Warning to pensioners

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... The big money manager - Blackrock (many of you probably have retirment funds being managed by Blackrock) - has been accumulating a giant position in Italian Government bonds. ... If you have retirement funds being kept by your advisor or pension plan at Blackrock, you might want to think about liquidating your account and getting the money out before Blackrock turns into the next MF Global times 100. I'm not kidding about this.

More: http://truthingold.blogspot.com/2011/11/roflmao_09.html

:noevil:
 
People depending on others for their pensions are in great danger! Social Security and other entitlements are programs in big trouble (unless they hyperinflate).

As you note, PMBug, there are a lot of custodians of other people's money that are dishonest or otherwise have risky bets (Blackrock is the latter). There are other cockroaches that will likely appear as I cannot believe that MF Global is the only one.

The ETFs like GLD have big question marks associated with them as well.

Finally, the IRAs and 401k's are at risk for an "Argentina style" .gov plucking. Disclosure: I closed my IRA in late 2008, paid my penalties and taxes, and bought physical GOLD with much of the remainder.

In view of all of the above, prudence alone requires most of us to have a decent-sized chunk of gold for protection. Especially anyone with children...

:gold: :gold: :gold: :gold:

(your new article is only rated 4 Nuggets because I just got an error message saying I could not put in 5, LOL...)
 
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Finally, the IRAs and 401k's are at risk for an "Argentina style" .gov plucking.

Good post.

Can you expand on your assertion above? Tell me more, please.

Also, I'm interested in this idea:

Disclosure: I closed my IRA in late 2008, paid my penalties and taxes, and bought physical GOLD with much of the remainder.

How did this work out for you? Did you have a ton of tax to pay?
 
...
Finally, the IRAs and 401k's are at risk for an "Argentina style" .gov plucking.
...

...
Can you expand on your assertion above? Tell me more, please.
...

October 22, 2008:
Hemmed in by the global financial squeeze and commodities slump, Argentina's leftist government has seemingly found a novel way to find the money to stay afloat: cracking open the piggybank of the nation's private pension system.

The government proposed to nationalize the private pensions, which would provide it with much of the cash it needs to meet debt payments and avoid a second default this decade.
...

More: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122460155879054331.html

Argentina wasn't the only one that did this:

June 12, 2011:
THE GOVERNMENT WILL use the last €5 billion in the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) to help create employment although it will need approval from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Europe before doing so.

The Sunday Times reports today that the money will be used by the government to create as many as 80,000 jobs in Ireland. The paper cites government sources in reporting that the use of the money would be seen as more viable then the proposed sale of semi-state assets in the current weak market.
...

More: http://www.businessinsider.com/irel...m-its-pension-fund-to-boost-employment-2011-6

And, the idea has been floated here in the USA a couple times already:

January 8, 2010:
...
The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are leading the effort.
...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aR9zVMXzOeX0

May 13, 2011:
Last month, I discussed why I'm not as excited about Roth IRAs as many people who write about consumer finance: I don't believe that the government is ultimately going to be able to keep it's hands off a pretty big pot of money. Getting a tax break now in your 401(k) or traditional IRA is guaranteed; getting a tax break in the future is not.
...

More: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/05/13/Will-Congress-Raid-Your-Roth-IRAs.aspx#page1

The US Treasury has already dipped into the public pension funds back before the first contested debt ceiling debate when they were already beyond the limit.

May 21, 2011:
...
As Congress squares off over a debt ceiling vote, Treasury is scrambling to find cash in the couch cushions. One of the ways it will scare up extra money is by putting off saving for the retirements of federal workers — in effect, short-term “borrowing” from public pension funds.

By suspending investments into the civil service retirement and disability fund, as well as putting off reinvestments into another big retirement bucket known as the G-Fund, Treasury could “claw back” up to $202 billion, estimates Reuters. That sounds like a lot, but it’s just 10 percent of the $2 trillion the agency says it needs to stay afloat until after Election Day 2012, and it will have to be put back.

Holding off public pension payments could be cast as prudent short-term scrambling to avoid a serious problem with U.S. Treasury holders. Taken another way, such moves could instead be seen as the first step toward an eventual tax or outright seizure of private savings in tax-favored retirement plans.
...

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Pen...t-DebtCeiling-Retirement/2011/05/21/id/397212

I don't think there is any imminent danger of this, but if the debt ceiling is ever given meaning (and not just raised every time it's in danger of being breached), this would become a real concern - especially if the Federal government doesn't start making any real, significant spending cuts.
 
@ vox

Re Argentina, I do not have the details handy, but I believe they did two things over the past few years:

1) seized dollars (in bank accounts) and then devalued their currency

2) seized pensions by forcing the accounts to hold long term Arg. bonds.

I THINK that is what happened.

---

Re cashing in my IRA, yes I did that late in 2008. I had to pay capital gains tax as well as a 10% penalty for cashing it in early (I am 55). Because I sold a LOT of stock (most before September, whew!) and had decent income in 2008, I paid the MOST I ever have in income tax in 2009. It was very ugly to write that check...

But, that now means that I am not vulnerable to a seizure or forced conversion of a pension. And I have read various times that such pensions are the last of the BIG pieces of low hanging fruit (in terms of .gov rounding up some money).

PLEASE do your own due diligence, as I do not recall all the facts and am no expert!

---

I like that avatar...
 
...
Capitol Hill politicians are assessing tax changes that could let the Internal Revenue Service lay claim to a portion of the $18 trillion sitting in 401(k) accounts and other tax breaks used by middle-class workers, including cutting the mortgage tax deduction.

A commission looking for ways to close the deficit, and, noting the extent of 401(k) tax breaks, recommends an examination of the system as one way to prevent government bankruptcy.
...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/plunder_CrD9s6MElVsEIJj2IVgHuK
 
So, if they seized all 401-K money, they could pay off the debt and start over again. That would, however, cause a revolution, which I believe they are trying to avoid. One thing they could do is allow those who are above a certain age, say 50 or so, to dip in to their funds but only impose a modest penalty of three or four percent. I suspect that hundreds of billions of dollars would then be disgorged and used, and the GovCo would have instant revenue, as they could require payment of estimated taxes at the point of withdrawl. This would allow them to pull some tax money forward, which buys them some time, but doesn't immediately appear to be outright confiscation or looting.
 
Straight out of "Coming Generational Storm"...

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/The-Coming-Generational-Storm-Americas/dp/0262112868"]Amazon.com: The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future (9780262112864): Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Scott Burns: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VVRAB6HVL.@@AMEPARAM@@41VVRAB6HVL[/ame]

Burns says in the book that any tax-deferred vehicle has a defacto lien against it from the Feds.
 
This post may contain affiliate links for which PM Bug gold and silver discussion forum may be compensated.
So, if they seized all 401-K money, they could pay off the debt and start over again. That would, however, cause a revolution, which I believe they are trying to avoid. One thing they could do is allow those who are above a certain age, say 50 or so, to dip in to their funds but only impose a modest penalty of three or four percent. I suspect that hundreds of billions of dollars would then be disgorged and used, and the GovCo would have instant revenue, as they could require payment of estimated taxes at the point of withdrawl. This would allow them to pull some tax money forward, which buys them some time, but doesn't immediately appear to be outright confiscation or looting.

Based no what other countries have done in the past, I would not be suprised if our "patriotic duty" will be to have our 401k/IRA swapped out for long term treasury bonds.
 
I've cashed out 401k's twice... and payed heavy penalties both times. The first cash-out was for a house purchase, the second for medical, however both times neither condition met with the fed's exceptions for avoiding tax on the distributions.

My new company contributes a portion to a 401k whether I like it or not (ok, I'll take it!) --- so I now have a new 401k. However, I decided not to contribute for the following reasons:

1. I'll be damned if I am taxed and penalized on my own money again.
2. I'm purely investing in land, PMs, and various business opportunities (ie., quick cash turn around) with my "contribution" now.
3. I would like to retire before the feds "approved" retirement age.

ADK
 
The best retirement plan is one where you are in charge of it yourself. Outside the system.

We cannot know the details of the future, but we can know the trends and basic principles that span generations, and make decisions accordingly.

I strongly advise against any registered retirement plans and bank investments. The rate of of return is nowhere near acceptable for the risk.
 
Good post.

Can you expand on your assertion above? Tell me more, please.

Also, I'm interested in this idea:



How did this work out for you? Did you have a ton of tax to pay?

Vox - I cashed in all mine over 10 years ago. I did it strategically then but still, paying the tax is less of a loss than losing it all.

Besides, you still pay tax whenever you do take it out and tax rates never go down, they always go up. Retirement funds are one of the most misunderstood (by the average person who invests in them) investments of all. You do not get out of paying taxes, you only DEFER paying them.

I 'saw the light' long ago and acted. And yes, I am glad I did.
 
Vox - I cashed in all mine over 10 years ago. I did it strategically then but still, paying the tax is less of a loss than losing it all.

Besides, you still pay tax whenever you do take it out and tax rates never go down, they always go up. Retirement funds are one of the most misunderstood (by the average person who invests in them) investments of all. You do not get out of paying taxes, you only DEFER paying them.

I 'saw the light' long ago and acted. And yes, I am glad I did.

here ya go:
http://investmentwatchblog.com/obam...n=Feed:+Investmentwatch+(InvestmentWatchBlog)
 
Jay - that's the same article that I mentioned in post #12. :)
 
Dave in Denver says the push to confiscate IRAs/401ks started long before the Jan 2010 drumbeat mentioned in post #4:
... The IRA confiscation movement started at least during, if not before, the Bush administration. Four years before the recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury/Labor Dept, there was a Congressional hearing On October 7, 2008 sponsored by the House Education and Labor Committee at which pension reform academic Teresa Ghilariducci presented a paper on her Guaranteed Retirement Account program. Her idea is to replace IRA/401k accounts with a Government administered program which would provide retirees with a guaranteed annuity stream annuitized by good old U.S. Treasuries.
...
This movement to de facto seize your private retirement plan was started years before Obama was even a local politician in Chicago. Regardless, once these movements begin in the Government they happen slowly and then all at once (sound familiar?). Anyone with two operational frontal lobes will do what I did 6 years ago and cash out their IRA, pay the 10% penalty plus any income tax for that year on the proceeds and put the money into physical gold and silver outside of the system. Over the next 4-5 years you will more than make up for the 10% penalty/taxes with the appreciation of the bullion AND your wealth will be safe from the Government. Capito?

http://truthingold.blogspot.com/2012/11/ira401k-confiscation-coming.html
 
I don't know of this is new news or not, but according to an accountant buddy on the federal-government level, "the pensions of federal employees have already been collateralized and replaced with IOUs." Those were his exact words.
 
...there's more problems with "govt approved" private pensions, than one could care to count...

That is even true with private insurance. The industry is SO heavily regulated, that insurers have very little leeway (in my opinion), in what they are allowed invest the premiums in.

Certainly, keeping interest rates at zero, doesn't help their business, too.

Next thing, given today's (and tomorrow's) money printing rates, and massaged statistics (inflation), it is next to impossible to even PLAN financially one's retirement. How much "accounting units" (money) you need to put aside? How big your "nest" need to be, when retiring 10, 20 years from now? What costs of living one shall expect??? No chance in hell, that anyone can predict it with ANY degree of credibility.

Next thing - fees and commissions of the pension funds. I think they are the only players, who make ANY real money in that puzzle. If my fund is making, say, 3% a year gain, but their commission is, say, 1% - they are taking away fecking 33.3% of my gains. They are very well replacing the government taxes on capital gains, and with handsome excess (and let's do not forget, I'll need to pay government taxes as well on the bulk sum, when I withdraw the funds later on).
And that is even without asking them about their "sophisticated investment strategy", how they are managing my money?? Well, it turns out, after a little digging - the feckers are just investing in basked that is as close to market index as possible. Well I can write a program in probably two days (that includes testing), that would do the same for me, for free, thank you very much!

Next, another assumption is, that while contributing to your pension fund, "one is tax-exempt at his today's tax bracket rate, and will be using the money later at his tomorrow's tax bracket rate" - presumption being, that tomorrow's rate will be lower (pensioners are usually not getting into upper brackets of income). Well that might be questionable, too - when the progressive income tax rate were introduced few decades back, only really wealthy people were caught in the highest bracket. Today, most of the so-called middle class, gets caught in the highest bracket at some stage of the fiscal year. And the trend, of course, is creeping in - so it is not impossible, that before some of us get retired in say 20, 30 years time - the costs of living will increase so much in the meantime, thanks to the depreciating currencies, that ANYBODY living of his own funds (and not government food stamps), will find himself in the highest income tax bracket.

that's only for starters and to kickstart some thinking.

Personally, I do not spent a DIME of my own money on bullshit schemes like that - and whatever contributed by my company, I will be cashing in periodically, and convert into something that has a chance to provide me with some food on my table, when I am old.
 
I don't know of this is new news or not, but according to an accountant buddy on the federal-government level, "the pensions of federal employees have already been collateralized and replaced with IOUs." Those were his exact words.

Old news. It's what kept government running during the last stand-off over raising the debt ceiling. Timmy had to raid government pensions after the debt ceiling was reached. This was widely reported in the MSM:
...
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has informed members of Congress that, with the U.S. government reaching its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling Monday, his department will have to turn to a string of last-resort measures so that the government can keep paying its bills. At the top of the list is a plan to suspend investments to two government employee retirement funds, while borrowing from one of them.

Geithner stressed that the move will not affect federal workers and retirees and that the accounts will be "made whole" once the debt limit is increased. But he ratcheted up his call for Congress to take action soon.
...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...g-treasury-urges-lawmakers-reach-budget-deal/

and in more detail by ZH:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/it...ng-yesterday-government-draws-143-billion-ret
 
Private pensions are the largest remaining pool of private money left in America today. The amount of cash is staggeing and it is more of an attraction every year. Were the government to force conversion of all these assets in to treasury bills, it would at least temporarily solve our money problems, that is until they spend it all. It doesn't really matter what they try to do, the debt is unsustainable and on a parabolic path from which we cannot return without chopping away 3/4 opf our government and 3/5 of our military [to include complete disengagement from all wars and all foreign bases].

This subject is brought up every year or so, then gets shot down. Our government is not quite desperate enough yet to implement such a controversial system/confiscation, but I would not put it past them as I believe the democrats in this administration capable of anything. One merely has to do a little reading to see how radical this group is.
 
I don't know of this is new news or not, but according to an accountant buddy on the federal-government level, "the pensions of federal employees have already been collateralized and replaced with IOUs." Those were his exact words.

Old news. It's what kept government running during the last stand-off over raising the debt ceiling. Timmy had to raid government pensions after the debt ceiling was reached. This was widely reported in the MSM: ...

It's happening again.

The Treasury on Tuesday started dipping into federal pension funds in order to give the Obama administration more credit to pay government bills.

"I will be unable to invest fully" the federal employees retirement system fund beginning Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a letter to Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress.
...
Geithner said Treasury started suspending reinvestments in a federal pension fund known as the G-Fund -- a tool Treasury has had to employ six times over the past 20 years in order to keep the country below the statutory debt limit.

The Treasury Department has already tapped another seldom-used fund in order to allow the government to continue borrowing without running afoul of the country's laws.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/us-usa-debt-treasury-idUSTRE80G20R20120117
 
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing whether it should take on a role in helping Americans manage the $19.4 trillion they have put into retirement savings, a move that would be the agency’s first foray into consumer investments.

“That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in in terms of whether and what authority we have,” bureau director Richard Cordray said in an interview. He didn’t provide additional details.
...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-...ounts-draw-u-s-consumer-bureau-attention.html

"We're from the government. We're here to help you." :paperbag:
 
I read a long article yesterday on ZH or some other, similar site. What struck me was the sheer amount of money we're talking about here. The number I saw was in excess of 19 trillion dollars. If ever there was a pool of money sloshing around, just waiting to get looted, it is this pool of savings. Alarm bells went off immediately as the conspiracy theorist in me woke up.
 
The scam could be (just gassing here) - OK, scaring people about gun controls sells guns and ammo, as we all know.

Now, scare them about their retirement, so they all pull out and have a huge tax liability just when the .gov needs it.

I am already pulling some retirement in the normal fashion, but so little my tax bill is effectively zero - cheap to live here and I already have plenty of toys. But if I yanked my retirement fund, I'd have quite a hit, the largest tax bill in my life.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, anyone?
 
Leave it to DC to see it from a different angle. I have to staart thinking more like a thief in the night.

That's actually more plausible than simply forcing conversion to T-bills, and in the end it means significantly more revenue!

+10 DC
 
Haha... WSJ is clueless...
How many times have you read financial-advice stories lecturing you to max-out on your IRA, save as much as you can in your 401(k), and even pay taxes now to change your regular IRA into a Roth IRA that will be tax-free until you die?

Well, be careful how much you save.

That's the message in President Obama's budget for fiscal 2014, which for the first time proposes to cap the amount Americans can save in these tax-sheltered investment vehicles. The White House explanation is that some people have accumulated "substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving." So Mr. Obama proposes to "limit an individual's total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013."

Thus do our political betters now feel free to define for everyone what is "needed" for a "reasonable" retirement. ...

...

Amazingly, Mr. Obama has surveyed the economic landscape and somehow decided that it's time to discourage savings if you make more than he thinks is "reasonable."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...8412932073225110.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

WTF does the author think ZIRP et. al. is all about?!?!?
 
Soon to come to our shores. Congress has been eyeballing the trillions of dollars in private pensions and private 401-K accounts for some time now. If this huge pile of cash were transferred to the Treasury, we would [on paper] eliminate all public debts and offload all those treasuries to the pension slush fund. In one fell swoop, we would regain total global monetary hegemony.
 
Soon to come to our shores. Congress has been eyeballing the trillions of dollars in private pensions and private 401-K accounts for some time now. If this huge pile of cash were transferred to the Treasury, we would [on paper] eliminate all public debts and offload all those treasuries to the pension slush fund. In one fell swoop, we would regain total global monetary hegemony.

Sadly, I was just talking about this same idea with a friend. 401k, IRAs, 403b, ect programs are all under the controll of Congress. They could easily pass a bill that forces the money in those programs to flow into an "investment" that helps the government such as U.S. treasury bonds that pay less than 1% interest. It is one of the best ways (if you look at it from the big government, keep the party going standpoint) to deal with the monster national debt.
 
See my post above. It's one heck of a risk to pull out all of my IRA at once - certain huge tax bill.
It's another class/amount (unknown) to leave it in there. If they do this stuff, it's not like they're going to warn anyone - it'll be like one of those massive opening gaps in the market - when you know, it's already too late. I suppose I could get lucky and them go for the 401's before the IRA's; it's legally easier and most can't do much about their 401s compared to what I can do with my IRA - trade it myself for example, put it all in cash and so on, at a whim, or just write myself a huge check now.

Maybe a one day warning, with the proviso that it'll take 2-3 days to get that wire transfer from the IRA? This is sickening. No way to alter the odds I can see, even with being smart and attentive.
 
I don't think of it in terms of "if", I think in terms of "when", because it has become a near mathematical certainty. Our untenable debt cannot and will not be serviced with tax revenues because it has grown so fucking large. People are panicking over 10 year rates at 3% for crimeny sake. I remember not too long ago when four or five percent was small cheese, now 3 or 4 percent spells Armageddon. Because there are so damn many bonds out there to service, one point is enough to break the bank anymore.

If they dip their ladle in to the 401-K pool, they can more than cover existing bonds and put the weight of devaluation squarely on the shoulders of Joe Average and his soon-to-be government run pension fund that requires 100% "investment" in Treasuries.

Yup, it can happen with the stroke of a pen.
 
I know it can, but in my case, here's the rub. If I don't trade my IRA, I'll certainly run out of money before I die - even with the pittance SS might give me in a few years (I retired early by most standards and was good at avoiding SS taxes along the way). If I take it out, I change a risk into a definite tax loss that's pretty large - locking in a loss (and ability to support myself), vs holding onto a risk - that makes significant gains even vs actual inflation due to astute trading...decisions, decisions.
 
Social Security and other entitlements are programs in big trouble (unless they hyperinflate).

If they hyperinflate, it will be trouble for the pensionnaires, but it won't be a problem for the government because they will report little or no inflation to keep SS payments down. Then *POOF* like magic, SS is "fixed". Never mind all the grandparents being evicted and starving to death. They'll make good soylent green.
 
Mike,
You are right about the inflation scam. They purposely leave out food, fuel, medicine, electricity and many other things because they claim them to be too "volatile" to add in to their equation. However, since they only do a COLA once a year, I fail to see how a little volatility in oil figures in since they can simply adjust the number in the next go-around. As for hyperinflation, we're headed down a path where the government may have no choice remaining other than to blast the dollar to smithereens and start over. For instance, an overnight devaluation [or series of devaluations] would go a long way toward ridding ourselves of the extraordinary pile of external debts we currently maintain. Social security is a giant thorn in the side of this and prior administrations because of the demographic bubble that is slowly popping. I am fifty years old, and am at the tail end of the baby boom, which makes me one of those who may actually see a meager check each month when I "retire", however the system may collapse in upon itself, or get completely re-ordered before then. Either way, retirees that paid in to the system faithfully each week throughout their careers, are getting fucked. When they decided that after 44 months of work you became vested in SSI, it was a huge mistake. When they added disabled persons to the eligibility list, they made another. I believe that if the metrics involved in being able to claim disability were changed to protect ONLY those with true and absolute disabilities, the system would hold together a lot longer. I happen to personally know two individuals whop are on disability right now, and both of them could absolutely hold down a job with zero problems if they wanted to. Once declared "disabled" there is zero follow-up, so if you manage to scam your way on to the disability rolls, you're in like Johnny Flynn. One of the people i know collects 1,600 dollars a month from Uncle Sugar, and he makes about twenty five large on the side as an asbestos air monitor, charging a daily rate of $225 and collecting it in cash. The other guy collects less, $1,200 dollars, but he moonlights on a fishing boat helping tourists bait hooks and reel in fish out at the port. this brings in about 20 thousand a year in pay and tips.

The whole system is so ripe for abuse it sickens me. But here I sit anyway, working my ass off to pay for all the people who are getting something they neither need nor deserve. Now there is talk of increasing the SS deductions from my paycheck by 1%.
 
I suppose that's why men of means in Russia kept their money in Cyprus (or other foreign jurisdictions).
 
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