NJ Gubernatorial Candidates Agree on Pensions

Insolvent/unsustainable:
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But beyond admitting the obvious?

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No ‘Cause For Alarm’ These Days

The busy season is over and it’s time to catch up on some movies.  The first, chosen randomly from my Dark Crimes collection, was Loretta Young and Barry Sullivan in Cause for Alarm from 1951. They had pensions back then as a reward for meritorious service but times have changed.

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NYS Teamsters Plan To Refile – With a Twist

On August 30, 2016 trustees of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund out of Syracuse, NY became the ninth multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency. On April 5, 2017 they withdrew that application but, according to a story in the Albany Times Union, are planning to refile with a twist (emphasis added):

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Breaking News: Fifteenth Union Plan Files

The Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan out of Austintown, OH just became the fifteenth multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency.

From their latest 5500 filing here is the plan’s relevant data:

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AFPP for NJ Pension Reform

per nj.com:

501(c)(4) organizations can engage in unlimited lobbying so long as it pertains to the organization’s mission. 501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to engage in political activity, endorse or oppose political candidates, or donate money or time to political campaigns, but 501(c)(4) organizations can do all of the above. In regards to supporting these organizations, donations made to 501(c)(3) organizations are deductible to the full extent of the law as charitable contributions. Donations made to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible, though some businesses who make these contributions often write them off as advertising or business expenses.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), per their latest 990, is 501(c)(4) and takes in over $80 million in contributions and grants. Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF),  per their latest 990, is 501(c)(3) and takes in over $20 million in contributions and grants.

I bring this up since AFPF (the ones who can’t engage in political activity) announced on their website today that they are investing six-figures in a pension reform effort in New Jersey.

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EA7: Regulatory Climate Change

If there was an underlying theme to the 2017 Enrolled Actuaries meeting it was uncertainty – as to what the tax laws will be and how the current laws would be interpreted and regulated. From session 701: Dialogue with the IRS/Treasury here are my notes on issues not previously covered:

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EA6 – Tale of Three Cities

Session 606 at the Enrolled Actuaries meeting included an informative presentation on the experiences of three cities with defined benefit plans for their public employees who found themselves similarly situated:

  1. Not in Social Security so pensions vital;
  2. Escalating pension contributions; and
  3. Looking at Hybrid plans.

Using the session outline as a template here is how it played out for:

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