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"Bush to Sign Massive Pension Overhaul" That Is Good Right?

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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:32 AM
Original message
"Bush to Sign Massive Pension Overhaul" That Is Good Right?
wrong....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

WASHINGTON -- Sweeping new rules aimed at prodding companies into shoring up their pension plans and ensuring that workers get the retirement benefits they've been promised are about to become law.

President Bush planned to sign the bill Thursday and has already praised it as "the most comprehensive reforms to America's pension system in over 30 years."

Michelle Jones is trying to find a spot for son Jonathan Rood, 15, who finished ninth grade at the now-closed Sasha Bruce Public Charter School. Another D.C. public charter school accepted him but then said that its curriculum did not mesh with that of his former school. (Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

The massive legislation reflects the evolution of workers' retirement benefits _ the decline in traditional pensions that give retired employees a fixed payment each month and the rise of defined-contribution savings plans that rely on workers to build retirement assets.



<snip>

But some pension experts say that even at 900-plus pages, the law isnt a panacea for what ails the system. In fact, it could exacerbate some problems.

James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, a trade association representing private companies that provide employee benefits, thinks the law will be responsible for an unprecedented number of companies closing their well-funded defined-benefit plans to new employees.

The trend already is clear. Even nonbankrupt companies (IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola among them) have shut down their defined-benefits pension plans and offer defined-contribution plans to employees instead.

The new law provides no incentives for companies to keep their defined-benefit plans. The requirement that they fully fund them is likely to cause more companies to drop them.

Then the perceived protections for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will fail if well-funded pension plans leave the system, thus shrinking the PBGCs premium base, Klein warned.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/business/15290...
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schmuls Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well, it sounds good, but I just don't trust him. He could turn around
and attach a signing statement saying he didn't really mean it. That's how nuts he is.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. This crowd HATES traditional pensions....
Everything they do, and every little bit of legislation that gets squeezed through has to examined with a microscope, because sure as the rising sun, there will be a crack just big enough for Wall Street to get it's toe in the door.

(Or it's nose under the tent, if you prefer)
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. A law has to be passed by Congress and we know this Congress would never
pass a Democratic Law so this can't be good news for the employee. I am sure there are huge pluses for the corporations though. Most retirement pension funds have already been raided by the big boys including the government so I am guessing this is an out for them, so they don't have to pay any of it back. Beware when the GOP says it wants to help you...
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
4. Its BAD and here's why
By forcing the companies who are in the program to increase the insurance premiums to help prop up the PBGC, they will force more companies out of the PBGC. They are not required to be in it. They can terminate their plans and go to something different.

This is a way to speed up the insolvency of the PBGC and screw retirees faster and sooner than would otherwise happen.

Businesses like this legislation. THEY paid for this legislation. YOu can bet your last dollar that retirees had NO INPUT in this legislation.

Its another corporate ripoff of the middle class
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Exactly..
... this is the death knell for the Defined Benefit Pension. There aren't that many out there anyway, soon there will be almost none.
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kysrsoze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Yeah, the biggest thing is the move from defined benefit to defined contri
bution. I could almost argue for this because it's difficult to know how big your obligation will be over time. On the other hand, the so-called penalty of a company falling behind on its commitments is to freeze the benefit, thereby screwing the worker. That's all I know right now. I can't wait to see what else comes out of it.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. drowning us in a bathtub
:(
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peekaloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. The "Ghost" of Ken Lay approves:
---------
The new law provides no incentives for companies to keep their defined-benefit plans. The requirement that they fully fund them is likely to cause more companies to drop them.

---------

:-(
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
7. "Overhaul" = Obliterate in Bush's world.
:scared: Liquidate. Now. Stash cash under your mattress if you have to.

When have any of his 'plans/policies' ever done more than turn into a flaming turd ?
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Bonhomme Richard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
9. If bush is signing it then it has to be bad for the rest of us. n/t
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
11. It's a Trojan horse -- it allows cash balance pension conversions
George Miller (minority leader of the House Education and Workforce Committee) put up a fight to include older worker protections in the conference committee bill. See a transcript of his speech http://edworkforce.house.gov/democrats/statements/state...
Video is at http://edworkforce.house.gov/democrats/media/cspan72020...

Older worker protections were NOT included in the bill.

The Pension Rights Center will issue this release concerning the bill:
http://www.pensionrights.org/news/press/Pension-Protect...


What is particularly infuriating is the most of the Senate Dems voted for this pos bill.
Thank God for Feingold and Boxer who voted NO.

Senate roll call: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r...

House roll call: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll422.xml

IMO, the only thing the bill protects is executive pensions. It's a royal screw job for working Americans, especially older workers. The bill legalizes cash balance pensions and what I think will happen is that companies will convert to a cash balance plan, screwing workers in the process, and then freeze the plan.

The Senate Dems rolled over on this one and sold us out. I am no longer a fan of Ted Kennedy.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. No, this is another BAD bill that will cost millions of workers in this
country. The House bill was worked on for two years and several provisions were cut from it during the 'negotiations' phase when committee Democrats were not invited. Then this 900-page concoction was passed without anybody having a chance to read it.
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
13. I remember the House debate
The Bill "suddenly" appeared and most House members had not read it and had to vote on it very quickly.

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