Cost of a Public Pension in New Jersey: $3,021

The thing that struck me about public pension funding when I started getting into the details about five years ago was how often the annual benefit payments to retirees exceeded the calculated Annual Required Contributions (ARC) in plans where benefits were continuing to accrue.  Subsequently I saw gimmicks like high interest assumptions, open-amortization methods, and contribution holidays as prevalent and that explained some of it but after reviewing the July 1, 2012 actuarial valuations for New Jersey and combining pertinent results into a spreadsheet this may be single most outrageous number in the history of actuarial funding: $3,021.

Totaling up valuation results for the New Jersey plans you find $8.4 billion in benefit payouts to retirees and the ARC at $5.4 billion which gets that 3/7th reduction on the state portion applied to reduce it to $2.4 billion.  Yet that $2.4 billion is supposedly more than covering the Normal Cost (NC), i.e. the value of benefits accrued for the year, which was calculated to be $1,432,775,566*. Yes that NC is a big number but not when compared to some other big numbers like 474,305 active participants making $27,130,355,762 in salaries.

The actuaries for the New Jersey plans would have you believe that the average participant is accruing a benefit worth $3,021 ($1,432,775,566 / 474,305) and their own contributions more than cover the 5.28% ($1,432,775,566 / $27,130,355,762) cost of those benefits.

I call bullshit.

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.

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* The other $4 billion of ARC is made up of amortizing the unfunded over 30 years.

29 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on March 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    LISTEN WHY NOT TRUST CHRIS CHRISTIE, HE IS THE SECOND COMING!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on March 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    John, Very interesting…..

    That 5.28% ratio of NC to salary is VERY low as one would have expected a figureat lease 4 times that %. So a question …… are you sure the numerator in that ratio was calc from that denominator? Could the denominator include a significant share of salaries form those not yet vested, and for that group are there NC cost included in the numerator (or zero until actually vested)?

    The same question applies to the calculation of the $3021, because the Plan head count (in the denominator of the calculation of that cost) may include non-vested workers not contributing to the numerator in that calculation.

    Reply

    • The salary and participant counts came from the valuation reports. There are participants not contributing but they do have benefits and there aren’t that many of them. It’s the PERS number that drags down the average to laughable levels and on the Local side of PERS there is reference to a Benefits Enhancement Fund that subsidizes a portion (20%) of the Normal Cost but that still leaves an average NC around $2,000 per participant under PERS. The PFRS and Judges NC however look reasonable.

      It would be interesting to audit a few factors though I doubt anyone at the state would be capable of doing that, even if they were so inclined.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        I looked at the PERS and Teachers #s in your spreadsheet, It’s hard to fathom how such low NCs could accumulate to a lump-sum at retirement sufficient to provide for the substantial promised pensions. Perhaps (for these two groups ) they are assuming very high turnover and high contribution offsets from non-vested terminators.

        Reply

  3. Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I will retire as a NJ public school teacher on July 1, 2013. My Final Average Salary after 46 years in the classroom is $90,900. I am 69. My maximum retirement allowance (single life option) is calculated as follows: 46 X .0167 X 90,900 = $69,829 per year for my lifetime only. All payments cease upon my death.

    8.5 is the age 69 Reserve Factor. We multiply 8.5 X 69,829 = $593,546 = Required Pension Reserve.

    Now let’s see if a constant 13 percent of my salary (8 percent by my employer (taxpayer) and 5 percent by me) would cover the needed $593, 546. Years of contributing = 46. Investment Return = 7.0%. Starting Salary = $7000. Annual Salary increases of 6%.
    The value of my account today, if I was allowed to join the Alternate Benefit Program 46 years ago would be $744,189.

    Reply

    • Posted by Javagold on March 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      should have retired a long time ago……and then got another job

      what happens if you die July 2, 2013 ??? (hope not , just wondering)

      Reply

      • Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        All payments stop upon my death. This is a major difference between the Alternate Benefit Program and the TPAF.

        Reply

        • Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm

          Moreover, unless you annuitize your NJ Alternate Benefit Program account balance you are responsible for investing the balance and budgeting your withdrawals during retirement. The balance of the account (if any) upon your death goes to your designated beneficiary

          Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 14, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Joel, Very interesting … a few comments.

      Using a reasonable mortality table, an 8.5 reserve factor at age 69 implies an interest rate of 8.163% (in the calculation of that factor). That is extremely high. While most annuity sellers would use an interest rate closer to 4%, for purposes of reasonableness, and because Moody’s consider 5.5% to be appropriate, your reserve factor (actually the correct term is Single Life Annuity factor) increases from 8.5 to 10.19 (using the same mortality table) with 5.5% interest. The implication is that the $593,546 that you stated that your Plan would need (at the time of retirement) to fund you annuity should more reasonable be about 10.19x$69,829 = $711,561.

      Within an immaterial rounding difference, I agree with your calculation of the $744,189 that would result from 13% of your annual pay (structured as you stated) invested over those 46 years at 7%. The $744,189 is still a bit higher than my restated $711,561, so you are correct that IN YOUR CASE (and assuming no different tax treatment) the DC plan investment would have provided for a slightly greater annuity payment …. assuming you died right on time (at your life expectancy). Personally, the slightly smaller DB Plan payout removes the risk of you outliving a DC lump-sum, so perhaps it’s the better choice anyway.

      Now, something important …. above I highlighted IN YOUR CASE because a 46 year career (and retiring at age 69) in the Public Sector is extremely unusual, an anomaly which makes your pension less valuable (vs the DC Plan option) than that of the more typical full-career worker. Think through the DB vs DC relationship if you were to work until say age 90 and the reason for that should be clear.

      Watch what happens if we make a change more typical of the average worker. Let’s assume a worker works for 35 years (instead of 46), starting 11 years later than when you started, with the same pay in his years 1-35 (as you rec’d in years 12-46) but retiring at age 58. Certainly, that’s a much more typical situation (although even 35 years at age 58 is likely a bit high).

      For this worker, (and using the same assumptions as you did above), and having the same Final Avg. Salary, his DB pension would be 35 x .0167 x $90,900 = $53,131.
      The Single Life Annuity Factor (using the same mortality table as I used above) is 10.384 using 8.163% interest rate (the interest rate underlying your Single Life Annuity Factor of 8.5), and is 13.136 using the Moody’s-suggested rate of 5.5%. In addition, accumulating his pension contributions (using the same assumption as you used) to his retirement date would accumulate (at 7%) to $534,003 (vs your $744,189).

      For this (more typical) worker, the comparison (that is equivalent to the $744,189 vs $711,561 for you) is a DC accumulation of $534,000 vs a DB Plan with a value of $53,131 x 13.136 = $697,929.

      So while in your case, the DB plan falls slightly behind the DC Plan in “Value” by ($744,189-$711,561)/$711,561 = 4.6%, in this worker’s case, the DB Plan falls considerably ahead the DC Plan by ($697,929-$534,003)/$534,003 = 30.7%. To put that into perspective, to wipe out that DB Plan advantage, instead of a total DC Plan annual contribution of 13%, it would have to rise to 16.99%. Still not huge, but with a 1.67% per year of service formula factor, this Plan is of “modest” richness in the hierarchy of Public Sector Plans, many being FAR richer.

      Lastly, you are comparing a DC Plan accumulation with a DB Plan with a Single Life Annuity factor that provides for no COLA increases EVER. While currently (and temporarily) zero in NJ, COLAs are almost universally included in Public Sector Plans while almost NEVER included in Private Sector Plans (whether DB or obviously, DC), so such comparisons in Plan outside of NJ would show a MUCH greater DB Plan advantage.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    TL said: “The employer (meaning Taxpayer) contributions necessary to fully fund (over their working careers) the promised pensions under NJ’s current DB Plans (even w/o COLA) is 3-5 times the 8% under the ABP.”

    TL: WOULD YOU CARE TO MODIFY YOUR TESTIMONY?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      Joel, My comment to that effect was looking prospectively, where future investment earning are unlikely to look like the past 30-40 years. A simple change from that 7.00% future earnings rate to the Moody’s 5.5% (which is more appropriate for investments backing pensions with such strong “guarantees”) changes the the need for a level annual total contribution requirement of 16.99% of pay to 21.83% of pay.

      Also, my comment was not directed solely at the teachers Plan with a per year of service factor of 1.67%. I seem to recall that the Police pension formula factor is just about 2.6%. So for the Police Plan, the 21.83% contribution requirement further increases to a level annual 33.98% of pay.

      So no, overall for all of NJ’s pension Plans, and with the more moderate investment earnings expected going forward, my statement seems quite reasonable.

      These Taxpayer contribution requirements necessary to fully fund these Plans over the working careers of the employees are FAR FAR in excess of what Private sector workers typically get from their employers towards their ownretirements, and with Public Sector workers generally making no less in “cash pay” that their Private Sector counterparts (e,g, what would YOUR Private Sector school teacher counterpart be earning ?), there is no justification for ANY greater Taxpayer-funded pensions or benefits let alone ones that are many multiples greater in value at retirement.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    You have acknowleged that the 13 percent rate for each of the last 46 years was more than enough to fully fund my DB pension starting on July 1, 2013. So if the TPAF was fully funded in 1967 and the 13 percent rate was paid into the TPAF for each and every year since 1967 would we not have a fully funded TPAF today?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Joel, No,because every TPAF Plan participant doesn’t come even remotely close to working full-time for 46 years as you did. I demonstrated that for the more common career, the DC Plan comes up significantly short. And part-time participants in TPAF exacerbate that problem.

      One last thing …

      You are essentially discussing which of 2 PUBLIC Sector Plans provide the Public Sector worker a greater retirement benefit. As a Taxpayer, and since Public Sector workers earn no less in “cash pay” than their Private Sector counterparts, I’m more interested in comparing Public vs Private Sector pensions and benefits. In ANY and EVERY such comparison, the Public Sector worker comes out FAR FAR ahead.

      What justifies that, and why is that fair to the taxpayers …. when WE pay for the vast majority of Public Sector pensions and benefits ?

      Reply

  6. Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    You come to these discussion boards with a pre-determined view—I do not.

    In 1967 the TPAF was fully funded. If an annual contribution rate of 13 percent would have been insufficient for each of the last 46 years would you please tell us what rate of contribution would have produced a fully funded system today?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Joel, I come with a perspective that the root cause of most State’s and City’s and Town’s financial problems and the difficulty funding the current Defined Benefit Plans is the fact that these pensions (and the retiree healthcare promises) are simply too generous … with “too generous” measured by comparing Public vs Private Sector “Total Compensation” (cash pay plus pensions plus benefits). That perspective comes from many years in the financial service industry and considerable knowledge of pension plan design and funding. And, they are too generous because our elected representatives fail miserably in honoring their primary obligation to represent Taxpayer (not employee) interests. Instead, they willingly trade favorable votes on Public Sector employee pay, pensions and benefits for campaign contributions and election support. In any other venue, their actions would be considered criminal racketeering and bribery.

      You come to the table with the common Public Sector perspective ….. I want what I was “promised” (on the day I was hired … plus any UPWARD increases thereafter), and (while you generally don’t say it in so many words), you don’t care that it’s way more than what comparable Private Sector workers get, nor do you give a hoot whether the taxpayers have the ability to pay for it nor what strain paying for it places on town services. And you beat your chest at how “I paid for it” when in reality the workers contributions (including the investment earnings thereon) rarely pay for more than 10-20% of the total cost of the promised pensions. But yes, YOU (because of that 46 years service) likely contributed a bit more of the total cost … perhaps 25%.

      It’s a rare Private Sector worker that hasn’t taken a few financial hits along the way … a frozen or reduced pension (for Future service), a termination of promised retire healthcare benefits, etc. YOUR salary, pension and benefits are mostly paid for by the Taxes taken for these Private Sector workers, so why should you be not only given equal cash pay, greater pensions and better benefits, but better protections for reductions as well? In the Private Sector, it is (for Future Service only) not only legal, but ROUTINE for companies to end or reduce the rate of pension accrual for CURRENT workers when financial circumstances so necessitate, so why are you entitled to a better deal … on our dime ?

      P.S> you are asking for a historical valuation for which I do not have the detailed year-by-year participant data (nor inclination) to do. And again, the discussion shouldn’t be which of two (BOTH quite generous) pension options available to Public Sector workers is the better one ….. buy WHY Taxpayers haven’t DEMANDED that Public Sector pension accrual for future service of CURRENT workers be immediately reduced to a level no greater than those granted comparable Private Sector Taxpayers.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 17, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Your first 300 words prove to us that you come to these discussion boards with a pre determined view.

    You force us to look to your last paragraph for your answer to my quite reasonable question by asserting: “P.S> you are asking for a historical valuation for which I do not have the detailed year-by-year participant data (nor inclination) to do”.

    This single sentence uttered only AFTER you said your piece is simply proof positive that you come to this discussion with a pre-determined point of view.

    Your personal feelings about guaranteed pensions and benefits have absolutely nothing to do with my SPECIFIC question; so please do not reply unless you can prove to all of us that I am wrong when I say: A CONSTANT 13 PERCENT CONTRIBUTION RATE FOR EACH OF THE LAST 46 YEARS WOULD HAVE YIELDED A FULLY FUNDED TPAF TODAY.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Joel, “prove to us” ?

      I think you will find that the majority of commentators on this Blog agree with me. And I have yet to see even one supporter of the status quo (an opposition to pension reform). agree with my very reasonable assertion that Public Sector Total Compensation (cash pay plus pensions plus benefits) should be equal (neither less no more) than Private Sector taxpayers in comparable jobs (of if not directly comparable, jobs worth equal risks and comparable skill sets).

      And should one arise, they will w/o question say that any pension reductions to achieve that should ONLY apply to NEW workers. Again, WHY only apply the reductions to new workers when in Private Sector Plans it is both legal and routine to apply them to the Future service of CURRENT workers ? And PLEASE, don’t give me that race-to-the-bottom- crap when WE pay YOUR bills.

      So please, take a shot at it ……. do you agree that Public Sector Total Compensation (cash pay plus pensions plus benefits) should be equal to Private Sector taxpayers in comparable jobs (or if not directly comparable, jobs worth equql risks and comparable skill sets) and that those reductions should apply to the Future Service of CURRENT workers ? If not, WHY not ?

      P.S. Even a professional practicing pension actuary (which I am not) could not answer that question w/o a great deal of participant-specific census data not available. Trying to call me out on that shows the absurdity of your position.

      Reply

      • Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm

        Is there anybody out there that will tell TL to prove me wrong or keep quiet? May there is a fully qualified actuary out there that is able to prove me wrong.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 18, 2013 at 1:16 am

          Joel, What kind of “teacher” makes an assertion and then demands that someone else prove their assertion wrong? Capable teachers can affirmatively demonstrate THEMSELVES that what they say is accurate ?

          Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on March 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Joel,

    You are wasting your time. Believe me. I had similar “discussions” with Tough Love probably going back almost 2 years ago now on here. On numerous occassions I (and others) proved Ms. Tough Love wrong on her statements and unsupported assumptions but it just doesn’t matter.

    She is a bitter, vengeful person that despises public workers and simply repeats herself over and over and over again with the hope if she says it enough it will become true (she wants public worker pensions slashed and would be thrilled to see the pension system fail like a few other regulars here. If you disagree with anything then she labels that person a public employee or that they have family members that are one. When challenged, she always reverts back to using police/firemen benefits as the standard which are higher than teachers, mun/county and state workers but are not the norm).

    She has hijacked this blog long ago and has driven many away from reading it anymore. Why John doesn’t tell her to cool it I do not know.

    By the way, I’m assuming Tough Love is a woman based on statements made by others that she did not dispute. Still hard for me to believe there is actually a woman out there so meanspirited and frankly cruel. Seriously.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 19, 2013 at 12:17 am

      Anonymous, It would be helpful if you picked an anonymous handle other than “Anonymous” so I might recall our discussion.

      But you sure are right on one point …. I’ll bet dollars-to-donuts you (or a family member) are an active, vested-terminated, or retired Public Sector worker.

      And mean-spirited and cruel ? No, mean-spirited and cruel is the insatiable greed of the public Sector Unions and workers and it’s impact on the Taxpayers and diminishing Public Services.

      Reply

  9. Posted by Another Anonymous Handle on March 21, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Joel,

    LOL…see, she did exactly what I said. I must be “in the emeny camp” LOL

    Who are you kidding about the impact on taxpayers? You mean the taxpayers that have had essentially a two decade pension payment holiday? Yea, the pension payments have been real rough on taxpayers so far. Go ahead, dispute that. Show me all the figures you have showing the horrendous pain NJ taxpayers have incurred over the past 25 years because of employee pensions.

    A vast majority of public workers have little or nothing to do with their union. You probably would not know. I believe many state workers are not full union members but rather “agency shop members”. They are forced to contribute like 75% of normal union dues but they don’t receive many union benefits.You can not be a state employee, with few exceptions, and opt out of the union entirely. I think teachers face the same situation.

    It is not insatiable greed to just go about your job for 30+ years with the promise of a certain pension that was mostly in place long before you started working. That was the deal negoiated by many others. Just because YOU don’t like it and think unions are totally to blame well sorry.. too bad. If you don’t like the deals made by your governors, state, county and municipal officials..oh well. What have you done about it? What? Tell us… we’re all listening! Oh, bitched and moaned on this blog for 2 years. Well, that has been real productive. LOL

    I think the sick and vacation payouts of $200,000 and higher being given to policemen, firemen and school superintendents are outrageous and border on criminal. Who are the idoits that agreed to those contracts? .. almost all municipal officials. I could complain about that for the next two years on a blog… yeah, let’s see where that will get me.

    Grow up. Get a life.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 21, 2013 at 1:15 am

      Hi Anonymous, If you have been reading this blog for a while (FYI, John Bury, the Blog owner, is a NJ pension actuary), especially the articles with numbers, you will note that Mr. Bury believes that:
      (1) within a very few years (3 if I recall correctly):all remaining Plan assets will consist of ONLY the contributions of actives, vested terminators, and the retired who have not yet rec’d all they put in, and
      (2) within 10 years Plan assets will be zero.

      (1) above means that the annual contributions of actives will be going right out the door to pay the very generous (I call them excessive) current pensions of those already retired, leaving little likelihood the actives will get pensions even remotely comparable to what they have been “promised”.. While as a group, they may not be brilliant, but they are not stupid. How long do you think THEY will go for that … and not demand either a DC Plan for themselves (to keep THEIR contributions … exacerbating the remaining DB Plan’s problems) or a pension haircut shared by those already retired?
      (2) above means that (even if pensions remain unchanged until that happens) taxes necessary to sustain the current pensions on a pay-as-you-go basis would need to rise to levels unacceptable to everyone, including the politicians. This will never come to pass.

      By the way, I do not disagree with you that employer (meaning Taxpayer) contributions have been and continue to be WAY less than necessary to fully fund the promised pensions. My “beef” (as a taxpayer) is that the required funding to do so is way too high BECAUSE the promised pensions are way too “generous”, with generous measured by comparing the Total Compensation (cash pay plus pensions plus benefits) of Public vs Private Sector workers in comparable jobs (or jobs with comparable risks and skill sets). With Public Sector workers rarely making less in “cash pay” than their Private Sector counterparts, what justifies ANY greater (taxpayer-funded) pensions or better benefits ?

      I also agree that the workers basically accept the package offered them and do not individually negotiate pay or pensions.. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how the Public Sector Unions have colluded with our elected representatives to trade campaign contributions and election support for favorable vote on pay, pensions and benefits.

      So yes, the primary”fault” for the financial mess we are in (as a result of granting these grossly excessive pensions) lies not with the Unions, but with our self-dealing, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting politicians (who will do just about anything to get elected and then re-elected), it’s not difficult to feel that the Unions should share some of the blame for their endless demands for more, more, and more … knowing that their members already get a FAR better deal than their Private sector counterparts . So if it makes you feel better, my “insatiable greed” comment should mostly be directed to the Unions that represent the workers rather than the workers themselves.

      Oh, and how nice of you to offer ….”I think the sick and vacation payouts of $200,000 and higher being given to policemen, firemen and school superintendents are outrageous and border on criminal.” …. when the promised pensions are a far bigger problem ….. where the taxpayer-assigned share of virtually ALL public Sector pensions (at EVERY pay level) are ROUTINELY 2, 4, (even 5 times greater for safety workers) greater in value at retirement than the pensions typically granted comparable Private Sector worker making the SAME pay, retiring at the SAME age, and having the SAME years of service.

      John, Please correct me if you believe that last statement is not accurate.

      Reply

      • Posted by bpaterson on March 28, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        lot of contentious discourse, but I just want to bring up a couple of issues that burn my hide as a resident and taxpayer:

        1) Even with this huge pension underfunding, NJ is still the highest taxed state, and since the government is actually just a service based on service labor there is something structurally wrong financially. Are we supposed to have even higher taxes by what 10-20% higher. makes no sense.

        2) I find something else is wrong: the public sector unions inside the govt means that there is a monopoly inside a monopoly. Monopolies can easily control prices (taxes) no less 2 monopolies.

        3) Since 2000 public sector was normally getting 4% raises and with the pension based on income, that actually adds to the labor burden another 3%. 7% increases in labor costs is unheard of. That burden on the tax payer doesn’t include health benefit costs that probably doubled in the last 10 years.

        4) The government claims it supplies so much services. Actually, the govt true purpose is to supply roads, infrastructure, security and court system. Thrown in the educational system too. However, it turns out these costs are only part of their whole package of services. Plus those that are using most of the services are not the ones paying for them.

        5) The headwaters of the underfunding of the pensions IMHO can be directly attributable and are inversely proportional to the huge funding of the abbott districts.

        Listed items should be debated of course.

        Reply

  10. Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 21, 2013 at 7:55 am

    It is an indisputable fact that the reason the stakeholders are in such a pickle is because ONE of the stakeholders, the taxpayer did not put a dime into the pension system for 7 of the 8 years Ms. Whitman was our Governor and during the last 15 years, when sporadic annual contributions were made they were not nearly realistic.

    Having said that, the other stakeholder, the employee contributed his/her 5 percent every year for as long as he/she was on the job.

    I blame the unions for this. The 1.67% rate is modest and if the unions went public with this pattern of funding a dozen or so years ago we would not be in this pickle today.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Two points:

      (1) While the taxpayers contributed modest amounts (and sometimes nothing) for quite a few years, on average, taxpayer contributions over the past 30 years are a significant % of the amount that would have been necessary to fully fund a pension with formula and provisions comparable to what Private Sector Plans typically provide.
      (2) You are calling your 1.67% formula factor Plan (a Plan which also incorporate very young full retirement ages, and until recently inclusion of COLA increases) “modest” by reference to other PUBLIC Sector Plans. That’s like a supermodel calling a slightly less attractive supermodel ugly. When your PLAN is rightfully compared to the Plans typically afforded Private sector taxpayers, it is multiples MORE generous, and therefore multiples more costly. Your repeated statement of it’s “modest” level is indicative of the greedy entitlement mentality prevalent among most Public Sector workers.

      Reply

  11. Posted by Joel L. Frank on March 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

    If you choose not to belong to the union you must pay an “agency fee” equal to union dues. This makes the union all powerful—how can the membership have their gripes fairly addressed by their union if they do not have the legal authority to stop paying dues? The unions were much more responsive to the needs of their members when the leadership knew the monthly dues checkoff was at the discretion of the individual member.

    Reply

  12. […] An annual cost of $700 million for about 240 thousand active participants for whom the state is responsible comes to $3 thousand per person, a ludicrously understated amount considering the population [see item (1) above] as I discussed before. […]

    Reply

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