New Jersey Pension Payment Is Toast

$800 million (and counting) to be made up by June and a $1.6 billion pension payment not ‘off the table’ and part of a ‘menu of options’:
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The propaganda campaign has started and, as reported, it is particularly distasteful this year:

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), the ranking Republican on the Assembly Budget Committee, said April was a bad month in states all over the country because of changes Congress approved last year for the federal tax code. To avoid a higher tax rate that kicked in last year, many wealthy earners moved their taxable income to a prior year to save money, O’Scanlon said. Estimating how much money moved around like that is “phenomenally difficult,” he said.

“If we’re faced with making a change to our pension payment vs. life-saving health services for people, well, I would hope that even union members would have the decency to say, ‘Okay, it’s fair, let’s talk about making adjustments to the pension payments,'” O’Scanlon said. “There’s nobody that’s more committed to making the pension payment than me. I’m there. But this is an unprecedented moment and we all have to come together and deal with it and move on.”

What about facing a choice between making the pension payment and keeping all the David Wildsteins and Paul Singers in jobs and contracts?  Are your priorities to keep them off the table?

56 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by FormerJerseyan on April 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

    “What about facing a choice between making the pension payment and keeping all the David Wildsteins and Paul Singers in jobs and contracts? Are your priorities to keep them off the table?”

    This is a strawman argument worthy of the master himself, Barack Obama. Do you really mean to say that if the State stopped spending money on political hackery and cronyism, this would free up 807 million dollars this year? 1.2B the following year?

    I look forward to the flying sparks in the upcoming budget debate, but think it is far more likely the money is taken from property tax relief. Christie is like George Armstrong Custer, surrounded by hostile savages (i.e., Democrat legislators). He can use the line item veto to cut programs savagely to make his point. But no way property tax relief emerges unscathed. I would also look to a steep reduction in aid to municpalities, in which case the swiss cheese cap on property tax increases goes out the window. Then the great circular firing squad, in which everyone points the finger at the other ensues and even more people move across the Delaware out of NJ.

    My brother and his family will be next to join me, in that regard.

    Reply

  2. Posted by FormerJerseyan on April 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

    BTW, do you dispute the Governor’s figures about how much of every dollar goes to public worker retiree benefits and current worker benefits?

    Reply

    • I only know he claims more is going to retirees but I have not seen any figures. Actuarially all the money is going to retirees who, at $9 billion annually in payouts, have a value of benefits much larger than the $76 billion claimed to be in the fund (including employee contributions). In theory when you retiree that actuarial value should be there upon which to draw for your payouts. It’s not so we essentially have a Ponzi scheme and everything being put in is going to current retirees.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on April 30, 2014 at 2:18 pm

        Gov said out of every new dollar. that is where the scam comes in. there are very many new dollars coming in so it cant be as much as he implies! lmao

        Reply

  3. Posted by JM on April 30, 2014 at 11:27 am

    This is unbelievable (well not really I guess) Whenever Krispy’s mouth is moving (except when there is a doughnut in it) he is lying. Most people either do not know or do not want to admit there are both State and Local funds PFRS Local and State PERS etc. I think that this contribution is only for the State funds, the locals have been making contributions (not 100%) but enough that between theirs and the members (who always pay 100% of their share) the local funds are in much better shape when compared to State funds.( I make that statement on auditors reports that I can find) I am not going to debate their accuracy.Maybe it is time to separate the funds and manage them separately instead of one big fund. When Christie says the pension is underfunded by a certain percent he includes the local funds, this actually makes the State funds look better. I say list all the funds separately on a website that can actually be found this way people can see what is happening. That would be called transparency not included in this administrations vocabulary.

    Also I would be willing to bet Christie can’t tell the Feds he is not going to pay the States share of Social Security for workers who are covered.

    He and other governors before him can’t stand to see all those billions sitting there and not stealing them, its just too much of a temptation. I hope the legislature forces him to make the contribution as he promised. He said that would fix the pensions lets do it and see where we stand.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      I cringe when I hear …..”and the members (who always pay 100% of their share)” …. because their “share” is very rarely more than 10%-20%* of the total cost of their extraordinarily generous pensions. Taxpayers are “responsible” for the 80-90% balance (even thought they keep deferring those UNJUST and UNAFFORDABLE payments**)

      * when fully funded (as they should be) over the working careers of the employees and using appropriate plan valuation assumptions (ala what Moody’s now uses in it’s credit worthiness analysis).

      * payments which likely will never be made specifically BECAUSE they are UNJUST and UNAFFORDABLE ……. and because the NECESSARY and JUST solution is to reduce the grossly excessive pension promises for all CURRENT workers..

      Reply

      • Posted by JM on May 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

        Well Tl I will help you stop cringing if I ever mention the employees share again I will insert the words “required by the state” before share.

        I rarely agree with most of your posts as I find them very anti worker, I think your anger should be vented at abuses to the system by those well connected and those who scam the system, I know mine is.

        That being said your posts call for cuts to current workers pensions and benefits, am I to assume that current retirees should be left alone and allowed to continue to receive their pensions. I have been retired for 17 years, my pension is much less (probably 15-20K) than a police officer in my town would get if they retired today (lets please not get into a tirade about retirement age).

        I am also virtually unemployable in this economy as I am over 65 (no social security thanks to the State) I virtually live modestly pension check to pension check.

        Do you think some adjustment should be made to account for higher salaries today lets say a cap on the dollar amount of a pension assuming the State does not go to a hybrid system. I would favor that and a hybrid system as long as workers have sufficient time (at least 10 years) to rework their finances and plan for retirement.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm

          Jm, I believe you summarized your position perfectly with your words …. “I rarely agree with most of your posts as I find them very anti worker”

          Clearly you are saying by that statement that regardless of whether my statements and demonstrations of excessive pensions are correct, you don’t care, it doesn’t matter, and that they should be ignored … because my proposals to begin the long process of addressing this financial mess are “anti worker”.

          Well, they are not “anti-worker” for punitive reasons, but since the WORKERS are the financial beneficiaries of the collusion between the real culprits (your Unions and our elected officials), if paying them less means being anti-worker, then so be it. There are no effective solutions that don’t include CURRENT worker’s pension promises being reduced.
          ———————————————————–
          As to your questions ……..

          If sufficient savings can be achieved by only cutting the FUTURE service accruals of “actives”, then there is lesser justification too cut retiree pensions. However, I’m sure some would argue (since ALL of these pensions are excessive when compared to their Private Sector counterparts) that a retiree with a $100K pension should be cut before (or along with) an active with a $40K pension.

          I’m guessing from your comments that your are a retired Police Officer and retired in your early 50s. If from NJ, and with current starting (25-year service) police pensions of about $80K, it sounds like your annual pension is about $60-$65K, and likely (due to past COLA increases) about 140% of your starting pension (of about $45k), suggesting your final salary was about $75K.

          While your pension won’t (by itself) yield a very comfortable retirement, personal savings should (as are a very necessary part of retirement plans of all Private Sector workers) have perhaps doubled that income. And while police services should allow a younger full (unreduced) retirement age than age 65 which is common in Private Sector Plans, the cost of allowing unreduced pensions before age 60 leads to extremely burdensome Plan costs. Private Sector Plans always include a reduction in the otherwise calculated pension of 4% to 6% for EACH YEAR that you retire before the Plan’s normal retirement age (usually 65).

          As a reference, a private sector worker with a 25 yr career, retiring 17 years ago at age 55, and with a final salary of $75K would likely have had a starting pension of AT MOST $25K (from the most generous plans in existence at that time), and since Private Sector Plans never include automatic COLAs, the few ad-hoc (discretionary) COLAs that might have been granted would have increased that pension to about $30K today.

          To be fair, while the Private Sector worker usually doesn’t contribute towards the cost of their employer-sponsored pension, you likely did, but (although you’ll surely disagree), your own contributions (including investment income) likely accumulated to a sum at retirement sufficient to buy only about 10%-20% of your pension. So a fair comparison …. for an identical work history in pay, years of service, and age at retirement …. would be a Taxpayer-paid-for starting pension of about $45Kx.85=$38K for you vs an employer-paid-for Private Sector starting pension of $25K…. and a current pension of $60-$65 for you vs $30 for the Private Sector worker.

          Unless you could demonstrate that based on experience, education, knowledge, and skill sets, that your cash pay was lower than it would have been when compared to a comparable Private Sector worker, there is little justification for ANY greater pension let alone the multiples greater pension … at Taxpayer expense … that I just outlined.

          And for completeness, adding Social Security to the Private Sector worker’s side would improperly distort the comparison because the worker not only paid for it, but at the pay level for the workers under discussion, it was a VERY poor return on their contributions.
          ———————————————–

          “capping” a pension without reducing the formula will not work well as it will simply encourage workers to retire earlier … as soon as they hit the pension cap.

          A hybrid Plan like that given current Federal workers ….. a 1% per-year-of-service pension plus a modest DC (401K-style) taxpayer contribution would likely be manageable (although still far better than what almost all Private Sector workers get) .. if it applied to not only new workers but to the future service of all CURRENT workers. Taxpayers simply cannot afford to continue granting annual pension accruals for the future service of CURRENT workers based on the current grossly excessive formulas and provisions.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 1, 2014 at 9:34 pm

            Please read a review of actual research on public private compensation in NJ, paying particular attention to who pays more of their benefits, and that was before the law to contribute 1/3 of health benefits for state workers.
            http://www.njpp.org/blog/august-2-2010-rutgers-report-compares...

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm

            Anon, I have read Jeffrey Keefe’s study, and I’m not surprised at his rather contrived conclusions given his well-recognized ultra liberal bent.

            But since I’m sure you won’t believe me, you can read here (see link below) what a few scholars think of the quality of Mr. Keefe’s work:

            http://new.publicsectorinc.org/2011/04/are_public_employees_underpaid/

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm

            Anon, If the link above doesn’t convince you of the serious lack of academic quality in Mr. Keefe’s work, here’s another …. and be sure to read the comments.

            http://www.aei-ideas.org/2011/10/what-a-piece-of-junk-responding-to-the-economic-policy-institute-on-public-employee-pay/

          • Posted by JM on May 2, 2014 at 9:49 am

            Your figures concerning my current pension payment and my salary and the scope of my COLA payments are way off and show a total lack of knowledge of salaries and the workings of the pension. You apparently pull figures out of thin air to justify your arguments. That said I am “out” to borrow a phrase from Shark Tank. LOL

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 2, 2014 at 11:12 pm

            JM, My point wasn’t to exactly duplicate your staring or current pension, or exact salary, but to show that under reasonable assumption (backing into your #s) that your pension is, with ZERO justification, FAR FAR in excess of a comparable Taxpayer making the SAME pay, having the SAME years of service , and retiring at the SAME age ….. with the Taxpayers paying for 80-90% of YOUR much larger pension. I believe I accomplished that quite well.

            Pension reduction WILL come, only how soon is not clear.

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 3, 2014 at 8:32 am

            Seriously, you’re posting Heritage Foundation research? That’s not the least bit credible….The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage’s stated mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense”.[2]

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

          Anon, I post original (my own) demonstrations & calculations (and yes, opinions) from an in-depth knowledge of pension design and funding and a deep understanding of the enormous financial impact of the collusion between the Public Sector Unions and their bought-off elected officials. Your comment sources from your being a Public Sector worker/retiree and participating in this Public Sector worker pig-fest and not wanting it to end.

          Here is a very informative video that you (and all reader) should watch ….. it’s 3-4 years old, and it’s gotten a lot WORSE since then:

          Reply

          • This moment has been happening the last 20 years it is time the state pays a pension payment to catch up with past neglect . This is not even a full payment for state . The gov. has to take responsibility for creating a false budget . The workers made every concession asked of them expecting the state to start making full pension payments . The gov. is using his mistakes to attack N.J. pensions .

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      JM,

      Separate Plan information for fiscal year 2013 (and for prior years where it says “View archived actuarial reports”) can be found here:

      http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/actuarial-rpts.shtml

      Reply

  4. Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 11:54 am

    If we reduced the (currently excessive) pension accrual rate for the FUTURE service of all CURRENT workers by 50% ……. which when factoring in the young full retirement ages would STILL leave these pensions greater* in value than the pensions of almost all comparable Private Sector workers ……. it would begin the long journey to FIX the mess we are in, and lower required payments.

    * and even much more so if the COLAs are reinstated

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on April 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      thank you adolph hitler

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm

        That was nasty …..and desperate.

        Why do you have such a problem with EQUAL … but not BETTER …. pensions & benefits that those (the Taxpayers) that pay your way, especially since your cash pay alone is most often greater than what a comparable job in the Private Sector would pay?

        Yes, why other than just outright GREED ?

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on April 30, 2014 at 8:08 pm

          Adolph,I get less! Not more! What dont you understand about that?! I have told you time and time again. You want to take the little and less away from me. Why wouldnt I compare you to Adolf Hitler, he took away everything from the Jews, Blacks and anyone he opposed. He took away what they had earned. I dont know about other public workers but I am sick you lumping them all together. I got much less pay than both private and other public workers and I am not going to stand by while someone like yourself hopes that I get deprived of the little bit I earned in 30 years. I am really sick you portraying all public employees as overpaid in both their salary and pensions. You are wrong and I am proof of that. For you to say that money I am receiving is not deserved shows your ignorance. Keep on drinking it give you an excuse for making up your own reality. I am certain you will tell me that I am lying. I wish I were!

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 8:39 pm

            Well maybe you get less (cash pay) and maybe you don’t. From what I’ve read Public Sector workers claiming that they make less in cash pay likely have an over-sized sense of self-worth.

            E.g., Public Sector IT workers often compare their pay with salaries at premier firms like Google, Facebook, etc., thinking those firms would be banging down their door for the opportunity to hire them.

            Really?

            Such firms look for entrepreneurial risk-takers who thrive on and are energized by difficult challenges and over-nighters (with no additional pay) … the antithesis of Public Sector workers with the mindset of cradle-to-grave security and overtime the moment the clock strikes 4:30PM.
            ————————————————————-

            And I ONLY look to take away from Public Sector worker compensation (whether in pay, pensions, or benefits) that which likely would NOT have been granted in the absence of the collusion between your Unions and out elected officials. And not knowing exactly what amount that is, an appropriate and reasonable estimate of that excess (if any) can be achieved by comparing Public Sector “Total Compensation” (cash pay + pensions + benefits) to that of Private Sector workers in comparable jobs. Such comparisons (when fairly done and not influenced or funded by those with a vested interest in specific outcomes) most often show reasonably close cash pay (in most occupations) but FAR FAR greater Public Sector pensions and benefits. So THAT’s where Taxpayer reductions efforts justifiably should be focused ….. via very material pension & benefits reductions for all CURRENT workers ….. the eliminate that excess.

            And while in your specific case there may be no such excess that rightfully should be taken away, in the vast majority of cases, I believe such excesses not only exist, but are quite material.

            The Taxpayer are fed up with being the suckers in this equation.

    • Posted by Jack on April 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      They should already be cut–the state uses about 5% annual wage growth in salaries, even though there is a 2% cap. Completely cooked the books.

      The ratings agency impacts bond holders. The state would never not make a bond payment–but no problem not making pension payments. We can see which will have the priority when the state has out of $–based on Detroit and the California bankruptcies–pensions will come first.

      Reply

  5. Posted by truthnolie on April 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Below is text taken directly from the Chapter 78 bill that was passed & signed into law.

    Read it & weep haters (and get ready to pay up). Oh……and sorry for such a long winded post – please don’t confuse me with Tough Love (that shouldn’t be possible anyway…mine are full of facts & well thought out arguments instead of jealous, delusional ravings):

    “One section of the bill provides that each member of the TPAF, JRS, Prison Officers’ Pension Fund, PERS, Consolidated Police and Firemen’s Pension Fund, PFRS, and SPRS will have a contractual right to the annual required contribution made by the employer or by any other public entity. The contractual right to the annual required contribution means that the employer or other public entity must make the annual required contribution on a timely basis to help ensure that the retirement system is securely funded and that the retirement benefits to which the members are entitled by statute and in consideration for their public service and in compensation for their work will be paid upon retirement. The failure of the State or any other public employer to make the annually required contribution will be deemed to be an impairment of the contractual right of each employee. The Superior Court, Law Division will have jurisdiction over any action brought by a member of any system or fund or any board of trustees to enforce the contractual right set forth in this bill. The State and other public employers will submit to the jurisdiction of the Superior Court, Law Division and will not assert sovereign immunity in such an action. If a member or board prevails in litigation to enforce the contractual right set forth in this bill, the court may award that party their reasonable attorney’s fees. That section also provides that the rights reserved to the State in current law to alter, modify, or amend such retirement systems and funds, or to create in any member a right in the corpus or management of a retirement system or pension fund, cannot diminish the contractual right of employees established by this bill.”

    Wish I could highlight but I especially like the

    “The failure of the State or any other public employer to make the annually required contribution will be deemed to be an impairment of the contractual right of each employee. ”

    “The State…….will not assert sovereign immunity in such an action.”

    And, most importantly:

    “That section also provides that the rights reserved to the State in current law to alter, modify, or amend such retirement systems and funds, or to create in any member a right in the corpus or management of a retirement system or pension fund, cannot diminish the contractual right of employees established by this bill.”

    See….I come up with support for my positions while most of you stick with the “mad as hell, not gonna take it” BS but with nothing to back it up.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Wow ,,,, do you also believe in the tooth fairy?

      Reply

      • Posted by truthnolie on April 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm

        Wow…..that’s the best you could come up with……not surprising as anytime you’re presented with cold, hard facts you just go into a diatribe and protest.

        And wow…..do you believe that since the language creates a contractual right for EVERY EMPLOYEE to have the contribution made that, if not paid, EVERY EMPLOYEE can take the State to court for impairing such a right???

        So….instead of making the mandatory contribution that THEY came up with, passed & signed into law the State will wind up paying more in legal fees to fend off multiple individual or class action lawsuits should they try to violate their legal obligation.

        Reply

        • Maybe this is more to do with my experience with Union County but I can’t see the state being worried about lawsuits when the lawyers they will hire are ‘friends’ and the judge they’re going in front of they picked.

          I picture them gathering around a table and someone thinking up the idea of allowing anyone to sue if the state doesn’t make their contributions and everyone having a good laugh. And then they put in that provision.

          Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

          Boy, you’re awfully naive.

          Do you believe NJ’s published “official” Plan funding ratios as well ?

          Reply

    • Posted by MJ on April 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      It says the contractual right can’t be diminished. Im interpreting this to mean that it can’t be taken away but can be reduced. What is your solution to the empty coffers? There isn’t any more money for a wide variety ofc reasons. What do you propose to fix it? What are you willing to see cut?

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 1:47 pm

        Quoting …”What is your solution to the empty coffers?”

        Truthnolie’s solution is ALWAYS the same… Taxpayers pay more … with no upper limit and with no mind as to how unjust the current structure is to the Taxpayers.

        Reply

      • Posted by dentss dunnigan on April 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm

        What of a contractual right being increased ….is that againgt the constitution as well …Acting Governor DiFrancesco late Friday 2001 signed legislation that would increase pension benefits for retired teachers and other public employees by 9%, the Star-Ledger of Newark reported today.

        The pension enhancement bill, S-2450/A-3506, applies to both current retirees and active members of the state�s two major retirement programs�the Teachers� Pension and Annuity Fund and the Public Employees� Retirement System. The increased cost of the benefits will be covered by surplus funds in the retirement systems. Retirees will begin receiving larger checks in the fall, according to the Star-Ledger report.T …….Or does this door only swing one way .

        Reply

        • Posted by Jack on April 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm

          I don’t think the state really wants to be in the position of having to attempt to cut pension. The state would be in anarchy, and rest assured that your taxes will go up far more if that is the case, then if they pay the bill. I’d suggest revoking the 1.57 billion in business tax cuts. They’ve done so much for the state.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/nyregion/christie-gives-new-jersey-firms-tax-breaks-for-short-moves.html?pagewanted=all

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 5:11 pm

            So your answer is keep screwing the Taxpayers and continue feeding the insatiable greedy appetite of the Unions & workers..

            Ain’t gonna happen …………

          • Posted by dentss dunnigan on April 30, 2014 at 5:54 pm

            If they had even the slightest inclination of forcing taxpayers to fork over more money for pensions ,they would have started a long time ago …the best chance for that was Corzine ,and even he was gutless with more promises ….they know the taxpayer is tapped out ,at best the’ll pass some higher rate for the millionaires tax under the guise of pension aid but will wind up stealing that as well …

      • Posted by trutnnolie on April 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm

        Let’s see….cut welfare, stop rewarding those on welfare by giving them more money for popping out more kids, sell off public properties, consolidate public agencies, go after double pensioners most of whom are political pals, cut perks for high level govt administration, senators & assemblymen, legalize marijuana sales, increase gas tax…and might seem surprising coming from me but merge towns & agencies if savings will result… there is NO need for multiple school admin/principals, police chiefs, deputy police chiefs, town councils, boards of ed, etc., etc…..and that’s just a start

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 6:33 pm

          No, the FIRST cuts should be to Public Sector pensions for all CURRENT workers because:

          (1) they grossly excessive by any reasonably measure when compared to what comparable Taxpayer get

          (2) Public Sector cash pay is no less than Private Sector cash pay, hence there being no justification for greater pension or better benefits,

          (3) these grossly excessive pensions are the result of collusion between the Public Sector Unions and our elected officials (or their administrative minions ……. specifically the trading of Union campaign contributions and election support in exchange for favorable votes on pay, pensions, and benefits.

          (4) As I have demonstrated many times, Public Sector pension are always AT LEAST 2x greater in value at retirement than those of their Private Sector counterparts, MOST OFTEN 3x-4x greater, and for safety workers USUALLY 4x-6x greater.

          (5) Many pension enhancements have been implemented RETROACTIVELY, thereby applying to service years PRIOR to enactment of the increase. With ZERO incremental services (or “consideration”) having been provided for this increase, it was nothing but a theft of taxpayer wealth.

          Reply

        • Posted by MJ on April 30, 2014 at 7:59 pm

          Agreed! Gather up your minions and protest to start the reforms there and see where it goes.

          Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm

          Quoting truthnolie … “… and might seem surprising coming from me but merge towns & agencies if savings will result… there is NO need for multiple school admin/principals, police chiefs, deputy police chiefs, town councils, boards of ed, etc., etc”

          Well, here we AGREE in spades. The problem is that such merger actions (in the rare instances when they go beyond “talk” and are actually implemented in the PUBLIC Sector) rarely save much money, and here’s why……

          In Corporate mergers, massive headcount reductions are goal #1, #2, and #3, because anyone with a brain knows, that THAT’S where the savings are. In Public Sector merger proposals that #1 source of savings is most often off-the-table BEFORE serious discussions even begin. Why ? Because as I have seen way too often, the FIRST rule put on the table (to appease the greedy Unions) is that NOBODY will lose their jobs other than by attrition as workers retire in future years.

          What hogwash, why should the taxpayers of cities and towns in financial distress not FULLY benefit from the termination of ALL unneeded workers by laying them off … just as is done in the Private Sector? Our Cities and towns should NOT be a continuing source of employment for workers no longer needed.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 1, 2014 at 12:41 am

            Well, civil service rules & seniority rules in most agencies normally result in those with the least seniority (read: lowest paid) getting laid off – with police depts this results in less manpower on the streets while the brass sit in their ivory towers As you state, normally high level appointments stay until they want to leave (and , absent a crime, etc. will never lose their jobs) but attrition will help somewhat and seems to be the only solution in those cases

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2014 at 12:56 am

            Anon,

            Only solution my foot. Outsource everyone …with police the last to go. Hire contract workers for everything.

            No employees means no further growth in pension and benefits.

  6. Posted by Javagold on April 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Let’s just say online gambling will bring in $888 million and sign the budget.

    Me I would choose whatever option collapses the pension ponzi fraud the fastest.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      If “collapse” means pension cuts, not tax increases, I second that motion !

      Reply

      • Posted by FormerJerseyan on May 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm

        All the legislature has to do is what they are doing – nothing, until there is no money left to pay benefits to current retirees at their current levels. At that point, the governor can simply start paying based on a pro rate reduction to current retirees without any act of the legislature at all.

        The Supreme Court can not compel the state to tax the populace.

        The Federal and State constitution forbid the state from passing a law impairing a contract, but when the benefits themselves are so expensive that the money runs out, then there is no need for the legislature to act at all. The impairment was done by the plans themselves!

        Reply

  7. Posted by JM on May 1, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I am pretty sure this was no big surprise to Krispy Kreme. The payment set up as it is is meant to be tampered with under this “emergency”. I would like to see the required contributions to pensions made on a quarterly if not monthly basis just like social security payments to the Feds. Also maybe we should chip in and buy the treasurer a calculator as he always seems to be way off on figures.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on May 1, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Outsourcing–what a joke. A cesspool of graft, theft, no-show jobs. Our current system was setup by our forefathers with an expectation of fairness, honesty, and integrity.

    John–I like the board, but you need to reign in TL, he’s taking it over. I grow tired of the same rant over and over.

    Reply

    • Posted by dentss dunnigan on May 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Actually outsource would save towns a bundle .Why can’t we have competitive bids from companies to pick up our leaves ,mow the lawns of muni buildings …or even schools custodians .AS for police in most small towns police don’t stop crime they show up afterward ,or give out tickets ….we have cameras that can do that .

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Anon,

      Sounds more like you have a problem with honest dialog and honest criticism of a rapidly failing structure .

      Of course, your view is swayed by you (very likely) being a participant in, benefiting from, and not wanting the CURRENT-employee pension reductions we so desperately need.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

        Does anyone think Christie would freeze the pensions? It might be his only legit way out.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on May 3, 2014 at 8:35 am

          Pensions cannot be reduced. Moreover, if you reduce pensions then the state would have to pay them, currently they’re being paid for by the workers.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 3, 2014 at 9:13 am

            Well, you got one part right….

            The pensions NOW being paid to CURRENT retirees are mostly coming from the contributions of current “actives”. Why THEY (the “actives”) allow those who retired before them to steal their contributions which assuredly will result in material reductions to THERE OWN pensions, bewilders me.

            Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

          • Posted by truthnolie on May 5, 2014 at 12:41 am

            “The pensions NOW being paid to CURRENT retirees are mostly coming from the contributions of current “actives”. Why THEY (the “actives”) allow those who retired before them to steal their contributions which assuredly will result in material reductions to THERE OWN pensions, bewilders me.”

            Shows again how clueless you are…..CURRENT retirees also paid into the system before THEY retired so they were paying into the system for years. You make it sound like “actives” are paying gratis into something for retirees without mentioning that they (retirees) ALL did the same prior to retiring……most likely an attempt on your part to once again confuse the issue and be divisive but, as usual, I’m sure you won’t let the facts get in the way.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2014 at 1:42 am

            Truthnolie, Your clueless. Even FULL career retirees use up ALL of their own contributions in the first 3-5 years of their retirement. Do you think the tooth fairy is paying for their retirements now ?

            “Facts” …. you wouldn’t recognize one if it fell on your head.

          • Posted by truthnolie on May 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

            Sigh…..Apparently you see a pension plan as somewhere that money is to be put stagnantly just to hold and then the retiree takes out whatever he/she put in over the years. That’s not the way it is supposed to work.

            What is lost on you is that this money is supposed to be invested and MAINTAINED by the plan/state so it grows….it becomes the retiree’s 401 K.

            However, over many years the State not only didn’t pay into the plans as required (while no employee ever missed paying their share). Not only that but the state “borrowed” (read: “stole”) from the plan thereby undermining it.

            In fact, that could make a great class action lawsuit if it comes to it – that the state either PURPOSELY or NEGLIGENTLY underminded the plans by their failure to make the payments and/or take from it.

            Wonder how you’d feel if your 401K institution took out a large portion of your money to use with the promise to put it back but then reneged…..I’m sure you’d be ok with that…..lol..

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

            truthnolie, Wrong again …

            While the State certainly has not contributed it’s “share” (which is effectively everything and anything necessary to fully fund Plan promises in excess of your own tiny little contributions of 10%-20% of total Plan costs), it’s a “share” of the huge total cost of grossly excessive promises granted only via the collusion of your Unions and our bought-off elected officials. Everyone with a brain knew they were ALWAYS too generous and hence too costly to fully fund using appropriate assumptions and accounting methodology.

            And …not one dime has ever been withdrawn (or “stolen”) from Plan assets by the State. Your Unions keep perpetrating that myth from the Gov. Whitman years. While the Taxpayers got screwed by her stupid deals, your pension Plans BENEFITED from them as the recipient of the Pension Bond Sale proceeds…. hence INCREASING Plans assets….. with the TAXPAYERS responsible to pay off the Bonds.

            Educate yourself instead of blabbering about which you know very little.

          • Posted by truthnolie on May 5, 2014 at 11:05 pm

            Don’t know why I bother since you seem to dense with a one track mind to understand the basics but go here and read:

            http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/but-the-pension-fund-was-just-sitting-there/32735

            Oh…..and I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever be able to get into you head about what has gone on…..it’s not really your fault….everyone knows a woman’s brain is smaller than a man’s

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm

            truthnolie, you really ought to learn how to better comprehend what your read

            From the article you linked, yes, tax revenue that in past years would have been contributed to NJ’s pension Plans wasn’t, but that was BECAUSE a MUCH LARGER contribution (the Bond Proceeds I mentioned in my earlier comment) was made in lieu of the direct State contribution ….. and as I said earlier, the pension plans BENEFITED (with Whitman screwing not the Plans, but the Taxpayers since THEY, NOT the Plans, were on the hook to repay the Bonds).

            Now let’s go back to your exact comment (the subject of this last back-and-forth). You said…

            “However, over many years the State not only didn’t pay into the plans as required (while no employee ever missed paying their share). Not only that but the state “borrowed” (read: “stole”) from the plan thereby undermining it.”

            You said “borrowed” and then “stole”. Clearly those words mean REMOVED FROM. So please tell us EXACTLY (from any link you can muster) what funds were ever REMOVED FROM NJ pension Plans other than for intended purposes.

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