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Pensions to the Brink



March 12, 2009 – Comments (4)

I saw this post as soon as it went up but I was way too busy to link it or discuss it.  It is interesting to me that now there is a lot of stuff out there about pensions and basically it is all showing the pensions are in serious trouble.

It has been about 3 years since I realised that people are not getting the pensions they think they are getting.  Where you live can affect a lot in terms of standard of living, or at least that is the way it is in Vancouver.  The jobs with good pay and pensions really dried up about 25 years ago and people who had jobs before then had jobs with good benefits and pay and then there is this divide where there are lots of just as qualified and hard working individuals who make far less for the same kind of work and also have this huge void in benefits. 

It is basically an enormous inequity in distribution of wages.  I have always resented being cut out of the good jobs and benefits and then being part of the taxpayer base expected to pay this burden and look out for myself at the same time.  I have felt quite ripped off over the whole thing.

So, it was a revelation when I realised that people aren't getting what they think they are getting, but I am sure there will be screams of entitlement (myself and other taxpayers should fund more through taxes even though you have much better wages and benefits your whole working life, especially compared to mine?)

In any event, if you read the article the "profits" investors are expecting are likely going to pay pensions, and the aging population means this is going to be absolutely huge for companies going forward and it is hard to see what's in it for investors...

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 12, 2009 at 8:28 PM, herztical (27.62) wrote:

I agree.  I don't have a pension (only a 2% matching 401k), but yet I will be expected to pay teachers (my wife is one btw), police, government, autos, and other civil service peoples shortfall. Where I live police make more then CEOs (Nassau County, NY).

To see both sides though, I guess I should just become a teacher or cop.

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#2) On March 13, 2009 at 10:15 AM, dwot (29.69) wrote:

herztical, in Canada teacher's pension is completely separate so I would not expect taxpayers putting in more for that.

But we have enormous government pensions that have very different access to public funds...

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#3) On March 13, 2009 at 2:10 PM, MikeMark (28.70) wrote:

I agree as well.

To me, pensions and other forms of retirement income that are not managed by the individual are all in the same package. The individual is usually far more capable of managing their interests themselves. When a third party is involved, be it government or employer, there is too much opportunity for misappropriation (theft) or mismanagement of the funds.

I like your input on the downward pressure this will place on profits. Thanks for the heads-up.

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#4) On March 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM, bostoncelitcs (65.37) wrote:

Pensions are so 80's!!  You've got to bilk the American taxpayer out of billions of US Treasury dollars covering bad insurance bets on "credit default swaps"......Then demand to be paid millions of dollars in bonuses because you "had a contract"!!

Former AIG head Hank Greenberg should be sitting alongside Bernie Madoff in the same cell!!

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