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Thread: Which Side is Your Pension On?

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    Default Which Side is Your Pension On?

    "The failure of unions to gain control over their pension funds gives insight into corporate-controlled finance and the obstacles to democratizing it.

    In the wake of the financial crisis, pundits left of the center argue for the need to restructure finance. Ideas like a return to Glass-Steagall or a new New Deal have been floated — welcome changes, to be sure. However, these policy proposals leave a deeper question unresolved: how did Wall Street elites end up gaining control of finance in the first place? How did they channel large pools of finance into a narrow range of obscure financial investments without Americans knowing it? How did our financial system become so undemocratic?

    The standard narrative points to deregulation under the Clinton Administration in 1999. But at best, this can only be what social scientists like to call a “proximate cause.” There was a time in the postwar period when average Americans made a real effort to control finance through institutions of collective bargaining. The exact way in which they failed reveals a 50 year war in America waged by the elite against financial democracy."



    read more: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/03/w...ur-pension-on/
    Last edited by Spaghetti; 05-15-2014 at 12:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    After reading that very informative article I am more convinced than ever that the federal government should do the right thing and bail out failing pension funds. Taft Hartley Landrum Griffin, ERISA, and PPA were all enacted by corporate backed congresses to keep labor from gaining power.

    This article also backs up a report I read by Ed Stier that James R Hoffa's pension fund loans to the mob got better returns than those investments made by Wall St. after the government took control of the funds.
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    This article is 7 years old and I've quoted it before but it shows how the government imposed take over of the pension fund by big commissioned Wall St. investors hurt CSPFs.

    In the 1970's, the fund's assets grew by as much as 10 percent a year, according to some media reports from that period...Thus, the fund made better returns on its unorthodox real estate portfolio than it would have on a conventional mix of investments...

    By the time Hoffa disappeared in 1975, the Central States pension fund had loaned an estimated $600 million to people connected with organized crime, according to Mr. Stier, who resigned his union appointment in April after questioning the union's ongoing commitment to rooting out corruption. But many of the loans did serve their intended purpose, making money to pay for Teamsters' retirement benefits. The hotels, casinos and other real estate projects, not all of which were connected to organized crime, were generally profitable, according to Mr. Stier, and before his disappearance Hoffa saw to it that his loans were repaid.

    Now, this misuse of Teamsters pension fund money was the largest example in the history of the union movement-- and it still pales in comparison to the trillions of dollars honestly invested over the years on behalf of union members.

    Not only did Teamsters do well even under Jimmy Hoffa's "corrupt" leadership, but here's the kicker. In 1982, the federal government forced the Teamsters to turn management of the Central States Pension Fund over to professional Wall Street firms. The result:


    [I]n these expert hands, the aging fund has fallen into greater financial peril than when James R. Hoffa, who built the Teamsters into a national power, used it as a slush fund...the kinds of investments that make sense for [a pension] fund - like long-term bonds that will mature as members enter retirement - are not attractive to most money managers, because they generate few fees...

    Money managers promised pension funds big returns, and to get the big returns they began to add riskier assets to pension portfolios than pension funds had used before. Sleepy bond portfolios were livened up with stocks. Venture capital, junk bonds, securities of companies in developing countries and other exotica began to appear in pension funds...When the stock market crashed in 2000, the Central States pension fund had big bets on technology and telecommunication stocks, energy trading companies and foreign stocks. Some of these stocks became nearly worthless.

    So who was more corrupt? Jimmy Hoffa getting good returns for his members investing in real estate and profitable casinos or the Wall Street managers collecting big fat fees admidst the insider-deals of the dotcom boom and bust?

    Conversely, another pension fund left in the hands of the Teamsters union itself, the Western Conference of Teamsters pension fund, took a far more conservative approach and survived the dotcom bust and actually made money when Wall Street was losing massive amounts.
    Myth of Union Corruption
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    This is just my opinion....Had "Bobby" left things alone instead of trying to make a name for himself we would be telling a different story right now. Face it everyone. The Teamsters were just too strong and powerful and the fat cats made sure we would never have that power again. It took awhile for them to drive us down but the fruits of their labor has flourished.

    You all have heard me explain and promote the WSPF. They never fell into the trap. Great money managers and to let everyone know, our fund is 92% funded as I type this and they forecast great gains in the next five years. By the way, 92% is considered fully funded. Even with the huge amount of retirees thanks to YRC, the fund only dipped a little from last years number of 93% funded. My hat's off to our trustees for their fine work and dedication to our futures.
    Last edited by 222lifer; 05-15-2014 at 11:26 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    what is it cspf has over 4 to 1 retired over worker and is like 43% funded! I called other day bout my pension disability they STRIPPED from ALL under YRC umbrellas and was told I can collect my pension when I'm 65 and I didn't lose anything, uh EXCUSE ME I'm flippen 43!!!! I 'll be dead before than!!! She like no u won't I said I'm DISABLED FROM ANY WORK and u think I'm gonna live a LONG TIME PLEASE!!

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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    Quote Originally Posted by BilyWamBam View Post
    what is it cspf has over 4 to 1 retired over worker and is like 43% funded! I called other day bout my pension disability they STRIPPED from ALL under YRC umbrellas and was told I can collect my pension when I'm 65 and I didn't lose anything, uh EXCUSE ME I'm flippen 43!!!! I 'll be dead before than!!! She like no u won't I said I'm DISABLED FROM ANY WORK and u think I'm gonna live a LONG TIME PLEASE!!
    Unbelievable!!! I have "0" faith in this union or our government to do the right thing. I'm 55 and by the time I'm able to collect I doubt it will be even worth it at the rate things are going. At the pre-shift yesterday the tm said according to a csa report yrc's average age of their drivers is 55, well if they were paying into our pension funds like they were supposed to that number would be significantly lower.
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kickass View Post
    Unbelievable!!! I have "0" faith in this union or our government to do the right thing. I'm 55 and by the time I'm able to collect I doubt it will be even worth it at the rate things are going. At the pre-shift yesterday the tm said according to a csa report yrc's average age of their drivers is 55, well if they were paying into our pension funds like they were supposed to that number would be significantly lower.
    You could have moved on over to a contributing employer when the opportunity was there. The jobs were out there and still are. There is a reason our pension fund is stable and will continue to be. Our trustees do not and will not budge on the rules. Hoffa and company have no say in our pension matters other than to beg the WSPF to show leniency and allow YRC a deferral of contributions. I completely agree with your frustration but you must understand that YRC is the only company that ever survived this. Every other company was shut down when pension contributions became delinquent.
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    Quote Originally Posted by 222lifer View Post
    You could have moved on over to a contributing employer when the opportunity was there. The jobs were out there and still are. There is a reason our pension fund is stable and will continue to be. Our trustees do not and will not budge on the rules. Hoffa and company have no say in our pension matters other than to beg the WSPF to show leniency and allow YRC a deferral of contributions. I completely agree with your frustration but you must understand that YRC is the only company that ever survived this. Every other company was shut down when pension contributions became delinquent.
    They survived because they knew they could get away with it, as far as moving on to another contributor, still kicking myself for not making the move 5 years ago, others tried but now are back at yrc because no one wants to start at the bottom when your mind & body are beat to hell.
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    Quote Originally Posted by 222lifer View Post
    I completely agree with your frustration but you must understand that YRC is the only company that ever survived this. Every other company was shut down when pension contributions became delinquent
    That was in a time when there were many other companies to go to.. not the case anymore..
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    Default Re: Which Side is Your Pension On?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazy View Post
    That was in a time when there were many other companies to go to.. not the case anymore..
    Like Archie Bunker use to sing,"Those were the days".

 

 
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