pension funds

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Hastert Fights for $17K-a-Year Teacher's Pension

It's $17K a year, and disgraced ex-House speaker says he's entitled to it

(Newser) - Dennis Hastert is serving a 15-month prison term in a hush-money case that stemmed from his sexual abuse of students when he taught at an Illinois public school over 35 years ago—and the ex-US House speaker is now pointing to a technicality to argue that a state body should... More »

Detroit Went Way Overboard Paying Pensions: Report

Money went to workers who hadn't retired

(Newser) - In its path to declaring bankruptcy , Detroit didn't help itself on the pension front: The city, it seems, was overly generous with its pension payments to the tune of billions of dollars. The city offered extra cash to workers still on the job, while retirees got bonuses and families... More »

Biggest Broke City Can Enter Bankruptcy: Judge

Stockton, Calif., allowed to pay less to bondholders

(Newser) - The biggest US city to file for bankruptcy was allowed to press ahead today despite outcry from its creditors, the Wall Street Journal reports. A federal judge approved Chapter 9 protection for Stockton, Calif., saying it "will not be able to perform its obligations to its citizens" without bankruptcy... More »

Feds to Illinois: You Deceived Investors

SEC settles with Illinois over underfunded pension system

(Newser) - Federal regulators accused Illinois of securities fraud today, saying officials had misled investors about the shaky state of the state pension system, the New York Times reports. The SEC said Illinois had issued false annual reports for 15 years claiming the state was keeping up with its required payments to... More »

Pension Fund Sues Walmart Directors Over Mexican Bribery

Suit: Directors, execs should compensate firm for 'gross misconduct'

(Newser) - A major Walmart shareholder is suing current and former directors and execs on the company's behalf over the Mexican bribery scandal . The California State Teachers' Retirement System —America's second-largest public pension fund—wants the directors and executives responsible for Walmart's Mexican unit to reimburse the company... More »

A First for US Public Pension Fund: Bankruptcy

Northern Mariana Islands' fund could run out of money in 2 years

(Newser) - It's a high-profile milestone out of a not-so-high-profile place. The Northern Mariana Islands' public pension fund sought bankruptcy protection last month, a notable move in that it's the first such US fund to do so. The Wall Street Journal paints a picture of a complicated road to collapse... More »

Big Biz Seeking to Cut Pension Funding

Companies complain they're being forced to sit on too much cash

(Newser) - Low interest rates are forcing major employers to put too much money into their pension funds, according to business groups urging Congress to allow contributions to be cut. A measure attached to the Senate highway bill would change the formula major employers use to calculate contributions to defined-benefit pension plans,... More »

As US Hits Debt Limit, Treasury Taps Fed Pensions

Move staves off default until Aug. 2

(Newser) - Washington hit the debt ceiling today, barring the Treasury Department from borrowing from the public, so it will begin borrowing from federal workers’ pensions to keep the government afloat. Treasury is legally bound to reimburse the pensions, so retirees won't be affected, notes the Washington Post , but if the... More »

State Pension Funds Come Up $1.26T Short

Market losses, aging population leave funds in dire straits

(Newser) - States' pension and health care funds had a disastrous year in 2009, saving a whopping $1.26 trillion less than they’ll need to pay the retirement benefits they’ve promised to their workers, according to a new study from the Pew Center on the States. Part of the problem... More »

3 European Countries Grab at Private Pensions

Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland call for citizens' savings

(Newser) - As European governments seek new sources of revenue, private retirement plans are taking a hit. Since most are organized by the state, "European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this... More »

Rattner Pays $10M to Settle Pension Fund Case

He admits no wrongdoing in case brought by Cuomo

(Newser) - New York's nasty legal fight between Andrew Cuomo and investment banker Steven Rattner—two of the city's major players in Democratic circles—is finally over. Rattner, who also served as President Obama's point man for the auto bailout, will pay $10 million to settle accusations that his company paid kickbacks... More »

Town's Pension Collapse Seen as Warning Across US

When fund ran dry, it stopped paying its retirees

(Newser) - When an Alabama town’s pension fund ran out, it simply stopped sending money to its retirees—a decision that’s never been made before, pension experts believe. That left retired public workers struggling: Some returned to work, one filed for bankruptcy, and one died with no electricity or running... More »

Cuomo Files $26M Suit Against Steve Rattner

Ex-auto czar vows to fight it

(Newser) - Talk about timing. On the same day that Steve Rattner got to trumpet GM’s new IPO , Andrew Cuomo filed a trio of lawsuits against the ex-auto czar related to a pay-to-play scandal involving New York’s pension fund. Cuomo’s asking for $26 million in damages, and a lifetime... More »

Nation's No. 3 Pension Fund Sues BP

New York fund has lost $575M because of the spill

(Newser) - New York's public pension fund is suing BP over huge losses caused by the oil giant's plunging stock price, CNNMoney reports. The New York State Common Retirement Fund—the third-largest public pension fund in the country—claims in a class-action lawsuit to have owned 19 million shares when the spill... More »

How to Kill the Chamber of Commerce...

...before its lobbyists do more damage on climate change, etc.

(Newser) - The Chamber of Commerce's outrageous stand against action on global warming, which has spurred a number of huge corporations to drop out, is not an anomaly, says Eliot Spitzer. From environmental protection to deregulation to fiscal policy to health care reform, it’s always on the wrong side of history,... More »

Losses Plunge Pension Funds Into Crisis

(Newser) - Pension funds for police officers, teachers and other public employees are going broke  the Washington Post reports, with such steep losses in the financial crisis that they'll have less than half what they need to cover benefits within 15 years. That puts local governments in a painful bind: They... More »

Rattner May Have Quit Over Pay-to-Play Settlement

New York AG targets ex-car czar's company

(Newser) - Washington is dying to know why Steven Rattner quit after just months as President Obama’s car czar. One possible reason: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is pushing for a legal settlement with his company for its part in a pay-to-play scandal surrounding the state’s pension fund, sources... More »

Carlyle to Pay $20M to Settle Pension Probe

Private equity firm adopts ethics rules to end Cuomo inquiry

(Newser) - The Carlyle Group will pay a $20 million settlement and adopt strict new ethics rules to appease New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Wall Street Journal reports. Cuomo had threatened to bring charges against the group or its employees as part of his pay-to-play probe into New York’s... More »

NYC Probes Rattner's Firm in Pension Scandal

Quadrangle paid finders fees to indicted adviser's company

(Newser) - New York City authorities are investigating whether Quadrangle Group, formerly led by Obama car czar Steven Rattner, deceived managers of the city's pension funds, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rattner's firm, Quadrangle, paid finders fees to Searle & Co., which had been headed by now-indicted political adviser Hank Morris,... More »

Generous Pensions Toppling Hungarian Economy

Public spending dilemma threatens to engulf Eastern Europe

(Newser) - Pensions are at the heart of the Hungarian financial crisis threatening to drag down the Eastern European economy, the Wall Street Journal reports. Three out of every 10 Hungarians currently collects a generous government pension, but the cost—around 10% of GDP and rising—has made the country's deficit unmanageable,... More »

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