Archive for the ‘Private Sector Pensions’ Category

PBGC on Sears

Don’t be fooled by the logo. Anyone dealing with a typical government agency would be stunned at the freakish efficiency of the PBGC. I have gotten issues with premium payments and coverage determinations  that might take other agencies 45 days to address settled in 45 minutes. They send letters reminding you to pay your premium months before it’s due and emails moments after your premium filing contained what their system sees as an error. They audit practically every plan that terminates and it feels like a human being reviews every piece of paper or electronic transmission they get.* Yet they still have the capacity to stun.

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Sears & PBGC: Who’s Bankrupting Whom

How much will the Sears bankruptcy cost taxpayers? Let’s look at at some public information.

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5500 Day After – Central States

Another 5500 filing season has passed leaving some time, but little energy, for this blogging. Fortunately there were a lot of calendar year filings recently submitted for pensions in the news so it is the perfect time to do some updating – starting with the plan that is most likely to bring the PBGC (and the entire private pension system) down – Central States.

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Pension Provisions of New Republican Tax Plan

Bob Woodward’s Fear is now available with its narrative of a dysfunctional executive surrounded by a combination of traitors and dedicated public servants looking to keep the country on the right path notwithstanding the distractions. Among the latter group are Republicans on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee which just released a tax plan that would:

I work with retirement plans so I can speak to some of the proposals in the second bullet point which, for the most part, make sense:

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Trump Pension Order

Last Friday we got an Executive Order on Strengthening Retirement Security in America.

Excerpts and comments follow.

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Saving Community Newspapers – From Funding Pensions

Community newspapers pine for the 1990s when classified advertising revenue made them cash cows and they all had fully funded Defined Benefit plans using an 8% funding interest rate and 30-year amortizations of any unfunded liabilities.

Congress can’t bring back the revenue stream but they are trying to bring back the 80’s funding rules according to a story in The Virginian-Pilot:

A bill known as the Save Community Newspaper Act of 2018 was introduced last month by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., who said it would help independent newspapers “find their financial footing.”

What it will really do is put these single employer plans on the path that self-imposed funding rules have taken multiemployer plans.
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Regulation Removing Regulations (Part 1)


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To that end we got Executive Orders 13777 (2/24/17) and 13789 (4/21/17) and this morning the IRS released a proposed regulation to remove 298 obsolete and non-applicable regulations.

There are six pages that apply to pensions and, in that way regulators seem to have of masking what they are doing, there is some work to be done to figure out what would change. We will get to that in the second part of this series but if any of you see anything that stands out, please comment.

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