Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.London House Prices Bubble, Debt Slavery, Crimea 2.0 - Russia Ukraine Annexation - Nadeem_Walayat
2. Gold And Silver – 2014 Coud Be A Yawner; Be Prepared For A Surprise - Michael_Noonan
3.Sheffield, Rotherham Roma Benefits Plague, Ch5 Documentary Gypsies on Benefits & Proud - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Glaring Q.E. Failure Spotted - Money Velocity Is Falling Rapidly - Jim_Willie_CB
5.Don't Miss the Boat on Big Biotech Catalysts: Keith Markey - Keith Markey
6.Gold Prices 2014: Do What Goldman Does, Not What It Says - David Zeiler
7.Bitcoin Price Strong Appreciation to Be Followed by Declines? - Mike_McAra
8.Gold Preparing to Launch as U.S. Dollar Drops to Key Support - Jason_Hamlin
9.Doctor Doom on the Fiat Money Empire Coming Financial Crisis - Andrew_McKillop
10.The Real Purpose Of QE - It’s Not Employment - Darryl_R_Schoon
Last 72 Hrs
Killing the Maximum-Wage Myth - 23rd Apr 14
U.S. Quarterly Economic Review - Optimism at the Fed - 23rd Apr 14
Why Mohamed El-Erian Left Pimco - Video - 23rd Apr 14
QE Is A Fraud Perpetrated By Made Men - 23rd Apr 14
Gold and Miners Outperform Once Again - 23rd Apr 14
G-20 and the US Tell the Bank of Japan to End Quantitative Easing - 23rd Apr 14
How to Get in the Trading Game and Profit - 23rd Apr 14
Fed Follies, U.S. Housing Market Fiasco - 23rd Apr 14
What Will December 31, 2014 Financial Headlines Look Like? - 23rd Apr 14
Why Gasoline Prices are Surging Again - 22nd Apr 14
Cold War 2.0 - 22nd Apr 14
The JIS – Junk Ideology Syndrome - 22nd Apr 14
How to Avoid Losing All Your Money - 22nd Apr 14
Silver Up, Stocks S&P Down - 22nd Apr 14
U.S. Mainstream Media Propaganda Setting the Stage for War With Pakistan - 22nd Apr 14
U.S. Interest Rates are NOT Rising! - 22nd Apr 14
A Crisis vs. the REAL Crisis: Keep Your Eye on the Debt Ball - 22nd Apr 14
Bitcoin Implications of Lack of Price Action - 22nd Apr 14
Japan - The Twilight Of The Rising Sun - 22nd Apr 14
Is This What a Credit Bubble Looks Like? - 22nd Apr 14
The Dark Side Of The Silver Mining Industry - 21st Apr 14
Strong U.S. Dollar Rally Could Pull Rug From Under Gold and Silver - 21st Apr 14
Silver Feeble Rally Fails to Hold Breakout, Falling Back Towards Support - 21st Apr 14
Stock Market Smart Money – All Out or More to Go? - 21st Apr 14
Fast Rising Pump Prices Counterattack - 21st Apr 14
Extreme Climate Change And Life On This Planet - 21st Apr 14
Gold and Silver Stocks Sitting Tight - 21st Apr 14
Stock Market Minor Correction Imminent - 21st Apr 14
Gold and Silver - Counting Blessings and Tender Mercies - 20th Apr 14 - Jesse
The CIA Through The Looking-Glass - 20th Apr 14 - Stephen_Merrill
Gold And Silver - Gann, Cardinal Grand Cross, A Mousetrap, And Wrong Expectations - 20th Apr 14 - Michael Noonan
Nikkei Stock Market - Sell Japan - 20th Apr 14 - WavePatternTraders

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

American Retirement Funds at Serious Risk of Being Seized

Personal_Finance / Pensions & Retirement Dec 07, 2010 - 09:44 AM GMT

By: Jeb_Handwerger

Personal_Finance

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe news of Hungary effectively seizing private pension fund assets to pay for the debt obligations of the state last week should come as yet another reminder of the urgent need to get tax-sheltered retirement savings away from the clutches of the state before it's too late. Hungary is just the latest country to decide that it's citizens retirement savings are the property of the state.


The last major country to use similar tactics was Argentina who confiscated about $3.2 billion of pension savings in 2001 before the country stopped servicing its debt and then nationalized the $24 billion industry two years ago to compensate for falling tax revenue after a 2005 debt restructuring.

On November 24th the Hungarian government gave its citizens an ultimatum: move your private-pension fund assets to the state or lose your state pension. Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy announced the policy, escalating a government drive to bring 3 trillion forint ($14.6 billion) of privately managed pension assets under state control to reduce the budget deficit and public debt. Workers who opt against returning to the state system stand to lose 70 percent of their pension claim.

Americans who think "this can't happen here" may want to think again.

In September of this year the US Treasury investigated the possibility of requiring retirement funds to hold a percentage of government securities in their investment portfolio. That, in effect, would be a nationalization of 401ks and IRAs.

And don't think for a second that the US is in better financial shape than Hungary.

The moves in Hungary were prompted by large annual budget deficits and a large debt to GDP ratio. So, let's compare Hungary's deficit and debt to that of the US.

First, a warning: Accept the US governments own financial statistics at your own risk. Federal debt, unemployment and CPI, just to name a few, bear no resemblance to reality.

The federal debt, as proclaimed by the US government is stated to be $13.8 trillion but just subjecting federal government numbers to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) shows a true debt, if accounted for properly, of $71 trillion as of 2009.

In 2009 the US GDP was $14.26 trillion. Therefore, the debt to GDP ratio of the US is 497.89%.

Hungary's 2009 GDP was $128.96 billion and their national debt was $93.36 billion for a debt to GDP ratio of 72.4%.

That doesn't look so good for the US. How about the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP?

Hungary posted a budget deficit of 4% in 2009. Meanwhile, when accounted by GAAP standards, as calculated by Shadowstats.com, the total deficit in 2009 was $4.3 trillion. Compared to a GDP of $14.26 trillion the 2009 budget deficit as a percentage of GDP was 30.15%.

Considering that Hungary was downgraded today by Moody's to Baa1, close to a "junk" rating, and the US' debt to GDP ratio is five times worse than Hungary's and the US budget deficit as a percentage of GDP is more than 7 times worse, those with retirement savings in the US should quite easily see the writing on the wall.

Gold made an all-time high of $1423.40 today, also clearly showing the writing is on the wall for the entire US dollar based financial system.

Keeping retirement funds inside of tax-sheltered accounts, which the US government will soon look to as the next source of funds to try to pay off its mountain of debt and keeping retirement funds in US dollar based "assets" is putting your retirement and future at great risk.

Grab your free 30-day trial of my Members-Only Premium Stock Analysis Service NOW at:
http://goldstocktrades.com/premium-service-trial

By Jeb Handwerger

http://goldstocktrades.com

© 2010 Copyright Jeb Handwerger- All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Alex Kovacs
09 Dec 10, 15:35
RE: American retirement

The Hungarian government is not "nationalizing" the private pension plans in the sense that term is usually understood.

The current administration is reversing a law implemented by a previous rival admistration. That old law allowed employers to make contributions into private plans rather than to the state pension system (US equivelant of Social Security payments.) The reversal to the old law would simply give workers the choice to opt out of the state pension system entirely by staying with their private plans, but they would not lose any benefits from past contributions. The monies collected from the private plans, thus far, would be used to plug the deficit in the states pension plan, not for other sxpenses.

Unlike in the US, 401ks and IRA's were plans intended to be in addition to Social Secirity, the old Hunagrian law diverted funds away from the state pension system, thus leaving it with a deficit. Had some of the state pension contributions not been diverted into private plans in the first place (via the old law) there would be no deficit in the state pension sysytem now. In Hungary the money in the state pension system cannot be used for anything other than pension payments! Further, no past contributions that effect future worker's benefits made to the state system will be lost if one chooses to stay with the private plan.

The choice belongs to the individual worker to either opt out of the state system entirely (and give up any benefits from FUTURE contributions only) by staying in the private plan or to have his private plan contributions revert back to the state system.

It is true that states like Argentina often raid private coffers. However, It is not likely that it will happen in the US. 401ks might be at risk for some kind of capital controls. IRAs most likely not. Roth IRAs, no chance, as they have already had the taxes paid on them.

Thanks for the article.

Alex Kovacs


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014