The hopeful news for Social Security buried in the $1.9 trillion bailout

Link: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirement/the-hopeful-news-for-social-security-buried-in-the-1-9-trillion-bailout/ar-BB1eht7e?ocid=BingNews

Excerpt:

Lawmakers have moved to include in the bill an unrelated $86 billion bailout for bankrupt union pension plans.

And once they’ve done that, it’s going to be even harder for them to argue that they shouldn’t bail out the stricken Social Security trust fund that is actually their responsibility. Social Security’s deficit: $16.8 trillion, or about $50,000 for every person in America.

On the other hand, if Congress tries to weasel out of fully funding Social Security in a few years’ time, this rescue of private sector union pensions is going to look like an outrage.

Author(s): Brett Arends

Publication Date: 6 March 2021

Publication Site: MSN Money

Dow to freeze U.S. pension plans, contribute $1 billion and hike DC match

Link: https://www.pionline.com/retirement-plans/dow-freeze-us-pension-plans-contribute-1-billion-and-hike-dc-match

Excerpt:

Dow Inc., Midland, Mich., will freeze the benefit accruals of its U.S. pension plans at the end of 2023, increase its matching contribution in its defined contribution plans and will contribute $1 billion to the pension plans before the end of the first quarter.

The chemical company announced its plans in an 8-K filing with the SEC on Thursday.

First, Dow will freeze benefit accruals for participants in qualified and non-qualified pension plans, including the Dow Employees’ Pension Plan, the Union Carbide Employees’ Pension Plan and the Dow Chemical Co. Executives’ Supplemental Retirement Plan-Supplemental Benefit, effective Dec. 31, 2023.

Author(s): Rob Kozlowski

Publication Date: 4 March 2021

Publication Site: Pensions & Investments

Can States Be Trusted To Manage Retirement Savings? Two New Reasons For Concern

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ebauer/2021/02/28/can-states-be-trusted-to-manage-retirement-savings-two-new-reasons-for-concern/

Excerpt:

Readers, I have long been of the opinion that it’s a sensible approach to enable savers to choose among multiple retirement funds, so that they are able to reflect their particular ethical concerns, whether this means an “ESG” (environmental, social, and governance-issue focused) fund or a religious-screening approach, such as excluding companies which donate to Planned Parenthood (Ave Maria Funds) or which are in the alcohol industry (GuideStone Funds).

But no state official should be using investors’ money to play politics — not the money of individual investors through state-run IRAs or the retirement savings accounts of state employees, and not the money of public pension funds. And, frankly, I find it appalling that these sorts of actions aren’t universally considered to be wholly out of bounds — but I suppose living in Illinois (newly-declared the third-most-corrupt state, with Chicago as the most-corrupt city), I suppose I should lower my expectations. Readers in the remaining 49 states, however, should watch carefully.

Author(s): Elizabeth Bauer

Publication Date: 28 February 2021

Publication Site: Forbes

China says working on plan to raise retirement age

Link: http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202102/26/WS6038c7efa31024ad0baab6c7.html

Excerpt:

You said raising the retirement age in a gradual manner is a major decision made upon China’s overall economic and social development, which will improve the use of China’s human resources, enhance the sustainability of the social insurance system and ensure basic living of the people.

Currently, in China, the retirement age for men is 60, while for women it is 55 for white-collar workers and 50 for blue-collar employees.

With great social and economic progress taking place in China, the retirement age, which was set in the 1950s, is relatively low, according to You, who cited longer average life expectancy as well as changes in demographic structure and the supply and demand of labor.

Publication Date: 26 February 2021

Publication Site: China Daily

Stalin Sees Poll Motive In TN CM Raising Retirement Age; Mum On DMK-Congress Seat-sharing

Link: https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/politics/stalin-sees-poll-motive-in-tn-cm-raising-retirement-age-mum-on-dmk-congress-seat-sharing.html

Excerpt:

DMK president MK Stalin on Thursday hit out at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami for raising the retirement age of government employees to 60 years, saying the announcement was made with an eye on the forthcoming assembly elections in the state. Though increasing the retirement age of state government employees was welcome, it appears that the announcement was made with the elections in mind, Stalin alleged.

….

“Raising the retirement age is welcome, albeit the announcement made for the election,” the DMK leader said in a Facebook post on Thursday. He said the Chief Minister should have fixed the age criteria of 60 years when he had increased the retirement age to 59 from 58 years in May last year.

Publication Date: 26 February 2021

Publication Site: RepublicWorld.com

Raising of retirement age flayed

Link: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/raising-of-retirement-age-flayed/article33934131.ece

Excerpt:

The upward revision of retirement age for State government employees will affect opportunities for younger generation in getting employment in government departments, said K. Balakrishnan, state secretary, CPI (M) on Thursday.

Addressing journalists in Thanjavur, he said the State government, which was struggling to settle the retirement benefits of the State Transport Corporation employees, had announced that the retirement age for government employees would be increased to 60 years. This was nothing but an attempt to evade its responsibility of shouldering the financial burden of settling the retirement benefits of those due to retire from government service during this year.

Publication Date: 25 February 2021

Publication Site: The Hindu

Murphy will think about extending retirement age for judges

Excerpt:

Gov. Phil Murphy said he will think about increasing the mandatory retirement age of New Jersey judges beyond the age of 70.

“You do have the reality.  You’ve got a 78-year-old president who succeeded a 74-year-old president, so this is not a blip anymore,” Murphy said in response to an inquiry from the New Jersey Globe on Friday.

When New Jersey approved a new State Constitution in 1947 that forced judges to retire at 70, the average life expectancy of men in the United States – there was only one woman on the bench at the time, Libby Bernstein Sachar in Union County – was 62.

Author(s): David Wildstein

Publication Date: 26 February 2021

Publication Site: New Jersey Globe

Retirement age raised with eye on poll: Stalin

Link: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/retirement-age-raised-with-eye-on-poll-stalin/article33936796.ece

Excerpt:

DMK president M.K. Stalin on Thursday said Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had increased the retirement age of the State government employees with an eye on the Assembly election.

In a statement in Chennai, he said although it was welcome, the decision could have been taken last year when the retirement age was raised to 59.

Publication Date: 26 February 2021

Publication Site: The Hindu

Wall Street Lobbies to Bring More ESG Funds Into 401(k)s

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-street-lobbies-to-bring-more-esg-funds-into-401-k-s-11614767400?mod=djemwhatsnews

Excerpt:

Money managers are lobbying to scrap a Trump-era rule that makes it difficult for 401(k) plans to invest in socially focused funds.

The Labor Department ruleannounced in October, imposed restrictions on what can and can’t be offered as company 401(k) funds. One result is that plans can’t use funds with nonfinancial goals as default investments for employees.

That means 401(k) overseers and managers need to show that environmental, social and governance strategies can boost financial returns—a challenge for the nascent industry. ESG-focused funds are a growing profit center for asset managers.

Lobbyists representing managers, pensions and retirees began making calls to the Biden transition team in the weeks after the rule was announced. Some lobbyists urged the incoming administration to agree not to enforce the rule and place it under review, said people familiar with the matter.

Author(s): Dawn Lim

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Funded status of largest U.S. pension plans climbs in 2020

Link: https://www.pionline.com/pension-funds/funded-status-largest-us-pension-plans-climbs-2020

Excerpt:

The average funding ratio of 19 U.S. publicly listed corporations with more than $20 billion in global pension fund liabilities totaled 86.2% at the end of 2020, up from 84.9% at the start of the year, according to a report from Russell Investments.

Strong investment returns offset a decrease in the discount rate of more than 70 basis points that brought the total liabilities of the club to more than $1 trillion for the first time, said the report released Tuesday.

Assets for the “$20 billion club” totaled $901.9 billion as of Dec. 31, up 8.6% from the start of the year, and projected benefit obligations totaled $1.05 trillion, up 7.3% from the start of the year.

Author(s): Rob Kozlowski

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Pensions & Investments

Multiemployer pension measures cleared for relief bill vote

Link: https://www.pionline.com/legislation/multiemployer-pension-measures-cleared-relief-bill-vote

Excerpt:

Legislation to help struggling multiemployer pension funds is to remain in the COVID-19 relief measure headed for a Senate vote this week.

The package also calls for some funding relief for single-employer plans, through extended amortization periods and pension interest rate smoothing changes.

The pandemic relief package was approved by the House along party lines Feb. 27. Its pension provisions were at risk of being stripped until the Senate parliamentarian ruled late Monday that they fit the rules for a budget reconciliation process that allows Democrats to prevail under a simple majority.

Author(s): Hazel Bradford

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Pensions & Investments

Government sets out plans to raise normal minimum pensions age to 57 by 2028

Link: https://www.professionalpensions.com/news/4027084/government-sets-plans-raise-normal-minimum-pensions-age-57-2028

Excerpt:

At present, people aged 55 can access their retirement funds but the age limit is likely to increase by two years under plans laid out by the Treasury.

The Treasury consultation said the government intended to legislate to increase the normal minimum pension age to age 57 on 6 April 2028.

Author(s): Jenna Brown

Publication Date: 11 February 2021

Publication Site: Professional Pensions