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New York Plan Makes Fund Both Borrower And Lender

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/12/nyregion/12pension.html?hp

Gov. David A. Paterson and legislative leaders have tentatively agreed to allow the state and municipalities to borrow nearly $6 billion to help them make their required annual payments to the state pension fund.

And, in classic budgetary sleight-of-hand, they will borrow the money to make the payments to the pension fund — from the same pension fund.

As word of the plan spread, some denounced it as a shell game and a blatant effort by state leaders to avoid making difficult decisions, like cutting government spending or reducing pension benefits.

“It’s a classic Albany example of kicking the can down the road,” said Harry Wilson, the Republican candidate for comptroller, who holds an M.B.A. from Harvard.

Pension costs for the state and municipalities are soaring, a result of enhanced retirement benefits for public employees and the decline in the stock market over the past two years. And, given declines in tax revenue and larger budget shortfalls, the governments are struggling to come up with the money to make the contributions.

Under the plan, the state and municipalities would borrow the money to reduce their pension contributions for the next three years, in exchange for higher payments over the following decade. They would begin repaying what they borrowed, with interest, in 2013.

But Mr. Paterson and other state officials hope the stock market will have rebounded to such a degree by that time that the state’s overall pension contribution burden will have been reduced.

The maneuver would cost the state and local governments about $1.85 billion in interest payments, according to an estimate by the State Senate, though a number of factors could drive interest payments up or down.

Another oddity of the plan is that the pension fund, which assumes its assets will earn 8 percent a year, would accept interest payments from the state that would probably be 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

This would be only the second time the state has borrowed money from its pension fund, and it would involve much more money than the previous time, which occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. New York State faces a $9.2 billion deficit this fiscal year, which began on April 1, and the budget is already more than two months late. The governor and legislative leaders are under pressure to make structural changes that will bring new discipline to state spending, but few expect them to do so.

This plan is genius I can't spot any flaws in this at all.

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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