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Looking to Washington for a Retirement Lifeline

09/12/19

It is going to be a busy fall for legislators and regulators dealing with retirement policy.

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Retired Teamsters wait for Congress to act on wobbly pension fund

08/09/19

The U.S. House passed a bill to prop up the failing fund. Now it's in the Senate's hands.

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Long process predicted for multiemployer reforms

07/22/19

U.S. House committee approval of a multiemployer pension reform package seems likely to be only the first step in a process that will see many changes before a final plan emerges.

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Health insurance premiums up 5% for state workers

06/19/19

Health insurance premiums for current and retired state employees will increase 5% next year under a plan approved Tuesday that involves reducing the amount of money set aside to pay unexpected large medical claims.

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Rx shift weighed for state retirees; Medicare option outlined to panel

05/22/19

Dropping drug coverage for retired state employees who are on Medicare would save $20 million a year for state employee and retiree health plans and lower the overall health care costs for 82% of the retirees, a consultant told an advisory panel on Friday.

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Actuary: Without changes, health insurance rates for state workers likely need big increase

05/23/19

Without a cut in benefits or other changes, health insurance rates for state employees will likely need to rise by double digits next year, an actuary told a state board Tuesday. The projection by John Colberg, an actuary with the consulting firm Cheiron of McLean, Va., is in line with what he told the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board last year about the outlook for 2020.

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Public plans receive their own mortality tables

02/04/19

The first mortality tables specifically for public-sector pension plans--identifying teachers as likely the largest public pension obligation cohort--might not surprise administrators of large plans, but it does offer them a way to benchmark to their peers.

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Public plans receive their own mortality tables

02/04/19

The first mortality tables specifically for public-sector pension plans--identifying teachers as likely the largest public pension obligation cohort--might not surprise administrators of large plans, but it does offer them a way to benchmark to their peers.

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Mature Pension Plans Are Sensitive--Manage With Care

02/01/19

California county pension plans in SACRS or the State Association of County Retirement Systems are more mature than the typical public plan nationwide and thus more sensitive to investment volatility, according to a survey by Cheiron actuaries published in the Winter 2019 SACRS magazine. See page 18.

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Senators introduce bill to help United Mine Workers pension fund

01/07/19

Six Democratic senators introduced a bill that aims to shore up the beleaguered United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan, Washington, and ensure that no miners lose their health care due to 2018 coal company bankruptcies.

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Some unions turning to variable benefit pension plan model

12/26/18

As a special committee in Congress continues to grapple with ideas to help struggling multiemployer pension funds and to keep others from the same fate, an increasing number of trustees are forging ahead with shared-risk or variable benefit plan designs that can better match benefits to market returns.

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For American Workers, 4 Key Retirement Issues to Watch in 2019

12/21/18

For American Workers, 4 Key Retirement Issues to Watch in 2019

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A million pension checks risk huge cuts without this fix

12/14/18

A multibillion-dollar pension shortfall is ready to shake up enough lives to pack a string of stadiums hosting the Super Bowl. But most people on the street aren't talking about the looming crisis, unless they're worried about seeing their own pension check slashed. Those living in fear include workers and retirees connected to the Central States Pension Plan, which covers Teamsters in Detroit and elsewhere.

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SFERS Board Cuts Rate of Return to 7.4%

11/28/18

The board of the $24.5 billion San Francisco Employees' Retirement System (SFERS) has approved a small reduction to its expected rate of return to 7.4% from 7.5%, retaining the system's status as having the most optimistic return projections of any public pension plan in California.

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Struggling multiemployer plans see help ahead at expense of healthy funds

11/21/18

With less than a week to produce a solution to a massive multiemployer pension underfunding problem, expectations of a special congressional committee are shifting from dramatic new ideas to some tough choices for plan sponsors.

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Denver Employees selects 2 for actuary roles

11/20/18

Denver Employees Retirement Plan hired Cheiron as consulting actuary and Gabriel, Roeder, Smith as reviewing actuary, said Randall Baum, chief investment officer, in an email.

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Time for Select Pension Committee to Shine as Midterms' Afterglow Dims

11/16/18

With the 2018 midterm elections mostly in the rear-view mirror, it's time for a special bipartisan congressional committee on pensions to complete its mission and come up with a comprehensive and fair solution that rescues financially struggling plans, helps save the federal agency backstopping pensions, and protects the hard-earned benefits owed to retirees and active workers.

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Struggling Multiemployer Pensions Need Drastic Fix

11/07/18

There are more multiemployer pension plans on the path to insolvency this year than there were last year and for many of them, the only chance they have at survival will have to come from Congress.

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List of struggling multiemployer plans grows in 2018

11/02/18

The number of multiemployer pension plans in crisis continues to grow, according to an analysis by Cheiron, released Thursday.

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New England Teamsters facing $5.1 billion pension shortfall, putting retirees at risk, study says

11/01/18

A pension plan covering more than 72,000 truck drivers and warehouse workers represented by the New England Teamsters union is the nation's second most underfunded multiemployer pension plan and is on track to run out of money within a decade, according to a new study by Cheiron.

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Pension risk assessment standards on deck

10/15/18

Pension plan sponsors of all types are keeping an eye on Nov. 1, when new actuarial standards on pension obligation risk assessment kick in.

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MORE PENSION BENEFIT REDUCTIONS

10/15/18

The Treasury Department last week approved a plan to reduce benefits paid out from the Teamster Local 805 Pension and Retirement Plan. That marks the eighth application approved under the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act since it was passed in 2014, and the fourth this year.

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San Diego officials divided over accelerating pension debt payoff

09/17/18

Proposals to accelerate paying off San Diego's pension debt of $2.76 billion are sharply dividing the city's pension board, which decided on Friday to delay any decisions until late October or early November.

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Controversy simmering over gauging pension obligations

08/06/18

Debate over the proper way to measure pension obligations is once again in the spotlight, with the Actuarial Standards Board considering yet another way to measure them and a special congressional committee on multiemployer pension plans debating whether current practices control enough for investment risks.

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Public Pensions Adopt Cost Sharing Mechanisms to Stem Volatility

07/17/18

Sandy Matheson, with the help of the fund's actuarial firm, Cheiron, put together a plan in which the risks of investment gains and losses weren't just assumed by taxpayers, but shared between local governments, their employees and retirees. Maine adopted the risk-sharing plan for municipal employees that participate in the system starting the fiscal year that began July 1. Matheson plans to brief lawmakers on extending it to state employees and teachers."

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Sandra Matheson and Gene Kalwarski Win Society of Actuaries Retirement 20/20 Contest for Papers on Public Pension Plans

06/20/18

Sandra Matheson, executive director of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, and Gene Kalwarski, CEO, and founder of Cheiron have won a Society of Actuaries contest for papers about public pension plans.

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States Want Public Pensions to Assess Risks of Next Downturn

05/29/18

Colorado and Minnesota recently joined other states in moving to require public pension plans to undergo stress testing.

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A battle to hold on to pensions-- and the dreams they carried

01/26/18

"A major problem with the funding of many pension plans is the ratio of active to retired workers. It's swung from two active workers for every retired worker 20 years ago to one active worker for every five retired workers in some plans today," said Gene Kalwarski, chief executive of Cheiron in McLean, Va., which has multiemployer plans as its clients. "These funds are getting drained," Kalwarski said. "More and more people are living into their 80s or beyond, and there are fewer workers left behind to support them."

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Illinois public safety pension funds outside Chicago fare no better

01/11/18

The unfunded liabilities of local government public safety funds outside Chicago nearly doubled over the last decade, eroding funded ratios to below 60%.

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Sherrod Brown and Democrats have a plan to save pensions. Now Congress must decide if it's a rescue or a bailout

12/14/17

Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and top Democratic leaders want to lend billions of dollars to troubled union pension plans. The pension managers could take some of the money and pay former truck drivers, ironworkers, coal miners, clerks, bakers and confectioners their monthly retirement checks.

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Loan programs seen as viable answer to multiemployer woes

12/11/17

The dire straits faced by more than 100 struggling multiemployer pension funds are starting to draw attention in Congress, raising hopes that solutions, including a new federal loan program, are within reach.

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Schumer backs proposal to help troubled Teamsters pensions

12/07/17

Teamsters whose pension benefits were cut could see some future relief under a proposal backed by Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

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IRS releases new mortality tables for plan sponsors

10/04/17

The IRS issued updated mortality tables that plan sponsors will have to study quickly before they go into effect for plan years starting Jan. 1, 2018.

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Cheiron consulting actuary to be honored for volunteerism

10/04/17

Kenneth A. Kent, a consulting actuary with Cheiron in McLean, Va., will be recognized by his peers at the American Academy of Actuaries when he receives the Jarvis Farley Service Award at its annual meeting in November.

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Exclusive: U.S. agency claims huge hole in Westinghouse's pension plan

09/22/17

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation estimates Westinghouse Electric Co. Pension Plan is underfunded by $937 million.

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American Academy of Actuaries To Honor Ken Kent With Jarvis Farley Service Award

09/13/17

The American Academy of Actuaries will present Cheiron's Ken Kent with the prestigious 2017 Jarvis Farley Service Award at the organization's Annual Meeting and Public Policy Forum, Nov. 14-15, 2017, in Washington.

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PBGC looking to partitions for relief

09/04/17

The PBGC's first approval of a multiemployer pension plan for benefit cuts with a partition is raising hopes that other plans will also be able to get partitions approved.

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Multi-Employer Pensions Divided Between Haves, Have Nots

08/28/17

Two recent reports that studied the funding levels of multi-employer pension plans alternately offer a half-empty, half-full view of the current health of defined benefit plans. Together, they depict a landscape where many pension funds are struggling, yet most of them are doing fine.

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Cheiron finds 114 multiemployer plans heading to insolvency

08/22/17

As many as 114 multiemployer pension plans expect to become insolvent within the next 20 years, according to an analysis released Tuesday by actuarial consulting firm Cheiron.

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Hotel Industry Trust That Left 401(k) for Pension Gets IRS OK

08/03/17

IRS approves UNITE HERE! Local 26 variable defined benefit pension plan designed by Cheiron.

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Partition May Be Pension Rescue Ticket for Some Plans

08/03/17

The PBGC's conditional approval of a Nashville, Tenn., pension plan's request to be partitioned may encourage trustees of other financially troubled plans covering union workers to use such a tool to help avoid insolvency.

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United Furniture Workers pension fund gets OK to reduce benefits

08/03/17

United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A, Nashville, Tenn., won approval from the Treasury Department to cut benefits for participants, including retirees.

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Treasury Department Gives Thumbs Up to Second Pension Rescue

08/03/17

A pension fund in Nashville is now the second plan covering unionized workers to receive Treasury Department approval to cut members' benefits.

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