Local pension

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  • At the peak of the stock market boom in the late 1990s, state and local public pension systems experienced an unprecedented growth in their asset value. As a result, pension benefits for public employees were increased in many states and at the same time government employers reduced their contribution to the pension systems. The stock market downturn between 2000 and 2002, however, brought this almost perfect combination to a halt.

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  • In certain countries the Company also provides postretirement benefits other than pensions to various employees. The cost relating to such plans consists of the present value of the benefits attributed on equal basis to each year of service, and interest cost on the accumulated postretirement benefit obligation, which is a discounted amount. The transition obligation is being recognized through charges to earnings over a twenty-year period beginning in 1993 in the US and in 1995 for all other plans.

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  • Barriers to low-carbon investment may be financial, structural or technical. Financial barriers include fossil fuel subsidies, and the unpriced carbon externality. These discourage local businesses, project developers, vendors, technology providers from offering low carbon solutions to the market, and hamper institutional and market financing mechanisms enabling such businesses to grow.

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  • U.S. government.This designation, which is the highest level of backing given on a U.S. government security,means that the government pledges to use its full taxing and borrowing authority, as well as revenue from nontax sources, to pay the interest and repay the face amount of the security. Nonetheless, the market prices of these securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate daily—just like the prices of any other bonds. U.S. government backing of Treasury and agency securities applies only to the underlying securities and does not prevent share-price fluctuations.

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  • Some critics also view these investments as running counter to the fund’s fiduciary duty. While public-sector pension funds are exempt from ERISA (1974 federal law over private pension funds) and are governed by varied state laws, ERISA standards and its treatment of economically targeted investments (ETIs) are cited as a transferable legal framework. The Department of Labor issued an interpretative bulletin (1994) stating that private pension funds may pursue ETIs as long as they meet standard prudent investment guidelines and seek appropriate risk/return characteristics (U.S.

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  • There has been much discussion in recent months concerning who might be included in the population of “vulnerable” residents. The term “vulnerable” has most often been used interchangeably with the term “special needs.” In the most broad sense as related to disaster management, the vulnerable population refers to those individuals who do not feel they can adequately access the resources they need during all four phases of a disaster: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.

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  • It is important to recognize that the main contributor to the current funding problem facing public pension funds was the collapse of the housing bubble and the subsequent downturn in the economy and the stock market. The plunge in the stock market led to a sharp decline in the value of pension fund assets. Figure 1 below projects pension fund assets if pensions had continued to earn on average a 4.5 percent nominal rate of return in the period since the end of 2007. Under this assumption, state and local pension fund assets would have been $857 billion...

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  • Indeed, turning back the clock to that period, we see that the credit booms in Asian economies displayed much the same regularity.6 In the run-up to the Asian crisis, direct and indirect cross-border credit grew to account for a combined share of roughly one third of the total credit to non-banks in Indonesia and Thailand, and more than a quarter in Korea (Graph 2). Indonesian firms relied heavily on direct cross-border credit, especially in 1996–97 (albeit not to the same extent as borrowers in Ireland more recently).

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  • Local institutional investors in Brazil—pension funds and mutual funds—have been less active in the equity market. For instance, mutual funds’ asset allocation has been concentrated in safe and liquid assets such as government bonds and repo transactions. Pension funds, whose return target is typically set to achieve a certain spread over the rate of inflation in the context of a high short-term interest rate environment, tend to invest in inflation-linked bonds rather than equities.

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  • In addition to return and diversification goals, public pension funds target investments to benefit the economic climate where their beneficiaries live and work. Often public employees retire in their state. For example, the New York State and Local Retirement System (New York State Common) has 77 percent of retirees and beneficiaries that remain New York State resi- dents (NYSLRS 006). Pension funds therefore adopt targeted investment policies to seek competitive returns while also allowing a fund to create healthy communities benefiting their retirees and beneficiaries.  ...

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  • In the wake of the Great Recession of 2007–2009, however, many of these institu- tional investors now say they are eager to diversify their portfolios by investing in infrastructure. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, for example, has already allotted $4 billion to be invested in U.S. infrastructure projects over the next three years. 9 The success of so-called Build America Bonds has demonstrated that alternatives to traditional municipal bonds can have success in attracting pension funds and inter- national investors.

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  • Today, the budget structures of the two countries show many formal similarities, but the de facto operations of central and sub-national bureaucracies diverge. Most Western discussions of fiscal efficiency start from the assumption that there is a separate, tax-based fiscal system in place. However, neither Russia nor China has succeeded fully in establishing an effective, tax-based system for provision of local infrastructure, pensions, and a social safety net. The reform of the governmental fiscal system in each country is incomplete.

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  • In rare circumstances, auditors and audit organizations may determine it necessary to depart from a relevant presumptively mandatory requirement. In such rare circumstances, auditors should perform alternative procedures to achieve the intent of that requirement. The need for the auditors to depart from a relevant presumptively mandatory requirement is expected to arise only when the requirement is for a specific procedure to be performed and, in the specific circumstances of the audit, that procedure would be ineffective in achieving the intent of the requirement.

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  • Investigate Review existing sources, like workplace sick leave, accident, compensation and pension records. Don’t forget retired members – many cancers take decades to emerge, so may only occur after a worker has finished working. Newspaper reports may highlight local deaths linked to occupational disease. Where there is a suspicion of a problem, dig deeper. Surveys Do-it-yourself research can quickly identify problems. This need not be a highly scientific and time-consuming business.

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