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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 04:43 AM   #61
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

I agree with Ha.. golden.

What about all the schmoes who put in 30 years with NO pension? People who find themselves with NO health care coverage? I would love to have 30k coming in automatically for the rest of my life, without having to worry about squeezing that much out of my savings each year to live on, as I do now.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 04:51 AM   #62
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I agree with Ha.. golden.

What about all the schmoes who put in 30 years with NO pension? People who find themselves with NO health care coverage? I would love to have 30k coming in automatically for the rest of my life, without having to worry about squeezing that much out of my savings each year to live on, as I do now.
Again That was the program I signed for in the 1970s.

I had NO CHOICE!

I CANNOT take the sum now in a lump sum, so What is wrong with my situation?

Sure HA it looks good, but the medical copays are now pushing 3,000 a year which is still not bad but then again AMERICA the greatest place on earth and we have how many WITHOUT health insurance?? 45 MILLION?
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 05:27 AM   #63
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Even though others may not have a pension at all does not change the fact that it is still theft to take away benefits that were promised to those that do. I didn't get a pension accidentally, I chose a company to work for that had one. Many other people could have done the same. Back when companies had ethics we didn't dream they would drop the pension if they were still in business. We were wrong. Hope the government doesn't decide to revoke the tax status of 401K's and IRA's or quit paying social security.

An no I don't think a $30K pension, after a lifetime of service is excessive. If companies don't take care of their workers the government will end up with the bill. Not everyone, in fact most will never be able to invest for themselves and end up secure. The whole point of the pension is they didn't have to. They could concentrate on their job.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 09:38 AM   #64
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Right on Lazarus. Thanks for pointing out pension default is theft, not to mention breach of contract. I contributed to my pension; it is not an entitlement.The state matches my contribution per my contract with the state. I worked for state government for low wages specifcally for the pension. This does not make me a parasite or a whiner.

If you are not getting a pension from your company, then there is something wrong with your company, not with me. I had nothing to do with it.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 09:56 AM   #65
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRS
Right on Lazarus. Thanks for pointing out pension default is theft, not to mention breach of contract. I contributed to my pension; it is not an entitlement.The state matches my contribution per my contract with the state. I worked for state government for low wages specifcally for the pension. This does not make me a parasite or a whiner.

If you are not getting a pension from your company, then there is something wrong with your company, not with me. I had nothing to do with it.
It sounds like you're characterizing the migration from DBPs to DCPs as "changing the rules in the middle of the game." Perhaps so, but when the game lasts for decades, and a company is faced with severe economic consequences (i.e. bankruptcy) if it continues to pay pensions, it would make far more sense not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 10:10 AM   #66
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Actually the state I worked for changed from a DBP to a DCP. They split the workforce into two tiers. Old timers are entitled to benefits from the earlier program and able to continue in the later program. The new hires only contribute to the DCP.

This is the solution after literally decades of warnings from analysts about the coming pension crises. I remember reading about the upcoming baby boom bubble back in the '80s when I was a newbie. It pisses me off that nothing was done. We were fed a lot of lies about our pensions. We were cynically offered deals on our pension in lieu of wage increases (for instance, the state picked up our monthly contributions in exchange for a several years' wage freeze.) Not only that, but our healthy pension funds were raided repeatedly at the state's whim.

Now I and my fellow workers are being blamed for the state pension crises. It turns out we were suckers for believing we would get our contractually promised benefits. Yes, the rules changed in the middle of the game, but no, it's not my fault and forgive me for not being a good sport about it. I had to uphold my end of the contract with the state, but they can get away with murdering my pension.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 10:51 AM   #67
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRS
Actually the state I worked for changed from a DBP to a DCP. They split the workforce into two tiers. Old timers are entitled to benefits from the earlier program and able to continue in the later program. The new hires only contribute to the DCP.

This is essentially what happened in the Federal Govt employee retirement system. In the 80s (1986?) there was a changeover from a DB to a DC system (CSRS to FERS). Employees could change over, new ones were under FERS. The new systems are actually better that the old IF the employee makes the maximum contribution. Those who don't will have a serious retirement problem. The old system was more "idiot proof" which was not all a bad thing as how many 20 year olds (except for readers of this board) even think of retirement planning.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 11:13 AM   #68
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

I like the new trend for companies to automatically enroll their employees in the 401k unless they opt out. My wife's company does this after 6 weeks. For all 401k plan participants, the investment choice defaults to Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth for those under 45, and VG lifestrategy income (or conservative growth, can't recall) for those over 45. Not a bad plan design, I think! You have to be proactive to get OUT of the 401k. I believe the default contribution rate was either 6 or 10%.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 11:34 AM   #69
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
. . . but when the game lasts for decades, and a company is faced with severe economic consequences (i.e. bankruptcy) if it continues to pay pensions, it would make far more sense not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
This is just nonsense. *Pension obligations do not cause bankruptcy. *List the expenses for a large company -- all of them. *They would include executive compensation, executive perks, stock option giveaways, the HR budget to circulate full-color inspirational posters all over the facility, . . . as well as all those things actually required to make a product or deliver a service. *

But company executives want to cut costs and they don't want to reduce their own level of comfort or to actually have to work and figure out where their corporate inefficiencies really are. *Instead, they engage in this nonsense publicity spin: *"We have to screw the employees out of the pensions we've promised them or we'll go bankrupt." *What's next? *"We have to stop paying the employees from time to time to keep from going bankrupt." *or maybe, "We have to force the employees to actually pay us to work here so we don't go bankrupt." *

I'm tired of hearing how much pensions are costing companies and being told that the only way for the company to remain solvent is to break the pension agreeement. *Pension expenses should be among the easiest to predict. *Planning to have enough to pay out pensions should *be a no-brainer. *If the pension expenses are causing a crises, then management is incompetent or corrupt. *Either way, I think it makes me justified in saying that I want to see the rest of the numbers. *I'll bet you I could find a lot of other costs to cut before I had to cut pensions. *
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 11:37 AM   #70
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Makes you wonder what would happen if the Government did not pick up the DB plans and the corps. had to deal with the fallout without the taxpayers picking up the tab.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 11:41 AM   #71
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Here in New Jersey Christy Todd Whitman the Gov at the time raided the pension fund and did not put the required amount of funds into the account for 3 years.

She tried to balance the state budget with money taken that did not belong to her budget.

Now in 2006 with a new gov and a 5 billion dollar hole who knows what things will look like in the future.

That is one reason I will take my early retirement now , the writing is on the wall they plan to take the option of early retirement away and raise the age that you will have to work to 60 or higher.

EF em.

I am so tired of being told I am the problem, nope I held up my end and put 5% a year of my so called great teacher salary for 30 years into the pension system. *But politicians stole it.

So far at least the state is not like a company, It will take much more to drive pensions out.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 11:42 AM   #72
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

In a perfect world, the ongoing pension obligations would be funded throughout an employees career. Companies and governments wouldn't use bizarre pension accounting to increase profits and fund other things.

The real crime here, is not that the promise has been broken. It is that these pension plans have not been funded along the way as they should have been. Now that the tab is comming due all of a sudden it's a crisis.

So my question is: where were the watchdogs? *This has been a slow train wreck that anybody in the know could have seen comming.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 11:45 AM   #73
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
In a perfect world, the ongoing pension obligations would be funded throughout an employees career. Companies and governments wouldn't use bizarre pension accounting to increase profits and fund other things.

The real crime here, is not that the promise has been broken. It is that these pension plans have not been funded along the way as they should have been. Now that the tab is comming due all of a sudden it's a crisis.

So my question is: where were the watchdogs? *This has been a slow train wreck that anybody in the know could have seen comming.
We all saw it comming here in new jersey, but heck BUSH gave Christy a promotion!! REMEMBER!!
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 11:59 AM   #74
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

NewGuy:

This problem started long before Bush ever came on the scene.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 12:02 PM   #75
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy88
I will say this until I am blue in the face, I was given NO CHOICE when I SIGNED MY TEACHERS CONTRACT! I was TOLD by the STATE OF NJ I must contribute to the teacher pension annuity fund and have done so for almost 30 years, SORRY THEY MUST PAY the funds promised.
Just curisous. Did you also contribute to SS? How much did you have to contribute to you TA?
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 12:13 PM   #76
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

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Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
This is just nonsense. Pension obligations do not cause bankruptcy. List the expenses for a large company -- all of them. They would include executive compensation, executive perks, stock option giveaways, the HR budget to circulate full-color inspirational posters all over the facility, . . . as well as all those things actually required to make a product or deliver a service.
As a company owner, let me point out a problem to you from a pragmatic standpoint. If you have a pension, and I don't, I can undercut your fees/cost/pricing. If your pension obligations are 10-20% of your gross revenues (and some are this high), I am going to put you out of business. What are you going to do then? I will mention that we to not have a DBP, only a DCP.

Don't get me wrong, promised benifits should be delivered, under force of law. However, people are confusing promised with hoped for. I hoped to win the lottery all three times I played, and the advertising of the lottery commission sure implied I am going to win, but I do not get angry when I loose.

OTOH, I will be honest and admit that if my DBP got eliminated when I was 45-50, I would be PISSED.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 12:23 PM   #77
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

BBuzzard - company owner:

well my take is that a pension plan funded over a few decades shouldn't cost more than 5-10 percent of salaries. And since pensions insure long term loyalty you can probably drop the salaries that you pay by the same 5-10 percent (or more) over market rates.

By my calculations - you the business owner come out ahead
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 12:50 PM   #78
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbuzzard
As a company owner, let me point out a problem to you from a pragmatic standpoint.* If you have a pension, and I don't, I can undercut your fees/cost/pricing. If your pension obligations are 10-20% of your gross revenues (and some are this high), I am going to put you out of business.* What are you going to do then? I will mention that we to not have a DBP, only a DCP.
Let's just use this reasoning and take it a step further . . . As a company owner, if you have to pay your workers and I have slavery, I can undercut your fees/cost/pricing. If your labor expenses are 10% of your gross revenues (and most are much much higher), I am going to put you out of business.

There. I have justified the use of slavery in our capitalist economy.

Every company has certain advantages and disadvantages over other companies in other locations, with different laws, tax structures, regulations, etc. One plant is in a state with special tax priviledges. One plant is in an area where labor is more expensive, one in a place where access to highly skilled people is difficult, . . .

Why have pension benefits been singled out as THE cause of competitive disadvantage? I'll give you a hint: This administration is a government of the wealthy elite, by the wealthy elite, and for the wealthy elite. They have signaled a willingness to let corporations reduce cost at the expense of labor. Corporate executives may not be too bright, but they understand that message and are working to take advantage of it while they can.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong, promised benifits should be delivered, under force of law. However, people are confusing promised with hoped for. I hoped to win the lottery all three times I played, and the advertising of the lottery commission sure implied I am going to win, but I do not get angry when I loose.
It's a little more than hoped for. When I went through orientation at new companies, the HR representative who talked about pension benefits spent quite a bit of time explaining how valuable the pension plan was and how stable and secure it was. They made every effort to convince us that the pension benefit they offered to long-time employees was very valuable and that it was safe. The existence of the pension plan is usually one of the rationals given for lower compensation.

Although my pensions are still safe for the moment and I can't claim to have ever worked for IBM, I would be very surprised if the IBM orientation presentation wasn't much the same. And newguy was clearly misled about the security of that pension system.

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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 01:19 PM   #79
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

To Jay Republican Gatsby and all other apologists for the corporate state: Why are all of you justifying the looting of pension funds by government and underfunding by business while never pointing to obscene compensation packages of top corporate management and their expense accounts "perks" which are just tax rip offs?

Just curious.
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Re: The pension system destruction continues
Old 01-09-2006, 01:26 PM   #80
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Re: The pension system destruction continues

That would make him "J.R."...
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