CF11: Conclusion

The Christie-Freeze roadmap to pension reform in New Jersey got the destination right (get rid of defined benefit plans since the political/actuarial cabal here undermines funding) but their directions take you over impassable terrain:

  • The constitutional amendment allowing the benefit accrual freeze (which is what it will be despite the emphasis on that part about guaranteeing the contributions) will not get on the ballot since the Democratically-controlled (i.e. union-controlled) legislature will not allow it
  • Cost savings in health benefits at the local level are impossible since the people who control that profit center also control many of the politicians

Based on my experience of the territory I would have gone another way:

  • terminate the defined benefit plan immediately
  • return all employee contributions over time
  • adjust all benefits to the level of remaining assets
  • pay off underfunding to the extent of savings from real reforms:
    ……a) barring all campaign contributions (or at least taxing them out of existence); and
    ……b) eliminating county government
  • set up a new Defined Contribution plan at appropriate (and transparent) benefit levels

Not a route likely to be taken willingly, especially by those comfortable with where they are for now, but preferable for most of us to the inevitable slow death alternative.

42 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Quoting …. “The Christie-Freeze roadmap to pension reform in New Jersey got the destination right (get rid of defined benefit plans since the political/actuarial cabal here undermines funding) …………. ”

    John, Sorry, but when you make incomplete (cause & effect) statements, it’s NOT helpful. A more accurate way to state that would have been …

    “The Christie-Freeze roadmap to pension reform in New Jersey got the destination right (get rid of defined benefit plans since the political/actuarial cabal here has promised WAY more in Pensions & Benefits than is necessary, just, reasonable, fair to taxpayers, or affordable, making it impossible to adequately fully fund such excessive generosity w/o significantly higher taxes or reductions in essential services),….,”

    ROOT CAUSES (“excessive generosity”) are importance to identify. CONSEQUENCES (the inability to adequately fund), FOLLOW FROM those Root Causes.

    ———————————

    That said, I agree with all that followed ……. but believe that your (very good) suggestions would have en even smaller chance of being implemented.

    Upon hitting zero Plan assets, I still fear that NJ’s judges (who won’t want to lose their own pensions) may order pay-as -you-go funding … at least until the taxpayers revolt.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      TL, I have a serious question, how many times have you contacted the governors office to voice your concerns and offer you solutions. I bet zero.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        How many times have YOU posted “constructive” comments ?

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2015 at 10:20 pm

          I suppose the one I just posted was constructive, although you might not think so. Therefore it has to be either 1 time or ZERO! I guess you dont believe in going through the proper channels or you just have no faith in your elected officials. So why you believe you are going to be spared from a tax hike is a mystery. I guess it is some sort of defensive mechanism to make you feel better

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2015 at 10:40 pm

            Taxpayers WILL likely experience some tax increases. I would just like to keep that to a minimum, and BESIDES being eminently justified (because of the current gross excesses), that requires very materially reducing the FUTURE service pensions and benefits of all CURRENT workers ….. just as Christie’s Commission has proposed.

            You should be glad his Commission didn’t propose cutting back on PAST Service accruals as many financial types with considerable expertise (myself included) doubt that only prospective changes will be sufficient without unacceptable service-level reductions and/or unjustifiable (and counterproductive) tax increases.

            FUTURE Service cuts only stop the digging of the financial hole we are in even deeper, but doesn’t address where the revenue to pay for PAST Service accruals will come from. That’s why Commission is calling for very material across-the-board healthcare reductions. Since healthcare is now funded on a pay-as-you go basis, the annual “savings” from material cuts in healthcare could be applied to fund the PAST Service accrual asset shortfall.

  2. Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    “return all employee contributions over time”

    LOL…Yeah,ok that sounds really good- NOT!!!!- Are you gonna calculate whatever interest could have been gained and compounded over the years if it had been in a 401K and return that money too??

    Wonder how whiners & crybabies like Tough Love would act if their 401K balances were stripped just to their contributions and returned to them with a “well, we tried” apology.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      Considering that over your entire career, ALL of your contribution (INCLUDING the investment earnings thereon) RARELY accumulate to a sum at your retirement sufficient to buy more than 10-20% of your absurdly generous pension, a refund (with interest) would be a PITTANCE compared to the taxpayers actually having to fund these absurd promises.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2015 at 7:14 pm

        Just like I figured. Attacking people because of your envy but no comment about you having your 401K stripped only to what you contributed and returned to you (that is if you even have a job – judging by the amount of time you spend posting your jealous rants you probably don’t).

        Not surprising in the least.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2015 at 8:08 pm

          The TYPICAL Private Sector 401K is at a worker’s retirement VERY likely between 5% and 20% of the value of the TYPICAL Public Sector pension ….. even for those who have regularly saved.

          I’ll GLADLY give up the same PERCENTAGE as you.

          Reply

          • Posted by truthnolie on March 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm

            “The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring.”
            Victor Hugo

            “Whoever envies another confesses his (the other’s) superiority.”
            Samuel Johnson

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2015 at 9:38 pm

            Truthnolie,

            If you haven’t noticed I have ALWAYS called for EQUAL Public/Private Sector total compensation in comparable jobs, and with VERY little difference in “cash pay”, there is ZERO justification for either (a) or (b) below:

            (a) Public Sector pensions with a value at retirement (that reflects BOTH the much greater “formulas” and much more generous “provisions” such as very young full/unreduced retirement ages, and COLA adjustment … now suspended in NJ) ROUTINELY 3x-4x (4x-6x for safety workers) greater than those granted their Private Sector Counterparts, and

            (b) Taxpayer-funded free or heavily subsidized Retiree healthcare, benefits that is all but gone as an employer-sponsored benefit in the Private Sector.

            It’s not envy. It’s a call for fair and EQUAL.

            What your problem with EQUAL ?

            GREED perhaps ?

          • Posted by truthnolie on March 7, 2015 at 3:33 am

            Where are you getting this delusion that everything and everyone has to be equal?? WHY?

            Their are private sector workers that make a lot more and there are those that make a lot less. Are you saying Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, etc. fortunes must be equalized amongst the masses too because they have it better than you and it’s not “fair”? Does the head of a Fortune 500 company make more than a mailroom clerk? In your world this would not be because in your mind it is not “equal or fair” (or does it only apply to public workers?)…..What you want borders on communism …..how else would you describe your desire that everything should be distributed equally and everyone has to be kept on a level playing field, getting no more or less than you or others?

            As I’ve said before….you’re beside yourself with jealously & envy because others chose a better career path than you and you can’t stand it.

            Envy: a feeling of resentful discontent, begrudging admiration, or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, possessions, or attainments.

            Deny it all you want but make no mistake about it…..your constant ranting is the textbook example of ENVY.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

            While I wouldn’t really expect all comparable Private Sector jobs to have exactly equal compensation, overall, for ALL comparable jobs, there should NOT be much difference. And right now, with near equal Public/Private Sector “cash pay” (in total for all comparable occupations) but always MULTIPLES GREATER Public Sector pensions & benefits, we have MUCH greater PUBLIC Sector “Total Compensation”.

            Well ……….. there should be because it’s unnecessary and unfair to the Taxpayers (85% of whom work in the PRIVATE Sector) who are forced to pay for it.

            Your insistence that the current structure be continued to your advantage is nothing but greed.

    • Little know fact is that these accumulated contributions are already calculated with nominal interest (about 2%) since people who leave without vesting have to get their money back. An alternative would be to pay it all back in a lump sum but for liquidity it’s better to pay it back over time.

      Reply

  3. Posted by javagold on March 6, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Tick Tock mothers. Tick Tock

    Reply

  4. Who is at fault here ? The lowly worker ? NO If the State would have done their part
    over the years we wouldn’t have a problem, so place the blame where it belongs and
    stop blaming the workers.
    Take a Police officer instance, most seem to think he is overpaid, and I have to agree
    to a point, however, the police officer is the only employee that pays his own salary.
    For instance, if he writes 10-15 moving violations a month he has generated revenue
    to pay his salary and a profit for the State as well.
    So the next time you pick on a police officer remember this factoid.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Duke, No one (at least not me) is “blaming” the workers. The “blame” lies 90% with our elected officials for granting pensions and benefits FAR in excess of what was necessary (to attract and retain qualified workers), was reasonable, was fair to taxpayers (i.e, comparable to what they get) who are TYPICALLY responsible for 80%-90% of total Plan costs, and was affordable.

      Of Course our elected granted these benefits because of self-interest ….. specifically, the trading of their favorable votes (on pay, pensions, and benefits) for Public Sector Union campaign contributions and election support……….. so I’d say your Unions deserve the other 10% of the “blame”.

      But ……….. the workers ARE INDEED the financial beneficiaries of these underhanded deals ………. so that’s where the taxpayers must look to right this wrong, by reducing these promises by the very material share (50%-75% by my estimates) that would not have been granted in the absence of the Union/politician collusion.

      ——————————————-

      P.S. 15 tickets/month @ about $100/ticket = $1,500/month = $18,000/year.

      The “Total Compensation” (cash pay, + pensions + benefits) of the TYPICAL NJ Police Officer (with 5+ years of service) is TEN TIMES that amount.

      In any event, tickets should be given to encourage safe driving, not as a “profit center”.

      Reply

    • Posted by denss dunigan on March 7, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Duke ..:” the police officer is the only employee that pays his own salary.” That is the dumbest and most arrogant statements but also most revealing of state workers .The “if not” for me grand illusion .I’m afraid to inform you that once you write that ticket you have support staff that must process the violation the judge ,then the collection staff .Not even counting the 75K + police car , computer ,and scanners you use but .making a statement is like that is like the salesperson at walmart that sold you your ipod is responsibly for the stores income .Yes they are but a extremely small part.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on March 7, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Politicians count on people like TL to not use the system it was made to be used. there are avenues to submit your complaints and and ideas. There are other candidates to vote for politicians have trained voters to remain apathetic and desperate. The voters will do nothing but exercise their defense mechanism of wishful thinking without any substantial action on their own part. TL is a prime example of this. She will fight vehemently within this Blog, but never lift a finger to write a politician. She has been trained to believe that it is useless.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 7, 2015 at 11:33 am

      If you think my commentary on this blog is so ineffective (and perhaps it is in the overall scheme of things), then why do you spend SOOOO much time and SOOOO much commentary saying nothing but that my commentary is pointless ?

      Worried that others may realize that I’m being accurate and truthful and find it instructive …. and that worries you ?

      Reply

  6. Posted by Javagold on March 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Duke. You Puke. The overpaid ticket writer STEALS from the employer to pay his salary. Only problem it’s a zero sum game and the public parasites have just about killed their host , which in turn kills the parasite. And shooting the employer isn’t going to scare the employer into obeying and allowing the thefts to continue. The Game is just about over.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on March 7, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      The reason is because just like you, at times I have nothing better to do. I am nt worried at all because you dont use the resources available to you to cause the change you desire.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 7, 2015 at 8:36 pm

        If you’re a Current (or Retired) Public Sector worker in NJ, you should indeed be worried. …………… unless you are “rich” outside your your pension and can afford to fund your own healthcare costs.

        The clock is ticking, with ZERO assets but a few years away. Even if none of the Commission’s proposals get implemented, pay-as-you go pensions in NJ will NEVER happen..

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on March 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm

          I will accept that, right after the state defaults on its bonds. As we learned from Detroit pensions take precident over bonds.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 7, 2015 at 11:38 pm

            Quoting … “As we learned from Detroit pensions take precedent over bonds.”

            Not according to US Federal Bankruptcy Court.

            The Detroit workers were “saved” by $850 Million (contributed by wealthy individuals, the State the DIA, and private foundations to minimize pension reductions) to prevent a sale of Detroit’s priceless Art Collection. That won’t happen in other places as it’s VERY rare for a City to actually “own” such a valuable collection.

  7. Posted by Anonymous on March 8, 2015 at 11:07 am

    John:

    As an actuary, you know that many insist that 80% funding of a public plan is fully funded. In addition, I understand that the assumptions in the current plan are for 4.7% annual salary increase over 30 years. Also, that all beneficiaries are married. These assumptions are massively incorrect. For instance, someone hired at 50k with 2.5% salary increases would retire with a salary after 30 years of 98k. Using 4.7% that inflates to 168k. This is a gross distortion of the pension debt. John–if you could investigate these assumptions it would help shed some light on the scene and create a more balanced perspective.

    Then there are the investment fees, the Exxon settlement, the tax cut for business in the current budget. There is a cloud over the legitimacy of any number coming out of Trenton.

    Reply

    • I agree there is a cloud over over every number coming out of Trenton based on their track record (revenue guesses etc) but in the same way there is a cloud over every number coming out of Buck and Milliman but in the opposite way you believe. The state has been lowballing these liability numbers for decades now. The simplest way to look at it is payouts which they can’t lie about. $10 billion being paid out annually to 300,000 retirees with another 500,000 expecting similar if not more. Conservatively the NJ plans should have $250 billion to fund all the promises.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 8, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Responding to “Anonymous” ….

      Quoting Anonymous …”John: As an actuary, you know that many insist that 80% funding of a public plan is fully funded.”

      Anonymous, when you BEGIN your comment with a “myth” perpetuated by those whose goal is to obstruct very clearly needed Public pension reform, any “credibility” you profess to have suffers greatly …….

      The American Academy of Actuaries has published a paper specifically to debunk this “myth”. See the 2 following links:

      http://actuary.org/content/actuaries-debunk-myth-80-pension-funded-ratio-alone-constitutes-%E2%80%98actuarially-sound%E2%80%99-recommen

      http://actuary.org/files/80%25_Funding_IB_FINAL071912.pdf

      Quoting from the last link above:

      Online commentary on “80% Standard”

      Girard Miller, “Pension Puffery—Here are 12
      half-truths that deserve to be debunked in 2012,”
      Jan. 5, 2012,
      http://www.governing.com/columns/public-money/col-Pension-Puffery.htmln

      “Half-truth #4: “Experts consider 80% to
      be a healthy funding level for a public
      pension fund.” This urban legend has now
      invaded the popular press, so it’s about
      time somebody set the record straight. No
      panel of experts ever made such a pronouncement. No reputable and objective
      expert that I can find has ever been quoted as saying this. What we have here is a
      classic myth. People refer to one report or
      another to substantiate their claim that
      some presumed experts actually made this
      assertion (including a GAO report and a
      Pew Center report that both cite unidentified experts), but nobody actually names
      these alleged “sources.” Like UFOs, these
      “experts” are always unidentified. That’s
      because they don’t actually exist. They
      can’t exist, because the pension math and
      80 years of data from capital markets history just don’t support these unsubstantiated claims”

      ——————————————-

      This “myth” has so annoyed some, that an actuary has created a series of “Hall of Shame” posts to “shame” those journalists, politicians, etc. that keep repeating and perpetuating this FALSEHOOD. You can find the LAST of her series of posts here:

      http://stump.marypat.org/article/207/80-percent-funding-hall-of-shame-february-2015-round-up

      You can find her ENTIRE “Hall of Shame” series of posts here:

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id7VUMJwR5vSNONZc-5AT2wkliojghrMlAXXrxFu6Ik/edit?pli=1#gid=0

      And if you think she is a kook, check out her background (particularly her publications): here:

      https://www.linkedin.com/in/marypatcampbell

      Reply

  8. Posted by fouls123 on March 9, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Well as is often said you get what you pay for. and this axiom applies to both private AND public sector workers..If salaries, pensions and benefits were as generous as some people commenting seem to think, people would be practically killing each other to get a state job. I don’t think that is the case. If the politicians and the citizens want to continue down the road of attacking public workers and their compensation, they will find few qualified workers who will have any interest in becoming public employees. It is reaching that point now. Who wants to become the whipping boys for the frustrated , ignorant and jealous? Why not direct your anger at Wall Street and the greedy corporations who refuse to pay a living wage or provide a decent retirement to its workers and instead foster an old boys network of millionaires and billionaires among the top executives only. Why aren’t you attacking them/ If you don’t feel fairly compensated or feel you don’t have as good of a pension, maybe you should have a better pension and public employees are not to blame for the fact that your pension is inadequate. Your frustration is misplaced and the rich who are controlling the public conversation who support the likes of Cchristie and Scott Walker are very happy that they have been able to divert anger away from their robber baron agenda. So people like Tough Love are either part of the rich agenda or ignorant fools who don’t understand that they are being purposely used to divide and conquer the middle class by the richest like the Koch brothers and the Walton family and others who bombard us every day with propaganda about unaffordable pension plans and how social security is unsustainable and the rich are over burdened by taxes. Their wealth grows while the average American takes the hit through lower wages and benefits and the middle class continues to shrink. Keep up the good work Tough Love, you unknowing pawn and the others like you. Maybe if you had a decent union you could get the benefits you deserve instead of attacking other middle class workers and their families.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 9, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      While I don’t know how many people apply for clerical jobs, when a single Police position (and to a large extent DPW positions) opens up, it’s not uncommon to have 500+ applicants. And while the police like to say only a few are “qualified”, I don’t buy it (with likely 100+ really qualified). Calling 498 unqualified and then supposedly struggling to pick one of the 2 remaining “qualified” candidates (usually friends or relatives of current or former workers) is all part of the phoney made-up scarcity of qualified candidates to justify the sky-high compensation.
      ————————

      And quoting …” If you don’t feel fairly compensated or feel you don’t have as good of a pension, maybe you should have a better pension and public employees are not to blame for the fact that your pension is inadequate. ”

      Earth to “fouls123”,………. the 85% of all workers who work in the PRIVATE Sector (where Corporations compete for “talent”) determines “market-rate” compensation, NOT the 15% who work in the monopolist PUBLIC Sector and whose compensation is granted by self-interested, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting, taxpayer-betraying elected officials always willing to trade their favorable votes on pay, pensions, and benefits, for Public Sector Union campaign contributions and election support.

      ——————————-

      My strong advocacy for fairness (not “frustration”) is not misplaced ….. and YOUR self-interested GREED is obvious.

      I’m neither rich nor poor, buy i recognize when I’m being financially “mugged”, and right now that’s EXACTLY what the PUBLIC Sector is doing to the PRIVATE Sector.

      Reply

  9. Posted by fouls123 on March 10, 2015 at 1:51 am

    You have no personal knowledge of me, where I worked, what compensatioon I have received or any other facts about me to claim i have self interested greed. You have no facts to back up that statement, therefore you are making unwarranted assumptions, the same as the unwarranted assumptions you make about the pensions being too generous. You probably don’t even know the pension formulas and the salaries being paid in general to the state employees. But that isn’t important to you. all you care about is how much it costs you. I don’t see you complaining about the cost of goods and services which you pay for daily that are provided by companies paying their corporate executives millions. You won’t find any state employees being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars annually much less millions. Most state employees make under 50,000 a year. And state executives make under 120,000 not millions. But go on, continue your rants if it makes you feel better

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 10, 2015 at 3:03 am

      Sure I do ….

      From Mr. Bury’s 2/17/15 blog post titled “Raise Taxes Quoth the Raver”, we traded quite a few comments, in one of which you stated ….

      “I worked as an executive in a nj prison for 32 very stressful years to get a pension of 38,000 on a final salary of 82000.”

      I just took a look at that thread of comments …… and I wouldn’t change a thing.

      In fact, I challenged your figures then, demonstrating how mathematically questionable they were, and you didn’t even respond. Remember where I said …

      “($38,000/$82,000)/32 = 1.45% as the implied per-year-of-service pension factor. Perhaps that was used MANY years ago, but certainly NOT today.”

      AND ….

      * Your figures questionable … unless you retired LONG ago (with much lower than current pays scales and current pension formulas) in which case you receive many years of COLAs making that starting $38K MUCH greater today….

      AND ….

      (1) you didn’t mention the age at which you retired. Private Sector workers typically retire at age 65. For EACH year of age that you retired BEFORE age 65, your pension SHOULD HAVE (abut assuredly wasn’t) reduced by about 6% … just like Social Security does for early retirees.

      (2) I’ll bet your getting free or heavily subsidized retiree healthcare (for you and your spouse)…. costing taxpayer $20K annually. NOBODY in the Private Sector gets such employer-sponsored benefits any longer, so why should Taxpayers pay for yours?

      Reply

  10. Posted by fouls123 on March 10, 2015 at 2:07 am

    From what I see, the 85% do not determine the market value. The one percent do that for you. and behind closed doors they are laughing at you for not being able to recognize that fact. I feel sorry for you that you are so over burdened with taxes. I pay the same taxes and I am not complaining. and I have to accept the fact that I have virtually no control over the cost of goods and services for which I pay. For all I know you have plenty of income to pay your taxes easily. So are you willing to tell us how much your annual income is and where you work? That information is avaliable to you for public sector workers. How about you telling us what your compensation is while you whine about what others make. You probably aren’t up to such a challenge though are you?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 10, 2015 at 2:40 am

      What I make is completely irrelevant, and while you appear to be a newby here, I’m not and have on MANY occasions demonstrated that Public Sector pensions (when factoring in BOTH their MUCH richer pension “formulas” and MUCH more generous pension “provisions” such as VERY young full/unreduced retirement ages, COLA increases … now suspended in NJ, heavily subsidized early retirement adjustment factors, etc, etc.) are TYPICALLY 3x-4x (more for safety workers) greater in value at retirement that those of COMPARABLE Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age with the SAME pay, and the SAME years of Service.

      I have ALSO demonstrated that RARELY do all of the worker’s own contributions (INCLUDING investment income thereon) accumulate to a sum at retirement sufficient to buy more than 10-20% of their VERY rich pension…. with the Taxpayers responsible for the 80-90% balance.

      And who but “PUBLIC” Sector workers continue to accrue employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits today (often with a value for family coverage typically in excess of $250K) … certainly not “PRIVATE” Sector workers.
      —————————-

      And to say ….”…you are making unwarranted assumptions, the same as the unwarranted assumptions you make about the pensions being too generous. ” …..you’re a perfect example of the insatiably greedy/entitlement-minded Public Sector worker who feels that PUBLIC Sector pensions should only be compared to OTHER (over-pensioned) PUBLIC Sector pensions. Why is that? How about comparing Public Sector pensions to the retirement packages typically granted PRIVATE Sector Taxpayers who pay for almost the full cost of the MUCH greater PUBLIC Sector pensions?

      Reply

  11. Posted by fouls123 on March 11, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I thought you would be too gutless to tell us what your rate of compensation is and what type of work you do. It isn’t irrelevant what your level of compensation is. since you are claiming that the compensation and retirement benefits of public workers is so generous, I would like to be able to compare your compensation and benefits to mine to see if you really can’t afford to pay increased taxes or are you the truly greedy one. But you haven’t the courage to put your information out there the same as public workers are forced to do. Public sector pay and compensation is public information. since you say things should be equal, why won’t you put your information out there for all to judge. No, you avoid the question the same as the politicians you hate. Go on be the coward you are.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 11, 2015 at 2:46 am

      My work is in the Financial Service industry, but my pay, NOT being paid by the Taxpayers, is none of your business. And I’M not the point of comparison, it’s Public Sector worker in a SPECIFIC job compared to Private Sector workers doing that same job.

      And when that comparison is made, “wages” are near equal (at least for all such occupation-comparisons taken together), but PUBLIC Sector pensions are ALWAYS multiples (TYPICALLY 3x-4x) greater in value at retirement, and ONLY PUBLIC Sector workers are currently accruing ANY employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits (worth an ADDITIONAL $250+K) today.

      The absurd pensions & benefits are unnecessary (to attract and retain a qualified workforce), are grossly unfair to the Taxpayers responsible for 80-90% of the total cost, and are clearly unfordable.
      —————————–

      And Earth to “fouls123” ….. Even if “I” could easily …”afford to pay increased taxes”….. that in no way justifies the grossly excessive pension & benefit promises made to you by elected officials BOUGHT with your Union’s campaign contributions and election support …… nor does it make “me” greedy by strongly advocating to end this financial “mugging” perpetrated upon Private Sector Taxpayers by the (REAL) insatiably greedy Public Sector Unions/workers.

      Reply

  12. Posted by fouls123 on March 11, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Of course you refuse to answer my questions about your own compensation. why? Are you embarrassed? I disagree that state compensation and benefits are grossly excessive. Maybe your compensation and benefits are grossly excessive. It seems the financial industry has a history of excessive compensation, and the greed and risky practices of your industry as a whole is a major contributor to the problems pension systems are having since the Wall Street meltdown. Maybe you are under compensated, I don’t know, but you are afraid to put the information out there to allow all of us to judge you since you are so intent on judging others and throwing out insults. As I said before I know you wouldn’t have the courage to answer my questions, so I am not surprised

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Shifting the conversation to my income (when I’m not a Public Sector worker/retiree) is a non-starter.& irrelevant …. and if your goal is diverting the reader’s attention from the HUGE and IMMEDIATE need to very materially reduce your grossly excessive pension & Benefits, it won’t work.

      I’ll grant you that many in the Financial Sector are paid huge wages and bonuses (and arguably, nobody needs or deserves such high pay), but again, it’s irrelevant, as that’s SHAREHOLDER money, not TAXPAYER money.
      —————————————

      EVERY time you attemptto shift the discussion form the topic at hand …… the NJ Pension Commission’s proposal to materially reduce Public Sector pensions & benefits ….. I will bring it right back on point.

      Reply

  13. Posted by fouls123 on March 12, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Wrong again. The misconduct of your industry affects the whole country which is far more of a problem to all of us than the NJ pension problems. Your refusal to answer mt challenge tells me all I need to know about you. I won’t bother with you or your drivel anymore.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 12, 2015 at 1:16 am

      The ROOT CAUSE of NJ’s financial problem is the grossly excessive pensions & benefits promised ALL of it’s Public Sector workers.

      Any wrongdoing in the financial services industry has NOTHING to do with that ………….. and as I promised above, you repeated attempts to move this discussion in that direction (and away from the HUGE need for pension & benefit reform) aren’t working.

      NJ’s financial survival, DEPENDS ON implementation of ALL of the Pension Commission’s proposals …… a freeze on NJ Public Sector pension Plans for ALL CURRENT workers and a VERY material reduction from the currently “Platinum+” healthcare granted all of NJ workers & retirees.

      Reply

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