NCPERS Graph Games

The National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) is being paid by sponsors looking to maintain a flawed defined benefit system for public employees to come out with anything to support the canard that these plans, without any practical oversight or discipline,  can survive. To that end NCPERS put out a paper that included this chart on the New Jersey pension system (one of the four worst in the nation per their report) purporting to show that even with modest or negative cash flow over the period from 1993 through 2016, asset values rose substantially and there is nothing to worry about.

As to a couple of lines in the chart (and one left out):

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A moment, please

Good morning:

I am working on a second installment of my series but this is not it.  I have noticed the comments can be very critical.  This does not bother me.  But there is something very distressing to me.

When did we forget that wonderful poem by Robert Fulghum; All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

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NCPERS Looks To Dismantle Public Pensions

Don’t Dismantle Public Pensions Because They Aren’t 100 Percent Funded

So argues the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) in a new paper that actually does advocate for the dismantling of the current defined benefit funding system.

Their points:

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Christie Legacy

Three former New Jersey governors claim that Chris Christie’s tenure was not a failure with one even coming out with:

he got pension and health care reforms and helped keep property taxes from rising swiftly by limiting how much raises for police and firefighters and enacting a 2 percent local spending cap, [Donald] DiFrancesco argued.

“His perception is really, really bad,” he said. “His legacy is really, really good.”

In a discursive interview in Politico Magazine Christie comes off as an obnoxious egomaniac who got things done early on:

On policy, Christie was both hard-nosed and pragmatic. He capped property taxes in a notoriously high-tax state. He cleaned up a budget mess left by his disgraced predecessor, Gov. Jon Corzine. He persuaded Stephen Sweeney, a burly ironworker’s union official who leads the State Senate, to make a compromise on pensions that would require unions to pay more.

“He came to my union office and we sat down the second day,” Sweeney recalled. “And his comment to me, are we going to get anything done, or do what is always done and fight? He wanted to get things done, and so did I.”

At the time, New Jersey’s pension system was among the most underfunded in the country, and Christie’s predecessors didn’t pay. (Christie also has a checkered record—while paying more than his predecessors, he also skipped some payments.) Stile, a sometimes fierce critic of the governor, said, “The time of practically skipping and significantly shorting the pension system has pretty much stopped. It went on for 15 years leading up to him. He deserves credit for that.”

There is a possibility that Chris Christie may not go down as the worst governor in New Jersey history……..which is a shame…….because he is. Looking at the record:

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Pensions – Don’t Panic!

Timothy Alexander’s first blog here elicited 80 comments. Here is his second and the start of a series:

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Breaking News: PBGC 2017 Deficits Announced

In a press release the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) just announced new deficit amounts for 2017:

  1. Single Employer Plans: $10.9 billion from $20.6 billion
  2. Multiemployer Plans: $65.1 billion from $58.8 billion

As for the reasons behind the numbers here is my explanation for (1) and PBGC’s for (2).

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Lottery Mentality for New Jersey Actuaries

Twenty of the thirty-two pages in a presentation to investors for a $350 million bond sale last month by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority was devoted to the Lottery Enterprise Contribution Act starting off with these points:

This is a scam where items 2, 4, and 5 are only true if the Retirement System’s actuaries go along with the fraud. On the next page of the presentation:

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