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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
but your congressmans pension is fatter and safer than ever

DO YOU CARE??????

So it was Joe Biden who said just last week that evil CEOs would be the first to see their pensions go. Are you ready for the full scale attack on privately held pensions and 401K plans once Obama and Biden are in the White House? :******:

Something the mainstream media isn't reporting is the fact that changes will be coming to your 401(k) ... they have already been proposed in House hearings in Washington. Earlier this month, the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor Rep. George Miller (a Democrat) says that sweeping changes must come to the 401(k) system.

One of the main changes would be eliminating $80 billion in tax savings for higher-income people enrolled in 401(k) retirement savings plans. Miller says, " what we have to start to think about in Congress of whether or not we want to continue and invest that $80 billion for a policy that is not generating what we ... say it should?"

What "we" say it should? :******: :******: :******:

By "we" do you mean that the government should be able to determine how much I can put away for my retirement?

Is there a motivation here? Well, try this. Let's look at health insurance. For decades the government has favored government-provided or employer-provided health insurance over privately-acquired plans. If your employer bought you the policy - deductible. If you bought it yourself - not deductible. The goal here was to make it easier for you to depend on someone else for health insurance than on yourself, and in fact to punish you if you tried to employ a bit of individual responsibility.

Are we moving to the same scheme for retirement savings? Get your retirement from the government and you'll be favored. Try to set up your retirement plan on your own and you'll be punished. Self-sufficiency, punished. Dependence, rewarded.

So where do we go from here? Government guaranteed retirement accounts. Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor, proposed this plan. Here's Teresa's explanation: "The way the government now encourages 401(k) plans is to spend $80 billion in tax breaks, which goes to the highest-income earners. That simply results in transferring money from taxed savings accounts to untaxed accounts. If we implement automatic [individual retirement accounts] or if we expand the 401(k) system, all we're doing is adding to this inefficiency."

Do you smell a plan to make you dependent on government for your retirement? Talk about having you by the short hairs ..... :******: :******:

In the meantime, let's get back to Joe Biden's "their pensions will be the first to go" comment. The more savvy among you know that a large part of the current economic crunch can be blamed on Washington action or inaction.

Are their pensions in jeopardy because of their malfeasance? Hardly.

Just yesterday, Yahoo Finance reported that lawmakers in Congress may turn out to have the "sweetest" pension plan. This is because lawmakers are offered a defined-benefit pension plan that is backed by the US Treasury and insulated from Wall Street fluctuations. But keep in mind, when it says that they are backed by the US Treasury, it means your tax dollars. The article says that lawmakers like George Miller are in an "increasingly privileged category" because they are guaranteed retirement benefits thanks to you, the tax payers.

What exactly do they get? Well their benefits start earlier and accrue faster than the average private company worker. Lawmakers also get cost-of-living increases, which is extremely rare in the private sector. George Miller, for example, if he were to retire tomorrow would take away an annual pension of about $122,000. In other words, "lawmakers' retirement benefits are out of step with most ordinary Americans." And at a time when Joe Biden wants to take away the pensions of CEOs, Congress has made no effort to revisit its own retirement plan. :******:

Robyn Credico, the national director of an employee benefit consulting firm, says, "The government plans are certainly very rich even if you compare them to the pension plans in corporate America ... I certainly believe it affects policy ... If you're not impacted yourself it's very easy to make different rules."[/b]

One other item to take away from this is the fact that private employers do have the option to offer these defined benefit pension plans. But what happens to a private company if it offers this type of plan, and the value of that plan drops ... it has to make up for the extra cost in other ways ... like layoffs, cutting other benefits or freezing the pensions. When government defined pension plans lose value - the taxpayers make up the difference. :******:

So what can we take away from this? Federal lawmakers in Washington have secured pension plans that are affected little by this financial crisis ... and they have your tax dollars to thank for it. Meanwhile, they want to target evil CEO pension plans first. Then they want to target private pension plans and eliminate any tax breaks you may currently enjoy.

Where does it stop?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
heres the article from yahoo finance

Inside Washington: Lawmakers' retirement plans riding out the storm better than others

Along with the rest of America, Rep. George Miller has watched the value of his retirement investments plummet in recent weeks.

"I've lost 30 percent like everybody else. This hits home with the Miller family, too," the California Democrat said in a recent interview.

But the blow is softer for members of Congress than for most. Although lawmakers have lost value in their thrift savings plans -- the government's version of a 401(k) -- they are also offered a defined-benefit pension plan backed by the U.S. Treasury and largely insulated from Wall Street fluctuations.

That puts Miller and the other lawmakers into an increasingly privileged category -- workers with guaranteed retirement benefits that aren't subject to the vicissitudes of the financial markets.

Market meltdown or no, if Miller, 63, were to retire at the end of this year he'd take with him an annual pension of about $122,000, according to the National Taxpayers Union, a nonprofit advocacy group in Arlington, Va. On top of that he could tap whatever remains in his 401(k)-like savings plan.

Lawmakers' retirement benefits start earlier and accrue faster than in plans offered to other federal workers, or by the average private company. Lawmakers also get cost-of-living increases, increasingly rare in the private sector.

Only 5 percent of private sector workers have defined benefit pension plans, in which the employer pays into an account and promises them benefits based on years of service, salary levels and other factors. That's down from 1980, when 60 percent of workers had such plans, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Increasingly, employers are putting the responsibility for retirement -- and the risk -- onto workers themselves by switching to investment plans like 401(k)s. About 30 percent of workers have 401(k)s, in which employees contribute to their own accounts, often with employers matching a small percentage of contributions, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Thirteen percent have both defined-benefit pensions and 401(k)s. The remaining workers don't have retirement coverage from their employer, according to the institute.

Despite the financial crisis -- and the fact lawmakers' retirement benefits are out of step with most ordinary Americans -- Congress has made no effort to revisit its unusually sweet retirement deal.

Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., who has declined participation in either the congressional pension or thrift savings plan, said his efforts to scale them back have not been welcomed.

Chart shows breakdown of retirement plans in the private sector

"It would certainly be a timely gesture at this juncture," said Coble. "It certainly appears to be a different standard and I can see how people on the outside of that standard might resent it."

The generous retirement arrangement for members of Congress is meant to respond to the job insecurity that comes with elected office, according to Barbara Bovbjerg, director of education, work force and income security issues at the Government Accountability Office.

Members elected before 1984, like Miller, get a better deal on their pensions than do those elected since, because the rules changed that year to bring lawmakers into the Social Security system as well.

But any member with five years of service is eligible for full pension benefits at 62 -- though Social Security benefits conform with those of other workers, with early retirement bringing reduced benefits. Lawmakers with 20 years in office can get full pension benefits at 50, younger than most workers.

"The government plans are certainly very rich even if you compare them to the pension plans in corporate America," said Robyn Credico, national director of defined contribution consulting at Watson Wyatt, an employee benefits consulting firm.

"I certainly believe it affects policy," Credico said, suggesting that members of Congress don't experience the harsher reality of ordinary workers' retirement plans. "If you're not impacted yourself it's very easy to make different rules."

Indeed, Congress has in recent years promoted the dramatic movement in corporate America away from defined-benefit pensions to 401(k)s with policies encouraging automatic enrollment and raising contribution limits. Under 401(k) plans employees contribute to their own investment accounts and assume the risks and rewards that go with them. Lately, with the crisis on Wall Street and across the globe, it's been more risk than reward.

Earlier this month, Miller's House Education and Labor Committee found that Americans' retirement plans -- pension plans and 401(k)s included -- have lost as much as $2 trillion in the past 15 months -- about 20 percent of their value. At a committee hearing Wednesday in San Francisco, Miller cited new research suggesting that the losses might be as much as double that.

And although private sector employees with defined benefit pensions are guaranteed their pensions even if the value of the plan drops, employers may make up for the extra cost in other ways, like layoffs, cutting other benefits or even freezing the pension or eliminating it, experts say.

That risk was underscored Wednesday at Miller's hearing in San Francisco, where he announced that the federal agency charged with backstopping pension benefits for 44 million Americans has lost at least $3 billion in stock investments during the last fiscal year on assets of $68 billion, and invested a significant portion of its funds in mortgage-backed securities. The agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., insures approximately 30,000 defined benefit pension plans. It does not insure 401(k) plans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heres tha article about the Dems considering how to plunder your retirement account . I 've wondered how long it would take for the politicians to figure out a way to go after all the money american citizens have saved.

They've already destroyed social security :******: :******:

http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs ... e=printart

Congress mulls major 401(k) changes
By Sara Hansard
October 7, 2008
A wide range of sweeping changes to the 401(k) system were proposed Tuesday at a hearing on how the market crisis has devastated retirement savings plans.
Chief among them was eliminating $80 billion in tax savings for higher-income people enrolled in 401(k) retirement savings plans.

This was suggested by the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

"With respect to the 401(k), it appears to be a plan that is not really well-devised for the changes in the market," Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said.

"We've invested $80 billion into subsidizing this activity," he said, referring to tax breaks allowed for 401(k) contributions and savings.

With savings rates going down, "what do we have to start to think about in Congress of whether or not we want to continue and invest that $80 billion for a policy that is not generating what we … say it should?" Mr. Miller said.

Congress should let workers trade their 401(k) assets for guaranteed retirement accounts made up of government bonds, suggested Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at The New School for Social Research in New York.

When workers collected Social Security, the guaranteed retirement account would pay an inflation-adjusted annuity under her plan.

"The way the government now encourages 401(k) plans is to spend $80 billion in tax breaks," which goes to the highest-income earners, Ms. Ghilarducci said.

That simply results in transferring money from taxed savings accounts to untaxed accounts, she said.

"If we implement automatic [individual retirement accounts] or if we expand the 401(k) system, all we're doing is adding to this inefficiency," Ms. Ghilarducci said.

Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., raised the issue of which investment advisers are allowed to offer workers investment advice.

The Department of Labor is considering "loopholes" that would allow advisers to offer "conflicted investment advice if the advisers work for subsidiaries of financial services companies that sell the investments," he said.

With American workers facing $2 trillion in losses from retirement plans over the past year and Democrats expected to gain seats in the House and the Senate, actions being contemplated by the committee are an important harbinger of what could come out of Congress next year.

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Bobm said:
Heres tha article about the Dmes considering how to plunder your retirement account . I 've wondered how long it would take fro the politicians to figure out a way to go after all the money american citizens have saved.

They've already destroyed social security.
I believe you have hit upon one of the big reasons why. They have destroyed social security and this is a way to cover it up. Make this sound good and claim it as a fix to social security and then brag about how well they did to fix it in the next campaign. :eyeroll:

Thanks for the post, interesting read.
 
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