Union Members Attend Event In Harrisburg To Learn The Dangers Of 401(k) Plans

This morning State Senator Mike Brubaker is chairing a Senate Finance meeting and is expected to send out of committee an amended version of SB 922 that will replace defined benefit pensions with a defined contribution 401 k type of pension for new hires for all public employees under PSERS and SERS.

On Monday evening members of AFSCME District Council 90 and retirees attended a meeting on Protecting Our Retirement Security. Public Broadcasting Systems Frontline documentary: “The Retirement Gamble” was viewed followed by a discussion on protecting our pensions.  Wall Street Banks including Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley have marketed 401(k) plans as legitimate and secure retirement plans when they are really used by brokers and sellers to generate revenue for Wall Street.

As much as two thirds of the retirement earnings goes toward paying fees to brokers, banks and vendors who market these instruments to an unsuspecting and naive public who have been led to believe that the seller is looking out for the interests of the buyer when in fact they are rewarded for maximizing their profits and commissions.

Financial Adviser, Financial Planner, and Retirement Planner are just titles with no certification or licensing requirements, unlike a fiduciary who is required by law to serve the best interests of their clients. The Retirement Gamble shows how millions of Americans were literally cheated out of two thirds of their retirement earnings due to hidden fees in their 401(k), or lost most of or all of their savings when the stock market tanked while the brokers walked away with their commissions and fees.

Dave Fillman,Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13 and a members of the SERS Board, said that the contributions paid into SERS generate about 75 percent of the defined benefit pension earnings. The retirement earnings are protected by fiduciaries who are employed by SERS and are responsible for getting the very best deal for the retirement system and the annuitants. The same can’t be said for people who are in 401(k)-type of plans. It’s buyer beware.