Christie punted on real public pension reform in NJ – and so did Sweeney

I moderated a Q&A at the general membership meeting of the New Jersey Taxpayers’ Association last night regarding pension reforms needed in New Jersey focusing on the deceptions to which the current system is susceptible.  It lasted an hour and rather than posting the whole thing (which none of us are going to sit through when it’s only a one-shot of me) I will excerpt points made.

First up is Neil Coleman, NJTA trustee and legislative liaison, speaking about a meeting he and a group of outside pension experts had with Christie administration people when pension reforms were being hatched:


I also met separately with Christie staff people (one of whom I remember was Gregg Edwards) around that time (May, 2010?) laying out a similar path – also not taken.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Of course ‘punted’. How else to keep the votes of people outlandish pensions are promised to?
    And, admit the NJ Budget is not in balance?
    Taxes (income, property) will not be raised so public pensions will come down to low levels for current and future people who took an unfunded promise as ‘better than nothing’.


  2. Posted by Anonymous on December 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Chris Christie said that he would save the pensions and I believe he will. You all voted for him and now you dont believe him. Why do you people have such bad judgement of character?


  3. Posted by Tough Love on December 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    What is sad is the conundrum NJ is in …

    Due to legal barriers, real material pension reform (e.g., hard freezing the DB Plans with replacement for future service with a MODEST DC Plan, a 50+% reduction in future service accruals, and heavens … an actual reduction in past service accruals for CURRENT and RETIRED workers, beyond just COLA freezes) will likely need to wait until NJ (or the local entity seeking reform) is insolvent.

    How ridiculous, just to reform these grossly excessive pension “promises” (made by bought-and-paid-for politicians beholden to the Public Sector Unions) the Taxpayer paid-for share of which is routinely 2-4 times (5+ times for safety workers) greater in value at retirement than the pensions of their Private Sector counterparts who retire with the SAME pay, have worked the SAME number of years, and retire at the SAME age.


  4. Posted by Javagold on December 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    i dont think Sweeney completed High School……Why would anyone listen to him !

    Let the whole damn thing implode and the quicker the better …… RESET !


    • Posted by Tough Love on December 7, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Actually, Sweeney is a very good moderating influence on the usual Democratic policy mantra to always INCREASE Public Sector compensation (usually of the financially hidden variety .. pensions & benefits). This is because, as a PRIVATE Sector Union leader, he sees firsthand the huge advantage of PUBLIC over PRIVATE Sector pensions & benefits.

      And, he sees that to the extent the higher taxes necessary to fund such excessive promises depresses economic growth, this secondarily impacts the availability of jobs for his Iron-worker Union members.


  5. Christie needs to hold his end up on the 2011 Pension Reform Bill. Hiw can anyone negotiate with a liar and someone who can not even obey his own law? Public employees get an average $26000 a year upon retirement in per the 2011 Pension Reform Bill Public Employees have increased their pension contributions, increased their health benefit contributions significantly, freezed COLA for retirees and now receive less upon retirement yet the State did not make their pension payment accordingly. Retirees pay for health benefits too which have increased over 300% since Christie took office. The system was negatively impacted by politicians over the years, but Christie has now pitted the working middle class against each other with his rhetoric and misinformation. This is all while filling the pockets of his rich campaign donors…perfect example is the firms that manage the pension fund that Christie chose….from $125 million a year to $600 million a year in fees while underperforming as well.


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