Job #1 of the New Jersey Pension Study Committee

Bottom line: lower the state’s required contributions.

How they get there is irrelevant.  New Jersey is budgeted to make a contribution of $681 million in June, 2015.  That number needs to get as close to $0 as possible.

The bad news for the committee is that it is impossible using any rational criteria.  The good news for the committee is that they have wide latitude as to means and their intended audiences are, on the whole, innumerate so any number they throw out there that is lower than $681 million will be accepted mindlessly.

But when one actually looks at the numbers without blinders the real extent of the problem (and the machinations to avoid such analysis) should scare us all.  For example, Governor Chrisite claimed last month*:

.

.
Based on a State Budget Crisis Task Force Report on NJ the total amount of state contributions compared to the ARC made during the Christie administration was $2.2 billion (out of total ARCs of $16.25 billion for the years 2010 through 2014 which comes to 13.5%) so Christie was including the 6/30/15 amount in his $2.9 billion bragging number, though I’m sure state lawyers would reserve the right to renege should another ‘fiscal emergency’ develop.

New Jersey pensions get their contributions from 3 sources (employees, localities, and the state).  Recently I went through the check registries of Union County looking for questionable spending and the data gathered easily developed a history of the county’s deposits into the pension system since 2006.  Those have shown a steady increase in line with the ARC whereas the state’s actual contributions have fluctuated wildly (though never approaching the ARCs):

pension conts

 

Looking at these numbers objectively makes the job of this committee seem impossible à faire but listening to Chrisite makes it seem a fait accompli. How the committee members arrive at this predetermined conclusion will tell us a lot about the people on it (both those who sign on and those who walk away when they realize what is really expected of them).
.
.
.

* A fuller answer is here:
.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on August 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    The pensions can be cut now or cut by an even greater amount later, our only real choices.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Eric on August 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Tough Love:
    Where have you been?
    Eric

    Reply

  3. Posted by Eric on August 10, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Tough Love:
    Maybe you joined the gov’s new committee. I was thinking you were too busy to comment.
    Eric

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on August 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Christie is simply looking for a well-credentialed group to support his Plan. While I will likely agree that we need to do what his Plan will recommend (and far MORE), I wouldn’t want to be a rubber-stamp.

      Reply

  4. Please explain

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: