Social Security

Bailout for Union Pensions?

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Is "card check" still dead? Maybe, but according to the DC Examiner, a compromise bill making the rounds could force, via binding arbitration, "private firms…to save underfunded union pension plans even if doing so reduces profits and jeopardizes the retirement savings of non-union workers."

[M]any [union pension plans] are severely underfunded and staggering under steadily increasing rising liabilities. Pensions for nearly half of the nation's 20 largest unions are classified as either "endangered" or in "critical" condition due to underfunding, according to federal actuarial reports. Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered "endangered," while those below 65 percent are classified as "critical" under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the government-backed Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. (PBGC). Less than one in 160 workers is presently covered by a properly funded union pension plan. Failed pension plans are bailed out by the PBGC. […]

a Card Check compromise that includes mandatory arbitration would give unions that inadequately funded their pension plans a backdoor way to get a bailout, paid for either by the company or the tax payers.

Reason on card check here. Jon Entine's February cover story on the looming pension "catastrophe" here.

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21 responses to “Bailout for Union Pensions?

  1. a Card Check compromise that includes mandatory arbitration would give unions that inadequately funded their pension plans a backdoor way to get a bailout, paid for either by the company or the tax payers

    And the company would be bailed out/owned by the taxpayers, so its back to us either way. Thank God that The One has such a good way to buy the political power He needs to protect us from our own stupidity.

    Obamalujah!!!

  2. “private firms…to save underfunded union pension plans even if doing so reduces profits and jeopardizes the retirement savings of non-union workers.”

    Bloody fucking hell…

  3. My prediction, and you heard it here first, is 401K raids to prop up union pensions.

  4. “a Card Check compromise that includes mandatory arbitration would give unions that inadequately funded their pension plans a backdoor way to get a bailout, paid for either by the company or the tax payers.”

    The unions have been screwing over their members by not funding their pensions. So of course the taxpayers have to pay to bail them out.

  5. Did you SugarFree the DC Examiner link?

  6. a compromise bill making the rounds could force, via binding arbitration, “private firms…to save underfunded union pension plans even if doing so reduces profits

    Not to be a dick, but isn’t that kind of the purpose of unions? To transfer some profits to its membership in the form of increased salary and benefits?

  7. but isn’t that kind of the purpose of unions?

    You mean to use govt power to force people to give them what they want, regardless of the actual deal they signed?

  8. a Card Check compromise that includes mandatory arbitration would give unions that inadequately funded their pension plans a backdoor way to get a bailout, paid for either by the company or the tax payers.

    Rewarding failure;it’s what we do.

  9. Usually pension funds are underfunded due to contribution “holidays” by employers. I hardly see why making them live up to their obligations constitutes a “bailout”.

  10. Did you SugarFree the DC Examiner link?

    Fixed, thanks.

  11. BTW, how did the pension scam get started?

    Who decided that defined benefits made more sense than defined contributions?

    I think the companies should, short of bankruptcy, meet their contractual obligations, but considering its a guessing game as to how much contributions will grow, I dont know how you know if a company is meeting it or not.

    Defined contribution retirement plans makes so much fucking more sense.

  12. Defined contribution retirement plans makes so much fucking more sense.

    Yup. (sigh)

  13. You mean to use govt power to force people to give them what they want, regardless of the actual deal they signed?

    Yes, exactly.

  14. Defined contribution retirement plans make too much sense to ever be tried.

    People need to filibuster Sotomayor. You can tell from her face that she’s a long-term, heavy drinker. Plus, she fell whilst drunk and broke her ankle. Follow my link for the full story.

  15. “…she fell whilst drunk and broke her ankle.”

    Sounds like she’d fit right in here.

  16. “Usually pension funds are underfunded due to contribution “holidays” by employers. I hardly see why making them live up to their obligations constitutes a “bailout”.”

    I thought pensions were funded with union dues. Is that incorrect?

  17. So, obviously the folks in Congress haven’t figured out that a good chunk of the problems in the auto industry was from the unions, rather than a lack of “green” cars to sell. Pathetic really.

  18. “…she fell whilst drunk and broke her ankle.”

    Yeah, Pauline, I really don’t think we should be discriminating against “long-term, heavy drinker[s].”

    Statist constitution-raping judges: yes — drunks: no

  19. I could use a little clarification here.

    Who funds these plans? The unions, or the employers as required by their union contracts? I’m pretty sure its the latter, but not completely sure.

    Who manages these plans? The unions or the employers? Because I’m pretty sure the shortfalls are due at least as much to bad management as inadequate contributions.

  20. Who manages these plans? The unions or the employers?

    My impression is that the industrial unions (UAW etc) have left union administration in the hands of the companies.

    The craft unions (carpenters, ironworkers etc) have tended to keep there own pension and welfare plans which are generally funded by contributions from each hour that a member works for any employer. Along with base pay this is determined in negotiations and has often been a bigger bone of contention than base pay.

    One of the things that should keep such plans flush is the contrbutions from people who worked in the union as youngsters but moved on. These employess may have had thousands in contributions credited but will never collect a dime since they weren’t in the plan long enough to get vested.

    Yep, if any of the craft union plans are in trouble the place to be looking is inside the Union. Because they should be totally flush even taking recent losses into account.

  21. Look for the union label and avoid that product.

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