Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Manton, Aug 26, 2012.
Manton, would you sacrifice your family to resurrect Strauss?
No, his books are all I need. It definitely would have been cool to be a first-year grad student at Chicago in 1950, though.
I think aravenel get this, but there's obviously a big difference between a traditional pension and a 401K or similar cash balance plan -- from the perspectives of both the employer and the employee.
One (among others) of the ginormous problems with the sort of traditional pension that Manton is railing against at the MTA is that they (purportedly) guarantee the recipient a certain income level in retirement. Generally certain assumptions are built in about future returns to justify the employer's contributing amounts now that are less than the full amount that will be required to pay out future beneficiaries. That makes the costs and associated planning somewhat unpredictable and also allows for all sorts of monkeying around as far as current recognition for and funding of those future liabilities. With the case-balance type of plan, the money is allocated now and it's worth whatever it's worth - due to market fluctuation, investment allocations, whatever - when you finally withdraw it.
The latter type of plan is obviously a lot more common than traditional pensions these days. But if the firm is paying the full amount up to the annual IRS limits, that's relatively generous, especially if you become fully vested within a reasonable period of time. Even among big companies with reasonably generous benefits packages, I think matching employee contributions is much more common than funding the full amount. (And of course plenty of employers don't do that much.)
I was one of the last persons at my company who became vested in the pension before they cut it.
I am due $200 a month when I retire 27 years from now.
All very true. Different actuarial assumptions for traditional gov't pension plans result in some states with almost fully funded pension systems (NY, Wisconsin, NC) and some that are in dire straits (Rhode Island, Illinois). There's a common denominator among the states in trouble: politicians figured out how to "borrow" from the pension funds, without ever replacing the money. As a result they'll need to hike taxes to pay obligations, but the political will to do that is nonexistent.
Currently a big area of focus for my old colleagues in the South Eastern Conference.*
*(Hint for newbies: not really what the initials of my old employer stand for.)
NY pensions are fully funded? Now, I never would have guessed that. Doesn't EJ say the opposite?
He's been railing against the governor's pension "smoothing" plan, which essentially allows municipalities to lock-in lower rate due to savings assumed from the new, less-generous pension tier. It's a stupid proposal IMO.
I think his long-term outlook is negative, mostly because the pension systems assume what he believes is a much too high ROI. I agree with him on that point, but NY is still on much better footing than the majority of states. I think the primary pension system is 90% funded as of this year.
Interesting, I had no Idea... NC surprises me as well. Though given the political stuff going on there right now, I wouldn't expect that to last very long.
Since you're probably all too drunk or hung over to appreciate the subtley, I'm just noting for the record that my use of "railing against" with respect to Manton's discussion of the MTA was pretty clever.
Trains run on rails
Get it now?
apparently it's possible to run over somebody with your subway train and not notice. how?
its the only way to get ahead as a conductor
Maybe it's a sort of G-d thing.
No, I'm not a Johnny. Before the bigtime, LS was a visiting prof upstate in the snow & beer belt.
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