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Retirement Roundup: Retirement savings and pension funding 101

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A digest of timely information and insight about finance, investing, and retirement.

Retirement savings and pension funding 101 (some actuary-splaining) | Forbes
How do employers fund and account for pensions?  How should workers save for retirement?  Revisiting the basics of pension funding methods might provide a different way of thinking about these issues.

How to shockproof your retirement health care costs | Reuters
In a national survey by Brightwork Partners, four in five baby boomers said they worry but they are too confused to plan for medical costs. Tools are on the way. While most retirement health care research focuses on broad lifetime numbers, like Fidelity’s recent estimate that a couple will spend $280,000 on health care costs in retirement, a new study by Mercer Health and Benefits and Vanguard Research broke it down more specifically.

Study: MA outperforms Medicare for people with chronic conditionsHealthcare Dive
Medicare Advantage enrollees with chronic conditions had 23 percent fewer inpatient stays and 33 percent fewer emergency room visits than beneficiaries in traditional fee-for-service Medicare, according to a recent Avalere Health study. There were similar results for dual-eligible beneficiaries, among which MA recipients had 33 percent fewer hospitalizations, 42 percent fewer ER visits, and 20 percent lower costs.

Minnesota’s pension changes “far from a cure-all,” Moody’s warns Star-Tribune
Just one month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a massive overhaul of Minnesota’s pension system into law, the prominent credit rating agency Moody’s warned that the changes are “far from a cure-all.” Moody’s was one of several rating agencies that recently published articles saying the state’s reform, which is expected to stabilize the benefits of 511,000 retirees and public employees, is a step in the right direction. But the agencies warned more work will be needed to handle high pension burdens.

Commentary: Public pension funds must not divest from reality | Pensions & Investments
Pension funds must invest long-term to meet the anticipated needs of retirees. Every dollar counts, and long-term growth is essential, especially because markets do not always go up. Managing other people’s money is not a trivial pursuit — it demands prudence, patience and perception, not political gamesmanship.

In a tight labor market, retirees fill gaps their previous employers can’t | New York Times
At a moment when the unemployment rate is low, hovering around 3.9 percent, some employers are turning to their pool of retirees to fill holes in their staff. As with many of the unretired, the benefits of going back to work are more than financial. Full retirement, after all, isn’t right for everyone. For some seniors, work gives meaning. Losing it can be devastating.

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