Central States Fall

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

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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.

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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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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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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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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/

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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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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

NFL Players Pension Red Zone – $7 Billion

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/01/24/nfl-players-pension-red-zone-7-billion/

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It is Super Bowl time which, for some of us, means  that the new 5500 for the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan (EIN 13-6043636) is out and we get a better idea of how much Joe Burrow really has in common with a Cleveland Iron Worker.

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At 25.53% funding (a massive decrease from last year) are the actuaries setting up the next play for this plan to be a Hail Mary?

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 24 Jan 2022

Publication Site: burypensions

SFA Update – One New Filer

Link: https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2022/01/30/sfa-update-one-new-filer/

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The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans weekend update showed one new plan applying – Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund out of Cleveland, Ohio – notable primarily for how little they are asking for – 22% of the unfunded liabilities reported on their latest 5500 filing

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 30 Jan 2022

Publication Site: Burypensions

The Looming Tipping Point of New Jersey’s Pension System

Link:https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2021/12/14/the-looming-tipping-point-of-new-jerseys-pension-system/

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Andrew Biggs prepared a report for The Garden State Initiative that focused on the impact of more retirees than employees.

Notable excerpts:

Nationally, unfunded state and local government pension liabilities remained roughly stable at about $1 billion from 1975 through 1999, but accelerated rapidly in the following two decades, reaching $4.0 trillion in 2020. The combined unfunded liabilities of New Jersey public plans have increased significantly as well, from $58 billion in 2000 to $186 billion in 2019. (page 4)

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In summary, federal government figures demonstrate that New Jersey lawmakers promised benefits to employees that were larger than lawmakers were willing or able to fully fund. The New Jersey pension systems instead relied upon returns on risky investments to make up the gap. But, as New Jersey’s investment experience shows, risky investments pay higher expected returns than safe investments precisely because they are risky, even over long periods of time. This leaves only more conventional solutions available, which are both financially and political difficult. All New Jersey pension stakeholders — including lawmakers, public employees and retirees, and taxpayers — must carefully consider how the costs and benefits of pension reforms will be borne. (page 33)

Author(s): John Bury

Publication Date: 14 Dec 2021

Publication Site: Burypensions