Monkeying with New Jersey Pension Math

Chris Christie held a town hall meeting yesterday where he explained that changes to the New Jersey pension system would need to be made that will cost  “everybody a lot of money” though he skipped over little details like who, when, and how much (presumably because the youtubes aren’t all done yet).  But what he does get, and gleefully professes, are the “sins of his predecessors” who brought us to this sad state in part because they “monkeyed with the math’.

What he conveniently left out mentioning were the revaluations undertaken for the express purpose of lowering contributions, the dodgy actuarial methods,  and the arbitrary contribution reductions (with one outright repudiation) that occurred during his watch.

When it comes to monkeying with pension math in New Jersey Christie is the gorilla in the room.

32 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Hey TL, before you even get started with your lies and inaccuracies, Shut your pie hole!
    Signed the best and brightest ( Chris Christie is one of those best and brightest)


    • Posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2014 at 11:05 am

      New York City public pensions investment returned 17+%, what was the NJ Investment Office return? I believe it far surpassed the pension payments due for 2014-15. The question is if record gains were achieved what’s with the town hall pension drone attacks, is CC creating campaign ads at the expense of stressed public employees? The stock market is providing record gains for all investors and especially large investors like public pension plans, me thinks there are glaring lies, half-truths and omissions from NJ’ s Presidential candidate.


  2. Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I just looked at that video and didn’t find anything that he said to be untrue.

    But yes, he has done what you said, contributing materially to the Plans’ underfunding.

    But who has tried harder to start the process of change than Gov. Christie? Isn’t the REAL problem that our Democratic Legislature is Public-Sector-Union-bought-and-paid-for and will not even CONSIDER the necessary pension & benefit reductions …. if not for already accrued pensions (which granted may be illegal under any circumstances) then for the FUTURE Service of all CURRENT workers?

    All parties know that the pension changes implemented only for NEW workers are TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, and won’t cut it.


    • What was untrue was that Florio increased the funding interest rate from 7% to 8.25%. Internet sources said it increased fro 7% to 8.75%:

      Christie seriously underestimated what it would take to fix the system because he didn’t know any better – believing the numbers and trusting his people had solutions. Corzine knew better (and tried harder) but he wimped out when it got tough.


      • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 11:02 am

        Quoting ….”What was untrue was that Florio increased the funding interest rate from 7% to 8.25%. Internet sources said it increased fro 7% to 8.75%” Ok, I was unaware of that …. just assumed his staff had checked these facts..

        Quoting …”believing the numbers and trusting his people had solutions”. While pension math can be quite daunting, Christie is a pretty smart guy (intellectually) While he certainly didn’t know the detail, I’d bet he knew more than what you are giving him credit for.

        Case in pint….he was originally fighting for a Local property tax cap of 2.5% INCLUDING the increased cost of pensions and healthcare (but not sure if it included the increased debt service). The Unions/Democrats (is there a difference ???) refused to go along, so he settled for a 2% cap EXCLUDING the increased costs of pensions & healthcare.

        I’m not sure if this should be called “caving-in” or being realistic, but it certainly suggests he knew where that REAL cost increases were going to come from.


  3. Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 10:43 am

    He should have said on top of the sins of past state executives, he cut the payments for two years and took out a 2+ billion dollar bridge loan from JPMorgan Chase that he can’t afford to pay back because he overestimated revenues in this year’s budget. NO unlike Detroit can raise taxes and fees to generate revenue. CC should stop making campaign ads at the expense of NJ.


    • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Quoting …”NO unlike Detroit can raise taxes and fees to generate revenue.”

      Why should he …. just so the grossly excessive and unjust (to Taxpayers) pensions (even for FUTURE service) can continue unabated ?

      I applaud his refusal to do so … for THAT purpose.


      • Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

        You are a damn fool to believe Christie, a damn fool. Or else just very desperate.


        • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm

          I don’t “believe”.him, but I absolutely support his goal to bring your grossly excessive pensions & benefits materially DOWN from the stratosphere.where that are today.


  4. Posted by RealRep on July 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Watched the hole “speech” on Loved when someone asked for specifics on the plan. He said there are several plans being considered but he wants to make sure he understands the plan before he puts it out there. He then said I’m not sure about which plan ” but I guarantee the plan will work.” I guess everyone is entitled to a Pelosi moment but does he even believe himself anymore?


    • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Clearly, part of the consideration must be what will have a high probability of successfully fighting off legal challenges. …… you know, challenges associated with the legal protections from change that only PUBLIC (but not Private Sector) pensions & benefits seems to have.


      • Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        Christie promised before he was elected that he had the solution but of course gave no details.. Now all he does is blame his predecessors for his failures and lack of any substantial solution.


        • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

          He HAS solutions ….. either FREEZE further DB Plan accruals or very materially (by AT LEAST 50%) reduce the accrual rate for future Service …. along with elimination or VERY material reductions in retiree healthcare promises.

          But the Democrats BOUGHT-OFF with your Unions’ campaign contributions and election support won’t go along.

          Public Sector Unions are a CANCER inflicted upon society.


          • Posted by Carlos on July 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm

            TL- Answer this as honestly as you can. What has a better chance of happening: My pension being cut by a legislature that was lied to by a governor with an approval rating in the low 40’s or your taxes going up the day piggie is out of office ? My bet is on your taxes going up. TL you need to understand that in life you only get one bite at the apple,one time when the stars are all aligned and your boy piggie fuc*ed that chance up. Maybe you get the last laugh in the end,maybe you don’t. I know I’ll be fine regardless. I also know without a doubt that the day piggie is no longer here to coddle you and protect you the tax hike is coming. God knows the elitists like your self and the tea party group ( all 1000 in the state ) with their don’t tread on me flags will squeal like wild hogs,but in reality they can’t do a thing about it.


          • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 9:55 pm

            Carlos, To be honest, if you are already retired, I would agree that the odds of a reduction in your base pension is not high.

            VERY high is a very material cut to your retiree heathcare subsidy….. likely quite soon Also quite high is a renewed cut to COLAs even if they now get reinstated. Also, for actives, I wouldn’t count on the current pension formulas & provisions staying in place to your retirement.

            I’m not looking for the last laugh …. only some justifiable fairness for the Taxpayers (including myself). Where I believe that you are wrong is thinking that our elected officials will indefinitely remain on your side. I believe that will change and they will throw you under the bus, realizing that the tax increases necessary to keep you happy are not possible w/o Private Sector taxpayers (that still outnumber you and your families) throwing them out of office. Time will tell.


          • Posted by Anonymous on July 24, 2014 at 12:07 am

            Why does anyone give his person ToughLove any attention.

            Can’t you see she is a troll – the best way to deal with a troll is to ignore and not respond to them thereby ostracizing them. It is obvious she thrives on attention and posting here since she appears to have no life. So don’t give her the attention she craves.

            My advice is to just bypass her comments and not even read them since they are all the same bs over and over again.

            Also she has no clue whether Carlos is a state or municipal retiree. If he retired from a municipal employer THEY are responsible for his healthcare not the state and NJ would not have anything to do with what benefits he would get.


          • Posted by Tough Love on July 24, 2014 at 12:21 am

            Well Anonymous, Local as well as State taxpayers are being suckered by the grossly excessive pension & benefits promised their workers. Hopefully it won’t just be the payers of State (income and sales) taxes, but payers of local (property) taxes who eventually demand and end to the Public Sector Union/worker pension & benefit ripoff.

            Dear Local taxpayers ….. do YOU get free or heavily subsidized retiree healthcare? If not, why should YOU pay for it for your town’s workers ?


        • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm

          What YOU think is the solution ….. raising taxes so that your grossly excessive pensions & benefits can continue unabated …. is NOT the solution.

          It’s just a continuation of the decades-long financial “mugging” of the Taxpayers by the insatiably greedy Unions/workers and our enabling elected officials.


          • Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm

            You never paid a dime towards the pensions, but maybe now you will be forced to by the courts.


  5. Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    He promised all public employees including police and fireman that he would not reduce their pensions before he got elected. He said that he opponent was lying when he said he would reduce pensions for retirees and police and firemen. I can find it in print if you would like to see it. He got elected and we found out he was lying. The way you do! But it wont help you no matter how many times you state what you wish to happen and no matte how many times you falsify your numbers to suit your lies.


    • I would like to see it. He is now promising retirees at these town hall meetings that their pensions are secure for 30 years that there is nothing to worry about except bankruptcy but most of the people he is telling that to have already had pension cuts (COLA elimination though that may not hold) and nobody calls him out on it.

      Video link would be nice but anything on Christie pre-election promises of secure pensions would be fine.


      • Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        Here you go…..story and a link to copy of a letter sent by Christie pre-election.


        • Posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm

          John you see it again right? Did it refresh your memory. He would lie to get elected. He would lie to get anything he wants. TL will lie and say it never happened even though it is right there in print and also probably on videotape many times over when appearing in the NJ101 radio station. God help them if they release the tapes!


          • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 10:02 pm

            And you thought a promise to maintain pensions 3x-4x greater than their Private Sector counterparts … and with the workers only paying for 10-20% of the costs to something you could bank on ?

            Really ?


          • Posted by bpaterson on July 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

            To sum up simplistically- our past elected officials during campaigning lied to the residents (ref corzines 10, 10, 10 tax cuts), and CC lied to the public sector (your pensions wont be touched). Since its proven that all politicians lie, should we then guess at who is looking out more for the residents interests?


  6. What Christie should do is what New York City should do, New York State should do, and the federal government should do.

    Cut taxes to the level that actually matches spending on public services and benefits today. And then impose an additional “Generation Greed” surcharge to cover the sins of the past. Here is your income tax liability, and here is your Generation Greed surcharge. Here is your sales tax, and here is the Generation Greed surcharge. Here is your property taxes, and here is the Generation Greed surcharge. Here is your New Jersey transit fare or Turnpike toll and here is the additional Generation Greed surcharge.

    More people will see that than the YouTubes. Of course the Generation Greed politicians would have to vote to enact this system.

    It wasn’t just the politicians. It was a generation’s values. Anyone who stopped selling the future by raising taxes or cutting services has been tossed out in NJ. The corrupt and deceitful have kept their jobs.


    • Posted by Tough Love on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      It may happen indirectly when our grandchildren throw us all under the bus …. and I wouldn’t blame them. Hopefully they will remember the greediest amongst us.


      • Posted by Anonymous on July 24, 2014 at 6:54 am

        Nobody in this forum has even close to the material worth that TL has. Greed is that name! Need I say more. Watch as she protests vehemently in order to protect all she has hoarded.


        • Posted by Tough Love on July 24, 2014 at 8:35 am

          A good understanding of what is happening does not imply wealth. I’m neither poor nor wealthy. …. just an aggrieved taxpayer looking for some justifiable fairness.


  7. Posted by Richard on July 23, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Christie is not just the gorilla, he is the 800lb gorilla.


  8. Posted by Anonymous on July 30, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I think perhaps a lottery soley for public employees might help. 1/4 to winners, 1/2 to the pension fund and 1/4 for administration It can done trhrough payroll deductions as well.


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