- The assault on working people continues unabated:
In San Jose, current employees face salary cuts of up to 16 percent to fund the city’s pension plan. If they choose, they can instead accept a lower benefit and see the current retirement age of 55 raised to 57 for police officers and firefighters, and to 62 for other employees.
The voter-approved measure in San Diego imposes a six-year freeze on the pay levels used to determine pension benefits for current employees, a move that is expected to save nearly $ 1 billion over 30 years. Public employee unions have sued to block the measure, saying City Hall failed to negotiate the ballot’s wording as required by state law.
A decent pension has completely disappeared from the private sector, and now the public sector will soon follow. This is how this game is played. First, get people to give up their own retirement security. Then turn them against other people who still have it. The final leg of this plan will be to dismantle military pensions and then its over. Nobody in this country who has a job will ever be able to look forward to a day when they can relax and enjoy the fruits of their labors.
- Speaking of military compensation, the Pentagon and the Senate are on the wrong side:
Last week’s legislative update summarized key differences between the versions of the FY2013 Defense Authorization Bills approved by the House (HR.4310) and the Senate Armed Services Committee (S.3254).
Both bills would effectively kill most of the Pentagon-proposed TRICARE fee hikes.
But there will be some increases in TRICARE pharmacy copays, and the only issue is how big the hikes will be. That’s where the House and Senate bills take significantly different approaches.
The Senate bill is silent on the pharmacy copay issue. Since current law gives the Secretary of Defense authority to set pharmacy copays, the Senate bill silently endorses the Pentagon-proposed plan to more than double the copays this year, and triple them over the next five years.
Dear injured warrior: Thank you for your service. We’d like to show you our thanks by tripling your payments for your medicine.
- The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College notes that 75 percent of state and local pension funds are fully funded.
- If you’re not in a very high income bracket, the 401(k)
scamretirement plant isn’t likely to benefit you:
Previous studies find that the tax deferral advantage offered by 401(k) plans mainly benefits high-income workers, who face higher marginal tax rates. A key assumption is that employer 401(k) contributions do not affect workers’ total compensation – that is, they are fully offset by lower wages. However, our results suggest that additional employer contributions raise total compensation for low-income workers by about 70 to 90 cents per dollar of contribution.
- Facing reality, the idea of working for twenty or thirty years and then relaxing with a pension is now a bygone idea. Therefore, we’re stuck with the awful 401(k)/IRA system. The least we could do is do it better, as they do in other countries:
Swedish workers and their employers are required to contribute 2.5 percent of pay to individual retirement accounts. These accounts, which contained about $ 62 billion in 2010, are all managed by a government-run clearinghouse, the Swedish Pensions Agency. This government agency contracts with service providers that perform investment management, and there are nearly 800 investment options for participants to choose from. Funds are required to report their fees to the Swedish Pensions Agency, and the agency publishes fund management fees for all investment options in the system on its website. The Swedish Pensions Agency sends information about the administration and fund management fees paid to all retirement account participants annually. The average fees paid by all retirement account participants is also provided for comparison. The default investment option for workers who don’t select their own investments is a public option mandated by the government to be cost-effective. The equity portion levies a 0.15 percent fee and the bond portion charges a 0.09 percent fee. “Reducing fees is important,” says James. “If you reduce fees by 1 percentage point, you raise the lifetime annuity by 20 percent.”
- Boy, Sweden must just be buckling under a financial crisis of epic proportions with all their big, cradle to grave, socialist government. Not:
Sweden is the only EU country which is expected to have surplus in the budget for the next two years. This assesses the EU Commission in its autumn forecast, the business site DI reports.
Sweden is predicted to have a budget surplus of 0.7 percent in 2012, and 0.9 percent in 2013, according DI.
- There’s been a terrible shooting incident with tragic consequences off the campus of Auburn Univerisity today:
Three people, including two former Auburn University football players, were killed late Saturday and three others were wounded in a shooting in an off-campus apartment complex in Auburn, Alabama, police said Sunday.
Midday open thread
Posted by admin on June 10th, 2012
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