Gubernatorial Candidates On Pensions

P&I did a lengthy story* on states where public pensions are an issue in the election for governor. Here is a condensed summary of that story with relevant video where available:

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The Fifth Risk

Michael Lewis’ new book is a love letter to three federal government departments (Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce) that he researched thorough interviews with high-level Obama appointees. The upshot is that these government employees do vital work which is being threatened by the Trump people brought in through a sloppy transition process. Excerpts follow (including some insight into how the the solar panel scam got kick-started):

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Central States Lobbying

The bailout committee has been silent for months waiting for a Democratic Congress to come in but that does not mean Central States has not been telling their unions to get some coverage:
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The Road Carriers Local 707 Pension fund was 12.91% funded as of September 1, 2013. Their MPRA application was denied and they went broke in 2017 with retirees taking, on average, a 60% cut with PBGC ‘loans’ picking up 75% of those reduced benefits.

What does this augur for the Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Plan?

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Credentialed Reporting

Slow news day so let’s look at the media.

David Wildstein is a blogger who everyone has settled on as the mastermind of Bridgegate. He now runs a blog that covers New Jersey and apparently just became a credentialed reporter, which some other credentialed reporters here are taking umbrage with:
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Wildstein has his own issues with the media (specifically the Star Ledger which these days is editorializing for antitrust exemptions to goose profits) and he points out the hypocrisy.

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MPRA 5500 Data (5): Funded Ratios

Of the 25 multiemployer plans that have filed under MPRA so far there has not been much of a correlation between a plan’s funded ratio and the outcome of their application. Here is the list sorted by funded ratio:

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MPRA 5500 Data (4): Timeline

Based on a commenter suggestion we have added the initial filing and last action date to the spreadsheet of 25 multiemployer plans that have filed under MPRA.

There are 34 submissions altogether on the MPRA website as some plans have withdrawn or been denied and then refiled. Here is the list sorted by initial filing date:

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MPRA 5500 Data (3): Road Carriers 707 Augury

On March 15, 2016 the Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund applied to cut benefits under MPRA. On June 24, 2016 that application was denied and the plan went broke. Their latest 5500 filing shows that as of January 31, 2018 they have $12 to invest.

Here is their story, as pieced together from 5500 filings, which is an augury for several hundred other multiemployer plans- regardless of what their MPRA letter says.

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