Pensions News, Information and Guidance

retirement calculator with pension

Retirement Calculator with Pension Controls: Where to Find and What to Look For

While pensions are not nearly as common as they once were, they are a very important part of the retirement plans for many of society’s most valued workers: teachers, police officers, fire fighters and more!  However, it is surprisingly hard to find a reliable retirement calculator with pension controls. Whether you have a state retirement…

lost 401k

Find Lost 401k: How to Find Out If You Have Lost or Forgotten Retirement Accounts

Here is a guide for how to find lost money — a lost 401k or other unclaimed retirement benefits. The Big Takeaways… Each year, it’s estimated that more than 900,000 401(k) accounts go unclaimed, in addition to $300M in unclaimed pensions. The simplest ways to find your lost 401(k) is by contacting your previous employer,…

403(b)

What is a 403(b)? Is a Tax Sheltered Annuity a Good Investment?

If you are an employee at a school, church, hospital or other non profit, then you are eligible for a “tax-sheltered annuity” — also known as a 403(b) plan. (Don’t work for a non profit? Learn more about annuities and how to invest in them in a tax advantaged way. ) Your work may influence…

Pension

Should I Take a Lump Sum Pension Offer? Use a Lump Sum Calculator and a Retirement Calculator

If you are debating whether or not to take a lump sum pension offer in place of lifetime benefits, it’s important to understand key information in order to make an informed decision. According to a new Government Accountability Office report, many of the informational materials provided by sponsors offering lump sums do not present enough…

Pension plans

Expert Interview with Jonathan Broadbent About Pension Plans

Planning for retirement has changed a lot in the last 20 years, and it is safe to assume that it will be nearly unrecognizable in another two decades. When you’re already struggling to keep up with life, how can you expect to keep up with all the changes with retirement plans, let alone understand them?…

Pension

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

Anyone with a multi employer pension is at risk of cut benefits. 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…

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 investment-related…

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 from…

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 most…

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 over…

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 court….

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 the…

Public Pensions and Our Fiscal Future

The Wall Street Journal, August 27th, 2010 Recently some critics have accused me of bullying state employees. Headlines in California papers this month have been screaming “Gov assails state workers” and “Schwarzenegger threatens state workers.” I’m doing no such thing. State employees are hard-working and valuable contributors to our society. But here’s the plain truth:…

Padded Pensions Add to New York Fiscal Woes

The New York Times, May 20th, 2010 In Yonkers, more than 100 retired police officers and firefighters are collecting pensions greater than their pay when they were working. One of the youngest, Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with a base pay of about $74,000 a year. His pension is now $101,333 a year. It’s what…

Schwarzenegger backs plan to reform state pensions

San Francisco Chronicle, April 21st, 2010 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday announced his support for a legislative proposal to reform the pensions of state workers, saying the changes are necessary to avoid a future budget calamity. Pension reform was among the priorities he targeted in January, the beginning of his final year in office. The…

A pension scandal – CalPERS

SF Gate  – January 17, 2010 The public is getting a disheartening look at a once-mighty Sacramento success story. California’s public-employee pension fund – the nation’s biggest and most progressive – has lost billions in investment money, fired a raft of consultants and told local governments to expect higher bills for retirement coverage. As if…

Retirement planning for the laid off

CNN – January 8, 2010 Question: I’m 57 and I think there’s a good chance I’ll be laid off this year. If that happens, I’ll have to move my 401(k) balance to an IRA. On the recommendation of a finance professional, many of my former co-workers have transferred their 401(k) savings into annuities. Do you…

Your tax dollars at work

The Wall Street Journal included an article on 7/20/09, p. A3, that probably won’t get the attention it deserves.  It is “Pension Calculus Draws New Scrutiny” by Craig Karmin.  It tells about Pete Nowicki, a CA fire chief, who was earning $186k salary and retired in January at age 51.  Just before he retired this…

Protecting Retirement Accounts From Creditors

The New York Times – April 1, 2009 RETIREMENT accounts remain among many people’s most valuable assets, even at today’s depressed values. That means you need to protect them from creditors, a category that can include former spouses or people who have won lawsuits against you. The asset protection strategies available to you depend on…

Hidden Pension Fiasco May Foment Another $1 Trillion Bailout

Bloomberg – March 3, 2009 The Chicago Transit Authority retirement plan had a $1.5 billion hole in its stash of assets in 2007. At the height of a four-year bull market, it didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay its retirees through 2013, meaning it was underfunded to the tune of 62 percent. The…

Retirement Saving Plans for Workers at Risk

The Wall Street Journal – February 26, 2009 Small businesses are having a harder time meeting their obligations in offering retirement benefits for their employees, with two stark choices facing them: shut their doors or end their contributions, according to testimony at yesterday’s hearing before the House Committee on Small Business. “Even before the economic…

Missouri retirement system lost $3.5M to scam

Forbes – January 16, 2009 Missouri’s treasurer says the state’s retirement account is among thousands of investors and financial institutions entangled in an investment scheme. Bernard Madoff, the former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market (nasdaq: NDAQ – news – people ), confessed last month to taking $50 billion in a Ponzi scheme. Missouri Treasurer…

Solving the nation’s debt problem with I.O.U.S.A.

 This is a contribution from Bud Hebeler who runs Analyzenow.com Last night I went to the movie I.O.U.S.A. followed by live commentary from Warren Buffett, Pete Peterson, Dave Walker (headed GAO and was Controller General), William Novell from AARP, William Niskanen from the CATO Institute and an Economist whose name I can’t remember. You’ll have…

We’re going to pay for all of this with our taxes

This is a contribution from Bud Hebeler who runs Analyzenow.com How would you like to have retirement resources that will provide about the same income in retirement as when working and be inflation protected? Answer: Go to work for the government. Oregon has one of the richest pension plans. After 30 years of employment, pensions…

3 Retirement Mistakes Women Make, and How to Fix Them

U.S. News & World Report – July 11, 2008   Baby boomer women are more likely to have a more financially secure retirement than their predecessors. A new study found that men and women at large companies are both on track to produce the same share of their working income—85 percent of pay—in retirement.  …