Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Annual pension shortfall: $15 billion

U.S. Census Bureau

...This cash flow (above) shows that during 2014, California’s state/local pension funds, combined, collected 30.1 billion from state and local agencies, and paid out $46.1 billion to pensioners. They are paying out 50% more than they’re taking in, and this is a relatively recent phenomenon. Historically, pension funds have been net buyers in the market. Now, pension funds across the U.S., along with retiring baby boomers, are sellers in the market. This is one reason it is difficult to be optimistic about securing a 7.5% average annual return in the future, despite historical results. And as for that healthy 15.4% return on investments in 2014? That was offset in 2015 when the markets were flat. It is also noteworthy that employee contributions of $8.9 billion are greatly exceeded by the $21.2 billion in employer (taxpayer) contributions. How many 401K recipients get a 2.5 to 1.0 matching from their employer?...(emphasis added)

San Francisco's "skyrocketing pension costs" (SF Chronicle).

Rembrandt's selfies

Self-portrait as a young man...

...and as an old man

Unlike some of our contemporaries, he didn't have to risk his life making his self-portraits: The Tragic Data Behind Selfie Fatalities