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Retirement Planning: Congress Allows Some Pension Benefits to Be Cut — Even Benefits for People Already Retired

You’ve probably seen it in the movies. A worker reaches retirement and the company presents him or her with a gold watch and a nice, comfortable pension. That kind of security makes devoting years of your work life to a single company or industry worthwhile.  The peace of mind that a pension affords might…

Pensions, Retirement and Savings

Expert Interview with Ros Altmann about Pensions, Retirement and Savings

Dr. Ros Altmann of PensionsAndSavings.com is known as a consumer champion and has spent a good part of her career “highlighting financial injustice, helping ordinary members of the public pro bono and explaining complex financial or economic issues for the layperson.” With her vast experience and strong knowledge base, her insight on retirement and…

What is your Pension Really Worth?

This is a contribution from Bud Hebeler who runs Analyzenow.com Lots of people plan to retire on a pension and Social Security with little savings.  They have never done any serious retirement planning or sought any professional help. That can be a very big mistake unless they have taken into account the damage that can come…

Public Worker’s Benefits Will Most Likely Be Cut in New Jersey

This week, New Jersey lawmakers passed a bill that severely cuts the benefits of government workers and retirees.  This new legislation not only decreases union’s collective bargaining rights, it also raises retirement ages, increases the amount workers must now pay for their health insurance and suspends cost-of-living (COLA) increases to retirees’ pension checks,  The…

Anger brews over government workers’ benefits

AP Newswire, March 8th, 2011 Pension Envy!  The Next Big Fight/Debate!? You have probably read about the brouhaha in Wisconsin over pensions.  More and more state and local governments find that they are not able to pay for benefits that public employees have been promised. A recent article from the Associated Press, “Anger brews…

A Path Is Sought for States to Escape Their Debt Burdens

The New York Times, January 20th, 2010 Policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers. Unlike cities, the states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy…

Public Workers Face Outrage as Budget Crises Grow

The New York Times, January 1st, 2010 Ever since Marie Corfield’s confrontation with Gov. Chris Christie this fall over the state’s education cuts became a YouTube classic, she has received a stream of vituperative e-mails and postings. “People I don’t even know are calling me horrible names,” said Ms. Corfield, an art teacher…

Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning

The New York Times, December 22nd, 2010 This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry. Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen…

Mounting Debts by States Stoke Fears of Crisis

The New York Times, December 4th, 2010 The State of Illinois is still paying off billions in bills that it got from schools and social service providers last year. Arizona recently stopped paying for certain organ transplants for people in its Medicaid program. States are releasing prisoners early, more to cut expenses than to…

The Illusion of Pension Savings

New York Times, September 17th, 2010 Earlier this year, Illinois said it had found a way to save billions of dollars. It would slash the pensions of workers it had not yet hired. The real-world savings would not materialize for decades, of course, but thanks to an actuarial trick, the state could start counting…