Ken Sarni

Dependence on Social Security is Striking
Source: Center for Retirement Research

 

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Covet vs. Begrudge
Source: Lagers Bloggers

Let’s think about these two words for a moment…”covet” (to yearn to possess or have something) vs. “begrudge” (to envy or resent the good fortune of someone, to be unhappy or upset because someone has something you think they do not deserve).

Most of us growing up and going to church probably believe to covet something is bad (it is a commandment after all). Is it possible though that a little coveting is a good thing? If I want something bad enough, perhaps I’ll work harder to make sure I get it. And this doesn’t just apply to material things—it could be getting in better physical shape, finishing a college degree, etc. But what does that have to do with pensions?

 

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How Much Will Your Social Security Be Reduced If You Retire Early?
Source: The Motley Fool

 

Are you thinking about claiming your Social Security benefits soon? Before you decide to start taking your benefits, it’s important to determine if you’ve reached your full retirement age. If you haven’t, claiming Social Security now instead of waiting could result in much lower benefits.

How much will your Social Security benefit be reduced if you retire early?

Social Security benefits are calculated based on a formula that factors in your highest 35 years of earnings, adjusted for wage growth. The formula determines what your standard benefit amount is, which is the benefit you receive if you retire at the age the Social Security Administration designated as your full retirement age (FRA).

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This Week in Pensions
Source: NPPC

Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Pensions! As we do most weeks, we have gathered the best stories about pensions and retirement security from the previous week. This is the news you need to know in the fight for a secure retirement.

Here are this week’s top stories:

 

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The Academic Approach To Generating Retirement Income
Source: The Balance

Below you’ll find resources that dig deep into the numbers to determine how, when and why certain strategies for generating retirement income work, and how effective they are when compared to other strategies.

This collection of retirement income research takes investment portfolios and annuity products, looks at them inside and out, upside and down, and spits out a generous supply of charts, graphs, and tables which tell you exactly how each strategy measures up to the task of generating a life-long inflation adjusted retirement income.

 

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IPPFA Supports Expanded Investment Authority for Police and Fire Boards
Source: IPPFA

 By: Jim McNamee, President IPPFA
IPPFA supports legislation aimed at expanding investment authority of local Police and Fire Pension Boards. The current investment rules, just as the market changes, need to be updated. HB 5571 is a bill that was drafted with input from our investment managers and DOI. This bill clarifies language on investment authority. Police and Fire Pension Fund Trustees have proven, when given the tools, they meet or exceed their investment benchmarks. The Anderson Economic study reflects Article 3 and 4 Funds’ exemplary investment performance. Other proposals from the Illinois Municipal League (“IML”), like consolidation, will increase unfunded liabilities due to transition costs and disruption of our retirement systems. The COGFA study shows consolidation is nothing more than a “pie in the sky” claim. The IML’s flimsy plan is not supported by any credible experts and fails under even the most superficial of challenges. Taxpayers will pay more under the IML plan.  “Consolidation” is about who controls Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ retirement money. It is not about solid fiscal policy, ethical reform, or even doing the right thing – it is about power. Police Officers and Firefighters have always been good stewards of their retirement systems.  We should trust them to continue their excellent and scandal free track record.    

 


 

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Exposing Arnold’s Web of Connections
Source: NPPC

You know the name: John Arnold. The former Enron energy trader and Wall Street hedge fund manager funds most of the attacks on public pensions nationwide. How, exactly, does he orchestrate these attacks on the retirement security of working families? He pays other people to do his dirty work for him.

 

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Overflow Accommodations for 2018 IPPFA Illinois Pension Conference
Source: IPPFA

Holiday Inn & Suites East Peoria
101 Holiday Street
East Peoria, IL 61611
309-698-333
All you need to do is click on the link and you will be taken directly to the Holiday Inn website.  From this point, you just need to enter your arrival and departure dates and then click on the Check Availability button.  This will pull the rooms and rates directly from IPPFA contracted block.
Additional Rooms have been added to IPPFA Block.

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How to Pay for Social Security’s Missing Trust Fund?
Source: Center for Retirement Research

Social Security’s Trust Fund is projected to run out in 2034.  As policymakers consider restoring financial balance to the program, one topic that may be discussed is how to structure any tax increases.  Understanding why Social Security requires a higher payroll tax than a funded retirement program for a given level of benefits is a crucial first step in informing this discussion.  The current “pay-as-you-go” approach is the result of the policy decision made decades ago to pay benefits far in excess of contributions for early cohorts of workers.  By paying benefits in excess of contributions to early cohorts, the nation essentially gave away the Trust Fund that would have accumulated and, importantly, gave away the interest on those contributions.  Thus, the payroll tax must cover not only the required contribution but also the missing interest.  This paper addresses alternative ways to pay for this Missing Trust Fund, including a comparison of the size of the required changes and their distributional implications.

 

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How Medicaid Helps Older Americans
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • Medicaid provides low-income retirees with critical health benefits by offering insurance directly, covering Medicare costs, or paying for long-term care.
  • Recently, the Medicaid expansion has also helped reduce the uninsured rate among workers nearing retirement.
  • The need for this array of benefits will grow as the population ages and medical costs continue to rise faster than household incomes.
  • But older Americans are only a small part of Medicaid, so their future depends on the outcome of the broader debate over the program’s size and scope.

 

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