Carpe Pensione

For decades public pensions were sold to taxpayers as a gratuity that helped offset the lower pay government workers were forced to accept.  In New Jersey they literally did not cost taxpayers a penny for years on account of artificial contribution holidays borne of dodgy actuarial assumptions.

But public employees knew better, having realized that this system could be gamed, and below is a list of some of those public employees from Union County with their stories (click on the name) and the pensions they seized (click on the dollar figure).

Lewis Mingo – 1942 – $14,066

Virgina Fanelli– 1958 – $38,230

Richard Childs – 1946 – $40,834

Maria Todaro – 1950 – $45,685

Christopher Coon – 1980 – $52,779

George Devanney – 1962 – $65,601

Proctor, Richard – 1950 – $81,605

Ralph Froehlich – 1930 – $85,307

Andrew Moran – 1964 – $85,733

Lawrence Caroselli – 1950 – $87,275

Regina Caulfield – 1958 – $95,059

Robert Codey – 1949 – $100,495

 

 All 1,448 Union County retirees

19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

    John, do you know taxpayers believe that when the pension systems fail, that they will now be saved from over taxation? Politicians will always find a reason and or excuse to fleece the taxpayers. The only time they will be save is when they cannot pay.

    Reply

  2. Great work, John. Big question nobody knows the answer to is: What happens when the pension money runs out and the checks bounce? The situation is deteriorating rapidly if you look at the national Q1 earnings and growth of public pension funds. It kind of makes you glad Gov. Christie didn’t make the annual “required” contributions. NJ pension managers would have just blown the money anyway. Go ask how NJ funds did in Q1.
    http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org/blog/detail/local-state-pensions-fall-another-15-trillion-short-so-far-this-year

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      I am pleased that Christie is only paying a small portion of the ARC because I feel that public sector pensions are grossly excessive. When added to cash pay and other benefits (i.e., healtcare subsidies), Public Sector “total compensation” is far greater than that of Private Sector workers in comparable jobs (or jobs with comparable risks and skill sets where an exact match is not possible).

      If the Unions and politicians won’t agree to fix it (via a significant reduction in the benefit accrual rate for CURRENT workers), then let the Plans fail.

      Greed HAS consequences.

      Reply

    • Posted by muni-man on July 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

      I agree. Force the issue by continuing to choke off NJ contributions until the pols/unions realize that they either accept much lower benefits that TP’s can reasonably afford, or the plans simply fail and they risk getting little if anything. And NJ has a lot of flexibility to continue to do just that since it has no contractual retirement provisions to contend with, unlike most other states who are largely stymied by that stuff.

      Reply

  3. I have seen the corruption in North Jersey and Union County for over 30 years now. Many short timers and no shows collect pensions of 70000 dollars and it is now beginning to drain our state county budget dry. Take my printing facility that was downsized from half a million dollars to 8 million dollars in several years. The employees where placed in jobs they worked for several months and than they got hurt and started collecting disability insurance. Million of dollars of taxpayers money drained and for what. So lamebrained freeholders can collect huge stipends and place lots of big money on property in other western states for their retirements. Its our choice to stop these idiots before they distroy american and its democratic way of life..

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      The ONLY way to stop it (and all the game-playing that goes with it) is to END Defined Benefit Pensions. ALL Public Sector workers should be given 401K-style Defined Contribution Plans with a MODEST taxpayer match, just like Private Sector workers get from their employers.

      The annual contribution is transparent and booked as earned …. with nothing shifted for future generations to pay for.

      And this change must apply to CURRENT (yes CURRENT) not just future employees.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on July 10, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    The State of New Jersey and all the other employers of public workers (teachers, municipal, county, etc.) have a legal obligation to their employees to honor the contract and promises they made. Those employees made their pension contributions out of each and every pay check for 20 -30 – 40 years and most will NOT be walking away with $100,000/year pensions but rather $30,000-$50,000/year.

    99% of the public employees are not greedy and they earned the pensions they were told they would be given. The jerks that scam the system give all the others a black eye and should be outed and stopped but usually are not because of politics. How many people make up these lowlifes out of the hundreds of thousands of retirees? A few hundred probably. Any are too many but in reality not the main problem/issue.

    To be glad and pleased the State of New Jersey and the other employers have in the past and will continue to underfund the pension fund is arrogant, mean spirited and flat out wrong. Commenters on this blog refuse to admit that WE, THE TAXPAYERS collectively have been on a tax holiday for years saving about $20 BILLION in contributions that were never made to the pension fund. But that’s ok?? oh sure…

    Frankly, I find the State’s actions to be criminal and if not, certainly immoral on many levels.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 11, 2012 at 1:07 am

      Sorry, but you’re wrong. The pension FORMULA (a function of cash pay and years of service) is far far far richer than anything found in the Private sector, and that formula applies whether your salary is $30K, $50K, $75K, $100K, $150K, etc.

      The Taxpayer paid-for share of the resultant pension is excessive (when compared to what a COMPARABLY PAID private sector worker would get when retiring at the SAME age and with the SAME years of service) at EVERY pay level.

      Starving a pension structure that is excessive and fundamentally unfair (in it’s cost to taxpayers) … and where beholden politicians and Greedy Unions & workers refuse to materially eliminate this excess is an appropriate course of action.

      Greed HAS consequences.

      Reply

  5. i wonder has anyone ever asked the governor “How Much He Weigh’s”?, I always though Fat People where Jolly and Happy, Why does he used state helicopters and limo’s for shirt distances?, Can he walk 200 feet by himself without an aide coming to pick him up in a golf cart? Heart Diease effects millions of NJ residents, I hope Christie
    knows this…

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on July 13, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Loveless,

    Comments noted above by Anonymous were not wrong. Just because you think public worker pensions are excessive doesn’t make it so. You continue to post the same old tired statements with no real thought. Oh wait, you now state most times, “Greed HAS consequences”. Wow… catchy.

    Sorry, but working for 40 years and contributing every paycheck and being promise a pension is NOT greed.

    Lets break that post shown above down into individual statements to see how you can say it is wrong:

    – The State of New Jersey and all the other employers of public workers (teachers, municipal, county, etc.) have a legal obligation to their employees to honor the contract and promises they made. – True

    – 99% of the public employees are not greedy – True

    – most will NOT be walking away with $100,000/year pensions but rather $30,000-$50,000/year. – True

    – How many people make up these lowlifes out of the hundreds of thousands of retirees? A few hundred probably. – True

    – public employees contribute to their pensions from every paycheck – True

    – To be glad and pleased the State of New Jersey and the other employers have in the past and will continue to underfund the pension fund is arrogant, mean spirited and flat out wrong. – True

    – WE, THE TAXPAYERS collectively have been on a tax holiday for years saving about $20 BILLION in contributions that were never made to the pension fund – True

    – the State’s actions to be criminal and if not, certainly immoral on many levels. – True

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Anonymous, As you said, My statement “Greed has consequences” is catchy.

      But the operative word is not greed, but “excessive” and not one of your statement changes the FACT that when Public and Private Sector workers in comparable jobs (and yes, they DO have close CASH pay) are compared, the Taxpayer paid-for share of Public Sector pensions have a value at retirement which is 2, 4, (even 6 times for safety workers) greater than comparable Private Sector workers retiring at the SAME age, with the SAME salary, and with the SAME years of service.

      And ….. if you were to accumulate ALL of the Public Sector worker’s contributions (WITH investment earnings) to the date of retirement, rarely would the accumulated sum be sufficient to buy more than 10-20% of the worker’s pension. The balance is paid for by TAXPAYER contributions and the investment earnings thereon.

      With equal CASH pay, there is ZERO justification for ANY greater pensions let alone ones that are 2, 4 even 6 times greater in value.

      *******************
      And by-the-way, YOU are hardly representative of “WE, THE TAXPAYERS” …. clearly being a Civil Servant riding this gravy train and not wanting it derailed.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Janny on July 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Can you point me to any documentation on “public safety workers mortality/morbidity” statistics for New Jersey? Does NJ publish this? I saw a California study indicating that there is no difference (in California). I would like to compare their general NJ post retirement mortality with the rest of us.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on July 18, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I am a representative taxpayer and not a Civil Servant so once again you are WRONG and WRONG. Eight factual , truthful statements made that you failed to provide any proofs to dispute but you call me wrong? Amazing logic.

    I never commented on whether the public worker pensions were overly generous or the percentage they ultimately pay for but that seems to be the only thing you spout in every post you make.

    Do you ever get tired of embarrasing yourself? Apparently not.

    Seriously, have you considered changing your name to ANGRY, BITTER, MEAN, JEALOUS, CONTROLLING, OVERBEARING Love?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

      The “statements” you asserted are meaningless in the context of the factually correct statements that I made and the you “never commented on” ….that public worker pensions are overly generous (multiples greater in value than your Private Sector counterparts, all while earning no less in cash pay) and the percentage Public Sector workers pay is rarely more than 10-20% of the Pension Plan’s total cost, the Txpayers paying the 80-90% balance

      That’s what is important to Taxpayers, because you want US to pay for it.

      By the way, you say that you are “not a Civil Servant” (retired perhaps). I don’t believe you ……. dollars to donuts you or a family member are or will be collecting a Public Sector pension and don’t want any of the very necessary and justified pension reforms to take place.
      ************************
      Perhaps instead of always commenting under “Anonymous”, may I suggest “Taxpayer-Hater” or “I’m Entitled” or “Gravy Train Rider”.

      Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on July 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Let me repeat myself since you obviously have a problem reading. I am not a public employee (active or retired) nor is anyone in my immediate family. Frankly, I don’t care what you believe.

    But now that you have called me a liar, let me say, dollars to donuts you have no family or spouse or friends and are just a lonely, miserable old Ass. Oh, by the way, if you deny it, please note I don’t believe you.

    This blog does nor revolve around your statements. I made my own comments which were not a commentary on yours but on other issues. Because you do not agree and were unable to dispute any of them does not make them meaningless.

    Do you ever get tired of embarrasing yourself? Apparently not.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Please try one of the handles I suggested.earlier … “Taxpayer-Hater” or “I’m Entitled” or “Gravy Train Rider” …or perhaps “but I was promised”.

      Assuredly you or a family member are waiting for that Public Sector pension to kick in (if it hasn’t already) and don’t want it diminished.

      Reply

  10. Posted by SNJGuy on July 24, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Tough Love,

    From this angle, sure looks like that Mr./Ms. Anomyous was right on two fronts:

    1. You have no family or spouse or friends and are just a lonely, miserable old Ass
    2. You never get tired of embarrasing yourself

    Assuredly must be true, you did not deny either one…
    You really outdid yourself this time…

    Reply

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