomberg. He might be the king of “I know whats best for everyone and i’m going to give it to them good and hard whether they want it or not”. I already have parents :p

            Trump might be an awful person but really his presidency has been mostly benign. All this “ohh mah gawwwd he’s killing democracy” talk is so hyperbolic.

  6. Posted by Tough Love on December 11, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    Off Topic……….

    Some rich people use their money wisely.

    Others are just jerks. In this case ………. like father, like son.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/donald-trump-jr-went-to-mongolia-got-special-treatment-from-the-government-and-killed-an-endangered-sheep/ar-AAK0Jtr

    Reply

    • Disgusting all around no matter who it is doing it. This type of “sport” should be stopped immediately and the Trumps should know better that it doesn’t look good for them especially with the constant abuse of DT.
      No trophy hunting should be allowed but can we really control what other governements allow in their motherland?

      Reply

  7. Posted by Tough Love on December 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    • Posted by PS Drone on December 12, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      I suppose “wing man” Holder can give Barr a lot of advice about ignoring any upcoming contempt of Congress citations.

      Reply

      • Posted by NJ2AZ on December 12, 2019 at 3:59 pm

        i was thinking the same thing. Barr sucks, but Holder isn’t exactly a guy i listen to if he’s critical of someone else :p

        Reply

        • By the way AZ, I know just what u mean with the posture. Even hugging my wife means her on her tippy toes and me bending over somewhat. lol. She doesn’t mind flying though. Fits into the cramped seats a little better. My world is full of “honey, would you mind putting this (insert any kitchen object) back in the cabinet above the frig” and similar issues. But, as Billy Joel said, I love her just the way she is. 😉

          Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on December 13, 2019 at 7:05 am

    I wouldn’t be too keen on taking advise or recommendations from Eric Holder, from what I remember of him anyway

    Reply

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