Pension Panel Parameters

Want to lose weight without diet or exercise? That pretty much leaves disease! (I think that about sums it up)

Dave Letterman

Thomas J. Healey, chair of the ‘bipartisan’ New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission,  had an op-ed piece in the Star-Ledger today in which he gave away the recommendations that his commission was obviously told NOT to make:

Indeed, the options for making the public employee pension and health benefits systems fiscally viable are uninviting. Employees have already made concessions, and a tax increase of the size necessary to fund the escalating cost of benefits (in a state which already has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation) is unrealistic. So is any effort to divert revenues from an already tight state budget.

  1. No higher employee contributions
  2. No new taxes
  3. Nothing from other parts of the budget

That pretty much leaves default!

29 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on September 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Beyond the COLA suspension (which may be reversed by the Courts) the “concessions” from CURRENT workers are near ZERO.

    Material concession means either:

    (a) a hard freeze to their current DB Plans with a switch for future service to a modest DC Plan comparable to what Private Sector workers typically get (3%-5% of pay), or

    (b) A pension accrual rate reduction for future service of AT LEAST 50% … STILL leaving the workers with much better pensions than their Private Sector counterparts.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Endalimony4ever on September 29, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    TL, I love your posts but we know Trenton does not have the political will to undertake any meaningful reforms. The die has already been cast! The plans are going to default and then the real reform will begin. It may be a few years but eventually we will behind all this window dressing and real reforms will take place by their failure! (Both the plans and Trentons failure to act)

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 29, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      I agree. What I am concerned about is that if Sweeney get elected (now that he’s kissing as many Public Sector Union asses as he can find) and together with a Democratic Legislature, even when (not if) Plan assets run down to zero, he pushes to maintain these grossly excessive pension and benefits (on a pay-as-you-go-basis) via MASSIVE tax increases.

      Of course doing so will eventually backfire on those implementing such taxes, but before that comeuppance arrives, it could cost taxpayers quite handily.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        Why should you worry, Christie is such a loyal governor, I am sure he wont leave you in a lurch. When he leaves he will certainly make sure a fellow republican gets elected governor! NOT!

        Reply

      • Posted by truthnolie on September 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm

        Every union and public employee I know (and their family members) will vote Democrat and for Sweeney and ANY democrat running for anything else.

        I know public employees who were staunch Republicans and previously even the thought of voting Dem. was unthinkable…..NOT NO MORE!!! And you have your Emperor Christie, Lord of Lard to thank for that.

        “Of course doing so will eventually backfire on those implementing such taxes, but before that comeuppance arrives, it could cost taxpayers quite handily.”

        And cost you it will…..quite fitting actually since you will then see the years of Christie & his allies screwing over public employees will be reversed and it will be the taxpayers crying “NO FAIR, NO FAIR”…..it was comical to you when PE’s were stating the unfairness of what was being done…..let see’s how you feel when it’s you.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

          It you recall, Gov. Christie pointedly showed the very material taxes paid by NJ richest residents, AND the dire consequences of chasing them away. Backfire it will.

          And by the way, it’s ……….. Not “ANY” More..

          Reply

          • Posted by truthnolie on September 29, 2014 at 11:55 pm

            “And by the way, it’s ……….. Not “ANY” More..”

            No sh&t Sherlock…….I put it that way on purpose, kinda (yes I know it is “kind of”) like in the Wizard of Oz – “Not no way, not no how!”…..You probably aren’t aware of any of that since you spend your life hiding behind a keyboard vilifying public employees and have no sense of humor (except your beliefs and support of Christie which are highly comical bordering on insane).

            Oh….and by the way…it is “IF you recall”, not “IT you recall” as you began the post above you tried to correct me in!…..HAHAHA….love it when instant karma strikes back against a know-it-all moron.

            LMAO!!!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 12:41 am

            Quoting Truthnolie, … “”you spend your life hiding behind a keyboard vilifying public employees”

            Much more accurately described as educating NJ’s uninformed Taxpayers of the enormous financial “mugging” being perpetrated upon them by the insatiably greedy Public Sector Unions & workers, and enabled by elected officials whose favorable votes on pay, pensions, and benefits are BOUGHT with Public Sector Union campaign contributions and election support.

  3. Posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Be careful truthnolie, TL is not going to like what you just said and she will try to get your banned from the blog. That is her new angle. If you dont agree with her she tries to get your removed.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 29, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      John, another example of why you should banish this moron.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2014 at 10:25 pm

        Calling me a moron really garnishes you a ton of respect. And maybe you should read the definition of a blog. If anyone could possibly get banned it would be you for constantly calling people derogatory names. I am surprised how easy it is to pull your strings. I think you really are going to be very angry when Sweeney gets elected and he raises taxes especially on the millionaires.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 29, 2014 at 10:47 pm

          When have you ever said anything useful addressing the SUBJECT matter ?

          Reply

          • Posted by truthnolie on September 30, 2014 at 1:29 am

            @ Anon

            No fear here……I think JB is hip to her trying to moderate and censor speech/ideas of others and to his immense credit he has not acknowledged nor capitulated to her attempts to silence opposing views as desperate as she is to have this done.

            Funny though how she keeps pleading to have viewpoints she doesn’t agree with banned or discredited…..a Christie acolyte and sycophant if there ever was one!

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 1:35 am

            Turuthnolie …. the Anon I have suggested be banished never offers a viewpoint on the subject of the blog … good, bad, or otherwise.

            I’m not requesting that an “opposing” view be silenced, but that an offensive moron (who adds NOTHING to the conversation) be banished.

  4. Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 4:01 am

    She does not tell the truth. period.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 8:20 am

      The following is absolutely true …..

      The pensions granted Public Sector workers are AT LEAST 2x greater in value at retirement than those TYPICALLY granted comparable Private Sector workers making the SAME pay. having the SAME service, and retiring at the SAME age … and that 2x is MOST OFTEN 3x-4x, and USUALLY 4x-6x for Safety workers with the most egregious pensions.

      AND … NJ’s career Public Sector workers get free or heavily subsidized retiree healthcare with an expected value for family coverage of $250,000+ vs a Private Sector employer-provided subsidy of rarely more than $300-$500 annually into a retiree HSA.

      Taxpayers …. It’s it time for this to END ???

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 8:53 am

        The private sector vs public sector benefit argument is stupid. Private sector employees covered by union contracts receive higher/contractual compensation than unionized private sector employees. Private sector employees who negotiate individual employment contracts receive higher compensation packages then private sector workers who are at will. Labor history supports the need for worker protection, then and now. All workers in NJ are taxpayers, the situation was intensified by low/dishonest budget projections by our GovernorChairmanPresidentialCandidate during paid work time. CC so busy blasting Obama about ISIS, he can devise a plan to stop gang violence in Trenton and throughout NJ, so finding budget solutions isn’t on the radar. It is the Governor’s responsibility to raise revenue streams that supports the real budget. This is a fiscally mismanaged state experiencing its own calculated designed by CC depression.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 9:07 am

          Quoting …. “The private sector vs public sector benefit argument is stupid.”

          Stupid ? Why, because it conflicts with your desire to continue the current, grossly excessive Public Sector pensions & benefits?

          Since when does 15% of the working population (the Public Sector) set the standard for “market-rate” compensation? No, the MUCH lower compensation afforded comparable jobs within the 85% of the population in the PRIVATE Sector sets the standard for “market-rate” compensation.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 11:15 am

            Public sector employment contracts are collectively bargained by groups for different public workforce sectors, so your assertion about setting the standard for the nationwide workforce. The contracts set standards for those within the same sector/groups. CC should clip his wings. He needs to address the pension crisis and our disaffected urban possible ISIS recruits commonly referred to as street gangs. He’s the pot calling the kettle names.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 11:49 am

            Anonymous, , that “bargaining” process would work fine (as it generally does in Private Sector negotiations where each side at the “bargaining table” is indeed looking out for THEIR interests).

            We BOTH know that such “negotiations” don’t work that way in the PUBLIC Sector because management not only has no “skin in the game” (to demand the best possible contract FOR THE EMPLOYER-TAXPAYER), but MOST OFTEN have similar contracts (including pensions and benefits) but a bit higher than those granted the rank-and-file, and therefore BENEFIT PERSONALLY by acquiescing to generous staff contracts.

            And YES, CC needs to address the pension/benefit crisis, but via VERY material pension/benefit reductions for the future service of all CURRENT WORKERS, not via tax increases.

  5. Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Is not correct.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      He needs to address the repayment to the unemployment trust fund, the transportation trust fund, urban gang members that could be flipped to ISIS domestic terrorist, women’s health funding etc. do what he is paid to do, solve NJ State problems, once accomplished move on to the other issues.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        ALL of those needs are important and necessary, but there is little money available because the grossly excessive Public Sector pension & benefits promises are like a vacuum cleaner waiting to suck up every incremental revenue dollar that becomes available.

        Freeing up funds for those worth causes DEPENDS ON very material pension & benefit reductions for the future service of all CURRENT workers.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm

          He can raise revenue through taxes and fees, the cost will rise as it does in every sector of the economy. Where is CC’ s economic growth plan, where are the good paying job necessary to boost budget revenue?

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 7:06 pm

            Please provide a “justification” for exactly WHY taxpayers should pay even MORE in taxes and fees (when we already have one of the highest tax structures in the nation) just so that Public Sector workers can get all that was “promised”, when those promises are always, multiples greater in value at retirement than those of comparable Private Sector workers (and all while Public Sector worker rarely make less in CASH PAY alone)… and were granted ONLY because the Public Sector Unions trade their campaign contributions and election support for the favorable votes of our taxpayer-betraying elected officials on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits.

  6. Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    There are many states that based on best practices do not have the fiscal problems exacerbated by CC, he made a bad situation worse, this is his legacy.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Perhaps 90% of the problem was INHERITED from past administrations. It’s the HUGE cost of PRIOR administration pension & benefit promises that are the noose around our neck TODAY.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    NOT TRUE, 90 percent was not inherited. more like 90 percent was created by CC. that is much closer to the truth.

    Reply

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