Breaking News: Detroit Carpenters Withdraw

Last fall the Carpenters’ Pension Fund of Detroit and Vicinity applied to cut benefits under MPRA.

Today it appeared that the application has been withdrawn:

Carpenters Pension Trust Fund – Detroit & Vicinity Click here for Application 09/23/2019 Comment on Application Withdrawn

.
From their latest 5500:

Plan Name: Carpenters’ Pension Trust Fund – Detroit and Vicinity
EIN/PN: 38-6242188/001
Total participants @ 4/30/19: 20,252 including:
Retirees: 8,795
Separated but entitled to benefits: 6,536
Still working: 5,021

Asset Value (Market) @ 5/1/18: $761,729,009
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (2.99%) @ 5/1/18: $3,977,510,040 including:
Retirees: $2,319,183,732
Separated but entitled to benefits: $633,934,879
Still working: $1,024,391,429

Funded ratio: 19.15%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 5/1/18: $3,215,781,031

Asset Value (Market) as of 4/30/19: $772,279,905
Contributions: $116,595,346
Payouts: $151,029,798
Expenses: $7,035,736

38 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 12:38 am

    Off Topic,

    NJ is looking for a Federal Public Sector pension bailout:

    https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/04/feds-need-to-help-nj-public-worker-pension-system-survive-coronavirus-crisis-sweeney-says.html

    Quoting ………….

    “New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney is dusting off an old plan …………… The Senate president in 2015 also urged a national solution to the public pension crisis, saying if the federal government is able to bail out big banks and car manufacturers it should use some of its largesse to protect the pensions of middle-class teachers, police and government employees.”
    ———————————
    These Public Sector DB pensions are LUDICROUSLY EXCESSIVE. To fully fund them over the employee’s working career, they require 5 to 10 TIMES the contribution amounts than what Private Sector Taxpayers typically get in retirement security contributions from their employers. It’s an outrageous abuse of NJ’s Taxpayers

    THAT is the ROOT CAUSE of the pension mess …….. excessive generosity.

    No bailout, NOTHING w/o a hard (PERMANENT) DB Plan freeze for the FUTURE service of all CURRENT workers. And any replacement DC (Not DB) Plan for future service must be no greater in value than what NJ’s Private Sector workers typically get from their employers …. 4% to 5% of pay into a 401K Plan.

    Only THEN should ANY accommodations be discussed.

    NOTHING else will work because our self-interested Elected Officials are too easily BRIBED/BOUGHT/OWNED by the Public Sector Unions.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      I should have made that last sentence a bit longer.

      Instead of ………… “NOTHING else will work because our self-interested Elected Officials are too easily BRIBED/BOUGHT/OWNED by the Public Sector Unions.”

      It should have been ……………

      DB pensions must end, and only a VERY TINY (if any) portion of Public Sector Total Compensation (typically the DB pension and retiree healthcare subsidies) should continue in the form of Deferred Compensation. Why? Because the “value” of Deferred Compensation is to easily low-balled and then underfunded, leaving unfunded liabilities to grow, fester, and become a burden for Taxpayers. And why is this done? Because under-funding (while leaving richer and more-expensive DB pension in place) leaves more money available for Public Sector WAGE increases. And why do Elected Officials do this? Because our self-interested, contribution-soliciting, vote-selling Elected Officials are too easily BRIBED/BOUGHT/OWNED by the Public Sector Unions.”

      End DB pensions AND taxpayer subsidized retiree healthcare (beyond a few hundred $/yr into an HSA)

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 8:27 pm

        lol …………. “to easily”.

        I must have a few ………….. light-bulb-changer ………… genes in me.

        Reply

    • Posted by PS Drone on April 26, 2020 at 10:16 pm

      “Middle class”? Is Sweeney smoking something? What a joke. Lottery winning LEO’s, FF and teachers are hardly “middle class”.

      Reply

      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on April 27, 2020 at 9:20 pm

        “Middle class”? Is Sweeney smoking something? What a joke. Lottery winning LEO’s, FF and teachers are hardly “middle class”.
        Not even Upper Middle Class, they are 1%er’s today. 1%er’s for firewhiners and some cops, 2-3%er’s for the rest. Makes me sick, and disgusted how unskilled GED gov jobs are now 1%er employee’s…. Only in the make-believe Fantasyland of gov employment….

        Reply

  2. Posted by A on April 26, 2020 at 1:56 am

    There’s a new sheriff in town…

    Garden State Initiative, an independent research and educational organization dedicated to promoting new investment, innovation and economic growth in New Jersey.

    A member of the State Policy Network.

    You might want to contact them. Maybe they are low – balling the public pension costs.

    ” Why should N.J. taxpayers pay 50 percent more for public workers’ benefits, pensions?”

    Reply

    • Posted by A on April 26, 2020 at 8:49 am

      Although, maybe Regina Egea never heard that it is not valid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.

      Dr. Biggs knows…

      ” Does the substantially larger share of total compensation dedicated to benefits in the public sector better serve the needs of public employees and governments’ need to attract and retain quality workers?”

      A valid policy question.
      “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 2:50 pm

        Quoting Stephen Douglas ………….

        “………it is not valid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation. ”

        We know that (you’ve stated that dozens, if not hundreds of times).

        Dr. Biggs DID that in his AEI Public vs Private Sector Compensation Study……… with the result that NJ’s Public Sector workers have, on a TOTAL COMPENSATION BASIS (wages + pensions + benefits), a 23% of pay ADVANTAGE.

        It’s WAY past time to put an end to that ADVANTAGE.

        Reply

  3. Posted by Eric on April 26, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Tough Love:
    I have been reading many articles stating that the “red states” are “balking” about the federal government possibly bailing out the “blue states”, since for many years, approximately 20, the “poster child” for insolvent states ie New Jersey, had taken “pension holidays”, meaning for years New Jersey refused to fund its own pension systems. This was a choice that the New Jersey politicians had made.
    Red state politicians complain, by asking the question, why should states that have run fiscally sound budgets, and made their required pension contributions, be forced to watch federal dollars being sent to states, such as New Jersey and Illinois, which serve to reward their malfeasance? What message does that send to fiscally sound states? It tells them to spend recklessly and carelessly, since there are no consequences due to the federal government acting as a “sugar daddy.”
    Also, the production of more US dollars, now numbering in the trillions, would serve to dilute the remaining minute value of dollars for the general public’s consumption. Once the purchasing power of the US dollar has been even further eroded or reduced, people would be unable to sustain themselves with food essentials, resulting in “blood in the streets.”
    Ronald Read was a janitor in the State of Vermont. He saved what little money he made, and did not spend, by investing his savings into the stock of high quality, blue chip corporations, and died with an estate worth $8 million. If people and governments had some degree of discipline and accountability, as did Ronald Read, this pension funding problem would never exist, and people would have acted more fiscally independently throughout their lives. The mantra of total government dependence in the US today is highly disturbing.
    Eric

    Reply

    • Posted by A on April 26, 2020 at 9:06 am

      New Jersey and other blue states have been net donors for a long time. ” Each state is also seeing small returns on their dollar, with New Jersey at 82 cents, New York at 86 cents, and Massachusetts at 83 cents.”

      ” Virginia is at the opposite end of the spectrum,… residents receive $1.97 for every dollar sent to the federal government.”

      https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/donor-states/

      New Jersey has a negative balance of payments per capita of -$2,368. That would go a long way toward paying down their unfunded liability except… that’s not the way it works.

      Reply

      • Posted by E on April 26, 2020 at 1:04 pm

        Correct A. Eric, how much of a balanced budget would they have and what kind of services could they in fact offer their citizens if in fact my, TL, MJ, Marine1, PS, even A and yes Rex times tens of millions of people, didn’t send so much of our $$$ to them in the form of federal tax dollars redistributed from here….to their state coffers to bolster up there schools(still among the worst in the country), social services, farm subsidies(don’t mind that one, we all have to eat, but still) etc. Turn off the federal spigot to these areas(McConnell’s KY being one of them) and these folks would be in shantytowns. We here in NJ take care of our own poor(state tax) and red states poor(federal).
        They do nothing for NJ at all
        And we ALWAYS give $$ any time there is a natural disaster. The one previous time in recent memory we asked was Sandy. And the red states (Mississippi in particular) said NO!!! Then gov Barbour was pleading with the feds to bail him out a year later. Hypocrites. As this pandemic has hit us and NY the hardest!!!! We should get the most $$$$. The $$$ should be used to serve our citizens as we routinely send to DC WAY more than enough to cover the cost that they will send back. If money goes to govt to help defray taxpayer costs as well as small business owners etc than so be it. It doesn’t have to go to pensions. It can used for other things(freeing up the normal pension contribution to be made) that the state has to pay for. Testing, unemployment benifits, etc.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 3:52 pm

          How many $ Billions of everyone’s Federal Taxes is going towards Trump’s idiotic wall at the southern border. The wall is a joke and everybody knows it ……. Trump’s arrogance is WASTING money simply to meet a “political” promise.

          Reply

  4. Posted by MJ on April 26, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Middle class public workers? Maybe some of them, however as we know, not all of them at salaries of 85k and about plus gold health care? and other perks and bonuses, etc.

    What’s the salary range in NJ to be considered middle class?

    I think it is time to face the music and reform the system once and for all moving forward. If not, where will it ever end?

    Reply

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on April 26, 2020 at 11:48 am

      Middle class public workers? Maybe some of them, however as we know, not all of them at salaries of 85k and about plus gold health care? and other perks and bonuses, etc.
      The LOWEST paid UC (University of CA) employee/worker, a janitor @$39K/cash salary, not including Benefits, makes more than the overall median compensation of the average CA employee. NO, and I repeat NO gov employee in CA is “middle class”, not even the lowest paid ones.

      Reply

      • Posted by E on April 26, 2020 at 1:20 pm

        Nobody out here would consider $39K a year to be a good “second” income from a lesser paid spouse for full time work. Minimum $50,000 for that. And that’s with a breadwinner making over $100K

        Reply

  5. Posted by NJ2AZ on April 26, 2020 at 11:13 am

    we’ll protect your middle class pensions, up to the SS max. beyond that, pound sand.

    I’m willing to entertain a federal bailout ONLY if *significant* reforms are required.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 11:52 am

      Yes, that was what I was proposing ………… and with any replacement benefits and future service pensions of all CURRENT workers NO GREAT in “value” (and hence COST) than what Private Sector workers typically get from large Corporate employers (4% to 5% of pay into a 401K Plan and no more than a few hundred $/yr into a retiree HSA).

      Reply

    • Posted by E on April 26, 2020 at 1:17 pm

      AZ. How about all states contribute the same amount per capita to the fed govt. then maybe I will think about it. As long as you don’t ask for more than that for your forthcoming water problem……
      I don’t want the $$ for the pensions. I want the money (not loans) to pay for the emergency that we have here. That’s what being a part of the United States should be all about. One for all and all for one. It is not that way and hasn’t been that way for decades.

      Reply

      • Posted by NJ2AZ on April 26, 2020 at 2:31 pm

        E if you think all states should contribute the same per capita to the feds, or even the same % of income, tell your congressional delegations to stop insisting that progressive taxation at the federal level is the answer to all the country’s problems. NY/NJ taxpayers are getting what they vote for, good and hard

        as someone who thinks the federal behemoth should do a fraction of what it does, i would be fine with this.

        Reply

        • Posted by E on April 26, 2020 at 2:43 pm

          You may feel different if you still lived here. We pay among the highest per capita to DC. I’m fine w that. As long as when we need a hand, because we are getting the brunt of this(over 100,000 cases and almost 6000 deaths), we should get that hand, especially in light of what we send to DC and get back in return (always) and the fact that lots of other states over the years have gotten plenty of dough when something happens there. If the Red states had to fund their schools at the local level without all the federal $$ coming in for the state to subsidize them…even less kids would learn how to read and we would be a third world country. All I’m saying is don’t kick us when we are down. Help us as we ALWAYS have when other states come with their hands out…..via money from the federal govt.

          Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 6:59 pm

          Quoting NJ2AZ ………. “as someone who thinks the federal behemoth should do a fraction of what it does…..”

          State and Local gov’ts should ALSO do a fraction of what they do, and with a LOT fewer/lower-compensated workers.

          Reply

    • Posted by PS Drone on April 26, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      They should probably get more than SS since their contribution rate is quite a bit higher than 6.2%. However, they should not receive benefits until age 66.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 10:24 pm

        Police contribution rates have been above 6.2% for some years, but not the other Plans.

        Also, remember that in the earlier years of their careers, it was lower.

        Reply

      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on April 27, 2020 at 9:23 pm

        They should probably get more than SS since their contribution rate is quite a bit higher than 6.2%.
        Some might pay slightly more, most were/are/do not. Some paid ZERO, as their portion was “picked up” by the Muni.

        Reply

  6. Posted by E on April 26, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    MJ, middle class obviously varies from state to state. In Bergen County, especially northern parts, a family of 4 needs AT least $120,000 a year to even think about buying a home in these parts. Homes that certainly do not scream “wealthy”. I can get $600,000 for my split level that I paid $260,000(minus a $150,000 addition) 22 years ago.
    What kind of income does a couple need to purchase this home? $120,000 and up.
    And the real estate market was hot before this and will be after the rebound. The idea of these millennials (who were moving back to the burbs already just many years later than we did) staying in these urban areas where the virus spreads like wildfire?? Not seeing it. You may even see a resurgence of the surburban office campus with a marked increase of work from home employees. Much easier to social distance in an expansive office with the cubicles coming back than the open formats of the post modern urban offices.

    Reply

  7. Posted by A on April 26, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    12:38 am

    And any replacement DC (Not DB) Plan for future service must be no greater in value than what NJ’s Private Sector workers typically get from their employers …. 4% to 5% of pay into a 401K Plan.”

    11:52am

    “…NO GREAT in “value” (and hence COST) than what Private Sector workers typically get from large Corporate employers (4% to 5% of pay into a 401K Plan and no more than a few hundred $/yr into a retiree HSA).”

    Big difference. The huge dichotomy is not between private and public pay, but between small and large employers (government is almost always a “large employer”.)

    When you compare public to private pensions, either DB or DC, remember nearly half of U. S. (typically with small employers) get no pension. None.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Yes, I was being MORE generous in the 2-nd quote, as mid-size and smaller firms likely give less than 4% to 5% in to a 401K.

      You want LESS for Public Sector workers? Sure, then we can give Public Sector workers what the average 401K contribution is for ALL-size Private Sector companies.

      Happier now?

      Reply

    • Posted by A on April 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      My happiness is irrelevant.
      What we are looking at here is your definition of equal. Until I am, figuratively speaking, blue in the face, I have been trying to tell you that Biggs eight year old study is not the be-all and end-all public/private compensation comparisons. If you recall, he specifically left out the income from small establishments. (And police, yes.)

      Edward Ring includes all employees, and he figures public workers make twice as much.

      1. Who are we to believe?

      2. If, by some miracle you ever acquired EQUAL, how you gonna keep it?

      3. It’s impossible.

      Reply

  8. Posted by TOM on April 26, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    Gold is your insurance for what is coming and it is coming.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Eric on April 26, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    TOM:
    If you were to purchase gold, do not buy a gold ETF or Exchange Traded Fund like the GLD Fund as “pumped up” by Jim Cramer on CNBC. Order the GLD prospectus and read it to your horror. It is merely a trading vehicle that tracks the price of gold.
    The price of gold has been purposely suppressed in the COMEX markets by “naked shorting the COMEX” by the use of paper contracts, where there is no actual delivery of physical gold. I do not have the time or space to explain this in detail, but it is very interesting reading. Perhaps you are very much aware of this. The reason for artificially keeping the price of gold low, is to have people not lose confidence in the US dollar’s purchasing power.
    If you want to own gold, buy physical gold, do not store it in your house or in a bank. Banks may “inventory” the contents of safe deposit boxes. Also, many banks now prohibit your accessing your safe deposit box due to COVID-19. Also, intruders would steal gold if stored in a residence. Storing gold in one’s house is far too dangerous.
    Do not store any gold in a foreign nation, where one could not access it quickly during an emergency.
    I have no gold, but if I did, I would take possession, and store it a short “bicycle ride” from my residence as Jim Rickards suggests. A car trip may be too far if use of a car were prohibited due to “lockdowns.”
    I doubt that Tough Love could purchase the actual physical gold at $1,725 per ounce. That is the “paper price” that is irrelevant. The US Mint sells a one ounce US gold eagle proof coin for $2,375.00. The best price is probably $2,000.00 per ounce for a real gold coin.
    Maybe Tough Love is a better shopper than I am. My wife says I am the worst. Perhaps she is correct.
    Eric

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 10:37 pm

      Eric………

      You can VERY easily buy physical gold, in any form you want, from little balls for jewelry work, to coins, to bars, and take immediate possession.

      And if you know here to look (see link below) the premium over spot price and buy-sell spread is very small, only 1% to 2%

      https://online.kitco.com/gold-bars

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 26, 2020 at 10:41 pm

        Obviously buying a shinny US $20 Gold piece is going to have a bigger markup than a 10 or 100 or 400 oz ugly gold bar. The former has a “collectible” element (and hence “premium”) to it, while the latter are purely for investment purposes.

        Reply

  10. If it comes to that the precious metal that you will need is lead!! As in .40 caliber Glock ammunition. At that point you can shove the gold up your keister. It will be just as worthless as platinum or any of the others. Just metal. That’s all they are.
    You can stick with gold. I like my chances with buying the stock market on sale. If that fails permanently, lead will be of much greater value to me and my family. And i am an EXCELLENT marksman.

    Reply

    • Posted by PS Drone on April 26, 2020 at 10:22 pm

      Stick with fiat dollar denominated assets EG. With all of the money printing going on and the assorted trillions and trillions of debt and coming obligations, I am sure that you will end up the big winner in the end. But good luck at the grocery store.

      Reply

      • Posted by E on April 27, 2020 at 8:35 am

        Lol. As if you gonna survive walking into a grocery store with some gold trinkets, cmon bro, you couldn’t buy anything anyway….and you’d need that lead I talked about as well. Or at the very least, you’d be talking about a complete collapse of the economy. That grocery store would be guarded by guys like me with guns. And there would be no talk of cutting back on police or their pay/bennies. Whether paid in gold or food or otherwise.
        Let’s pray it doesn’t come close to that. I would bet that it will NOT.

        Reply

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