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We’re Reaching the Beginning of the End of the Pension Fund Crisis

We’re Reaching the Beginning of the End of the Pension Fund Crisis

pensions unstable
Photo by Bank of England | CC BY | Photoshopped from original

The pension crisis has been escalating for quite some time, and accounting for pension shortfalls seems next to impossible for state governments.

The shortfall between pension assets and liabilities is a major problem. But another problem may be spelling the beginning of the end for public pensions altogether.

The Beginning of the “End”

Typically, public pensions assume a 7-percent discount rate so they need to generate a return higher than that. But according to Bloomberg, they aren’t getting those returns often enough.

The Bloomberg article states that the average returns for pension-fund-like portfolios have only generated returns of 7 percent or greater for 50-year periods twice since 1871.

The article continues, saying the problem is worse because of two primary reasons:

  1. “Cumulative returns are lower than the averages.”
  2. “An extended period of bad returns cannot be made up even with astronomical returns later.”

For example: Over a 50 year period, if a fund were to have zero returns in the first 15 years, and goes broke, it wouldn’t matter what it did (or could do) after that. If that seems obvious, that’s because it is.

And this example applies even if a fund started in June 1949 and earned an average of 7.99%, according to Bloomberg. Even if the pension is fully funded, “there is no chance existing assets are enough to pay already-contracted liabilities.”

If that sounds dire, once the base of assets start to decline it’s game over, because shrinking assets can’t keep paying increasing liabilities. And according to Pew Research, they have been in decline since 2016.

So worrying about the next 50 years is “pointless”, says Bloomberg:

Worrying about the next five decades is pointless, because there’s also no chance the current system will survive long enough to discover what the next 50-year average returns will be.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Outlaw Government Pensions? The Hunt for Endless Taxes

The commentary that has appeared in Forbes calls for the only solution is to outlaw pensions. This is actually what will happen. Because there is no resolution, the government pensions will demand to raise taxes and then there is never any reform in government so the end game is one major economic confrontation – the people v government. They really cannot grasp that the crisis is profound. For every person who retires, the government hires a replacement. The cost of government explodes exponentially. The system is doomed and this is what is going to rise up into civil unrest.

Federal governments can create money but state/provincial and local government can only raise taxes. In Germany, the lessor governments are petitioning the federal government for a bailout since already 40% are effectively broke. It is this desperate letter we received from California trying to claim we must pay taxes simply because Amazon may store some reports or DVDs in their California warehouse. If you buy something from Amazon, they send it to you and collect whatever tax. They remit the tax and we do not mail the products nor receiver the taxes collected. We would have no idea what tax would be owed to California. Obviously, we have no choice but to inform Amazon to remove all our products from California. If everyone is compelled to do the same, then there go those jobs in their California warehouse.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bundesbank warns of Coming Pension Crisis

The Bundesbank has come out warning that there is a German pension crisis. They have proposed that states raise the pension tax and that they should gradually increase the retirement age because the life expectancy in the future has risen. Central Bank President, Jens Weidmann, has stated that he is generally in favor of raising the statutory retirement age beyond 67 years.

We must understand that the ECB policy of “stimulating” the economy with negative interest rates has bankrupted state pension plans. This theory that lowering interest rates to get people to borrow and thus manipulate demand higher has NEVER been proven to have ever worked. The consequence of what we now face is a major pension crisis that is undermining the future of Western economies.

Pension / Retirement Crisis Is Becoming An Underfunded ‘Tsunami’ According to The SEC

Pension / Retirement Crisis Is Becoming An Underfunded ‘Tsunami’ According to The SEC

We have detailed this problem over the past 3-4 years warning people about how bad the pensions around the nation have become nothing more than another ponzi scheme. Most, if not all, state, local and federal pension programs are underfunded by 40% or more.

What we stated a mere two months ago, in September 2018!

The steam that is building began in earnest in 2012 and has been picking up speed ever since. Look no further than some of the recent events we have documented time and again – Detroit, CALPers, Jeremy Stein, Teamsters and Dallas Pension Fund. All of these events have taken place in less than five years. What will the next four-plus years bring? How much longer should one sit on their hands and watch as thousands upon thousands of people either have retirement stolen or placed on lock-down as is the case with the Dallas Police Pension fund?

****

We have studied, researched and written about this for well over four years. Harry Markopolous, in 2011, tried to warn us about the ongoing theft, within the pension funds, on a daily basis by the banking cabal – link. CALPers pension program is north of 50% underfunded and losing a little more each and every quarter. – link. These are merely two of the articles that paint a picture of a tsunami of pension bankruptcies in the near future.

That’s a lot of people around the country that are directly impacted by unfunded, underfunded or otherwise completely insolvent pension funds.

It appears either the Forbes writer Elizabeth Bauer or SEC Commissioner Kara Stein read the article we published in September as they are now using the exact same language we used in September – ‘tsunami’ of pension failures.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Beware of the Real Debt Crisis on the Horizon – not the BS on TV

We have to come to the reality that from 2019 onward, we are headed into a Pension Crisis that will be serious. Many are starting to yell about the debt crisis. They lump on private debt and yell its a bubble. What they miss entirely is the fact that we face more than a decade of crises that would have been avoidable, had governments been actually managers and central bank had not tried to keep using Keynesian Demand Side Economics that even Paul Volcker warned back in 1978 had failed.

This is by no means prophecies of doom and gloom. Unfortunately, they are prophecies not even of a pessimist, but only facts that are comprehensible simply using a pocket calculator and not even a computer. The Pension Crisis is the end of Socialism. Promises that were made which were never sustainable but were a scheme to win votes. Then the money needed to pay the pension required 8% interest annually. Then the central banks enter the game and mess everything up even more. Instead of DIRECTLY aiding the economy, they lower rates and HOPE that the banks will pass it along. They never did. The banks parked the money at the Excess Reserve Window that the Fed has still not closed.

The cost of pensions is currently stifling Western society beyond belief. Europe itself is ahead of the curve and will crack before the United States. Europe already has between  30% to 40% of the population who have already retired or are about to leave the labor market. They have used the old Roman pension system of the army which was earning an average of 20 years service to qualify for a pension. It was the pensions which contributed to the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Chicago Hopes To “Solve” Record Pension Deficit With Creative Solution: More Debt

John Maynard Keynes would be thrilled to hear about the brilliant solution Chicago has come up with to help solve its pension deficit: issue a $10 billion bond and take on more debt.

Chicago’s pension deficit has been a problem that we’ve been covering at length. The stunning funding gap, which comes in at about $28 billion, is an issue that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel campaigned on fixing, along with the rest of the city’s finances.  “It’ll be a big test for sure,” said Vikram Rai, head of municipal strategy at  Citigroup Inc. “But if it works it’ll set a good precedent for the other cities and states that have pension problems.”

It won’t work.

Absent dramatic haircuts to pension promises, it’s simply impossible to resolve the third largest US city’s pension crisis: as we noted last month when looking at the broader pension problems faced by Illinois, in 1987, pension promises made to active workers and retirees in the state’s five state-run pension plans totaled just $18 billion. By 2016, they had ballooned to $208 billion. That’s a cumulative 1,067 percent increase.

Contrast that to the state’s budget (general fund revenues) which was up just 236 percent over the same time period. Or household incomes, which were up just 127 percent. Or inflation, up just 111 percent. Promised pension benefits have blown past any ability of the state, the economy or taxpayers to pay for them.

Which leaves only debt as the “solution”, one which reportedly came after Chicago leaders gave up on actual long-term economic solutions such as budget cuts, reductions in benefits and tax increases. With those pesky old “traditional” ways to shore up in the city’s finances seemingly causing too much austerity for America’s third largest city, they have instead embraced the new school of economics in the form of considering a $10 billion bond issuance, one which would push pension obligation bond issuance in Chicago to a 15 year high.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Another Way Of Looking At The Pension Crisis, As “A Stealth Mortgage on Your House”

Money manager Rob Arnott and finance professor Lisa Meulbroek have run the numbers on underfunded pension plans and come up with an interesting – and highly concerning – new angle: That they impose a “stealth mortgage” on homeowners. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal reported it today:

The Stealth Pension Mortgage on Your House

Most cities, counties and states have committed taxpayers to significant future unfunded spending. This mostly takes the form of pension and postretirement health-care obligations for public employees, a burden that averages $75,000 per household but exceeds $100,000 per household in some states. Many states protect public pensions in their constitutions, meaning they cannot be renegotiated. Future pension obligations simply must be paid, either through higher taxes or cuts to public services.

Is there a way out for taxpayers in states that are deep in the red? Milton Friedman famously observed that the only thing more mobile than the wealthy is their capital. Some residents may hope that they can avoid the pension crash by decamping to a more fiscally sound state.

But this escape may be illusory. State taxes are collected on four economic activities: consumption (sales tax), labor and investment (income tax) and real-estate ownership (property tax). The affluent can escape sales and income taxes by moving to a new state—but real estate stays behind. Property values must ultimately support the obligations that politicians have promised, even if those obligations aren’t properly funded, because real estate is the only source of state and local revenue that can’t pick up and move elsewhere. Whether or not unfunded obligations are paid with property taxes, it’s the property that backs the obligations in the end.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Pension Crisis Will Break Up the EU

The German public broadcast agency ARD is proposing structural changes. Due to the low-interest rates, the ECB has placed the agency in hard times with its pensions. Karola Wille, the director, has called for structural reform to reduce costs. The proposal centers on technological change to increase efficiency in the performance of its mandate. They are also looking at developing cross-media applications to modernize the agency.  The ARD is non-profit so the German government has to fund it. As the low-interest rates have undermined pensions throughout Europe, the governments will have to step up and bail them out. This is going to put tremendous pressure on the entire EU budget and austerity policy embedded within the single currency.

We are looking at the same story being painted throughout Europe. The low-interest rate policy for nearly 10 years has not merely destroyed the bond market in Europe, it has undermined the pension system both privately and publicly. Indeed, adding to this crisis is the mandate that all pension funds hold some or the majority of their investments into government debt. The combination of these policies clashes with the ECB and the nightmare on the horizon and why Draghi can’t leave fast enough to avoid personal blame.

This crisis all stems from the structural design of the EU. They tried to be half pregnant with only a single currency and dictatorial control over member state budgets. The refusal to consolidate the debt emphasized the problem of the great disparities in cultures and the prevailing prejudices that exist through Europe between member states as well as within member states such as Bavaria v northern Germany or Spain v Catalonia, Scotland v Britain, Italy v Sicily, etc.. This prevailing prejudice is also why the bail-in policy was adopted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Illinois to Impose 1% Property Tax on Top of Everything Annually for 30 Years

 

In Illinois is a State that should just commit suicide and be emerged into surrounding states. It is following the EXACT pattern as the fall of the city of Rome itself. Constantine the Great moved the Roman capital from Rome to Constantinople around 330AD. Rome lost its status as corruption and taxes rose. More and more people just walked away from their property for there was NO BID.

Property values are already collapsing in Illinois.  The Pension Crisis is worldwide, but Illinois is leading the charge. The words of Edward Gibbon from his Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire are very applicable to Chicago. This is how empires, nations, and city-states die. It is always the abuse of taxation that drives people from their homes. Illinois is the NUMBER ONE state that now has a NET loss of citizens and people are fleeing that state. Bureaucrats cannot see the trend any more than they can see their own nose. They only see raising taxes. To them there is just no other way. They come first. Gibbon wrote:

“Her primeval state, such as she -might–appear in a remote age, when Evander entertained the stranger of Troy, has been delineated by the fancy of Virgil. This Tarpeian rock was then a savage and solitary thicket; in the time of the poet, it was crowned with the golden roofs of a temple, the temple is overthrown, the gold has been pillaged, the wheel of Fortune has accomplished her revolution, and the sacred ground is again disfigured with thorns and brambles. The hill of the Capitol, on which we sit, was formerly the head of the Roman Empire, the citadel of the earth, the terror of kings; illustrated by the footsteps of so many triumphs, enriched with the spoils and tributes of so many nations. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Fed is Raising Rates Because of the Pension Crisis

QUESTION: The Fed says it will raise rates two or three times more this year. My question is this: If the stock market is crashing, why are they still raising rates?

HW

ANSWER: The Fed is raising rates because they must be NORMALIZED given the pension crisis. They are trying to get then back up and if they could, they would jack them up to 8%. If you can imagine, a pension fund under normal conditions needs 8% annual. Even CalPERS came in at 7% and they were insolvent. Rates are rising because of the pension crisis, not because the economy is really heating up or the stock market is booming. The technical resistance stands at the Downtrend Line at the 3% level. Rates will double to reach that area faster than people suspect.

We have a Directional Change due in May and look at the August/September period where we also have a Panic Cycle. Things are not going to be as smooth-sailing as many believe. We have a very RARE Double Monthly Bullish Reversal at 2.25%. A monthly closing above that level and 5% will be seen in a matter of months.

The Pension Crisis Coming to a Boil

The BBC has come out and reported that three million savers in Britain in what is known as final-salary pension schemes only have a 50/50 chance of receiving the payouts they were promised, a study has concluded. We issued a special report on the rising Pension Crisis and it has been unfolding on schedule. The odds of those in government receiving what they were promised is probably less than 50/50 worldwide with few exceptions.

This year’s WEC we will look at how to survive this crisis now that the Year from Political Hell is coming to an eventful end as Spain sends in 16,500 troops to invade Barcelona and subjugate Catalonia proving that it is still a fascist state. The last on the list will be the Italian election and the way Germany has gone, expect more of the same.

We will address this issue in a special report for many people asking how to survive this crisis when what you thought your future would be comes crashing down. This is the crisis we face in Democracy. Government will become more Draconian as we see in Spain to retain power. To hell with human rights or even what is moral. Government will only act in its own self-interest.

Pension Crisis In U.S. and Globally Is Unavoidable

Pension Crisis In U.S. and Globally Is Unavoidable

Pension Crisis In U.S. and Globally Is Unavoidable

There is a really big crisis coming.

Think about it this way. After 8 years and a 230% stock market advance the pension funds of Dallas, Chicago, and Houston are in severe trouble.

But it isn’t just these municipalities that are in trouble, but also most of the public and private pensions that still operate in the country today.

Currently, many pension funds, like the one in Houston, are scrambling to slightly lower return rates, issue debt, raise taxes or increase contribution limits to fill some of the gaping holes of underfunded liabilities in their plans. The hope is such measures combined with an ongoing bull market, and increased participant contributions, will heal the plans in the future.

This is not likely to be the case.

This problem is not something born of the last “financial crisis,” but rather the culmination of 20-plus years of financial mismanagement.

An April 2016 Moody’s analysis pegged the total 75-year unfunded liability for all state and local pension plans at $3.5 trillion.

That’s the amount not covered by current fund assets, future expected contributions, and investment returns at assumed rates ranging from 3.7% to 4.1%. Another calculation from the American Enterprise Institute comes up with $5.2 trillion, presuming that long-term bond yields average 2.6%.

With employee contribution requirements extremely low, averaging about 15% of payroll, the need to stretch for higher rates of return have put pensions in a precarious position and increases the underfunded status of pensions.

With pension funds already wrestling with largely underfunded liabilities, the shifting demographics are further complicating funding problems.

One of the primary problems continues to be the decline in the ratio of workers per retiree as retirees are living longer (increasing the relative number of retirees), and lower birth rates (decreasing the relative number of workers.)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Ticking Time Bomb That Will Wipe Out Virtually Every Pension Fund In America

The Ticking Time Bomb That Will Wipe Out Virtually Every Pension Fund In America

Are millions of Americans about to see the big, juicy pensions that they were counting on to fund their golden years go up in flames in the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history? When Bloomberg published an editorial entitled “Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore“, it simply confirmed what a lot of people already knew to be true.  Pension funds all over America are woefully underfunded, and they have been pouring mind boggling amounts of money into very risky investments such as Internet stocks and commercial mortgages.  Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, this is a crisis that everyone can see coming well in advance, and yet nothing is being done about it.

On a day to day basis, Americans generally don’t think very much about pensions.  Most of those that have been promised pensions simply have faith that they will be there when they need them.

Unfortunately, the truth is that pension plans all over the country are severely underfunded, and this has already resulted in local fiascos such as the one that we just witnessed in Dallas.

But what happened in Dallas is just the very small tip of a very large iceberg.  According to Bloomberg, unfunded pension obligations on a national basis “have risen to $1.9 trillion from $292 billion since 2007″…

As was the case with the subprime crisis, the writing appears to be on the wall. And yet calamity has yet to strike. How so? Call it the triumvirate of conspirators – the actuaries, accountants and their accomplices in office. Throw in the law of big numbers, very big numbers, and you get to a disaster in a seemingly permanent state of making. Unfunded pension obligations have risen to $1.9 trillion from $292 billion since 2007.

And of course that $1.9 trillion number is not actually the real number.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Pension Crisis is Global

trudeau-justin

The worldwide pension crisis is the next great notch in the belt of the collapse of socialism. If anyone in the private sector promised workers pensions and did not fund them, they would go to jail and be labelled as a fraud. Yet, this is standard operating procedure for government. Government claims to be some hero for reforming a Ponzi scheme and expects to be hailed by the media whom typically gives them a gold star.

Canadians are now being forced to save more for their retirement, and it does not matter what they want to do personally. As always, the scam involves forcing others to pay more so they can pay today what they promised. Ultimately, what they have done to Canadians is compel changes to benefits from 25% of covered earnings to a third. They also raised the ceiling on covered earnings from what would have been $72,500 in 2025 to $82,700. The bottom-line is rather stark. Some Canadian workers will actually be paying as much as 40% more in CPP contributions by that date.

There is no way they want to revisit this issue again because it created too much kick-back. So the Trudeau government has proclaimed the crisis is over and all is well. These schemes are outright illegal in any private context. This is why Obamacare is also collapsing. He sought to FORCE the youth to buy health insurance that they did not need to pay for others who couldn’t afford it. The scheme is always the same: take from one pocket to pay another.

Asset Recycling – Robbing Pensions to Cover Govt. Costs

Pension-Crisis

We are facing a pension crisis, thanks to negative interest rates that have destroyed pension funds. Pension funds are a tempting pot of money that government cannot keep its hands out of. The federal government of Canada, for example, is looking to reduce the cost of government by shifting Canada’s mounting infrastructure costs to the private sector. They want to sell or lease stakes in major public assets such as highways, rail lines, and ports. In Canada, they hid a line in last month’s federal budget that revealed that the Liberals are considering making public assets available to non-government investors, such as public pension funds. They will sell the national infrastructure to pension funds, robbing them of the cash they have to fund themselves. This latest trick is being called “asset recycling,” which is simply a system designed to raise money for governments. This idea is surfacing in Europe as well as the United States, especially among cash-strapped states.

The Other Side

3d_text_perspective_10915This is the other side of 2015.75; the peak in government (socialism). Everything from this point forward is a confirmation that these people are in crisis mode. They are rapidly destroying Western culture because they are simply crazy and the people who blindly vote for them are out of their minds. They are destroying the very fabric of society for they cannot see what they are doing nor where this all leads. Once they wipe out the security of the future, the government will crumble to dust to be swept away by history. We deserve what we blindly vote for.

 

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