417(e) Barometer

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/05/24/417e-barometer/

Excerpt:

The 417(e) segment rates for April, 2022 were just released and two takeaways:

  1. 50 basis point increase in one month indicates that lump sums being paid out of Defined Benefit plans will be greatly decreased in 2023 from 2022; and
  2. The economy is in a recession similar to 2008-9.

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 24 May 2022

Publication Site: Burypensions

UMWA 5500 Update – 6/30/21

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/06/02/umwa-5500-update-6-30-21/

Excerpt:

Five years ago retired coal miners traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby lawmakers to put in place a federal safety net in case the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) pension fund fails. Coal plant closures and company bankruptcies have sent the pension fund to the edge of collapse. In October, 2019 Murray Energy, the last major company propping up the dwindling fund, also went bankrupt and the prediction was insolvency in FY23.

By the April 15, 2022 deadline, the plan submitted their 5500 form for the year ended 6/30/21 showing only 68 active participants remaining and providing an idea of how much more taxpayers will now be on the hook for on top of what appears to be the $330 million that came in during the plan year.

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 3 June 2022

Publication Site: Burypensions

SFA Update – Two Refilers

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/05/20/sfa-update-two-refilers/

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Excerpt:

The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans weekend update showed a refiling of a prior withdrawal (America’s Family Benefit Retirement Plan) that asked for $4,.5 million less and one withdrawal and immediate refile (UTWA NJ Union Employer Pension Plan) that asked for $17,918 more.

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 20 May 2022

Publication Site: burypensions

NJ Actuarial Reports – The Believable Numbers 6/30/21

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/04/29/nj-actuarial-reports-the-believable-numbers-6-30-21/

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Excerpt:

The June 30, 2021 actuarial reports for the New Jersey Retirement System are now all out and there are a few numbers therein that can be taken seriously (none involving liabilities or even the market value of assets considering all those self-valued alternative investments). The main purpose of these official actuarial reports is to determine the ‘required’ contributions which practically all parties have a vested interest in understating so we get a bunch of fanciful numbers where possible. However, these numbers you can’t pretty up:

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 28 April 2022

Publication Site: burypensions

Central States Fall

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/05/09/central-states-fall/

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Excerpt:

All 1,298 pages of the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund bailout application is on the SFA website but, for me, it is these two pages that tell the tale of the fall of this and many other union pension plans.

…..

Funded ratio: 21.91%

Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/20: $43,878,930,013

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/20: $10,409,490,502

Contributions 2020 (MB): $662,009,633

Contributions 2020 (H): $406,600,320

Payouts 2020: $2,842,184,040

Expenses 2019: $53,552,2071

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 9 May 2022

Publication Site: burypensions

Breaking News: Central States Filed

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/04/29/breaking-news-central-states-filed/

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Excerpt:

The first 34 plans that filed requested a total $8.4 billion in bailout money from the PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans. No press release but the PBGC weekend update showed one new plan – the Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Plan with 364,908 participants which is asking for $35 billion dollars.

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 29 Apr 2022

Publication Site: burypensions

NJ OPEB Update – 2020

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/04/26/nj-opeb-update-2020/

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Excerpt:

There are three separate reports for statelocal government, and local education which throw a lot of distracting numbers at you but, when added up, show that after an amazing 1/3rd reduction in the total OPEB Liability (from $110 billion as of 6/30/16 to under $74 billion as of 6/30/19) the state actuaries sharply reversed course.

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 26 Apr 2022

Publication Site: Burypensions

SFA Update – One Revision; One Withdrawal

Link:https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/sfa-update-one-revision-one-withdrawal/

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Excerpt:

The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans weekend update showed one plan withdrawing and reapplying immediately with another simply withdrawing.

Our updated summary of the 35 plans in the system – 10 approvals and 25 under review:

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 15 Apr 2022

Publication Site: Burypensions

The Labor Guide to Retirement Plans (I)

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/03/22/the-labor-guide-to-retirement-plans-i/

Excerpt:

book to educate labor people to argue for keeping their underfunded defined benefit plans with sprinklings of propaganda.

Yet pension plans cost governments less than 401(k)s for the same benefit amount. Most public pension plans are in sound financial shape despite media focus on the few that are not. (page 10)

At one point, I commented to a pension attorney that I didn’t think there were more than twenty-five people in the state who understood how the state employee pension plan worked. He agreed and then added that there were a lot more people who thought they did, especially politicians who were proposing reforms to it. (page 16)

Unless your doctor has told you you’re about to die, receiving a lump sum payment is almost always a terrible idea. (page 110)

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 23 Mar 2022

Publication Site: Burypensions

SFA Update – One New Billion Dollar Filer

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/02/04/sfa-update-one-new-billion-dollar-filer/

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Excerpt:

The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans weekend update showed one new plan applying – New York State Teamsters Conference Pension Plan out of Syracuse, NY which, when compared to the other applicants, is the second largest by participant count, asking for the third largest dollar amount amount ($1,035,864,068) and the second smallest as a percentage of unfunded liabilities (30.12%).

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 4 Feb 2022

Publication Site: burypensions