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  #91  
Old 01-01-2015, 06:07 PM
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FRANCE

http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article...41215?irpc=932

Quote:
PARIS (Reuters) - The shortfall in France's system of private-sector supplementary pension provisions risks growing faster than forecast, according to a report by France's Cour des Comptes state audit body obtained by Reuters on Monday.

That would exacerbate existing pressures in the overall pension system that would in turn undermine efforts by the French government to bring its overall public deficit to within an EU-mandated ceiling of 3 percent of national output.

The top-up regimes account for anything up to half of the total final pension award to private sector employees in France and as much as two-thirds for senior managers.

The regimes themselves have estimated that the impact of the 2008 economic crisis, excessive running costs and other factors will lead to them having a 5.3 billion euro (4.2 billion pounds) deficit in 2014 rising to anything up to nearly four times in 2035 if unchecked.

That would entail an accumulated deficit of 120 billion euros in 2030 and 335 billion in 2040 - forecasts which the Cour des Comptes said were based on overly optimistic assumptions about unemployment and productivity growth.

In its report due to be published on Thursday, the audit body said the accumulated deficits would instead amount to 132 billion euros in 2030 and 390 billion in 2040.

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  #92  
Old 01-01-2015, 08:20 PM
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GIRL SCOUTS

before linking, just wanted to say I wasn't expecting pension discussion on this particular website

http://thebloggess.com/2014/12/an-op...e-girl-scouts/

Quote:
1. Iíve read on the Girl Scouts website that the current pension deficit issue will cause most local councils to see a 40% increase in pension expenses starting the day girl scout cookies go on sale, and a 62% increase over the next three years. According to the girl scout.org site ďFor many Girl Scout councils, this means that the pension expense will suck up money that would normally go toward operating expenses such as staff salaries and benefits, camp maintenance, outreach programs for at-risk girls, scholarship support for low-income girls, and general programming.ď

I know youíre currently trying to get congress to grant legislation to help you but I havenít heard of any progress on that so Iím under the impression that as it stands, cookie sales that previously went to scholarships and camp maintenance will now be used to pay pensions. Iím reading of many historic camps that are being closed or sold. Itís a concern for many reasons, but particularly because the girls in our troop were always able to say that cookie sales help at-risk girls and support community camps. We havenít been able to get any verbiage to respond to people who will ask why girl scout camps are being sold and whether the councils will be able to support scholarships as they have in the past.
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  #93  
Old 01-06-2015, 06:28 PM
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TESCO

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...on-scheme.html

Quote:
One of the last defined-benefit pension schemes in the private sector is under threat because of the crisis that has engulfed Tesco.

Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, is considering closing the retailer’s defined-benefit pension scheme to new members as part of his plan to shore up the company’s battered balance sheet.

Tesco’s pension scheme is one of the biggest in the country. It has 350,000 members, including 203,000 active members of staff. The scheme is famously generous, offering a predetermined monthly payout based on average career earnings.
However, Britain’s biggest retailer is nursing a £3.4bn pension deficit in the face of falling sales and threats from credit rating agencies to downgrade its debt to junk status.

It is understood that an overhaul of the scheme is one of the options being considered by Mr Lewis as he looks at ways to bolster Tesco’s finances.
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  #94  
Old 01-06-2015, 06:29 PM
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HOSPITALS IN MISSISSIPPI

http://www.sunherald.com/2015/01/05/...g-pension.html

Quote:
GULFPORT -- Faced with escalating costs for its employee pension plan, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport stopped offering the defined-benefit pension to new hires in 2012. It is making additional cuts for 2015.

Unlike Ocean Springs' beleaguered Singing River Health System, Memorial doesn't require a contribution from its employees. The pension is totally funded by Memorial.

And unlike SRHS, which stopped contributing to its pension fund, Memorial has paid millions every year for the last 10 years.

The total contribution since 2005 is more than $71 million, and over the last five years the contribution was $672,000 more than what the actuarial cost suggests, said Stephen Gainey, a certified financial planner and co-owner of Hewes-Gainey Wealth Management Group in Gulfport who reviewed the hospital's records at the Sun Herald's request.

Though some employees will be financially affected by the changes that began this month at Memorial, Gainey said, "I would think that any Singing River employee would swap places with these Memorial Hospital employees."

Changing for 2015 is how Memorial employee benefits are calculated. Pensions will now be based on the number of hours an employee works rather than the number of years the employee has been in the plan. Those working fewer than 40 hours a week could see the greatest effect.


Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2015/01/05/...#storylink=cpy
http://www.sunherald.com/2015/01/05/...suit.html?rh=1

Quote:
A second lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court against Singing River Health System, current and former members of its board of trustees, and the current and former CEOs.

Attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of three former employees who want actual and punitive damages because of the health system's failed pension plan. The lawsuit also asks a federal judge to grant class-action status to cover those enrolled in the retirement plan at any time since Oct. 1, 2007, when the health system began to decrease pension funding.

The health system stopped funding the pension altogether in 2010, the lawsuit says. Employees continued to contribute a mandatory 3 percent of pay.

Annual benefit statements mailed to employees while Chris Anderson was CEO, and an email new CEO Kevin Holland sent employees in March, led them to believe the health system was still funding the retirement plan, the lawsuit says.

The federal lawsuit accuses both Anderson and Holland of fraud.

In October, Holland told employees the plan was woefully underfunded. On Nov. 20, the health system's Board of Trustees voted without informing employees to terminate the plan. Ongoing action in state Chancery Court has temporarily prevented the health system from completing plan termination.


Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2015/01/05/...#storylink=cpy

http://www.sunherald.com/2015/01/05/...#storylink=cpy

Quote:
PASCAGOULA -- Chancery Judge Neil Harris granted another restraining order that prevents Singing River Health System's Board of Trustees from terminating its failed pension plan.

Health system retirees packed the hearing in "Do the Right Thing" T-shirts.

Ralph Drury was the fifth health system retiree to request a restraining order. The previous temporary restraining order, in force for the usual 10 days, expired Monday. Each time a retiree files for another restraining order, health system attorneys remove the case to U.S. District Court, claiming federal rules govern the pension plan. Once the case moves to federal court, Harris loses jurisdiction.

Harris has been unable to delve into any of the cases to determine whether he should issue a more permanent restraining order and order the health system to produce financial records that might show why the pension plan is only 48 percent funded. The health system's board voted Nov. 20 to terminate the plan, prompting the retirees' lawsuits.

Attorneys Harvey Barton and Earl Denham said they intend to keep filing lawsuits for Chancery Court restraining orders until U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola decides whether pension lawsuits will be heard in state or federal court.

During the hearing, Harris asked if an agreement recently signed by the Board of Supervisors and county-owned health system would prohibit termination of the pension plan for 90 days, as the agreement states. Several onlookers chuckled.


Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2015/01/05/...#storylink=cpy
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  #95  
Old 01-08-2015, 06:18 PM
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http://www.towerswatson.com/en/Press...-of-2013-gains

Quote:
The pension funded status of the nation’s largest corporate sponsors reversed direction in 2014, dropping nine percentage points as falling interest rates (which increased liabilities) and the impact of new mortality tables were only partially offset by strong returns on pension plan assets, according to a new analysis by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW).

....
“For most plan sponsors, the discussion around the Society of Actuaries’ new study on the mortality of pension plan participants was the most significant pension event of the year,” said Dave Suchsland, a senior retirement consultant at Towers Watson. “The study drew the attention of plan sponsors and auditors, resulting in many plan sponsors updating that key assumption.”

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  #96  
Old 01-09-2015, 10:29 AM
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ILLINOIS private-ish

Ugh, they've been talking about this and they finally did it... but we'll see if anything actually comes of it

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiehop...d-in-illinois/

Quote:
Automatic enrollment for traditional IRAs might soon be a reality in Illinois as Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation enacting the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program (SCSP) into law on January 4, 2015. However, the program will not become effective until at least July 2017. With the success of automatic enrollment in 401(k)s and mentions of a federal auto-IRA program by President Obama, it is not a total surprise that a State was willing to implement such legislation in an attempt to improve the retirement security of Americans. The baby boomers do not have enough money saved for retirement, Social Security’s future is murky and will not look the same in twenty years as it does today, and employers aren’t offering traditional retirement pensions anymore. As the responsibility of saving for retirement is shifting onto the individual, new savings vehicles and strategies will be needed in order to assist people with developing their own retirement plan.

While the SCSP was passed by the Illinois General Assembly on Dec. 3, 2014 and signed into law by the Governor, it could still face significant hurdles before it becomes operational. For instance, the legislation itself mandates the program be implemented within 24-months of when it is signed into law, but states that the lack of adequate funds could delay implementation. Furthermore, the bill contains language prohibiting implementation if the IRA would not be treated as a tax-qualified arrangement or if the program is determined to be an ERISA employee benefit plan under federal law. Additionally, there could be potential confusion for employees as the myRA, a similar voluntary federal program, is set to begin in 2015 but with much more limited investment options, no automatic enrollment feature, and with Roth tax treatment.

more at the link
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  #97  
Old 01-18-2015, 05:54 PM
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AT&T

http://blogs.wsj.com/cfo/2015/01/16/...ity-increases/

Quote:
AT&T Posts Pension Hit As Rates Fall and Mortality Increases
Let us pause for a moment to contemplate how much that headline sucks

Okay, enough time

Quote:
Telecommunications company AT&T Inc. announced late Friday that it will take a noncash hit of $7.9 billion on its pension and postretirement plans.

The company said it dropped its discount rate, used to calculate the present-day value of future pension obligations, to 4.2% from 5% at the end of 2014. Pension obligations rise when the rate falls.

AT&T had a pension obligation of $56.6 billion at the end of 2013.
The drop in the discount rate more than offset gains in the value of pension assets last year. The fall caused pension deficits to more than double, to $343 billion at 40% of the Fortune 1000 companies that have defined-benefit pension plans and December fiscal-year-ends, according to consulting firm Towers Watson TW +1.95%.

AT&T also said that it used updated mortality tables to calculate the liability, which helped push the number up. The Society of Actuaries updated its mortality tables in 2014 for the first time since 2000 to reflect the longer lifespans of today’s retirees.

The average 65-year-old U.S. woman is expected to live 88.8 years, up from 86.4 in 2000. Men age 65 are expected to live 86.6 years, up from 84.6 in 2000.

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  #98  
Old 01-21-2015, 07:08 PM
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DELTA

http://blogs.wsj.com/cfo/2015/01/20/...-pension-plan/

Quote:
Delta Air Lines Inc. is using part of its windfall from lower fuel prices to close its pension gap.

The airline paid a total $920 million to its plan last year, including an extra $250 million above its required $670 million contribution. Companies need to make regular payments to close any gap between their pension obligations and the funds’ assets, under U.S. pension law.

Delta’s plan, which had a funding deficit of about $10 billion at the end2013, will benefit from extra cash the company gained from a drop in fuel prices, said Paul Jacobson, chief financial officer of the Atlanta-based air carrier, during an earnings conference call Tuesday.

Jet-fuel prices typically make up a third of the airline’s expenses, but prices have dropped as oil has declined. That has given the company a tailwind. For the December quarter, Delta reported that fuel expenses fell by $342 million from the year earlier.

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  #99  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:35 PM
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UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

http://www.wsj.com/articles/united-m...nes-1421945354

Quote:
The United Methodist Church is implementing new guidelines for its $21 billion pension fund meant to steer it away from investing in coal energy and in companies that operate in countries thought to violate human rights.

Under the guidelines announced Thursday, the church also plans to exert its influence as an investor over companies whose activities may conflict with church positions on climate change and human rights, church investment managers said.

“The first thing we want to do is try and engage with those companies to try to persuade them to engage in practices that are more sustainable,” said David Zellner, chief investment officer of the church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. “If we feel those efforts are futile and we don’t feel we’re making any progress, that would lead to us excluding them from our investments.”

Only one-tenth of 1% of the church fund’s U.S. equity investment is in thermal coal, Mr. Zellner said.

.....
Under the guidelines, the church could “exclude investment” from any company in the developed world that generates half its revenues from the extraction of thermal coal, or an electric utility that receives 75% or more of its fuel from coal—unless that company plans to receive at least 10% of its energy from renewable sources.

Under its human rights investment guideline, fund managers could avoid investments or divest from a company that receives more than 10% of its revenues or raw materials from countries “demonstrating a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights violations” or “conflict-affected areas where significant human rights violations have been widely documented.”

The move comes after debate within the church over possibly divesting from companies doing business in Israel over concerns about the treatment of Palestinians.

In 2012, the church’s General Conference, its governing body, voted against divestment from companies with ties to Israeli control over Palestinian territories.

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  #100  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:35 PM
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VERIZON

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenge...n-bottom-line/

Quote:
Verizon fourth quarter revenue rose nearly 7% from a year ago, as consumers flocked to stores to activate new smartphones and tablets.

But the telecom giant’s bottom line also took a hit on pension costs.
Adjusted net income was 71 cents per share, up more than 7% from a year ago and in line with Wall Street estimates. Total revenue was $33.19 billion, up 6.8% from a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting 71 cents per share in earnings and $32.69 billion in revenue.

But charges for a mark-to-market adjustment for pensions and severance costs drove an overall fourth quarter loss of $2.23 billion, or 54 cents per share. In 2015, Verizon expects another pension charge of at least $700 million. AT&T T -0.65% also reported last week that it would take a $7.9 billion charge for pension-related costs. This reflects a changing trend in pension accounting, which makes quarterly earnings more volatile but also increases transparency and makes it easier for investors to track performance.

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