In apparent first, a public pension plan files for bankruptcy

According to Pensions & Investments:

In what's believed to be a first by a public pension plan, the Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund, Saipan, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday.

The public defined benefit plan is only 38.8% funded, thanks to low investment returns and a benefit structure that's been increased without raises in funding, according to the bankruptcy filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth consisting of three major islands in the Western Pacific.

Just the tip of the iceberg. Read what at the Federal Reserve has to say about the problem. The warning is particularly pertinent to Illinois:

The federal study offers a scary warning: "At this point, it seems unlikely that any major pension fund will run out of cash in the next few years, barring a general worsening of economic and financial conditions. Indeed, increased public attention on the underfunding problem has motivated pension plan sponsors to work with state legislators to implement substantive reforms. ...

"But most of these changes have only a limited effect on plan funding. ..."

That means "... we are not out of the woods yet. Many funds will require ... painful new contributions from employers and employees. ... Meanwhile, an imminent collapse of several large funds, accompanied by a shock to the financial system, remains improbable - though not impossible."

Hat tip to Newsalert.



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  • This will be happening more, I'd guess. I have to say, the whole idea of a pension is flatly unsustainable. It just goes to show the strange out-of-reality times that we lived in during the boom years after WWII. This ear of high financial times was an aberration, not a new normal! We will never, ever see such flush times again.

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