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Danielle DiMartino Booth to be a Keynote Speaker at the 2017 IPPFA MidAmerican Pension Conference
Source: IPPFA

Danielle DiMartino Booth to be a Keynote Speaker at the 2017 IPPFA MidAmerican Pension Conference.

Danielle DiMartino Booth is a global thought leader on monetary policy and economics. She is the author of FED UP: An Insider’s Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America (Portfolio, Feb 2017). FED UP, which rose to #22 on Amazon’s Best Seller List, is currently in its fifth production run.

DiMartino Booth founded Money Strong LLC in 2015. Through her economic consultancy, she has published a weekly newsletter for 132 consecutive weeks. Aside from her vast direct distribution network, more than 100,000 readers enjoy her newsletter on a weekly basis via Linked In, Seeking Alpha, Nasdaq, Talk Markets and dozens of other websites.

DiMartino Booth is also a full-time columnist for Bloomberg View, a business speaker, and a commentator frequently featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Radio, Fox News, Fox Business News and other major media outlets. DiMartino Booth recently accepted a position as Senior Economic Advisor for Commerce Street Capital.

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Public Pensions Are a Good Deal for Taxpayers
Source: NCPERS

Public pensions are beneficial to taxpayers in a variety of ways that are both under-reported and poorly understood by many observers. In the quest for simple answers to complex questions about public pensions, facile observers routinely overlook salient facts. For example, taxpayers get public services from dedicated nurses, firefighters, teachers, and police officers and pay only 20 cents on the dollar for their retirement benefits. The rest of the money comes from investment earnings and employee contributions. Taxpayers benefit from $3.7 trillion of pension fund assets invested in our economy, providing capital for established businesses and start-ups. Additionally, taxpayers benefit because retirees typically spend their pension checks locally, creating new jobs. Above all, tax revenues created through retiree spending and pension investments may exceed what taxpayers pay into public pensions.

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Tax Information for Members of the Military
Source: IRS

This page provides tax information for current and former military personnel who served in the United States armed forces, uniform services, and under limited circumstances, support organizations.

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Curious Behaviors That Can Ruin Your Retirement
Source: Center for Retirement Research

Curious Behaviors That Can Ruin Your Retirement is an interactive program on behavioral impediments to retirement planning. A host leads users through exercises designed to create an “Aha!” moment as they relate to the behaviors. The host then explains how the behavior can hinder retirement planning and how to cope with it. Users can then go to a “Learn More” page with additional information in various media formats.

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Understanding the Cyber Threat
Source: AT&T & NCSA

 

AT&T and the National Cyber Security Alliance are leading a long-term strategy to increase cybersecurity awareness among elected officials. As part of that effort, we commissioned the Governing Institute—an organization that helps public sector leaders govern more effectively through research, decision support and executive education—to survey 103 state legislators and their staff to understand how lawmakers view their role in this critical issue. The results, published at www.governing.com/cyberfindings, show that awareness is growing. A vast majority of respondents said protecting state computer networks is a priority. But the findings also indicate awareness isn’t necessarily turning into action, at least not yet.

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State and Local Pension Plan Funding Sputters in FY 2016
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The brief’s key findings are:

  • In 2016, the funded ratio of state and local pensions declined under both old and new accounting rules.
  • This decline reflected steady growth in liabilities and slow growth in assets due to poor stock performance.
  • More recently, the revival of the stock market is helping plan assets recover, with funded ratios expected to improve in 2017.
  • But, looking further ahead, funding ratios are projected to remain essentially flat due largely to the current approach of calculating required contributions.
  • Thus, to achieve more meaningful progress, plans need to establish contribution levels that will actually reduce unfunded liabilities.

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2017 Mid-Year Federal & State Pension Legislation Update Webcast
Source: YouTube

 

On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, Hank Kim, executive director of NCPERS, Bailey Childers, executive director of the National Public Pension Coalition (NPPC), and Anthony Roda, partner at Williams & Jensen, discussed state and federal legislation impacting public pensions.

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Corporate Employers Flee Pensions With Gap Topping $375 Billion
Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek

The vast majority of S&P 500 companies don’t have enough money set aside to meet all their obligations to current and future retirees. There’s a total gap of at least $375 billion for the 200 largest plans. This is how they got here.

1975 to 1999

Assets in U.S. pension plans go from $186 billion to more than $2 trillion. A booming stock market helps the funds grow, since many are largely invested in equities.

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Retirement Calculators: 3 Good Options
Source: Center for Retirement Research

The Internet offers many free calculators to baby boomers wanting to get a better handle on whether their retirement finances are on track.

The operative words here are “on track,” because each calculator has strengths and weaknesses.  Calculators aren’t capable of providing a bullet-proof analysis of the complex factors and future unknowns that will determine whether someone has done the planning and saving required to ensure a financially secure retirement.

With that caveat, Squared Away found three calculators, listed below, that do a good job. They met our criteria of being reliable, free, and easy to use.  Many other calculators were quickly eliminated, because they were indecipherable or created issues on the first try.

 

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Another blow for heartland workers: Slashed pensions
Source: MoneyWatch

 

February was a bad month for Larry Burruel and thousands of other retired Ohio iron workers. His monthly take-home pension was cut by more than half from $3,700 to $1,600.

Things have been rough in the Rust Belt, but this was a particularly powerful punch in the pocketbook for Burruel, who started in the trade at 19 and worked 36 years before opting for early retirement to make way for younger workers. Unfortunately, this sagging industry doesn’t have enough younger workers to pay for retirees like Burruel, whose pension plan is in what the U.S. Treasury Department calls “critical and declining status.”

Burruel and the 4,000 members of his Cleveland Iron Workers Local 17 pension plan are the canaries in the coal mine as far as pension cutbacks go. At least 50 Midwestern pension plans — mostly the kind jointly administered by trustees for a labor union and a group of employers — are in this decrepit condition. Several plan sponsors have already applied to the Treasury Department to cut back retirees’ allotments.

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