The Pension Gamble

The Pension Gamble

2021, Economics  -   6 Comments
9.22
12345678910
Ratings: 9.22/10 from 23 users.

Older civil servant workers in America are worried. Sure they have steady jobs - as firefighters, public school teachers, and police officers - still, sadly, they can no longer count on one of the most basic financial safety nets they have worked very hard to establish - the pension plan. Many pension plans are in trouble because there is no longer enough money to cover them. These people are assured of a pension once they retire so that their retirement and their old age are comfortable. But now, the future of pension plans in states across America is up in the air.

One of the worst-hit by a pension crisis is the state of Kentucky. The pension fund meant for Kentucky's teachers, police, and firefighters is currently in a hole worth 40+ billion dollars. This came as a shock to many because, in 2000-2001, pensions were practically 100% funded. So what happened?

To make a long story short, the pension fund was not properly managed. The Kentucky government used it as a piggy bank to fund public buildings, schools, roads, better facilities, which are all great things, but not what the fund was meant for in the first place. The governors decided to use the retirement funds since the bulk of the recipients were too young to retire anyway. These reforms are supposed to be paid for by actual tax money however the government turned to the pension funds.

To build the fund up again, the government of Kentucky proposed to increase taxes, but the idea was (understandably) rejected. That's when the Kentucky Retirement Services - who handle the fund - turned to Wall Street. They began to put money into high-risk hedge funds and other investments - many of which failed. They essentially turned to "gambling" to try and make back the retirement fund. Also, many on the KRS board had no previous experience with investing and finance.

Sadly, the failure of Kentucky's pension fund is not a stand-alone occurrence. The problem is a national one. In the last decade, state pension plans have lost a whopping $4 trillion. This is a big blow to the retirees. And with the local government unable to bail out the pension plans, tough times are coming for Kentucky's loyal civil servants.

More great documentaries

guest

6 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Arlo
Arlo
2 years ago

This is what happened when you have a FLAW CAPITALISM and a FAKE DEMOCRACY. You can see it clearly with pension funds being called "dumb money"by Wall Street with their pariah fund managers and middle-men. That's a capitalistic way of hoarding and stealing MONEY above all else, even legally or illegally and immorally! And then the Republican politicians illegally changed the bill from a pension bill to a sewage bill, and then pushing and shoving it through to a vote procedure that is obviously illegal... and certainly UNDEMOCRATIC! Shameful and pathetic!

The US with its dirty capitalism, fake democracy, and corrupted politicians are the nation's downfall. Stop pointing the fingers to China, Russia, Iran and other nations... instead, looking inwardly and concentrating on solving its own illegalities and immoralities before having a revolution on its hand then crumbling down like the USSR.

My God Have mercy upon those who do not deserve it
My God Have mercy upon those who do not deserve it
2 years ago

It's pretty simple. If the government doesn't want to do something and a great number... a massive number of people's livelihoods and ability to live are at stake... You take up arms against those that have stolen the money. I might not get to retire, but you might not be given the mercy of god to breathe another breath.

CCRIDER
CCRIDER
2 years ago

As a Kentuckian, I'm furious to learn this information.