Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cities and states to 'come clean' on pensions

In a New York Times article, entitled `Government Rule Makers Looking at Pensions', we learn that the plight of public pensions will soon be brought to light. At risk to the cities and states are their bond ratings, and potential for 'pension misconduct'.

NORWALK, Conn. — As cities and states struggle with ballooning retirement costs, accounting rule makers started an ambitious project Thursday to force state and local overnments to issue better numbers and reveal the true cost of their
pension promises.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

£36bn gone from top 200 UK funds in June

The turndown of equity markets in June cost the top 200 largest privately-sponsored UK pension funds a total of £36bn. That leaves three quarters of the funds in deficit by £30bn. This shocking vulnerability makes one wonder what will happen to pensioners who have the misfortune to start drawing their pensions during a prolonged economic downturn.
At one time it would have been argued that pensions must guarantee a defined standard of living that is independent of equity markets. This social contract made sense to the generation that suffered the Great Depression a World War and two decades of recovery--less so to the current generation of politicians and fund managers.
Shares gloom leaves pension funds with £30bn deficit

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Don't they get the news?

From the Wall Street Journal (3-July):
Europe pension funds' taste for stock-market assets grows
Two pension plans, in France and Switzerland, have increased their equity allocations, demonstrating the growing taste among continental Europe's pension plans for the stock market.
A €6.2 billion ($9.79 billion) French fund that is run by the state-owned power company Électricité de ...