“The public dispute over accounting standards is a signal to taxpayers, retirees and political reformers that fundamental flaws remain in how pensions measure their finances,” writes Steve Malanga in the WSJ. At issue, as he correctly points out, is the delusion that government pensions “on average estimate they will earn 7.6% a year on their portfolios.” Using a more realistic riskless rate (as if that exists!) increases the unfunded liability from about $1 trillion to $3 trillion. It’s all funny money. I’ve looked at the numbers in Newport, RI and it’s ugly. The stock market will not come to its rescue. And politicians don’t want to raise taxes and risk losing the next election and employees don’t want to contribute more from their paychecks. Pensions will not survive as they are today. The most natural path of destruction will be a gutting of services (police/firemen etc) which will no doubt increase risks for everyone.
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E.J. Smith is Founder of YourSurvivalGuy.com, Managing Director at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd., a Managing Editor of Richardcyoung.com, and Editor-in-Chief of Youngresearch.com. E.J. graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with a B.S. in finance and investments. In 1995, E.J. began his investment career at Fidelity Investments in Boston before joining Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. in 1998. E.J. has trained at Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, NH. His first drum set was a 5-piece Slingerland with Zilldjians. He grew-up worshiping Neil Peart of the band Rush, and loves the song Tom Sawyer—the name of his family’s boat, a Grady-White Canyon 306. He grew up in Mattapoisett, MA, an idyllic small town on the water near Cape Cod. He spends time in Newport, RI and Bartlett, NH—both as far away from Wall Street as one could mentally get. The Newport office is on a quiet, tree lined street not far from the harbor and the log cabin in Bartlett, NH, the “Live Free or Die” state, sits on the edge of the White Mountain National Forest. He enjoys spending time in Key West and Paris. Please get in touch with E.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org.