Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pension-Financing the Deficit

Good evening gentle reader.

Apologies for my being MIA for so long.

Mr. Bury and his site are an excellent source of information on the pension status for NJ and also for the nation.

My practice is taking me a different direction and I would like Americans concerned about their future financial security to be aware.  Just this week, I have spoken with retirement academics, unions, The US Chamber of Commerce, and National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, among others.   By now you know I support a combination of recapitalization and reforms for the pension industry.  I support the concept of the Butch Lewis Act.  But I propose financing with the Federal Reserve rather than Treasury.

I have a goal and a calendar. I want to go to test funding by the end of June. Another difference I am proposing with Butch Lewis is, while the act targets Multiemployer pensions, I want to include state pension plans.  I have so far spoken with two states on this subject.

Continue reading

EA18 (4) Risk in NYC

This year’s Enrolled Actuaries meeting is a bit faster paced as breakout sessions have gone from 90 minutes to a bite-sized 75 minutes and there are now 10 of them instead of 8. In that spirit these blogs will be shorter and more frequent.

We kick with my notes (my comments in brackets) on what Sherry S. Chan, New York City Chief Actuary, said at the first general session ‘Talking Risk’.

Continue reading

PBGC Primer

In FY2017, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insured about 24,000 DB pension plans covering approximately 40 million people. PBGC became the trustee of 82 newly terminated single-employer pension plans and began providing financial assistance to an additional 7 multiemployer pension plans. PBGC paid benefits to nearly 840,000 participants in 4,845 single-employer pension plans and more than 63,000 participants in 72 multiemployer plans.

All this according to PBGC: A Primer. More excerpts:

Continue reading

Pension-…And Da Big One

Good morning gentle reader.

I would like to take a step back for a moment and ask a few questions.  Based on comments, I feel there are some misguided persons.

  • Do you believe there is a pension crisis?

If not, why are you here?  If so, the next question is;

  • What is the estimated size of the crisis?

In a December paper, the Heritage Foundation Pension Paper mentions the pension crisis, all in both public and private, at more than $7 trillion dollars, a magnitude larger than the banking crisis.  Is this a figure you accept?  If not, what would you place the value of the crisis at?  Please let me know.

  • If you believe the pension crisis exists and is very large, should we do something or nothing?

If you believe the size of the crisis is close to what the Heritage Foundation cites, then we cannot afford to sit idle and do nothing.  To take trillions of dollars out of consumers when we are a consumer economy would permanently break the American economy.  I see visions of Argentina in my mind.

Continue reading


What is faith?  Is it religion, faith in God?  Is it economics?  After all, our currency is “backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States.”  It is currently out of vogue to say; “Let us pray to All Mighty God for wisdom in finding pension solutions”.  OK, fine, I won’t say that.  Just concentrate on the “backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States.”

Continue reading

NJ Pensions on NJTV

Republican Assemblyman Jon Bramnick brought up Governor Murphy’s hypocrisy in raising the interest rate for funding the state retirement system and Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute got some airtime to enthusiastically discuss the debacle that is that system and his recent report chronicling it.

Continue reading

Pension-Please Help?

Good morning gentle reader.

I had intended this Friday to be a very productive day with many goals to meet.  I read some older posts on older sites and find my motivation is thin this morning.

I am trained as an economist.  We are taught to move decimals when there is a crisis-reduce benefits and the like.  But I am also a man.  From the very foundations of, take your pick, our nation, or our world, is the notion of the value of man in his existence not societal contribution.

Continue reading