The American dream was 30 and out. You only have to work thirty years for your employer and be set with retirement.

Earning a pension, like many employees and retirees currently have in North Dakota, was the ultimate goal and a key to the American retirement dream. It was taught that a pension will take care of you until death and even possibly take care of your spouse until death should you die first. It was sold as “guaranteed to never to run out” and far better option than the 401k which you may out live.

Pensions were a wonderful tool and a solid retirement plan before the birth of the 401k. Employees really did work their “30 and out” and retire with no income worries. The money (checks) came to them each month like clockwork. They knew exactly what that monthly check would be, and it never changed.

With the history of the pension security blanket came the thought process of, “My company will take care of me.” Employees became comfortable and even complacent about what was going on with the pension.

Today’s pensions are nothing like the pensions from a century or even half a century before. Pensions use to be put into a life product (typically annuities) where the pension managers knew they were getting a guaranteed rate of return and they knew they would have the money to pay out.

Today’s pensions are put into market-driven products, the same products 401K’s are put into where there are NO Guarantees! Nothing. Many pensions (including my husband’s) have been mismanaged to the point of a collapse. Pensions are underfunded and retirees are taking a cut to their (once promised and already earned) monthly retirement income. Instead of the known dollar amount, these employees are now scrambling and coming out of retirement to earn supplemental income. Instead of 30 and out it’s more like 40, out and pray. With the current system and current suggested retirement plans, there is no longer a guarantee of anything – except you’ll pay taxes and die.

Whose Pensions Are At Risk?

I’m sure you’re thinking – this can’t be “MY” pension. Newsflash: This is not just union pensions I speak about. State employees think their pension is safe because they have not received letters telling them otherwise. (What letters are sent? Hundreds of thousands like this one) Pension managers don’t notify you when things are sliding south, just when it’s already there. In my husband’s case, he didn’t get a letter until it was too late to even save the pension, it was already at a critical state. Now pension managers, who were trusted by large employers and groups of employees, are looking at the gov’t for a bailout!!!  Do you think your state is going to warn you early on? Heck no, they are going to try to “save” it by praying the market goes up and they can overcome the losses. Repeat after me, Forty-Out and Pray.

As of 2016, Bloomberg reported in its article, Pension Fund Problems Worsen in 43 States, it shows North Dakota’s pension was only funded to 65.9%!

Down 4.5% in one year and 21.1% since 2009. 2009 data was published in Barry James Dyke’s eye-opening book, Guaranteed Income.

Today, North Dakota officials are asking state employees to cover a higher percentage of their health care insurance expenses. What was the reason given? I hate to make assumptions, but could state officials and pension managers be trying to manage the risk and underfunded pension the same way my husband’s company managed theirs? He too saw those extra dollars going back in when they never had to before.

Looking at my surrounding states we see the South Dakota pension was funded to 96.9% as of 2016; the Minnesota pension was funded 53.2% as of 2016 (losing more than a quarter of its value since 2015); Montana pension was 71.2% funded as of 2016.

Should Employees Start Creating Plan B?

If the data reported above does not scare you, it should! Barry J. Dyke the author of the book Guaranteed Income gives more details about these underfunded pensions. In his book, he shows how states are expecting a 7.5%-8.5% rate of return on their money. The market average over the last 16 years has been 6.12% for the S&P WITH dividends and 4.11% without dividends. What happens when they are already underfunded and they are not getting the projected return? It just gets worse…they start asking for more money from pension contributors and you extend your time at the company so you maybe have something for retirement.

Barry also addresses how companies like GM, Verizon, and Motorola are pulling BILLIONS of dollars out of the market and putting them into life insurance products to ensure their employees will have a pension. If the massive companies are transferring risk, you may want to really consider why.

Plan A, market-driven products, for company’s 401ks are no longer working. This is very powerful for a number of reasons, first, you no longer can count on your employer to take care of you, you MUST take care of yourself and have a plan A. Make that pension plan B. Employees have a right to complain, but in the end it’s never a good idea to blindly let someone else take care of you.

Barry gets into details about North Dakota pension status at 0:30.

Second, Barry J. Dyke will be in Bismarck, ND for the Secure Wealth Builders Conference talking about this very thing. If you are unaware of what your pension is doing and want the inside scoop on what’s going on you will want to attend this conference November 17 & 18th.

Barry has done extensive research on the market, how it works and what you can expect. In addition toGuaranteed Income, he wrote two other books, Pirates of Manhattan – which is a NY Times Best Seller – and Pirates of Manhattan II, to expose where the banks put their money and how the markets are worked by insiders.

What You Can Do Today

You can no longer be complacent and think someone else will take care of you. No one cares about you like you do. It’s time to make that plan so you know you are ready to retire and the pension is your backup.

If you want a guaranteed income to be your plan A then you will want to order Wealth Without the Bank or Wall Street. You will find what you need to create your own pension that you are in control of. It’s the same system the wealthy are using – I thought it was illegal! So before you think – “I’m not wealthy.” – so I can’t use this same system, think again.

I hope to see you at the Secure Wealth Builders Conference and/or visit with you after you’ve read the book.

Mary Jo