Pension Funds Clawing Back Cash from Retirees, & 5 More Things to Know Today

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Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• Remember the Chance card in Monopoly: "Bank Error in Your Favor, Collect $200"? Well, for years, some pension plans have made errors in favor of retirees, overpaying them to the tune of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Now, they're demanding the money back -- with interest -- and they're slashing those retirees' pension checks to recover it.

• The word on the street is that the Obama administration "will delay enforcement of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance mandate," the Wall Street Journal's Marketwatch reports. But it's only technically a delay. The enrollment deadline won't change from March 31, 2014, but there will be a six-week or eight-week grace period to give insurers more time to process those applications. So if you sing up in time, but your coverage doesn't start until late April or May, you won't have to pay the penalty. An official announcement is expected later Thursday.

• Thanks to a combination of the fracking boom and advances in horizontal drilling, the United States has raced past Russia and Saudi Arabia to claim the title of world's largest producer of hydrocarbon fuels -- i.e.: oil and natural gas. The U.S. now produces 14 percent more of its own energy than it did in 2005. IBTimes unrolls its maps to explain what fueled the transformation.

• The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office are weighing an unusual deferred prosecution agreement with JPMorgan (JPM) over allegations that the bank abetted Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, ignoring obviously suspicious signs and allowing fraudulent fund transfers. If the deal is made, the government would suspend criminal charges against the bank, but impose a fine and other concessions. Though they are a common tool for prosecutors, this would be the first time major Wall Street bank has ever been subjected to this type of agreement.

• In other banking news, a jury in civil court has found Bank of America liable for fraud over a slipshod mortgage origination program that cost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac millions in loses when more than half the loans defaulted. The program, called the Hustle, sped through mortgage applications with only cursory attempts to check for fraud, lies or other issues in the paperwork. The Hustle, it should be noted, was used solely by Countrywide Financial, and a bank spokesman pointed out that it was suspended months before Bank of America (BAC) bought the troubled lender.

• And finally, sold! to the highest bidder: the Navy's first supercarrier, the U.S.S. Forrestal. Price: 1 cent. The 1,067-foot long ship, which was decommissioned in 1993, goes to Texas-based All Star Metals, to be scrapped and recycled.


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18 Comments

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November 29 2013 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rteefact

Well at least its not Obama's fault. The fund managers and administrators are equally responsible for the mistakes. I have a government pension they said this is the estimate, of your monthly check when I applied. I was told it would take 6 months or so to do the final calculations and it did. They adjusted the monthly amount then in my favors and I received any shortages. I can't believe they lets this go on for so long.

October 24 2013 at 1:48 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rteefact's comment
davehyannis

thats because bo has no faults ....he is devine bo ....leader for ever do away with term limits now

October 24 2013 at 3:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
grimbiz

You didn'tmention in the Forrestal scrapping article, that Allstar metals is a Chinese firm.
Less ironical than a Japanese salvage firm recycling an American icon!

October 24 2013 at 1:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
foxylynx

Perhaps they should forget the interest and just go after the actual over payment. Most of these people had to know that they were being over paid.

October 24 2013 at 1:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
parthenon1

This is so rediculous I am a senior citizen in my upper 70's but if it is money coming my way or going I know pretty well how much it is to be and raise questions if amount appears to be wrong.
Its the way most of us near my age should have been raised no one has a complaint if they took the extra $. I'll bet if it was the other way most would have complained. So take your medicine and quit bellyaching.

October 24 2013 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Larry

"The U.S. now produces 14 percent more of its own energy than it did in 2005". And the vast majority of that is on private land; IF the Obama regime had its way, there would be much less, due to the fact that they have allowed very few permits on public land.
Just goes to show that enterprise still works, in spite of the best efforts of this regime (You didn't build that).

October 24 2013 at 12:39 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to Larry's comment
bchrist751

Obama is not happy that America has become ( fossil fuel) energy independent.

October 24 2013 at 12:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bchrist751's comment
Michele

Obama is not happy with anything if he can't destroy it.

October 24 2013 at 12:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
TINKDAY

now tell us how many trillions of tax payer dollars the fed has spent over the last several years in buying back worthless mortgage backed securities from banks and wall street and still are by the way. And I wonder what agreements were made with the countries that bought the crap we were selling, Ireland,UK,France, Italy, Spain, Greece and to some extent a few other countries. Because we did cause the european financial disaster.

October 24 2013 at 12:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to TINKDAY's comment
oldschool

It has gotten to the point these bailouts are smelling like fraud bigtime when there may not be any more to bail out, but only because of the stealing all the wealth. Something just doesn`t seem right !

October 24 2013 at 1:56 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
willypfistergash

These countries were all unsustainable before 2008, due to their massive entitlements. You prefer a place like crete where tbey threaten to take citizen's government savings accounts from government banks?

October 24 2013 at 8:44 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply