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Friday, July 21, 2017

Another blow for heartland workers: Slashed pensions

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.



Anonymous said...

Sad ..So very Sad .. And That's All I Have To Say ! SAD !

Anonymous said...

Another example of people who were promised PENSIONS but the company failed to fund them.
It truly is a criminal situation.

Anonymous said...

Pensions were never meant to be Ponzi Schemes.
It is ridiculous to say that the current workers can't pay for the previous workers' pensions.
The pensions should have been FUNDED.
Just like Social Security.

Everything in our Country is collapsing because of corporate crime.
But it is never identified as crime by the media (corporate media).
Instead it is reported that there aren't enough current workers to pay for the previous workers . . .

This is criminal behavior coming home to roost.

Anonymous said...

I predicted this 45 years ago when I was told joining a union would guarantee me a great pension. I looked at the numbers back then and did the math and said no.

Here we are. All that money I put into Social Security (by force) is GONE! It's been taken out of the bank and spent by others, and now look at the situation.

lmclain said...

Your "leaders" (including your union leaders) have taken your money and spent it.
Now, they want to look around and act like it was a mysterious incident that robbed millions of the money that was THEIRS.
How many of these slimy thieves have been sent to prison??????
You cheer these guys (YOUR guy is squeaky clean, of course --- that's why he spent 22 million dollars to get a $125,000 a year job, you big dummy).
If YOU spent YOUR money like they do, and managed your money like they manage OURS, you would be doing a 25-life prison term. They have laws in place to deal with schemes and scams. None of them apply to anyone except serfs (that's you and me).
How many union workers does it take to march on Washington and start the hanging?
How many citizens do they have to lie to, rob, cheat, and steal from, before a revolution starts?
How many cheerleaders does a politician need to stay in office?
We only know the answer to the last one, but we should be finding out about the first two soon.

Anonymous said...

And keep electing them

Anonymous said...

When they all told you to contribute to an IRA, and to calculate your retirement benefits based on an annual 8% return over the life of the investments, they were lying. The "investment counselor" that dispensed that advise was the only one making money dispensing that advise. Wall Street loved it!

Likewise, defined benefit pension plans were based on the same premise... that the company contributions to the pension plan would generate a annual 8% return on investment forever. Again, Wall Street loved it! (and it wasn't true)

Wall Street LOVES both up and down markets because they make commissions on trades, whether the sale makes an investor money, or not. More trades = more $. If you get in the market, they make money, and when you get out, they make money. Never trust an investment counselor that tells you to put money in the stock market. They are actually better ways to make money, without the risk of losing your savings. A true investment counselor that is advising you for you own financial security (and not his), will tell you this.

Well, assumptions were far from reality. Assumptions are not actual money. The money is not there. If his pension was cut, he should have taken a lump sum payout and seen if he could get a better annuity payout for the rest of his life. For what the iron worker put into his pension ($O.00 other than the years worked at much higher than average wages for a laborer's job), he was receiving a way too generous benefit.

At $1600.00 a month, he would have gotten a better monthly payout from Social Security. And he could have taken those union dues and invested them himself in a 401K. I wonder if that iron worker is still a big union fan and supporter. Most union people I know are Democrats, and support Socialist policies....and are indignant when the impossible promises of the left don't pay off.