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Author: JustMee01 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 18092  
Subject: Re: Ouch! Pension Pain For Ford Date: 1/30/2013 11:12 AM
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Rob,

This isn't a buyout like early retirement. As explained to Dad by Deloitte-Touche presentees, the feds have significant input into how the calculations are made. Ford can't just spit out a number. There are legal constraints on how fair value is determined.

From what I saw, the offer was quite fair, and you'll probably like your number. Dad didn't feel he could manage his own money, so he stayed with the pension as is. I'm not sure why the deal caused so much angst among the retirees, except that its mere existance suggested that worse deals could be forced down your throats later. I would have taken it myself. I thought it was fair.

A lot of people asked why Ford was making the deal, if it wasn't to their benefit. I think the answer is pretty plain. All of these pension funds are too constrained in their investment options. Right now, most of the financial vehicles they have access to are overpriced and have abnormally low yield. It's the same thing that weighs on all insurance companies, and Ford's pension fund is really a self-run annuity, afterall. Until interest rates normalize, all pension funds are going to continue to widen their unfunded gap.

Retirees can match or do better without those investment constraints. Going forward, only higher rates through economic recovery can really fix the problem. Our government seems intent on doing nothing but argue, so that's not likely to happen for at least two years. Perhaps the next election can convince these clowns that we need governance. I wonder though...

Peter
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