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Private Pension Issues

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Reports | Articles


Report: Comparing Wealth in Retirement: State-Local Versus Private Sector Workers (October 2011)
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has compared the compensations of state-local employees with those of their private sector counterparts. The results clearly show that overall, 65-year-old state-local worker couples do not receive more benefits at retirement than their private sector counterparts. However, the one-third of state-local employment who spent more than one-half of their career in public employment were 11 percent to 18 percent richer by the time they turn 65 years old than those in the private sector. Furthermore, those with state-local employment--those who spent less than half their career as a public worker--ended up with less wealth than private sector employees.

Report: US: The Rising Tide of Pension Contributions Post-2008: How Much and When? (October 2011)
As the US economy climbs out of the recession, businesses that sponsor single-employer defined benefit pension plans face the challenge of rising levels of contribution requirements for their pension plans. The report provides a system-wide analysis of the expected contribution requirements for this pension system. It illustrates how sensitive the current system is to equity market returns and raises questions about whether this cyclicality is good for the system.

Report: Comparing Wealth in Retirement: State-Local versus Private Sector Workers (October 2011)
Private employees typically receive more wages but less pension payouts than state-local employees. The report features a study that determines if state-local employees amass more wealth at retirement than private sector employees.


Elderly Will Benefit from Tax Relief (December 1, 2011)
The Levy Court in Kent County has approved a “break” that elderly and disabled property owners enjoy on their taxes. Senior citizens welcomed the move because they will have more disposable income to improve their quality of life, especially against the backdrop of rising market costs. 

Parnell Administration Opposes Retirement Change (October 14, 2011)
A member of the Parnell administration told an Alaskan state Senate Committee that reverting to a traditional pension plan would cost more than continuing with the state’s new 401K-style program. The administration prefers the existing program because it wants employees, not the state, to bear the risk of any retirement funding shortfalls.

Average 401(k) Balance Near $75,000 (May 11, 2011)
Fidelity reported that the average US 401 (k) retirement-savings account balances have risen to a record of around $75,000 as plan participants have been increasing their contributions. This development in the 401 (k) balances is mainly due to stock market gains on the one hand, and to workers seeing their employment-based pensions fade on the other.

Big Banks Competing for Retirement Accounts (April 4, 2011) 

Big banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, are increasing staff, developing technology and competing on fees in an effort to sell retirement plan services to employers and win a bigger share of the trillions of dollars in 401(k) savings plans. According to experts, US employers held $2.9 trillion in 401(k) plans since September, and the total may reach $4 trillion by 2015.

42% Guessing How Much Money They’ll Need in Retirement (March 15, 2011)
According to the 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, Americans are not confident about their retirement. Today’s workers are more pessimistic than workers surveyed over the past 20 years. The survey reveals that one-quarter of workers are fearful they will not have enough money to live a comfortable retirement life.

Rewriting Pension History (March 9, 2011)
Moving away from longstanding practices of reporting pension earnings, some big companies are now reporting gains and losses in the same year they are incurred. The companies say the changes will make their earnings reports more transparent and it will be more immediately clear to investors how their pension plans have performed. 

Ford's Pension Plan Underfunding Rises (March 2, 2011)
The Ford Motor Co.’s US pension plans were underfunded by $6.7 billion at the end of 2010. Pension benefit obligations increased by $2 billion but the pension plan assets increased only by $1.5 billion. Ford did not disclose the exact amount of their last year US pension contribution, but stated that they made $1 billion in plan contributions within and outside of the US.

GM Seeks to Fully Fund Pension Funds (January 12, 2011)
General Motors’ pension is currently underfunded. GM is vulnerable because its 70,000 workers support a pensioned community of 700,000 US retirees, ten times its current work force. Chris Liddell, GM’s chief financial officer, noted GM’s plan to fund pensions, changing its assets to include more bonds and fewer equities for asset stability.  

Not Your Grandfather's Retirement: 'Boomers' to Hit 65 (October 26, 2010)
The baby boom generation turns 65 on January 1, but it’s not yet time to retire. A study shows fewer than half of boomers expect to be retired between the ages of 65 and 69, whereas in the past three-fourths expected retirement within a few years of hitting 65. The demographic trend, however, means a shock to the economy, government finances, a strain for the health care system and even a potential shift in America's role as a global superpower.


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