Why a Pension Study Commission?

Mark J. Magyar at NJSpotlight reports today:

Christie has been promising a plan to cut the state’s growing $90 billion unfunded liability for future pension and retiree health benefit costs for months, going all the way back to his February 25 budget address.


Christie promised to unveil that plan by the end of this month and, indeed, Republicans who met with Christie administration officials told NJ Spotlight that the plan was almost finished and would be unveiled either in late August or early September.

“Obviously, whatever plan Treasury came up with didn’t meet the governor’s political needs,” said one Republican who asked not to be identified. “That’s when he decided to go to a commission.

“This issue is more difficult and complex than I expected it would be,” Christie said in Parsippany on August 2 after signing the executive order creating the commission. “I came to the conclusion that I wanted outside help to come and give me some advice before I made a proposal. It’s no more complicated than that.”

Actually it’s a whole lot less complicated than even that.

The Commission is headed by Thomas J. Healey who coauthored a 2012 policy paper on Underfunded State Pensions that includes New Jersey in the Progress Anecdotes chapter (pages 43-4) for the 2011 reforms that have since unraveled.  The recommendations in that paper:

pension solutions
These are the recommendations Christie expects to get from this commission but noticeably missing from the list, aside from the legality of these proposals (i.e. taking away COLAs), is:

10. Make your damn contributions based on real-world numbers.

which is the last thing Chrisite wants to hear….and he won’t from this commission.

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on August 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

    John, Your #10 would be no problem at all if the taxpayer-funded share of Public Sector Pensions (AND benefits) was targeted to be EQUAL TO but no greater than the employer-provided cost of retirement packages granted comparable Private Sector workers.

    It’s a VERY simply problem …. Public Sector workers are greedy and want MORE (a LOT more), and our bought-off legislature has accommodated those demands in exchange for campaign contributions and election support.

    THAT needs to end …. and be reversed for all CURRENT workers.


  2. Where is…. dropping retiree medical in place of what we ‘all’ get…..pay for own Medicare and ‘gap’.?
    ‘..career average,,,,’ is well worded.


  3. Posted by Anonymous on August 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    TL you are the greedy one! very greedy at that! you try to hide by taking the spotlight off of yourself. how was your stay at the rehab center


    • Posted by Tough Love on August 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Greedy ?

      Why, because I strongly protest grossly over-compensating Public Sector workers with (in comparable Private Sector jobs) who mostly receive EQUAL cash pay, but free or heavily subsidized retiree healthcare that VERY few in the Private Sector get, and pensions with a value at retirement ROUTINELY 3-4 times that of their Private Sector counterparts ………. and with 80-90% of the total cost paid NOT by the workers own contributions, but the responsibility of the Taxpayers.


      • Posted by Anonymous on August 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

        All gross exaggerations and lies. No matter how many times you repeat it, it wont make it true. John is the expert and you are against everything he recommends.
        Why, because you are a self serving greedy millionaire. It is as simply as that. It wont work though because you will be forced to pay your fair share some day soon! You are frightened because you may lose some of your precious fortune. The clock is ticking!


        • Posted by Tough Love on August 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm

          Please state EXACTLY what I have said that are “exaggerations and lies”.

          I will respond, and we can debate any issue you wish to address.

          Up for it ?

          And if you read John’s posts carefully, he and I are 75+% on the same page as to the depths of the problem and what would be needed to even attempt to fix it. He just focuses more on “funding” (because he is rightfully pissed at the actuaries who have abrogated their responsibilities), while I go a step BACK (to what I see as the ROOT CAUSE of the problem), the grossly excessive pensions and benefits promised all Public Sector workers …. the Taxpayer-assigned share of the cost of which is always MULTIPLES greater in value upon retirement ththe pensions granted COMPARABLE Private Sector workers.


  4. Posted by Anonymous on August 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    You really love to decide what other people think. You like to put words in their mouth.
    You have no right to speak for others yet you feel entitled. You constantly disagree with his opinions and solutions. Ask him point blank if he agrees with you 75 percent of the time! You love to believe your own lies. You are ridiculous in your claims but why wouldnt you be, You are a self proclaimed alcoholic. As long the alcohol keeps flowing in your veins, we will expect the horse crap to continue to flow out of your mouth.


    • Posted by Tough Love on August 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      I’m waiting for you to tell me EXACTLY what I have said that are “exaggerations and lies”………..


  5. Posted by Anonymous on August 11, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    As soon as you give me the 75 percent of your ideas that John agrees with you on. We can ask John if he agrees with 75 percent of what you say. You say that he ONLY focuses on funding because he is pissed at actuaries. That is an utterly ridiculous statement, but no surprise because you consistently make these type of statements with no basis and also use percentages to uphold your conclusions. Didnt you learn in high school that percentages lie? That is why Christie is so good at using percentages. he claims he put 20 percent more money into the pension system than any other governor. That is an extremely misleading statement. In other words if Corzine put in 1 billion but the payment due was only 1 billion than he put in 100 percent of the payment due. If Christie puts in 1.2 million but the payment due was 6 billion, then Christie made a larger contribution in overall but alot less of what was due. However Christie implies which is untrue even though he causes the entire system to go further into debt more than any other governor. He conveniently blames that on previous governors. This is a waste of time because we both know you are a greedy millionaire who doesnt want to pay your fair share.


    • Posted by Tough Love on August 12, 2014 at 12:16 am

      Clearly you are a public Sector worker …. I just hope they don’t lets nitwits like you carry a gun.


  6. Guys, Real problems are Volume overwhelming old systems logic, too late understanding 8th grade arithmetic, and NJTV (8/11/2014) using prosperous examples of retired , (home prop tax $14,000) .teachers in AARP interviews complaining of their, delayed again, $500 property tax rebates to pay medical bills covered by NJ retiree insurance.,
    Rarely, do we see news of downtrodden who really need relief.


    • Posted by Tough Love on August 12, 2014 at 12:47 am

      skip3house, Pretty much on the money ……

      For your thoughts, see THIS article:


      And particularly the 2-nd comment time-stamped …. Posted by dino125 on August 11 at 7:40 AM. Quoting the comment:

      “How long are people going to put up with these attempts by the “haves” (read Goldman Sachs et.al.) to take away a paltry pension from the “have nots.” The solution to this crisis is to raise taxes and to pay the state’s required pension payments. This will not drive people (the “haves” ) from the state, a NYC analysis has already debunked that claim. And to call this commission fair is like calling Willie Sutton a bank examiner.”

      This comment very accurately summarize the twisted/entitled mindset/mentality of Public Sector workers.

      First consider the breakdown … 15% of all workers are PUBLIC Sector workers and 85% are PRIVATE Sector workers. And of the 85% of PRIVATE Sector workers, perhaps 10 % are wealthy (with family incomes of $200K+) and 1% are very wealthy (with family incomes of 500K+). Yet dino125 thinks that THEY (the 15% PUBLIC Sector group) are the “have nots”…….. apparently calling EVERYONE ELSE (not just the 10% and 1% wealthy and very wealthy) the “haves”.

      Hey… EARTH to dino125 ….. the 15% PUBLIC Sector PUBLIC Sector group makes in both earnings and especially in TOTAL COMPENSATION (cash pay + pensions + benefits) WAY WAY more on average than the 85%-10%=75% of all workers who are PRIVATE Sector workers, but NOT wealthy. THEY, not you are the “have nots”. While the wealthy (and especially the VERY wealthy) are perhaps the “super-haves”, when Public Sector workers are compared to Private Sector as a a group YOU (PUBLIC Sector workers) are the “haves” and the vast majority of PRIVATE Sector workers are the “have nots”…… and YOU want THEM to pay for 80-90% of your pensions, now 3-4 times greater than what they typically get from their employers.

      Are the majority of Public Sector workers just dumb, or do they just blindly believe the garbage their Unions feed them ????????


  7. Lets not forget about the Murphy Report, which was done in 2005 by Acting Governor Cody. This was a commission to study the same crap, and look where this got us. You can see a copy on the blog http://www.pension-gate.blotspot.com

    Here is a direct link to the study>>>>http://www.sec.gov/news/studies/pensionexamstudy.pdf


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