• Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
  • There are no markets
  • "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

The Suddenly Poor Life: Millions Will Lose Their Pensions


Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 30, 2010
East Tennessee
That's not what my Dad found out. He worked 20+ years as a Union Machinist then Taught Machine Shop at Ahrens Trade High in Louisville for 25 more years. He says that something happened during the Carter years called "Windfall Elimination Provisions". So he only gets the Teacher pension and no SS.


Killed then Resurrected
Midas Member
Site Supporter ++
Apr 2, 2010
You can't get there from here.
Here is a link to the windfall elimination provision

Very complicated. Looks like this came down in the mid-1980's.

I don't know your father's age nor do I know his years of employment, but my read of this act would mean his benefits under SS would be reduced, not eliminated. The link I provided has an explaination of why it came about. Of course, the link uses government gobbly gook so I can't be positive of the reality of how it works. However, he [your father] would of course know best. But guessing from what you posted, a Union machinist with 20 years I would think gets a pretty good pension, correct me if I am wrong. Did he not have a vested retirement? I can understand that, I worked union for the railroad and construction, both took retirement contribution money but I never got anything.

Here is a link to figure out how much the SS benefit will be reduced:


If you paid Social Security tax on 30 years of substantial earnings you are not affected by WEP.

The calculations are done for reduction before COLA, so COLA is not reduced.

For example, a person who reached 62 in 1990 and had 25 years of substantial earnings [paying SS taxes] would have his SS benefit reduced by $89.

You said 20+ years as a machinist, so if he never did any other work [paying FICA] than that, and reached 62 in 1990, his SS benefit would be reduced by $178, based on 21 years.

*Important: The maximum amount may be overstated. The WEP reduction is limited to one-half of your pension from non-covered employment.

So based on that chart, even if he had less than 20 years of substantial earnings, the maximum reduction is $447.5, based on retiring THIS YEAR, 2018.

However there is this note as well:

Note: If your retirement benefits start after full retirement age or your non-covered pension starts later than your ELY, the WEP reduction may be greater than the maximum shown in the chart.

So we would have to know if he was starting SS at full retirement age or if he started his pension after he was 62 to determine what is going on.


Mother Lode Found
Mother Lode
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 31, 2010
America’s Pension Crisis Is About To Detonate

-- Published: Sunday, 4 March 2018

By Dave Kranzler

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts sent me an article by Catherine Austin Fitts and asked if I had read it. The article is titled, “The State of America’s Pension Funds.” The article is worth reading, though I believe Ms. Fitts underestimates significantly the degree to which political and Wall Street criminality – along with money management incompetence – has infected and destroyed the U.S. pension system – both public and private. Furthermore, I believe she errs in her believe that the pension crisis can be fixed.

I’ve re-posted below my view of the looming pension system melt-down that I shared with Dr. Roberts.

“My guestimate for the amount stolen or shifted illegally through these mechanisms is $50 trillion, although I can argue the number higher.” I agree with her assessment there.

Craig, I concluded in 2003 that the elitists would hold up the system with printed money and credit creation until they had swept every last crumb of middle class wealth off the table and into their own pockets. Back then, I said housing was next asset to be drilled and cored. Let’s review: The first bubble removed at least $5-10 trillion of wealth from the public via the bailout of the banks and the wealth lost by people who chased home prices higher and then lost those homes to foreclosure or short-sale. Most of those homes are now sitting in the rental portfolios of large Wall Street investment funds like Black Rock and Colony Capital.

I also concluded that the last remaining middle class asset was retirement funds (Pensions, 401k’s, IRAs) and that looting that asset class would be the elitists coup de grace. Retirement assets are by far the largest middle class asset in aggregate (something like $20 trillion now). Let’s review: Every dollar of under-funding is a dollar of wealth transferred away from the pension plan members to either current beneficiaries or the promoters of the fund investments. A lot of money is also paid to “professionals” who skim huge salaries and benefits to put money to work with hedge funds and private equity funds, most of which will be wiped out in the next big bear market.

I have a close friend who works at a pension fund. It’s an off-shoot of a big State pension plan which happens to be one of the more underfunded pension funds in the country. My friend has to be a member of the pension fund as an employee of the fund he helps manage. He told me that as of Jan 1 he now has to contribute 12% of his pre-tax income to the pension fund. It’s criminal. That’s in addition to the amount his employer has to match. The money helps fund current beneficiary payouts. He needs his salary/job to support his family so he does not have a choice but to keep working at his current position unless he can find something else that pays equally as well. The job market for investment fund analysts is extremely difficult right now. His wife has to work for them to make ends meet (their kids are all under 12)

Based on a detailed study he did internally, he estimates the true underfunding of all public pensions in aggregate is at least $8 trillion. Not the $3.5 trillion referenced by Catherine Austin Fitts. He’s an insider and has access to better data than the outsiders and academics who have done studies that conclude $3-5 trillion of underfunding. THAT’s with the stock AND bond markets at all-time highs. How in the hell is that possible? The difference, or funding gap, is the wealth that is being confiscated.

The under-funding device is a very subtle and brilliant mechanism of wealth transfer. No one thinks about it that way but that’s what it is. A massive wealth transfer mechanism.

I worked for some of these insiders at Bankers Trust. I can tell you first-hand, for a fact, that these people will do ANYTHING to take money from ANYONE, legally or illegally. I saw this first-hand. They are all very bright, well-educated and completely devoid of morals or ethics. My direct boss was like that and everyone above him was even worse. They hate nothing more than leaving, literally, even dimes and nickels on the table.

That’s why the system is doomed.




Site Mgr
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 28, 2010
Planet Earth
huuughe report

The State of Our Pension Funds


“Money is and always has been political. Our central concern should not be with [money’s] technology but with the political and legal framework with which it operates”. ~ Dr. Rebecca L. Spang

By Catherine Austin Fitts
Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Global Pension Fund Assets

III. US Pension Fund Assets

IV. A Comment on US Pension Fund History

V. Recent Global and US Pension Fund Performance

VI. The Pension Fund Crisis Narrative

VII. My Financial History as an Alternative Narrative

VIII. Total Economic Returns – Why Are We Financing Governments, Companies and Products and Services with Negative Returns?

IX. Other Issues

X. The Bottom Line

XI. What Can I Do?

XII. Appendix


Mother Lode Found
Mother Lode
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 31, 2010
New Jersey Prepares To Raise Taxes On "Almost Everything" As It Nears Financial Disaster

by Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/13/2018 - 19:20

Last week we noted that in what was a radical U-turn to what other public pension funds have been doing in recent years - most notably Calpers - the struggling New Jersey public pension system decided that instead of lowering its expected rate of return, it would raise it, from 7% to 7.5%.

The simple reason behind this odd increase in projected returns was an accounting sleight of hand which would allow the state of New Jersey to save some $238 million in pension contributions as a result of the higher discount rate applied to the fund's liabilities. And with a pension funding level of only 37% for the 2015 fiscal year, the worst of any state in the US, New Jersey would gladly take even the most glaring accounting gimmickry that would delay its inevitable death.

Unfortunately, being the not so proud owner of the most distressed and underfunded public pension fund in the US is just the start of New Jersey's monetary woes, and as Bloomberg reports, New Jersey's fiscal situation is so dire that new Governor Phil Murphy has proposed taxing online-room booking, ride-sharing, marijuana, e-cigarettes and Internet transactions along with raising taxes on millionaires and retail sales to fund a record $37.4 billion budget that would boost spending on schools, pensions and mass transit.

The proposal which is 4.2% higher than the current fiscal year’s, relies on a tax for the wealthiest that is so unpopular it not only has yet to be approved, but also lacks support from key Democrats in the legislature, let alone Republicans. It also reverses pledges from Murphy’s predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, to lower taxes in a state where living costs are already among the nation’s highest.

Murphy, a Democrat who replaced term-limited Christie on Jan. 16, said his goal is to give New Jerseyans more value for their tax dollars; instead he plans on bleeding them dry. He has promised additional spending on underfunded schools and transportation in a credit-battered state with an estimated $8.7 billion structural deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

“If we enact another budget like the one our administration inherited, our middle class will continue to be the ones shouldering the burden, while seeing little in return,” Murphy said Tuesday in his budget address to lawmakers. His solution? Socialist wealth redistribution: "A millionaire’s tax is the right thing to do –- and now is the time to do it."

A better way of putting it, as Bloomberg has done, is that New Jersey's budget "would raise taxes on almost everything."

Of course, that is not a politically palatable thing to say, so let's first crush the millionaires; the same millionaires who - like David Tepper in April 2016 - have decided they have had enough and departed for Florida long ago, taking with them hundreds of million in foregone taxes. Because what New Jersey fails to grasp, is that the truly rich can pick up and go at a moment's notice, and transfer to any place in the country (or outside of it) that actually does not endorse daylight robberies.

Meanwhile, the idiocy proposed by Gov. Murphy counts on total revenue growth of 5.7%, an impossible number and the most since at least 2013... when it fell short. Murphy would increase the tax rate applied to income above $1 million to 10.75 percent from 8.97 percent, generating $765 million; and restore the state’s sales tax to 7% from 6.625%, raising $581 million.

Guaranteeing that the state's hedge fund residents would promptly flee, the budget would also "gain" $100 million by closing a carried-interest loophole on hedge-fund income.

He must be kidding,” Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., a Republican from Westfield, said after the speech. “I don’t think anybody could have anticipated this level of tax increases.”

So where would the money go?

Murphy’s proposal would almost triple the direct state subsidy for New Jersey Transit, which has been plagued by safety and financial issues. Including funding for the agency from the state’s Turnpike Authority and an energy fund, he boosts money for New Jersey Transit by about a third.

His plan also includes a move to raise the state property-tax deduction to $15,000, which would benefit about one-third of homeowners, according to a budget summary. It also would create a child-care tax credit and increase the earned-income tax credit.

The budget also plans for four-year phase-ins of a $15 minimum wage and full school funding as mandated by the state Supreme Court, and a three-year path to make community college tuition-free.

Oh, and speaking of the above pension woes, guess who will be on the hook to make the state's public workers whole? Why taxpayers of course as the budget includes a record $3.2 billion pension payment, putting the state on course to resume full funding by 2023, according to budget officials.

And though the short-term effect may be positive, between the taxpayer subsidy and the idiotic hike in return assumptions, it won’t fix a system with a combined unfunded payments and medical-benefits liability that reached $184.3 billion in 2017, according to a March 5 commentary by S&P Global Ratings. The two biggest funds are forecast to be broke in 2024 and 2027.

“You kept hearing the same word: investment, investment, investment,” said Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, from Westfield. “Let me interpret that for you: It’s taxes, taxes, taxes.”

* * *

Unfortunately for New Jersey, it may be too late: according to Bloomberg, Murphy met with the major ratings agencies in New York earlier this month to outline his financial plan (New Jersey’s credit rating is the second-worst among U.S. states, trailing only Illinois). That however won't stop the local democrats from trying.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat from West Deptford and the highest-ranking state lawmaker, was a perennial sponsor of a millionaire’s tax during the Christie years, only to see the governor veto it seven times. In the wake of President Donald Trump’s $10,000 limit on state and local property-tax deductions, though, Sweeney says the extra charge would drive more wealth from a state that already has the nation’s highest property taxes.

Yet what is strange, is that the two top wealth redistributors, Sweeney and Murphy, now disagree on how to fatten state coffers. Last week Sweeney outlined a proposal for a 3% surcharge on corporations earning more than $1 million annually, for an estimated $657 million. Murphy said he wouldn’t accept it as an alternative to his plan.

Sweeney, in a joint statement with other Senate Democratic leaders, said Murphy’s budget “includes many ambitious proposals that are appealing, but will require thorough review and consideration to determine if they are achievable. We will maintain an open mind throughout the budget process.”

Meanwhile, Murphy’s plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 counts on $80 million of revenue from a plan to legalize recreational marijuana by January 2019. He also intends to expand access to medical marijuana. However, the governor is receiving push-back on recreational marijuana from Republicans and some members of the Black Legislative Caucus. Though polls show majority public support to make New Jersey the 10th state to allow the drug - and Murphy says its taxation would generate hundreds of millions of dollars - opponents say it would harm youngsters in poor communities and lead to increased use of outlawed substances.

Murphy’s plan to raise the sales tax likely also will be a tough sell. The last two New Jersey governors to do so, Democrats Jon Corzine and James Florio, were ousted after one term.

In short, New Jersey's democrats can't even agree how to best fleece the rich, meanwhile the state careens ever faster toward financial disaster.