Are Collapsing Pensions "About To Bring Hell To America"?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mac Slavo via,

The toxic dollar is bringing hell in a handbasket.

Along with the student loan debt bubble and other major financial factors, the looming pensions crisis is bound to be the death of us all.

Because it’s based on a future promise to pay, it has long been a benefit dangled to solve strikes and union disputes – because, in the end, it is just more debt, whether private or public.

With tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities, the weight of an avalanche remains dangling over our heads. An aging population is cashing in on needed retirement benefits while the younger generations must support multiples that are unsustainable financially.

Somewhere between the retiree that needs clothing, food and lodging, and the bankruptcy of cities and state governments is the makings of the next economic crisis.


This is one of those things that few will pay attention to until it’s a 5 alarm fire. Then the policymakers will run around with their hands in the air saying they didn’t see it coming.


Of course they did. But addressing the problem is hard and will make people unhappy in the short term.

This blog pointed out the sad, and quiet fact that entities like the government of South Carolina are deep in debt over pensions. Everywhere there are failing social systems.

And somewhere, the rubber is going to met the road, and people are going to get hurt.

As SHTF previously reported:

In 2014 a new Federal law made it possible for pension funds to cut benefits for their recipients.


[I]n October of [2015] the canary in the coal mine fell over and died when Illinois announced that the State was posting pension payments because it ran out of money.


Fast forward a few more months and things have been taken to the next level. The Central State pension fund in Kansas became the first such fund to take advantage of the 2014 law as 400,000 Americans who depend on their monthly pension income to pay for such things as their mortgage, groceries and medical expenses saw an average of $1,400 per month sliced of their monthly benefits.

Unfortunately, there may be no avoiding some very painful lapses in checks in the difficult years ahead.

As Market Watch reports:

But take a look South Carolina’s government pension plan, which covers roughly 550,000 people — one out of nine state residents — but is a staggering $24.1 billion in the red.


This is not a distant concern, but a system already in crisis.


Younger workers are being asked to do much more to support the pensions of retirees. An analysis by the The Post and Courier of Charleston noted recently that “Government workers and their employers have seen five hikes in their pension plan contributions since 2012, and there’s no end in sight.” (Most now contribute 8.66% of their pay, vs. 6.5% before the changes.) At the same time, the pension fund has been chasing more stocks and alternative investments instead of relying on stable investments like bonds that may be much less volatile but generate only meager returns.


And if that’s not troubling enough, South Carolina’s pension fund is far from alone.


California’s Calpers public retriree system is notoriously underfunded and doomed to implode. Chicago, Detroit and other urban wastelands are sagging under abysmal debt. Dallas, Texas pensions went insolvent. Puerto Rico is nothing but a propped up holding corp(se).

Something massive has been swept up just under the carpet.

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F em all but 6's picture

Lost my entire retirement fund in a boating accident.

Erwin643's picture

Shouldn't have been boating.

I don't have a boat, but doing just fine in the markets.

smokescreen's picture

Hey I voted for the orange one...but...if you think anyone can save this ball of stinking shit your higher than I am!!!! Face it the super rich have stolen everything...and left us the in debt!!!! Its game over...its too far gone...the only direction is down...this market rally is make believe...the rich never learn...they will only understand when we the people come for them and its revolution or civil war... I give this shit show 10 years and it will be crash and burn time !!!! good know its done when nothing works anymore... when the cure will actualy kill the fix this mess would crash it...we have reached the law of diminishing returns...reset is the only answer but it will be hell on earth... not even god can fix this and they know it...all they can do is keep it going as long as go on have more kids add to the 7.4 billion why not...its a fucking joke but im not laughing !!!!!

Erwin643's picture

If anyone has kids now (except for those already in self-sufficient, off-grid lifestyles), they're just going to end up being target practice. Virtually the entire generation of 20-somethings is already useless, due to GMO's, vaccines, breakup of family, opiate abuse, etc. Between the tattoos, backwards hats and the sunglasses that they can't decide on how to wear on top of (and don't forget the little Shakespeare beards), they can't even figure-out what they want to look like from month-to month.

Got Ammo?

smokescreen's picture

i agree...sad but true...

Erwin643's picture

LOL I've never been so popular on ZH before!

Unless you count the opposite direction, where I counted -10 for telling Grant Williams to go fuck himself (I'm just tired of all these gold-bug doomers scaring the average Joe away from these markets, when I'm making money shorting volatility).

Case in point: A guy at a gun show I met said "they just don't want to work." I asked him what he had openings for: He quietly replied "Heavy equipment operators." My God! I would have killed for a job like that, back in the 80's when I was in my 20's!


Anteater's picture

20s something is always being broke to the saddle. My great grampa struck out West wildcatting after the Panic, grampa was a North Peninsula bare knuckle-fighter after he came back from WW1, my pa went on a cards and gambling streak in N.O. after he came home from WW2, I rode a odd jobs magic bus tour after Viet Nam, but my own kids are already settled into the traces, pulling the damn ox-cart, while the privileged ones you find all over the world now, stoned, bombed and chasing pussy at Full Moon debauches. What's sad is, privileged are the one's who will drive by in limos, while my kids are still pulling that ox-cart.

man from glad's picture

And to the property owner they will go raising taxes... In other words "the money tree".

I would love to see all property owners organize and pay thier tax bills at the last minute in protest. Let the counties and municipalities get a small taste of that power and what may be coming - i.e. "No, we've had enough!"

Dougs Decks's picture

Fuck that,,, Pay em in pennies, quarters, dollars, dimes,,,  But the real kicker would be, is if we all got together and just stopped paying them,,, what??? Are they gonna evict us all???

hvl626's picture

The swiss reportedly  keep their firearms behind the door.  Why is that??

deerhunter's picture

2 things. Cop buddy . Swat. 1st team shooter sniper. K9 cop. Drug , cadaver and tracking dog. He is a seargant. He makes 130k a year. Will retire at age 52 after 25 years of service. Pension til death. If he lives to 83 it is roughly a 3'million dollar pension package for one individual. Insanity.
Second thing . Minimum wage 1964 1.35 an hour . Real constitutional money, real silver minimum wage today would be 23 dollars an hour give or take . Enough said .
Time to quit paying government employee insane I.wages . Period
Whiskey Rebellion anyone. I am 61 . Take no prisoners .

Economy-X's picture

What crisis? Just label pensions as 'Too big to fail' and voila crisis solved.


And what better recipients of tax-payers money than hard working tax payers. Who could argue with giving our elders who worked to build the country we inherited their dues?


No seriously, who could argue with that....

RSDallas's picture


I have been reading you for close to 8 years now and you are actually more wrong than I am.

smokescreen's picture

Well we did the only thing we can...we voted...thats a laugh !!!! for what...the ones that lie and steal from us...the ones that tell us don't worry we can fix it...well the super rich and their bank of crooks...the fed...have lied and stolen their way into a corner...and now they've realized it...they are fucked because we are fucked...and they fear us...the mob rules...their time is comming they are without a cure...they have created their own fate and we shall hand it to them on the tips of a pitch fork...they WILL BEG AND PLEAD like the cowards they are...greed should and must be deemed a mental illness... maybe that would give them pause!!!!

user2011's picture

Push come to shove, retiree without pension will be starved to death.  Those who has a house will sell them and move to other lower cost of living standard countries.   Those filthy rich chinese will escape China and buy house in US.   They thought they would become the new elites, until new laws will milk all their filthy money and then kick their ass home.   Then US is saved. 


hvl626's picture

Follow the Greek model:


Financiers seize the assets of government enties,  including state and county assets.


States and counties raise assessed value on Real Estate.  They inflate the value of real estate, the owner cannot pay, the county confiscate real estate which is seized by financiers. 

Rothschilds and Federal Reserve own all real estate.

TheytookERjobs's picture

"The looming pensions crisis is bound to be the death of us all." How are these ponzi schemes going to cope in the next financial crisis. I'd say not too well

Sizzurp's picture

The Fed could always join the Swiss National Bank and start buying US equities outright. Sunshine and lollipops forever my brothers.

gregga777's picture

The Goldman Sachs Feral Reserve System was secretly buying US Stawks long before the Swiss National Bank joined their scam.  That is why the US CON Market has only gone up since the Greater Depression began in 2008.  That is why the Goldman Sachs Feral Reserve System fights so vehemently against an audit by the United States CONgress.  Among other crimes, an audit would reveal their blatantly illegal purchases of US Stawks.  



Sizzurp's picture

Every time I hear one of these large US banks warn on the market I wonder what they really know. Are they are simply trying to get more stock for themselves at a cheaper price, knowing of course that they are back-stopped by an even larger buyer with limitless capital?  That has certainly been the model for the US debt market over the last 30 years. Obviously many have been suspicious for years that the Fed actively intervenes in the US futures markets among other things, the Greenspan put, the PPT, ect. I don't see the Swiss Bank diving into that pond without knowing that someone else had already tested the waters and gave them the green light.  After all we are talking about a foreign government entity buying ownership and nationalizing assets of US Corporations with fiat paper they can create at a whim. Why is this type of thing not seen as a significant regulatory concern?

Anteater's picture

I  must be getting dyslexic because I swore the headline said:

"Are Collapsing Penises "About To Bring Hell To America"?
Master Electrician's picture

I can't believe how many are blaming the boomers in general here, as though people who worked all their lives and played by the rules are responsible for policy.  It's the effing monetary system. I swear, sometimes it seems like a lot of the things that get discussed at length here don't get absorbed or something. THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN OWNS PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING, AND ARE ENTERING THEIR END GAME. THEY HAVE STOLEN ALL THE MONEY BY DEVALUING LABOR THROUGH INFLATION, AND PRETENDING TO CARE BY BACKING POLITICIANS THAT WOULD PROMOTE PROGRAMS LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY, AND PENSION PROGRAMS. THE MONEY IS GONE, AND I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. I PAID, AND PAID, AND PAID. AND I WILL GET NOTHING. My only sin was believing that the system worked in my youth, and thinking that America was benevolent and good, a beacon of hope for the world. For more than twenty-five years now, I have been trying to convince people that we need a national strike. We need to quit paying taxes. We need to take our country back. Now, it is very probably too late. The reset will not be pretty. A major war is inevitable. What we need is a new party that will turn us away from corruption, lies, and war, and institute proper reforms on banking and currency. END THE FED!

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

Yes we blame the Boomers, because they have "worked hard" their whole lives SUPPORTING the Evil and now they think they are entitled to "retire" from the human struggle and kick back and relax. 

Please do us all a favor and die already.

Anteater's picture

The ones who are 'entitled' are the Mil.Gov, costing US $666,000 per year per FTE, and everyone else PAID IN to the SS and MC TRUST FUND, with an IRS GUN TO THEIR HEAD, and it's the THIEVES since LBJ and S&L who should be hung by the scrotum, MOSTLY FED AND MIC, which have disappeared -$20,000,000,000,000 of that set-aside TRUST FUND, and whom The Red Donald and His New Bolsheviks have just GIVEN OVER GOVERNMENT TO.

E pluribus no hay comidas, todos.

gregga777's picture

For many, many decades the voters in American elections have only been given the choice of voting for a lying candidate from the DimmoMarxist Party or a lying candidate from the Repussican Party.  In either case, the candidate elected to office lied out his/her ass regarding how he/she was going to fix "<fill in the blank>" problem.  In reality, the candidates are always bribed by their masters to continue the myriad existing dishonest Ponzi schemes.  

The lesson?  No election(s) are ever going to reform the Republic of the United States of America and return it to legitimate Constitutional government.  Anyone who places their faith in any candidate for elective office is always going to be disappointed.


numapepi's picture

The answer is to force the elite to follow our Constitution and ther own laws.

gregga777's picture

The problem is that the Intellectual Yet Idiot classes ruling morons greatly enriched themselves and impoverished everyone else by shipping 100,000+ factories and 20,000,000+ good paying jobs to their Communist good buddies in the People's Republic of China.  Now we have ~96,000,000 unemployed working aged Americans dependent of some sort of governmental support programs and ~45,000,000 Americans dependednt on SNAP EBT to keep them from starving.  

The IYI classes ruling morons also let the CON Street Swindlers and banking gangsters steal ~$11,000,000,000,000 (~$11 TRILLION) during the Great Financial Crisis.  Then to prop up the banking gangsters and CON Street Swindlers, in effect socializing the losses of stolen money, the GSFRS (Goldman Sachs Feral Reserve System) handed out ~$16,000,000,000,000 (~$16 TRILLION) in loan guarantees worldwide.  Then the GSFRS gave them another ~$8,000,000,000,000 (~$8 TRILLION) via their interest rate suppression programs of near-ZIRP and ZIRP.  

That is why pension plans are going bust.  And that is also why the CONporate Main Stream FAKE NEWS Media are pulling out all the stops to suppress these facts about bankrupt pension plans.  

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

This article should be titled "What will the vampires drink now?"

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

You lazy motherfuckers will only get to retire upon Death.

MaxDemon's picture

This is just the end result of the "something for nothing" approach that has been the political norm since the 30's.  Now reality is kicking in to remind us we can't, at least not forever.

Why did it last this long?

1) America is a very rich and productive country so it takes a while to spend all the OPM. Of course the politicians have been hobbling that bit by bit for a long time, mostly to the cheers of a big part of the population.  They don't understand what wealth is, or where it comes from, but they want to control it; instead they are killing the goose.

2) The schools have been teaching this BS so hard for so long that most people do believe that 1+1=3.  This is why it is so difficult to get many to understand that it doesn't before they are personally impacted, and often not even then.  How many people facing cuts blame the bank or insurance company that administers the fund, not the politicians or managers who set it up to fail, and who have known for decades that it was failing?

south40_dreams's picture

Calpers is going to get harder and harder to sweep under the rug

Stud Duck's picture

Ideas are nice and pretty, history is violent!

marcel tjoeng's picture



The most flabbergasting of all is that the idiot Americans let all of this just happen .. ?



Sledge-hammer's picture
Sledge-hammer (not verified) Mar 17, 2017 7:00 PM

Two words.  Da Joos.  I presume that most of the readers here are evil YT's like me who worked hard, followed the rules, were plugged into the Jew Matrix, and who believed (((their lies))).  This evil YT is now a full on red-piller who unplugged from the Jew Matrix.  I just got a notice from Wells Fargo regards my home's escrow account.  Apparently, my property taxes are increasing by a $1000 this year.  I checked my county tax appraiser site and observed that from 2011 to 2016, my homes assessed value increased by $20,000.  The tax appraiser figures for 2017 have not posted yet, but from the Wells Fargo notice, I know my home's appraised value has increased as has the property tax.  The lion's share of these taxes go to the Independent School District (huge, ineffective schools) and City (trying to institute toll roads and prohibit plastic shopping bags).  Of course, my city has a police pension fund that is in the red, and I am sure the teacher's/school administrator's funds are probably in the red too.  I know that they are trying to get back in the black by putting the onus on us unwashed masses.  I just retired, of course, with the associated income reduction.  I put the place up for sale.  F*ck them.

hvl626's picture

find a state that does not tax an RV.