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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Majority of Pensions Headed for Bankruptcy -- By Wlater Russell Mead & Staff, The American Interest

Investment returns may be up since the recession, but public pensions are still in deep, deep trouble. On Wednesday, the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates released the results of a “stress test” on American public pension plans, and they weren’t pretty. According to the report, 85 percent of all plans are on track to go bankrupt within 30 years unless their average rate of return increases to 9 percent. Barring something truly miraculous, that’s unlikely to happen: Bridgewater expects the rate to be closer to 4 percent, and even the unrealistically optimistic estimates given by pension funds themselves rarely exceed 8 percent. As USA Today notes, the potential shortfalls are staggering:
Public pensions have just $3 trillion in assets to invest to cover future retirement payments of $10 trillion over the next many decades, Bridgewater says. An investment return of roughly 9% a year is needed to meet those onerous obligations.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that 85 percent of pension plans will actually go bankrupt. These numbers depend on public officials not taking the necessary actions. States and cities are slowly realizing that they have a major problem on their hands. Many will take preventative measures, either by cutting benefits or by increasing contributions to the plans (more likely a combination of the two).

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