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Old 02-13-2014, 06:30 AM   #121
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Two DB pensions. One military (COLAd with SB & HI) and one MegaCorp (non-COLAd with SB & HI), plus dual SS. Other tax free, tax deferred and taxable investments as well.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:06 AM   #122
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I stand corrected. Although the title says "pensions", the opening post does mention other sources of retirement income. Therefore, in my case, the answer is : US social security with WEP, small US pension, 401k plan, deferred annuities, planned SPIAs, UK state pension, small pension from a second Euro country, multiple ladders of US CDs and munis, about $1mm cash account in Europe, and possibly a couple more accounts from a clinic I have worked for here.

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Originally Posted by Alan View Post

He also asked about other sources of retirement income.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:30 AM   #123
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After reading all of the replies, I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I work at a law enforcement agency that pays 3% for final highest year at 50. This is a defined benefit for life with A 3% maximum yearly COLA. I plan on reaching FIRE in 3 years when I turn 50 with a 6 figure salary. The new hires are at a 2.7 @ 57 rate which is still great after reading everyone's comments.
People in public safety jobs (policemen, firemen, prison guards) seem to have, as a group, better pension plans that other public employees.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:33 AM   #124
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People in public safety jobs (policemen, firemen, prison guards) seem to have, as a group, better pension plans that other public employees.
Assuming they live long enough...
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:51 AM   #125
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After reading all of the replies, I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I work at a law enforcement agency that pays 3% for final highest year at 50. This is a defined benefit for life with A 3% maximum yearly COLA. I plan on reaching FIRE in 3 years when I turn 50 with a 6 figure salary. The new hires are at a 2.7 @ 57 rate which is still great after reading everyone's comments.
Being a pensioner myself, I am always curious about the funding mechanisms of others. Our system peaks out with 2.55 yearly multiplier at 31 years with 2% fixed cola. However this requires a 14.5% employee contribution and 14.5% employer match. Even with those huge contributions our system is not 100% funded. A 3% final high and 3% cola would seem to need a significantly higher contribution rate than mine to stay funded properly.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:56 AM   #126
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I disagree . My husband died less than two years after retirement .Luckily he had opted for the survivor benefit . I get 60% of his Cola pension & medical benefits .
Moemg,
Sorry to hear that. But you're right. Some sort of survivor benefit is the way to go unless one has a substantial estate. It's definitely something that a responsible person would do for his DW. Sorry again for your loss, but you had a good guy looking out for you!
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:56 AM   #127
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Being a pensioner myself, I am always curious about the funding mechanisms of others. Our system peaks out with 2.55 yearly multiplier at 31 years with 2% fixed cola. However this requires a 14.5% employee contribution and 14.5% employer match. Even with those huge contributions our system is not 100% funded. A 3% final high and 3% cola would seem to need a significantly higher contribution rate than mine to stay funded properly.

Our system is about 78% funded. My contribution rate is 12%. I am not sure what the employers rate is. Our County is a 1937 Act County (we have an independent retirement fund verses PERS) and it is managed very well by the people the county employees. Most find law enforcement, prison guards and fire firefighters have it made but as some posted, the life expectancy in retirement is low compared to the national average. I am not justifying it, just stating what I have read. That is why I am getting our at 50. I want to enjoy the benefit as long as I can.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:02 PM   #128
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No pension.
Squeezing through into almost 25 years of being unemployed, and happily hope for another 5 to 10 years.

I have some concern for one of my sons, who is promised an excellent pension. A year ago, we talked about the pension and he indicated that the plan had a top rating and was totally funded... Recently he spoke of what sounded a little more cautionary. The plan is with a very large national network of service providers to state governments.

My question is, how do we know that pension funds are safe. The PBGC is essentially underwater. If problems arise, is it likely that pension funds will be paid out to current employees, and "when they're gone, they're gone"... or will necessary cutbacks (if needed) be spread out to everyone. (Thinking the Chicago Teachers Pension Funds).

Can't seem to find a good overview for this...
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:00 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Caramsfan View Post
After reading all of the replies, I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I work at a law enforcement agency that pays 3% for final highest year at 50. This is a defined benefit for life with A 3% maximum yearly COLA. I plan on reaching FIRE in 3 years when I turn 50 with a 6 figure salary. The new hires are at a 2.7 @ 57 rate which is still great after reading everyone's comments.
It was interesting to me to note as I progressed through my career and retired how some State & Local LE pension plans were a little bit better than for Federal LEO's under FERS. Working salaries tended to be higher for Feds in a lot of places, but about the same in others (notably big city departments.)
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:37 PM   #130
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I am retired from working for city government with a partially COLA'd defined benefit pension and 457b plan (defined contribution) which I can access immediately. I also have both Roth and Traditional IRAs from which I can take distributions starting in a year and a half. I will be eligible for Social Security Early Retirement at age 62. That's a little under four years from now, but due to my health it's a toss-up whether I will ever draw SS benefits. I could apply for SSDI, but reduced life expectancy by itself is not sufficient to qualify—one must be actually unable to work.

This particular pension plan is drastically under-funded and when I retired last year, there were plans under discussion to change the pension arrangement for new hires. I don't know whether these plans have been put into effect yet.

I have retiree health coverage, which in my case means I remain part of the same group plan as when I was working, but pay the premiums out of my pension check rather than my employer paying them.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:41 PM   #131
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Our monthly sources will include:
1. Teacher Pension $1,500 w/cola
2. Teacher Annuity (self funded/heavily subsidized) $1,000 w/cola
3. My pension $1,000
4. 401k
5. IRA
6. IRA
7. Roth IRA
8. Roth IRA
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #132
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Yep....A smaller $2,300 per month pension from my previous employer......it will be our cash-cow which is better than nothing! We Baby Boomers are spoiled! Our kids and Grand kids will not have it as good I am afraid.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:41 PM   #133
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Just barely qualified for a truncated, non-COLA, DB pension (Megacorp still had one). Paid off the mortgage and the vehicles, so this will do quite nicely.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:05 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...
I have some concern for one of my sons, who is promised an excellent pension. ... Recently he spoke of what sounded a little more cautionary. ...

My question is, how do we know that pension funds are safe. The PBGC is essentially underwater. ...
I'm not sure it's accurate to say the PBGC is 'underwater' (emphasis on 'not sure').

I've read that they are not fully funded themselves (ironic?). But the calculations behind this have eluded me.

And I think some people have made statements based on the entire value of the pensions they insure. But of course, not every pension will drop to zero. Just like an insurance company does not have reserves to cover a total, simultaneous loss of every home they cover.

Concern is probably in order, back-up plans are always good, but I doubt we are talking about a drop to zero, or even 50%. I do recall reading that the PBGC admin told Congress that a small increase in the premiums they charge would bring things back in line, but delaying will make it worse. Of course, it has been delayed (AFAIK). A little pain now to avoid a higher pain later.

-ERD50
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:01 PM   #135
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Concern is probably in order, back-up plans are always good, but I doubt we are talking about a drop to zero, or even 50%. I do recall reading that the PBGC admin told Congress that a small increase in the premiums they charge would bring things back in line, but delaying will make it worse. Of course, it has been delayed (AFAIK). A little pain now to avoid a higher pain later.

-ERD50
I think our worst pension is funded at 86% currently, even if the PBGC doesn't cover the rest. That is well within our margin of safety in our retirement plan. I like taking the pensions as annuities for an entirely different income stream than our investment portfolio.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:07 PM   #136
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My pension is 2.5 at 55, plus 2% cola. I bought 4 years and retired with 28. Took a management position to get higher pay for the formula. Hated being a manager, though i was good at it. Funny thing, I was employed 5 years before I even knew we had a pension and what that would mean. And thank god for it, I'm not a saver.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:20 PM   #137
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My pension is 2.5 at 55, plus 2% cola. I bought 4 years and retired with 28. Took a management position to get higher pay for the formula. Hated being a manager, though i was good at it. Funny thing, I was employed 5 years before I even knew we had a pension and what that would mean. And thank god for it, I'm not a saver.
70% pay at 55 w/ 2% COLA is pretty sweet. Congrats!
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:12 PM   #138
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I am retired from working for city government with a partially COLA'd defined benefit pension and 457b plan (defined contribution) which I can access immediately. I also have both Roth and Traditional IRAs from which I can take distributions starting in a year and a half. I will be eligible for Social Security Early Retirement at age 62. That's a little under four years from now, but due to my health it's a toss-up whether I will ever draw SS benefits. I could apply for SSDI, but reduced life expectancy by itself is not sufficient to qualify—one must be actually unable to work.

This particular pension plan is drastically under-funded and when I retired last year, there were plans under discussion to change the pension arrangement for new hires. I don't know whether these plans have been put into effect yet.

I have retiree health coverage, which in my case means I remain part of the same group plan as when I was working, but pay the premiums out of my pension check rather than my employer paying them.
Kyounge,

Did I understand you to say you're not sure that you'll ever draw SS at 62? What's up with that?
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:27 AM   #139
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Defined Benefit Pension from law enforcement for a major city in Texas. The system has undergone multiple changes since inception (1940s), but at the time I retired at 45 I received 50% of regular pay (based on last paycheck) for the first 20 years of service, plus 2% for each subsequent year, plus the monthly average of all additional pay received over the last 12 months. It's COLAed at 75% of the local CPI capped with a floor and a ceiling.

The pension is a governmental subdivision of city government, but the elected officers are primarily current and retired employees, with representation from the Mayor and the City Controller. In other words, the political machinations from politicians is minimal and muted. The system is quite healthy, funded at about 85%, and would be better if previous city administrations had not created problems by taking funding holidays, and bribing active employees with manipulated pension increases in lieu of salary hikes.

The pension system sued the city over the underfunding and manipulations when a new mayor was elected. The lawsuit was settled by means of a contract between the city and the pension system that fixed some of the errors, reduced benefits for new hires, and allowed the city to spread out payments to fix the underfunding. The results is that there is still some drag on the city budget as a result, but the situation is much better than most other major cities in the country.

I was a participant in a DROP plan for 5 years before retiring, and that money was rolled over into a traditional IRA that I am not yet eligible to receive regular distributions from because of my age.

In addition, I started investing in the early 1980s and have a steady stream of income from the resulting portfolio.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:52 AM   #140
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Semi-COLAed military pension, initially covering all living expenses and with investment stash covering the taper down, kicking in next Thursday.
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