Skip to comments.Public Pensions are Underfunded
Posted on 12/21/2008 4:30:56 AM PST by reaganaut1
The extent to which public pensions are underfunded has been obscured by governmental accounting rules, which allow pension liabilities to be discounted at expected rates of return on pension assets, according to NBER researchers Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua Rauh. In The Intergenerational Transfer of Public Pension Promises (NBER Working Paper No. 14343), they report that over the next 15 years, state pensions are expected to grow to a total of about $7.9 trillion. But Novy-Marx and Rauh conservatively estimate a 50 percent chance that the system will be underfunded by more than $750 billion at that time, and a 25 percent chance of a shortfall of at least $1.75 trillion (in 2005 dollars). Adjusting for risk, the true intergenerational transfer is substantially larger, they write. Insuring both taxpayers against funding deficits and plan participants against benefit reductions would cost almost $2 trillion today, even though governments portray state pensions as almost fully funded.
Novy-Marx and Rauh collected data on the largest defined benefit (DB) pension funds sponsored by U.S. state governments. In a typical DB pension plan, an employer pledges an annual pension payment of an amount that is a function of the employee's final salary and years of employment. To assemble the list of plans, the authors began with data from the Census of Governments published by the U.S. Census Bureau. They studied all plans with more than $1 billion of assets. There were 112 such plans at the end of 2005. They then examined the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for each pension plan and collected total actuarial liabilities for each, along with the discount rate used by state actuaries to calculate these liabilities.
(Excerpt) Read more at nber.org ...
As far as I am concerned, state workers can go hang. At this point, I’d almost rather go back to the days when every new administration from every last political venue FIRED the whole raft of state workers and patronaged their own in. This way we wouldn’t have the unions OR the bloated, undeserved pensions to try to fund with MY tax dollars!
Young people really need to work more and hand over more.
There will be a war over that.
Government employees are going to take to the streets to protect their pensions.
Expect massive strikes and civil unrest.
You mean government might shut down? Sounds like a plan to me!
I'd try to make as much income as you can in cash as the state and federal governments intend to keep as much of your reported income as they can get away with because of the Taxpayer Act of 1943. That's the Act that gave the federal government the "right" to go into your wallet and take out as much as they "need" via payroll.
Nay, they will just tap into private assets to fund the public liabilities like 401 (K),annuities, property values, whatever isn't nailed down or squirreled away in a mason jar
Some cold winter afternoon when you have an hour or so to spare, take a look at this. One of the very best articles ever published on that subject.
EVOLUTION OF FEDERAL INCOME TAX WITHHOLDING: THE MACHINERY OF INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE
“Underfunded” is a spin term.
The correct description is “looted.” State governments looted the pension funds to pay for entitlement spending.
—some of those of us who have been awake to government spending for the last thirty years are already aware of this—
I'm retired on a pension from N.J. that I earned according to the laws of the state.
Someone is going to pay that retirement, or I will have to make it up some other way.
Robbing banks? No ... they're broke.
Strong armed robber? No ... too much competition there already.
Kidnap some Jersey politicians for ransom? Nah ... they aren't worth spit.
Hummmmm .... any suggestions?
So it sounds from this article that government pension funds do not have to follow the same funding requirements that private company pension funds must follow? Private company pensions are also feeling huge unexpected underfunding pain now, and I have been wondering how in the world companies are going to comply with the funding requirements, in down times.
How much longer can Big Government bail out Big Government? Supposedly 41 states are underwater and looking to the Feds for bailouts.
” I’m retired on a pension from N.J. that I earned according to the laws of the state.
Someone is going to pay that retirement, or I will have to make it up some other way.”
While your perspective is understandable, there is another angle to consider - There are legions of taxpayers who expect services from the governments to whom they pay taxes. What do you think will happen when 100% of their tax burden (which is likely to increase greatly) is used to pay retirees, and they get no services in return?
The likely answer is that state/federal government retirees are likely to get far less than they expected. The funding of taxpayer services is going to be a priority over retiree pensions - and that’s probably the best case.
Yup. Every state and federal pension (exception for military) should be converted to Socialist Security.
Here in NY, the teachers pensions are killing us.
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