Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Faith in our future ... investment returns

The latest from the Archbankruptcy is Milwaukee archdiocese pension funds fall short: Unfunded liabilities total $41.8 million, according to bankruptcy filing, reports Annysa Johnson in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"the size of the lay workers' pension liability (at $37.4 million) and the funding level of the cemetery workers' pension (55% - with $1.3 million in assets and a $1 million unfunded liability) raise concerns about the health and future of those benefits, pension experts say."

That is, there is reason for concern about ultimately receiving a pension. On the other hand, anyone who does not think about a pension as having something to do with the long term might be reassured.

"Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf blamed the shortfalls on poor investment returns and said in a statement that there is 'no current cause for concern for employees.'

"'All benefits have been timely paid, and it is clear that the plans will continue to pay all benefits payable in the immediate future,' she said."

A bit like saying that, if one consults an actuarial table, there is virtually no risk that one will go to Hell in the immediate future.

"Wolf, of the archdiocese, said the plans continue to be funded according to actuarial recommendations, and the archdiocese communicates regularly with vested participants."

Reliance on experts would be more reassuring if our Archdiocese didn't also say it relied on experts in deciding how to handle the sexual abuse claims that ultimately bankrupted it.

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