Christie Talks Sense…..To Those Who Don’t Think

To the rest of us it’s nonsense.

From yesterday’s town hall meeting in Whippany:
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As reported Christie continued his response:

“I want to be the guy who – you may say he’s an SOB, I can’t believe what he’s doing – but 10 years from now, when your pension’s there, you can look up my address on the Internet and send me a thank-you note,” Christie said. McClain later called Christie’s answer “honest.”
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In the format of a town hall meeting where questions are rarely specific and Christie is free to answer as he sees fit with no follow-up you get some outrageous assertions, if you think about what he is saying:

I lie to get elected

New Jersey does not have the money: No, it’s the pension plan that does not have the money.  New Jersey is flush with discretionary crash or else nobody would be contributing to political campaigns to get their slices.

The only way to honor pension promises is to tax the money into existence.

And the big one that public workers and retirees never seem to think about:

You will thank me 10 years from now for that pension check.  Yes, but how much will that check be for?

 

98 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on March 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    bwwahahahahahahahahhahah, Christie said that 8 years ago. And we certainly arent thanking him. Neither the tax payers will thank nor the public employees, he if full of you know what.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on March 25, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Maybe so but probably not. CC’s a lawyer, pushed for (rightful so) and signed into law Pension Reform in 2011but now he’s claiming it’s unconstitutional. Based on his presumption and basic contract law, he knowingly entered into an illegal contract which no court can enforce. That makes the contract null and void and everything reverts back to pre legislation status, lump sum COLA payments and refunds on health care premiums paid, etc.

    Reply

  3. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Christie to retired cop:
    “Have your medical benefits been impacted at all?”
    “Answer my questions now, I answered yours. Has your pension been cut at all?”
    ………….. “And you have the gall, the audacity to complain about me doing something that I didn’t do. I haven’t touched your pension, I haven’t touched your benefits.”

    Chutzpah……Like the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building, 42 floors down….”OK so far!”

    “…..the audacity to complain about me doing something that I didn’t do.”

    Like contribute anywhere near the ARC, or comply the the law I signed myself. You can’t make this stuff up.

    Reply

    • Posted by truthnolie on March 25, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      If the retired cop was quick and smart enough in answer to the hippo’s “Answer my questions now, I answered yours. Has your pension been cut at all?”, he should have said ” Yes….my pension HAS been effectively cut by you eliminating COLA…..it would have increased if COLA was not illegally stopped therefore I am getting less of a pension”……although the lying megalomaniac would then find a way (with no follow up by the questioner) to make an excuse, change the topic or further vilify public employees after he was so (truthfully) challenged.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 25, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Quoting ….” You can’t make this stuff up.”

      Nor can you “make-up” the level of insatiable GREED exhibited by Public Sector workers/retirees …. such as yourself and your comrade-in-greed … commentator truthnolie.

      Reply

      • Posted by truthnolie on March 26, 2015 at 2:20 am

        LOL…..once again you can’t refute anything I say as it is undeniably true so you resort to your patented vapid and witless commenting.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 2:30 am

          I needn’t “refute” anything.

          It is YOU that needs to show the readers why Public Sector workers are so “special” that the CURRENT STRUCTURE of pensions TYPICALLY 3x-4x greater in value at retirement than those granted Private Sector workers making the SAME pay, retiring at the SAME age, and with the SAME years of service is necessary, just, fair, or affordable.

          Clearly the NJ pension Commission concluded that it is NONE of those things…. and should be frozen for the FUTURE Service of all CURRENT workers ……… as well as materially reducing the “Platinum+” Public Sector retiree healthcare coverage, an employer-sponsored benefit that has all but disappeared in the Private Sector.

          “Insatiable greed” fits you perfectly.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on March 26, 2015 at 12:24 pm

            Is it “insatiable greed” that one either does better or has made a choice that benefits them better than others who have not?

            To me it sounds like you are quite envious of those who have it better than you – your continual attempts at demands that everyone be the “same” are not only childishly spoiled in mindset but also align very closely with the ideals of communism.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

            “……. the CURRENT STRUCTURE of pensions TYPICALLY 3x-4x greater in value at retirement than those granted Private Sector workers making the SAME pay, retiring at the SAME age, and with the SAME years of service is necessary, just, fair, or affordable.”

            Still?

            “SAME…..SAME…..SAME is still a specious argument if you are comparing only pension values, rather than total compensation. Or unless comparing workers with similar human capital.

            The studies show (still) that nationwide, in total compensation, most public workers earn equal to or much less than their private sector equivalents.
            ………………………….
            ” Clearly the NJ pension Commission concluded that it is NONE of those things…. ”

            The Commission concluded no such thing. They only concluded the did not have sufficient funds to meet contracted obligations.
            Because?………………

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm

            Quoting Anonymous … “Is it “insatiable greed” that one either does better or has made a choice that benefits them better than others who have not? ”

            No, but it is when the far greater pensions & benefits are NOT the result of normal market/competitive forces, but result from the Public Sector Unions’ BUYING the votes of our Elected Officials (to grant such excessive pensions & benefits) with campaign contributions and election support.

            In any other venue this COLLUSION between your Unions and our Elected Officials would be punishable as criminal racketeering.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm

            Unless “far greater pensions & benefits” are compensation for lower wages while working, which the data shows they are.

            “Powerful Public Employee Unions” is an oxymoron.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm

            Responding to S Moderation Douglas,

            All BS (as usual) ……….. and part of his ongoing attempt to distract from the VERY MUCH needed pension reforms (i.e., REDUCTIONS) needed.

            We’re on a blog about NJ pensions….

            NJ State Public Sector (non-safety-worker) “Total Compensation” advantage (over their Private Sector counterparts) is 23% without (34% with) the incremental value of greater job security, from Figures 6 and 13 of this study:

            http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/-biggs-overpaid-or-underpaid-a-statebystate-ranking-of-public-employee-compensation_112536583046.pdf

            And with their MUCH richer pensions, had Safety workers (police and paid fire) been included, those PUBLIC Sector advantage percentages would have been even greater.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 1:13 pm

            Quoting from S Moderation Douglas’s 2-nd comment above …

            “Unless “far greater pensions & benefits” are compensation for lower wages while working, which the data shows they are. ”

            Also false ….

            From Figure #1 in the SAME study I quoted above, NJ Private Sector workers have only a 4% “wage” advantage. AND this 4% is ALREADY INCLUDED in the PUBLIC Sector workers’ “Total Compensation” advantages (I noted above) of 23% and 34%.

            ————————–

            Simply more distortions, material omissions of fact, and lies form Public Sector retiree S Moderation Douglas.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

            “NJ State Public Sector (non-safety-worker) “Total Compensation” advantage (over their Private Sector counterparts) is 23%……….”

            *******average*******

            According to the most conservative study.

            You may fairly question the bias of the more liberal studies which show average compensation is “roughly equal” (or the study showing lower compensation in the public sector)

            But you cannot deny that ………..all……….. the major studies show that at the highest education levels, public workers earn less …….including……. the value of their pensions and OPEBs.

            Well, actually *you* could deny it, but you would be wrong.

            Again.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 8:28 pm

            Simply MORE misleading commentary form S Moderation Douglas …..

            From the SAME Study, Private Sector employment in the “highest education levels” (those with Masters, Professional, and Doctoral degrees) constitute only 8%+2%+1% = 11% of all Private Sector workers………… big woop.

  4. Posted by Anonymous2 on March 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    The Great 401(k) Experiment Has Failed? http://ow.ly/KLb1x via

    Reply

  5. Posted by FormerJerseyan on March 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Well, he just said he “wanted” to be that guy. He did not say he had a plan to BE that guy, let alone promise that he could get his plan past the profligate spendthrifts in Trenton.

    Obviously, John, you are reading “when your pension is the there” to mean, ” when your pension [as originally promised]” is there. There is a subtle difference there, so that even that does not rise to the level of a “lie” to be believed by the stupid.

    The real idiots are those who think trees grow to the sky, just like property and income taxes can be raised without limit, or that people can not be taxed to the point where they revolt (King George III?) or just move to another jurisdiction (TN, TX, ID, SD, WA, NH, FL, and NV being some examples that come to mind).

    But way to pander to the only group who still sees a need for a pension actuary, I guess…..

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 25, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Quoting …… “The real idiots are those who think trees grow to the sky, just like property and income taxes can be raised without limit, or that people can not be taxed to the point where they revolt (King George III?) or just move to another jurisdiction (TN, TX, ID, SD, WA, NH, FL, and NV being some examples that come to mind).”

      \And the idiot Private Sector Taxpayers who have allowed themselves to be financial “mugged” by the insatiably greedy Public Sector Unions/workers ….. for DECADES !

      Reply

  6. Posted by Tough Love on March 25, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    John, Let’s take a leap, and assume that NJ CAN find the money to support the pensions & benefits as currently structured.

    As a taxpayer, I protest. Being well versed in pension and benefit design and funding, these promises are ALWAYS 3x-4x greater in value at retirement than those granted Private Sector workers, with a TRUE level annual %-of-pay cost so high that on average, Public Sector workers have a 25% Total Compensation advantage over their Private Sector counterparts.

    That is HUGE. Imagine how YOUR retirement years would be if you had 25% extra pay EVERY YEAR to save and invest without impacting your current lifestyle.

    There is no justifiable reasons to continue to these pension & benefits ….. even if we can find the revenue. There are MANY MANY BETTER and fairer ways to spend our tax dollars … or to not collect that excess in the first place.

    The past successes of the Public Sector Unions at BUYING the favorable votes of our elected officials who granted these grossly excessive pensions & benefits must end, and for the future service of all CURRENT workers … just as proposed by the NJ Pension Commission.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on March 26, 2015 at 8:49 am

    TL – A person making a 100 K with 30 years of service in the State, his pension is 54,500. Document your claim that a private enterprise person in the same boat only makes 13,600 to 18,200. You spout that specious venom which has no credibility. Give credible evidence for your nonsense. The pension was fully funded until the State stopped funding at all. New Jersey’s pension fund investment manager quit (and went to the Feds) because he knew there was no way to invest out of the deficit because of the lack of funding, This political ploy of getting working people to fight working people over crumbs is a good ploy but obfuscates that the well to do still got off with benefits and that Christie has been shown inept in managing the State’s financial growth (e.g lagging neighboring States, Atlantic City etc.) in a slash and burn policy on the road to the Presidency. We have economic growth everywhere but New Jersey. Put that in your paid political posting pipe and smoke it. The pension crisis started with one inept Republican governor running for President and failing and has reached crisis with another governor of the same genre who will also fail in his quest.

    Reply

    • Answer this…what amount needs to invested at present interest rates to generate 54.5K/yr and retiree health benefits

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 11:23 am

      I’ll try to answer in more detail later, but here’s some food for thought …

      I said ….”3x-4x greater in value at retirement” …. which means that you not only look at the dollar monthly payout, but adjust for all of the other PUBLIC/PRIVATE Sector pension/benefit DIFFERENCES which impact “value”, for instance:

      (a) the “full” retirement age with no reduction in payout,
      (b) for early retirees, the reduction factor per year of ACTUAL retirement age below the FULL retirement age,
      (c) what is included in “pensionable compensation” (overtime, “allowances”, etc.)
      (d) the existence (and specifics) of post retirement COLA increases
      (e) differences in OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits), the primary one being retiree healthcare subsidies
      (f) The ability to accumulate and “cash out” (or apply to retiree healthcare premiums) unused sick or vacation days
      (g) the ease at which a year of pension “service credit” is earned (e.g, a minimal $ amount in one year, or 1000 hours of documented paid service)

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm

        Nationwide private sector professional workers earn 59% more in cash wages than those in the public sector.

        After computing all the “egregious” pensions and benefits, the private sector worker still makes 20% more.

        So let’s “reform” (reduce) ALL public sector pensions.

        “Nevertheless, a significant total compensation penalty remains for both professional and doctoral degree holders. It is worth considering how government may continue to attract better-educated employees despite a seeming compensation penalty.”

        Biggs and Richwine

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 1:39 pm

          MORE distortions, material omissions of fact, and lies ……

          From Table #1 of the Study I referenced above, the “professional” worker category constitutes just 2% of all Private Sector workers ….. big woop.

          And if the Private Sector professional “super-earner” outliers who make $ Millions or tens of $ millions annually (for which there are no Public Sector counterparts) were removed, the conclusion would be very different.

          Reply

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 26, 2015 at 6:06 pm

            It’s not rocket surgery, it’s a simple fifth grade “word” problem:

            a. Private sector professionals earn 59% more in wages than public sector.

            b. 6% of public workers are “professionals”

            c. Therefore, 6% of public workers earn less (by far) than their private sector equivalents.

            In fact, 28% of public workers (Masters + Professional + PHDs) earn significantly less than their private sector counterparts, and another 32% (Bachelor’s degrees) earn “roughly the same”. Neither egregious nor obscene. And this includes the cost of OPEBs and inflation adjusted pensions valued at the risk free rate.
            ………………………………..

            Tough Love:

            “And if the Private Sector professional “super-earner” outliers who make $ Millions or tens of $ millions annually (for which there are no Public Sector counterparts) were removed, the conclusion would be very different.”

            We’ve already been there: the distorting effects go the other way

            Biggs and Richwine:

            “Taking the log of wages before running the regression has been standard practice for decades, as it provides a better fit for the model and allows for easy interpretation of wage difference as percentages.”……………………………”Taking the log could therefore make private workers appear less well-compensated (relative to state workers) than they really are.”

            It’s a non-factor.
            ………………………………….
            Out of curiosity, you didn’t seem to have an objection to the data showing lower educated workers in the public sector earn much more than their private sector equivalents. Why is the tremendous underpayment of the higher educated public workers even a question?

            Biggs and Richwine:

            “It is generally believed that, due to the relative compression of wages paid in government, public employment is relatively more favorable to lower-skilled employees and less favorable to high-skill workers.”

            Every major compensation comparison study says the same thing. It’s a no-brainer. Don’t fight it.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2015 at 8:35 pm

            Quoting S Moderation Douglas …. “We’ve already been there: the distorting effects go the other way”

            Screw your brain on straight. If the Private Sector Super-earner outliers are removed from the database, the average earnings for Private Sector Professional-group decreases, and by WHATEVER margin Private Sector Professional-group compensation exceeded comparable Public Sector Professional-group workers, that margin will DECLINE with the super-earners removed.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 27, 2015 at 1:36 am

            You’re devolving TL. You are grasping at proverbial straws.

            All the studies agree with Biggs that the higher educated public workers earn less. Would it really be significant if private sector professionals only made 55% more, instead of 59% ?

            Either way it belies the claim that all public workers are “greedy and overpaid”.

            The ONLY workers in Biggs nationwide study who earn more than the private sector are those at the lower end of the scale.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2015 at 2:32 am

            Ok S Moderation Douglas ….

            (A) the 1% of Private Sector workers with Doctoral Degrees (as a group, on average) make more
            (B) the 2% of Private Sector workers with Professional Degrees (as a group, on average) make more
            (C) the 8% of Private Sector workers with Masters Degrees (as a group, on average) make more

            Like I said …. big woop…… that leaves the OTHER 89% of Private Sector workers making the same or less.

            AND as we both noted from that study, (a) Police and Fire workers with the MOST egregious pensions & benefits were omitted from that study, and (b) the PUBLIC Sector compensation advantage is FAR greater in NJ than in almost all other states

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 27, 2015 at 3:09 am

            Perhaps you should try rocket science. Math and logic are not your forte.

  8. Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Required reading (particularly for S Moderation Douglas … a California Public Sector retiree), and all of this commentary is equally applicable to the situation in NJ:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/jaredmeyer/2015/03/26/the-growing-debt-problem-that-no-one-is-talking-about-except-this-guy-n1976645/page/full

    S Moderation Douglas, a few Quotes” that you should pay attention to:

    (1) regarding your retirement security …

    “Third, we’re talking about retirement security that is not going to exist. You will have systems that go bankrupt, and, when the Ponzi schemes collapse, who will be responsible? What these unions are doing to numerous members is unconscionable. The union bosses know that they’re going to get their fat checks. Their attitude is “who cares about what’s going to happen to the next generation?””

    (2) RE Public Sector Unions …

    “JM: Could you talk about the opposition you faced from the public sector unions when you were running for office?

    CD: For unions, this is the third rail. They will fight tooth-and-nail to lie, cheat, and steal to keep these pensions—and I say that very candidly. They will literally lie about the notion of the pension crisis. They will look you straight in the face and they will make up numbers. They will say that everything will be just fine, that this is just a temporary investment drop, that there’s no real crisis, and that everything will correct itself. “

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 27, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Don’t think I don’t appreciate it. I like to keep up on new developments, as well as the history of both sides of the debate. Ergo the nom de guerre “Moderation”.

      S Moderation Douglas … a California Public Sector retiree

      AKA “S Moderation Douglas … a gentleman and a scholar”

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm

        Hardly…..LOL

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        What, no comment on the article’s content ?

        * That retirement security is not going to exist
        * That Public Sector Unions are lying scum

        Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 27, 2015 at 5:49 pm

          There are extremists on both sides: Here’s one way you can spot them…..

          CD: “When I found that a librarian in San Diego was getting $234,000 a year in pension payouts……..”…….misleading.

          This can be compared to the “$2,400 average pension”……misleading.

          She wasn’t “a librarian”, she was “the” librarian….. the city’s library director in charge of the city’s 36 branches and 3.4 million book system.

          And, for new employees in California, pensionable compensation has already been capped at a little over $100,000.

          Extremists on one side, according to Mr. DeMaio, say that pensions should not be changed at all. There is nothing wrong.

          Extremists of Mr. DeMaio’s camp insist that pension reform (reduction) should include not just new hires, but also for future service of existing employees.

          Mr. Moderation Douglas believes that in California, PEPRA is a good framework for continuing refinement of a basically sound pension system (Defined Benefit), ultimately beneficial for both the employee and the taxpayer.

          It’s very obvious that Mr. DeMaio’s opinion is that government workers (ALL government workers) are overcompensated, and corrupt unions (and politicians) the reason why.

          As you may have gathered, my moderate opinion is that neither is true, at least to the degree he suggests. Yes, there is need for reform, and yes, there are blatant examples of abuse.

          If Mr. DeMaio continues his campaign with this kind of extreme rhetoric, I think he will find he is his own worst enemy, and is doomed to failure.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2015 at 6:29 pm

            Denial ?

            Quoting …”She wasn’t “a librarian”, she was “the” librarian….. the city’s library director in charge of the city’s 36 branches and 3.4 million book system. ”

            To even THINK of not CONDEMNING that pension shows your true colors.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm

            Part of the problem with “transparency” in government compensation is the corresponding lack of transparency in the private sector.

            The relevant factor here is that her total compensation is not out of line with a private sector executive with similar skills, experience, and responsibilities.

            “JM: When talking about pension reform, what have you found is the most effective way to get the public to notice the extent of the problem?”

            “CD: Most people talk about the size of state and local debt or the amount of money that we’re spending on pensions. That’s not as effective or persuasive as showing them the actual pension payoffs.”

            Mr. DeMaio apparently feels that publishing the most extreme pensions is effective in stirring up emotions. His example is misleading because he stresses….only….the highest pensions, causing many to believe these are “normal”, and because no one, apparently, “(Except This Guy)”, S Moderation Douglas, bothers to note that there are many mid level private sector executives in positions similar to “the” librarian who earn as much or more.

            Under the heading of “professional”, I submit again, with apologies to Mr. Genest, his example. He published a study showing that public employees are overcompensated (by about 30%, as I recall) but when asked about his own six figure salary (and pension), stated: “We could have made a lot more money in the private sector. We are making more money.”

            I do not doubt that statement (although I have reservations about the conclusions in his study)

            PEPRA……… at first I had misgivings about the provision capping pensions. According to EVERY study, the highest educated public workers,………even with these six figure pensions…….even calculating their inflation adjusted pensions at the risk free rate……still……earn less in total compensation.

            By capping pensions, however, PEPRA will eliminate, or at least lessen, the knee jerk emotional reactions
            (e.g., “To even THINK of not CONDEMNING that pension shows your true colors.”)

            Undoubtedly, as Briggs and Richwine clearly stated, as well as the (impartial) California Legislative Analyst concurred, there will be a need to increase the salary of many of these higher level employees to compensate for the reduced pensions.

            As Mr. Goodwrench says, “You can pay me now, or pay me later”.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2015 at 8:51 pm

            The linked article in my earlier comment discussed a great deal beyond a few extreme pensions…….. and I haven’t missed that you are tying to focus on that one item, so that readers won’t think about all the other pertinent issues that he raised …..

            Like how we got where we are …. via the Public Sector Union’s BUYING our elected officials

            Like how the Unions lie and cheat and steal (with examples given)
            —————————————————–

            And PEPRA is a joke played upon the Taxpayers. With few provisions applying to anyone other than NEW workers …. and CURRENT workers CONTINUING to earning pension credits that are unnecessary, unjust, unfair, and unaffordable ….. VERY little money will be saved until those NEW workers retire in 20-30 years.

            Thankfully, the NJ Pension Commission recognized that and …. because it is JUST & NECESSARY … proposed a freeze to the DB pensions of all CURRENT workers.

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 27, 2015 at 10:23 pm

          Logical inconsistency:

          A..Public employees are grossly overpaid.
          B..Because greedy corrupt “Public Sector Union’s BUYING our elected officials”

          …..If “A” is not true, then “B” is not true.

          I realize that Mr. DeMaio shares your “opinion” that public workers are overpaid and crooked unions the reason why. Unless he can substantiate that with something other than rhetoric, all his talk will be counterproductive. This is where a more cynical person might person might imply that, although his pension reform initiative will be futile, it may very well be lucrative for himself and mayor Reed. They are, after all, politicians.

          While were here.
          Carl DeMaio:

          “They allowed government union members to buy phantom years of service at bargain basement prices. They would say, “Oh if you pay $1,000, we’ll give you an extra year of service.” Well the actual cost to taxpayers of another year of service is probably $30,000.”

          If he can document that, even I will vote for him. Until then, I’m calling it grossly exaggerated rhetoric. If that is one of the “examples given” you are referring to, it only serves to undermine his credibility.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 12:06 am

            Let’s take a look at whether Carl DeMaio’s $30K figure for the actual value (of that 1 additional year) is reasonable.

            A recently retired 30-year career CA worker gets a COLA-increased pension of about $65K (on average per CalPERS statistics). Assuming retirement is at age 60, a COLA increased pension has a Lump Sum “value” of about 17.5 times the annual payout (from a Unisex Mortality table used for such calculations). This gives a Lump Sum value of just about 17.5 x $65,000= $1,137,500.

            If the worker actually only worked 29 years his lump sum value would be …
            17.5 x (29/30) x 65,000 = $1,099,583

            Hence the incremental “value” of BUYING that 1 additional year is $1,137,500-$1,099,583 = $37,917.

            Looks like Carl DeMaio underestimate the true cost of that extra year (at least for 30-year career workers). EVERY dollar that the worker is allowed to buy that extra year for less than it’s true value (about $37K), is an unjustified theft of taxpayer wealth……. because the TAXPAYERS are being force to make up for the shortfall.
            ————————

            S Moderation Douglas, you call yourself a “scholar” …. I just say that I know the MATH ……….. and CAN’T be bullshitted.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 12:26 am

            Now tell me where you can buy a year for $1,000.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 12:33 am

            I don’t claim to know what the workers pay for each additional service year ….. but it should be NOTHING below it’s actual value, and assuredly it is …. and likely by a large margin, given how the Unions/workers have corrupted every other aspect of CA pensions.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 1:10 am

            DeMaio was grossly exaggerating. …again……and you’re grasping at straws…again.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 1:20 am

            We’ll see …….

            Readers …anyone know the cost of buying one year of service in the California pension systems ?

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 1:30 am

            It’s not rocket surgery. CalPERS website has a calculator. It is definitely a good deal financially. But $1,000 is ludicrous. As is “a librarian” $230K pension. DeMaio is shooting himself in the foot.

            You’re beating a dead horse.

  9. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Dead horse because PEPRA eliminated air time. The calculator is for buyback of military time, or prior service, I believe. Both of which used the same formulas

    A good deal financially….if…..one is reasonably confident of reaching the break-even age.

    Go ahead, math me up. If it’s over $1,000, meh.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 2:33 am

      S Moderation Douglas, Ready to be “mathed-up” ?

      Turns out that CalPERS has an online “Service Credit Cost Estimator” that can be found here:

      http://www.calpers.ca.gov/servicecreditestimator

      Ran some test cases with the following inputs/assumptions:

      (1) retiring now at age 60
      (2) State misc employee with 2%@60 formula
      (3) Calpers member for 29 years
      (4) worker for a CalPER’s employer (but while NOT a CalPERS member) for 12 months before the 29 years AS A CalPERS member
      (5) looking to buy those 12 months in #(4) above under category “Service Prior To Membership”
      (6) Final salary $100,000 annually, ($8.333.33 monthly)
      (7) Salary 29 years ago $20,000 annually, ($1,666.66 monthly)
      (8) Worked 8 hours/day, and 21 days/month
      (9) Service was covered by Social Security

      Here’s the output from the CalPERS Cost Estimator:

      Cost to buy that one year of service credit is $5,527.19

      If bought, the monthly pension INCREASES by $189.18

      SUMMARY:

      Using the same 17.5 times factor noted in my earlier comment (to estimate the lump sum value of a COLA-increase annuity commencing at age 60), the Lump sum “value” of the MONTHLY pension increase of $189.18 is ……… $189.18 x 12 x 17.5 = $39,727.80

      And that $39,729.80 lump sum value can be bought by the worker for $5,527.19 or just 13.9% of it’s true “value”
      —————————-

      So yes, S Moderation Douglas, while less than the $1,000 Mr. DeMaio mentioned, being able to buy that one year of service credit for just 13.9% of it’s true value is CERTAINLY an outrageous THEFT of taxpayer wealth.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 2:35 am

        In my LAST sentence above, the word “less” should have been “more”

        Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 3:01 am

          If it’s over $1,000, meh

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 4:04 am

            The point Mr. DeMaio was trying to make was that Service credit is BOUGHT by the workers at FAR FAR below it’s actual “value” and that the Taxpayers are then unfairly burdened with that incremental funding shortfall.

            He was correct, and I just demonstrated it … with data from CalPERS own website, the workers are paying only about 13.9% of it’s true “value”.

            Indeed, an unjust THEFT of Taxpayer wealth …. no matter how you try to weasel out of admitting it.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 5:17 am

            “The point Mr. DeMaio was trying to make” ?

            By misleading statements and gross exaggerations? Would you buy a used car from this guy? California won’t.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 11:25 am

            S Moderation Douglas,

            You look awfully foolish but your CONTINUED efforts to deflect attention from the enormous Taxpayer-abuse of Public Sector workers being able to buy service year credit for only 13.9% of it’s true value …. 13.9% OF IT’S TRUE VALUE.

            .

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm

            Grow up and get off your emotional high horse.

            Number one, your math is probably wrong.

            Number two, IF your math were close, it’s not as if I hand the state a check for $5,500, then they turn around and hand me a $40,000 check.

            In a normal work year I contribute 10% of base pay for CalPERS, and the state contributes about 10%. That’s the normal cost. For air, or military buyback, I would make both contributions, about 20% of a normal years pay.

            I say it’s a good deal financially because it is, roughly, a guaranteed 7 to 8 percent return on investment. And this is ALL my investment; not taxpayer money. Although you could say it is “guaranteed” by taxpayers……IF…….CalPERS does not meet the target returns.

            There was a recent discussion on one of these boards not long ago about the wisdom of buying time. Some say it’s wise because it is a guaranteed return. Others say they think they can do BETTER in the market, and keep their funds under their own control, maybe leaving some for their heirs.

            I personally calculated buying my 4 years of military service and determined the break-even point was at about age 72, and my family history says that’s not a safe bet. IF…… I lived to the average life expectancy of 82, I would have recovered my original investment PLUS 7 to 8% ROI.
            ………………..
            “13.9% of it’s true value …. 13.9% OF IT’S TRUE VALUE.”

            You can repeat it, CAPITALIZE IT, print it upside down, if you can figure out how. It is not true.

            It is pure, unadulterated TL GIGO BS.

            You’re even more self destructive than Carl DeMaio with the misleading and grossly exaggerated rhetoric.

            Because of your wild rants, people will automatically discount ALL your posts. Even the few relatively factual ones.

            Don’t say I didn’t warn you. That’s why they call me a scholar……AND a gentleman.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm

            S Moderation Douglas,

            Sorry, not letting you off the hook so easily, especially after this ridiculous statement (quoting):

            “In a normal work year I contribute 10% of base pay for CalPERS, and the state contributes about 10%. That’s the normal cost.”

            ‘Well Mr. self-proclaimed “scholar”, the “normal cost” of a pension has absolutely NOTHING to do with what is actually CONTRIBUTED annually by the employer and/or employee. The “normal cost” is the prevent value (in current dollars) of the estimated cost of providing the pension BENEFITS ACCRUED in the current year. The “normal cost” would be the same if the annual Plan CONTRIBUTIONS were higher, lower, or even zero.

            Why do you pretend that you are knowledgeable …. when your just one of the many Public Sector “financial beneficiaries” of the collusion between your Unions and our taxpayer-betraying Elected Officials?

            And by the way, my “math” is dead on the money ….. and I welcome Mr. BURY’s commentary to the contrary if he feels otherwise.
            —————————————————-

            Now, getting back to CalPERS selling service credit for 13.9% of it’s true “value”, how about telling the readers if and how many years YOU bought for that VERY small fraction of it’s true value. Better yet, since such purchases are nothing but a THEFT of Taxpayer wealth, I propose that you MAN-UP and give it back.

            And while your at it, how much was YOUR pension increased RETROACTIVELY by California’s SB400 (and Local counterparts) … for which you contributed absolutely ZERO “consideration” (in legal terms). How about giving that back to the Taxpayers as well ?

            Get a nice big check cashing out unused “sick days” ? Give that back too …. sick days are for IF/when you are SICK…. not to rip-off the Taxpayers.

            You are CERTAINLY not a “scholar”, and doubtful a “gentleman”.

            ——————————-

            Being able to BUY service credit for only 13.9% of it’s true value ….. outrageous.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 29, 2015 at 2:01 am

            What hook? I made a simple observation of Mr. DeMaio’s statement. $1,000 cost for a $30,000 pension increase is a gross exaggeration. Your calculations confirmed that. Statements like this undermine his credibility. A reasonable person would wonder about the veracity of all his other statements.

            No skin off my nose. Just trying to help. That’s what a gentleman does.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2015 at 3:05 am

            Sorry, S Moderation Douglas, I won’t stay quite while you AGAIN to shift the conversation to Mr. DeMaio’s exaggeration of the degree of the taxpayer RIPOFF from the outrageousness of the actual Taxpayer ripoff ITSELF….. that CalPERS allows pension Plan participants to BUY service year credits for only 13.9% of the cost … as I outline above using CalPERS online “Service Credit Cost Estimator”.

            And your not trying to “help” anyone’s case but your own. While reducing pension accruals for the future service of CURRENT will undoubted be on-the-table in many cities in the next few years, in many it won’t be sufficient, and reduction in the PAST service accruals of actives, and perhaps those already retired (such as yourself) will be necessary to stop the financial bleeding.

            Greed HAS consequences.
            ——————————————————

            So, how many years of service credit did you by at only 13.9% of it’s true value ?

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 29, 2015 at 3:46 am

            DeMaio’s exaggeration is where the topic started. You are the one shifting the conversation “AGAIN”. Be quite or don’t be quite. It’s quite all right with me either way.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2015 at 3:57 am

            S Moderation Douglas,

            So, how many years of service credit did you by at only 13.9% of it’s true value ?

            And by what % was your pension unfairly increased RETROACTIVELY by SB400 or it’s Local equivalent.

            If you were really trying to “help” you would give up those increases. After all, you did absolutely NOTHING to justify them.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 29, 2015 at 4:15 am

            “And have I stopped beating my wife?”

            That’s not how this works. You don’t get to ask the questions.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm

            And you don’t get to distort, mislead, omit material facts and lie.

  10. Posted by BH on March 28, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I must say, I’ve been reading the blog for some time now and it would appear that TL has way too much of an interest in these public sector pensions! Hey TL, were you concerned about these things 5,10,15 years ago? Or has your interest been recent?

    What I really don’t understand is why you keep saying things like ” In any other venue this COLLUSION between your Unions and our Elected Officials would be punishable as criminal racketeering”, and ” It is YOU that needs to show the readers why Public Sector workers are so “special” that the CURRENT STRUCTURE of pensions TYPICALLY 3x-4x greater in value at retirement than those granted Private Sector workers making the SAME pay, retiring at the SAME age, and with the SAME years of service is necessary, just, fair, or affordable”

    As a private sector employee who recieves very little healthcare and a very small 401k, I’m not getting where YOU get off sitting on this high horse spewing all this venom. There is such hatred behind your posts…
    Please explain this to me..
    My neighbor is a Firefighter, when did it become commonplace to begrudge what one has simply because you don’t have the same? If you are so concerned, Why aren’t you advocating that the private sector fight for similar goals instead of just taking it from one group? How can you say things like fair? When did fair ever matter? Are you one of those people who believe all kids deserve a trophy even if they lose? Do you think simply because one group achieved something, EVERYONE SHOULD GET THAT TOO??? Nonsense!!!!
    I know my neighbor… Great guy. Not rich. Works his ass off. Modest home… Great family. I see him walk in after kids are off to school dirty, tired and he’s back out there cutting grass, shoveling snow..etc. and you want me to think he’s the bad guy? He deserves less?? For what? He’s paid by the municipality. Not the state!! Why should his pension suffer when it’s funded at a sustainable level and if the state didn’t take money out to give everyone else tax breaks, his pension would be ok. But on his back, increasing his pension payment, increasing his healthcare.. His pension will be fine if left alone!! This is all so ubsurd to me…and while you do seem like a knowledgable person it’s very creepy how involved you are with this.
    I know there’s a pension issue, but I for one think police and fire should be left out of this mess. Just like in all the other states that have made deals… Police and fire should be left out.

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Actually, I think TL has been following and commenting on this for at least ten years, maybe close to fifteen. And actually does have some valid points.

      But

      Too often makes emotional judgments made on invalid assumptions.

      Well, that’s my opinion, anyway.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      I recognized the problem perhaps 15 years ago, and have been commenting for about 10 years.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      BH, I understand your comments and I’ll take it at face value that you (AND your spouse) are a Private Sector workers (and not really Public Sector workers benefiting from the current pension/benefit structure).

      Perhaps you are so “wealthy” that overcompensating Public Sector workers does not impact or bother you. But have you thought of your less-wealthy neighbors who struggle to meet their needs while at the same time save for their own retirements (and retiree healthcare needs), while they pay (or in NJ, are certainly “on the hook for”) FAR FAR greater taxes than necessary, just, fair, or affordable to support Public Sector pension & benefits that are ALWAYS 3x-4x greater in value at retirement than those typically granted THEM ? DO you realize that notwithstanding their arguments to the contrary, RARELY do ALL of the workers own pension contributions (INCLUDING all the investment returns thereon) accumulate to a sum at retirement sufficient to buy more than 10%-20% of their extremely generous pensions …. with Taxpayers responsible for the 80-90% balance ?

      At the very least, I doubt that you fully understand the cost of current Public Sector pension & benefit “promises” as now structured. Clearly, by stating that their pensions are …. “funded at a sustainable level” …. you do not understand the true cost of these Plans. ALL of NJ’s “STATE” Plans have funding ratios so low, that if they were Private Sector Plans (governed by ERISA) they would be barred (by Regulation) from granting ANY further pension accruals, and NJ’s Local Plans are just slightly above the cutoff for similar treatment. ALL are in extreme distress.

      Unions are mostly OK in the PRIVATE Sector because even THEY know that killing the host (i.e., the employer) with excessive demands is counterproductive and will likely result in the company going out of business with the loss of their jobs. Similar controls do not exist in “controlling” the demands of PUBLIC Sector Unions. They know that the State, City, “Authority”, etc. can’t (or won’t) go “out of business”, and look at the Taxpayers as a bottomless pit to fund all that they can EXTRACT from those with whom they “negotiate”. And do PUBLIC Sector Unions not BUY the favorable votes of our elected officials (on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits) with campaign contributions and election support ……… or threaten to get them out of office if they won’t go along with their demands?

      And speaking of “negotiation” and “bargaining tables”, in PRIVATE Sector “negotiations”, clearly BOTH side are strongly looking out for THEIR best interests. In PUBLIC Sector “negotiations”, NOBODY at that “bargaining table” is rightfully looking out for Taxpayer interests….. and in fact, the taxpayers are looked upon as the “suckers” in the equation. Elected officials (or their management representative) have ZERO incentive to limit pay, pensions, and benefits. They will always get a bit more than the rank and file, and limiting the masses limits there own compensation. A comment in another blog described this quite accurately, quoting:

      “An initiative to control the union’s ignorance and greed is needed. Since the people actually pay, let the people decide. No more negotiating because snakes negotiating with snakes produces THIS big mess!”

      Your neighbor may be the hardest working and nicest guy in the world, but there is no reason to OVER-COMPENSATE him when ALL aspects of his compensation are ACCURATELY considered…. especially pensions & benefits.

      And FYI, I NEVER speak poor of the WORKERS. Arguing that they are over-compensated is NOT doing that. I have ALWAYS strongly argued for EQUAL “Total Compensation” (cash pay + pensions + benefits) in comparable Public/Private Sector jobs. Why is that not “reasonable” and “fair” to BOTH the workers and the Taxpayers?

      The “blame” for the financial mess we are in falls clearly on the shoulders of the Elected Officials who granted these grossly excessive and unaffordable pensions & benefits. BUT ….. the financial “beneficiaries” of those promises are THE WORKERS, so that’s where the Taxpayers must look to right this wrong, by VERY materially reducing these “promises”, at the very least for the FUTURE service of all CURRENT workers …… just as NJ’s Pension Commission has proposed.

      Unfortunately we should NOT exclude Police and Firemen from pension/benefit reductions. Their pensions are the most generous and therefore the MOST costly. The 3x-4x greater Public Sector pensions I mentioned above increases to 4x-5x times greater for Police and Firemen. With 100s (or 1,000s) of applicants for each open position, clearly there is no REAL shortfall in qualified applicants, only a “manufactured” one to keep their compensation at the unaffordably high level it is today.

      Reply

    • Posted by truthnolie on March 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Haha…don’t even bother…..TL is an envious shrew full of chagrin that others might have it better than her…..she completely hates & vilifies public employees for making a wise career choice and being able to retire early while she has to continue to work because she was not as smart as they were to get themselves in such a great position.

      Secretly, she admires them and wishes she could have had what they have but since she can’t she wants everything “equalized”….her views are straight communism in that she feels everyone should be the same on equal footing and no one person should have more than the next…..wonder if she constantly tells her boss that (if she has a job which she may not judging by the amount of time she posts here…..btw TL, aren’t you cheating your employer out of working time by continually posting here instead of whatever mindless work you should be doing??)

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

        You’re a NJ Public Sector “taker” …. explains your comment completely….. greed.

        Reply

        • Posted by PatB on March 30, 2015 at 12:12 pm

          No, anger. Anger at the pols for screwing us, the unions for ignoring us, and the public for demeaning us. You invite and feed on that anger, making you little more than a troll.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm

            Any “demeaning” by the Public is in response to two things:

            (1) the VERY clear FACT that your pensions are grossly excessive (by EVERY reasonable measure …. ALWAYS MULTIPLES greater than those of similarly situated Private Sector workers in pay, age at retirement, and years of service), are unnecessary to attract and retain a qualified workforce, are unfair to Taxpayers called upon to pay for all but the 10-20% of total pension costs paid for by your own contributions (INCLUDING all the investment earnings thereon), and are unaffordable without untenable tax increases and/or unacceptable reductions in services.

            (2) the insatiable greed exhibited by your Unions and the workers and taking every opportunity cheat the taxpayers ……..

            * Cash-outs of unused sick days
            * phoney “disability retirements”
            * End or career “spiking” of one’s final pay, and hence pension
            * turning a career of PART-TIME work into the pension of a FULL-TIME worker

            * and of course the idiotic red-shirt protests that make the the participants look like few have IQs over 75 …. hardly a picture of the “best and brightest” we’re told we need to pay top dollar to hire.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 30, 2015 at 4:40 pm

            Pat, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm

            S Moderation Douglas,

            Too bad, I was hoping for that 1 MONTH of not having to read more of your nonsense and BS.

  11. Posted by BH on March 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    TL, I am far from wealthy! And you do “blame” the public workers. It’s a shame. This venom you spew about fair and equal? Where does this come from? This is America. Where one can do anything and go anywhere. You pick your path. If you’re unhappy, change it.. Because you can. But to look at the people who chose a profession to police the towns to ensure your safety, or to run into burning buildings to risk their lives for strangers like you or even those who teach your children..and tell them… Look! You’re now screwed because TL thinks we should all be fair and the pensions equal? Your numbers are all wrong and skewed. I admit that the state pensions are on very weak ground. But that is due to many factors including the state skipping payments. Local pensions are in fact very sound and SUSTAINABLE. Why won’t the state relinquish control of the police and fire pension system and allow those members to control their own fund? You and I both know the answer to that!! Because the state loses all that money and the benefits that come along with it. Governors won’t be able to allow their buddies to manage the funds and make millions upon millions in fees just just name the most obvious. Why are YOU not advocating for better conditions in the private sector instead of trying to tear down and take away from something that may appear better than what you have?? Fair and equal?? Give me a break!! Most of these people spend their lives living and working among the rest of us. They are not rich. Not the 1%rs. They are the people that pay taxes just like you. They shop in the same stores. And they negotiated in good faith with their respective municipalities.

    Cash payouts of sick time has gone from unlimited, to $25,000 to the current allowance of $15,000. While you may not appreciate that or understand why this practice is allowed, you’re local government has changed this through negotiations. This is paid by the local municipality. So, in essence- you can only spew venom in that local municipality that you reside in.
    Disability pensions are vetted by an unbiased board set up by the state of nj. There is no way to interfere with the outcome. Changes have been made by the Supreme Court making it even more difficult to obtain a disability pension…http://injury.stark-stark.com/new-jersey-supreme-court-changes-accidental-disability-pension-r.html
    In nj, there is no way to “spike” the final year salary for police and fire anyway. Tier 2-3 employees use the last 3 years average. This includes only base pay. Overtime or any other compensation is not included. Maybe you’re confused with NY.
    Part time work that equals full time work was addressed in chapter 78. Take a gander at that new law that the governor signed but does not follow himself while the public worker do.
    So now what??? Every item you mentioned so bodly has already been dumbed down and changed!! Making it more EQUAL AND FAIR!!!!
    When was the last time you walked a beat at 3am, ran into a building on fire not knowing if you’ll get back out, attempted to revive an unconscious person who could have any number of communicable diseases… I could go on forever but you will just spew more venom. Maybe say well, that’s the work they chose!! And youd be right. For the salary, benefits and pension they were told they’d recieve for ruining their bodies both mentally and physically for 20-30 years!!! These people don’t want hand outs. Don’t want it for free. Just take care of them like they take care of you and give them what they were promised.

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Quite well said, BH.

      I don’t know how much a policeman or fireman is “worth”, but I believe, in California at least, many of them around 2004 -2007 got increases of about 30% over inflation. Are they overpaid now, or were they underpaid before? I don’t know. I have read many who claim they are overcompensated, based primarily on the extremes that make the headlines. I personally believe a policeman is worth at least as much as a good car salesman or real estate agent.

      And I have zero problem with providing retirement…..with healthcare….beginning as low as age 50. It is my understanding that some cities actually provide a pension (usually 50%) after only 20 years: (20 and out), much like the military.

      To imply that these public workers are the cause of government financial problems is sick.

      Reply

  12. Posted by BH on March 30, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I wish that if TL was sincere about the equal and fair claim..they would look at both sides. Chapter 78 required an additional 1½-percent contribution of PFRS employees to the system for a total of 10-percent employee contributions (probably the highest in the nation). It generated another $57 million. In March, the governor gave more than $50 million back to local governments and called it “tax relief”. Um…wait a minute!?? That was their money from increased pension contributions that must go into their pension fund….. But it went for tax breaks?? So… Let me get this straight.. It’s ok to make the employees pay more. But then not use that money where it was intended??? Couldn’t that money that these members paid have been better used in their pension?? Equal.. Fair!!???? Come on TL,,,
    And…
    According to Standard and Poor’s, the problem with the pension is not public employees and not the economy. It’s Christie not paying his bill. This from the ratings agency: “The long-term impact of continuation of a funding policy that allows the State to contribute less than the actuarially recommended contribution could impact, at some point, the Pension Plans’ ability to meet their obligations absent significant additional contributions by the State, increased investment returns, or actions or events resulting in reductions to liabilities of the Pension Plans.” If I knew how to imbed photos It would look better. But here’s your pension problem in two pictures.


    Reply

  13. Posted by BH on March 30, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Turns out I do know how…..

    Reply

  14. I think you all have way too much time on your hands. Have a drink and relax. The pensions are a problem and its not going away. It doesn’t matter what any of you have to say. Who gives a sh@t about the pensions? only those who may lose them. Sell your house and make a change. Frankly, you all sound like school children bantering back and forth in the school yard. Everyone has an opinion and it is just that…one’s opinion.

    Reply

  15. Posted by BH on March 30, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    No. It’s not opinion. How is someone’s life an opinion? How is fact..opinion. Ugh!! This is why I fear for this country. Too many clueless obsolete people. We are nothing but meat with eyes and we deserve everything we get.

    Reply

    • BH, you are either married to a PW or are already retired on your pension, but your own level of interest pretty much refutes your claim of being a private sector worker with skin in the game

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 30, 2015 at 9:52 pm

        Thank you Brian

        Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm

        What’s the difference? What he says is either true or not true.

        “According to Standard and Poor’s, the problem with the pension is not public employees and not the economy. It’s Christie not paying his bill.”

        True?

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 12:08 am

          Little of what BH stated is accurate…….. clearly he is either illiterate on pension & benefit costs and swayed by the misinformation fed to his relatives by their Union, or worst ….. fully understands the predicament NJ is in DUE TO the grossly excessive pensions & benefit promises, but doesn’t care due to self-interest.

          Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 30, 2015 at 11:57 pm

        Brain,

        I suspected as much after his first comment (claiming to be Private Sector) and was all but sure (after his 2-nd comment) that either he or a family member is now (or will be) benefiting from a Public Sector pension … and likely as a Police Officer or paid Fireman based on the repeated commentary that safety worker pensions should be left alone.

        Trying to reason with someone (BH) with such a stake in the outcome …. even LOGICALLY with correct facts and demonstrations … is pointless.

        And NOTHING is “fair and equal” when it come to the pensions, benefits, perks etc. between the Public & Private Sector.

        Point by point it’s all of what BH stated is the standard Union PR (misleading, distorted, and wrong) talking-point bullsh**……………

        * Bring the Private Sector UP, not the Public Sector DOWN. In what world?

        * Sick-leave payout is reduced to only $15K. REALLY, and you think that’s OK ?

        * Oh GEE, an extra 1.5% of pay contributions …… when it would need to be 20+% to even APPROACH fairness with the Taxpayers.

        ———————————–
        At least BH didn’t tell us the BS that Police & Fire deserve the big pensions because the typically die within 5 years of retirement.

        Reply

  16. Posted by BH on March 30, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    I’m a salesman. But have 3 family members that are public workers and hear about what’s going on through them. So now what?

    Reply

  17. Posted by BH on March 31, 2015 at 8:30 am

    BS? Please explain how it’s BS…
    You gave your facts… I disputed them. So, because my facts are not inline with your beliefs… you call BS?? Wow. That was easy!! Why not dispute them instead of copying and pasting that same paragraph…that you post on every forum in any venue you can.
    And to claim I have skin in the game is yet another stupid observation. I said 3 family members…. Could be an aunt or uncle, a cousin perhaps. In any scenario..it does nothing to me.
    These are not union PR quotes….these are facts. Dispute them if you can. But don’t just call me uneducated and move on. That’s……uneducated. Lol
    Why aren’t you advocating for the private sector??? With the vigor you attack public workers..
    Yes, 1.5% is a significant jump considering that this is more than double what state workers were paying. What about the 35% of healthcare??? That money helps the local municipalities balance their budgets…. But of course they should pay 100% right?? You will find a reason to complain no matter what.
    Make no mistake,,, police and fire WILL be carved out just like every other state that attempted to reform pensions. And rightfully so… This is the obvious course.
    There is a major distinction and difference between state and local pensions. To lump them in together is dumb.
    Again, dispute my facts. You make no mention of allowing the local members to control their own destiny. Give them the pension funds to manage. If it fails on their watch who can they blame?? But that would give you crybabies nothing to blog about. You should fight for that… Go blog about that. What about the 52 million$$$ they paid for that extra 1.5% going to the tax payers…that’s ok?? Equal and fair right??
    Whatever…. Post away. I love the drama.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 10:22 am

      If I find the patience to deal with the SAME nonsense arguments that I have responded to time and time again, perhaps I will … later (no time now).

      But for now I simply ask you to try to justify … because this is what it get down to …….why in NJ the taxpayer’s cost-share of the retirement package (pensions & retiree healthcare) is, for Police Officers (which I’m guessing is where your family member is employed, and which is 65% of pay after 25 years and essentially free retire healthcare thereafter) 4x-5x greater in value upon retirement than the employer-paid-for retirement package TYPICALLY granted a Private Sector worker retiring at the SAME age, with the SAME years of service and the SAME wages.

      And don’t just try to say that it’s not true (as I have demonstrated that it is), that they deserve it due to the danger of their jobs (with Police not even on the US Gov’t BLS list of the most dangerous occupations, all of which pay far less), that they die shortly after retirement (also disproven), etc. etc, etc.

      Isn’t it simply because their Unions have BOUGHT the favorable votes of our Elected Officials (on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits) with campaign contributions and election support …. and with threats to “get them out of office” when they won’t go along with Union demands ?

      The Taxpayers have been the sucker in this equation for FAR too long …… and it needs to end.

      Reply

      • Posted by BH on March 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        Justify?? Do you need to justify the career you do? Do you need to justify your salary or benefit package? If so, To who??Why should they? Because they are a public institution??? What the haters fail to realize is that most of the LOCAL governments negotiated all these contracts with their members in good faith. I can say this until I’m blue in the face but the haters simply skip over the fact that LOCAL PENSIONS ARE SUSTAINABLE!!! Local Police and fire are paid directly by and from the local municipality. So technically if you don’t live in that specific town or city you can’t complain because it doesn’t apply to you. You have no “flesh” in the game either!!

        “Essentially free healthcare”…. Yet AGAIN you are just wrong!!!
        35% of the healthcare premium is paid by the member upon retirement. This was one of the numerous outcomes of chapter 78. I suggest you read it in its entirety.
        I fail to comprehend how 35% of ANYTHING is essentially FREE!!!

        Why aren’t we instead looking at reasons why healthcare providers are allowed to charge the astronomical premiums they do. Why aren’t we demanding some type of reforms be made so that that average 20-30% yearly premium increase is managed??? Because it’s easier to just blame the public workers. Your governor has made it clear, he doesn’t care about you or this state. Why continue to eat what he is force feeding you??
        Look!! You can say what you want. But it is simply a fact that the state of nj got us into this mess by simply NOT making the minimum required payments set by actuaries for all these years!. It’s that black and white!! Look at the states that have….
        Washington 98% funded, South Dakota 96% funded, Wisconson 99%, New York 90%…..I could go on. What they have in common is proper funding!!!!
        But because the state of NJ decided to skimp on these payments for YEARS UPON YEARS …. And now cry because of the “unfunded liabilities ” like they proofed up over night… You want me to support policy that puts this burden on the back of the workers??? Not gonna happen. And I’m sorry but at the end of the day neither will the majority of the public. Be it the way the people negatively view the states leadership (36% approval rating) or their own personal opinion that it’s “justifiable” to pay these people what they were promised..pension reform will never happen the route the state and TL and their minions think.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 4:01 pm

          Are you telling me that local CURRENT (not new) police retirees pay 35% of the cost of their retiree healthcare ?

          Not where I live (in NJ) …. they pay $0 in premiums.
          —————————
          Quoting ….”I can say this until I’m blue in the face but the haters simply skip over the fact that LOCAL PENSIONS ARE SUSTAINABLE!!! ”

          Why, because you scream such ? Under the new GABS accounting rules then LOCAL Plans have a funding ratio in the mid 60s …. extremely distressed is a far more accurate description.

          ————————————————————————

          All the rest is just more of your ranting on issues IRRELEVANT to the EXTREMELY excessive generosity (and hence COST) of NJ ‘s pension & benefits …. and that the Taxpayers are told to pay for almost ALL of it.

          Reply

          • Posted by BH on March 31, 2015 at 5:12 pm

            No. Anyone who has retired will continue to recieve healthcare until 65 and then Medicare kicks in. Anyone who had more than 20 years in the pension when chapter 78 was signed in 2011 is also grandfathered in,,,, BUT everyone else from that point on pays 35% of their healthcare premium while working and into and including retirement. So, unless you live outside of NJ, Im not sure why you refute this. Read chapter 78.

  18. Posted by BH on March 31, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Here ya go!! Equal and Fair…..go get em, go attack the private sector with such vigor!!
    Not your problem right?? Not your concern right?? Not a tax payer issue right??

    Top U.S. executives get paid a lot to do their jobs. Now many are also getting a big boost in what they will be paid after they stop working.

    Executive pensions are swelling at such companies as General Electric Co., United Technologies Corp. and Coca-Cola Co. While a significant chunk of the increase is the result of arcane pension accounting around issues like low interest rates and longer lifespans, the rest reflects very real improvements in the executives’ retirement prospects.

    Pension gains averaged 8% of total compensation for top executives at S&P 500 companies last year, up sharply from 3% the year before, according to data from LogixData, which analyzes SEC filings. But the gains are much larger for some executives, totaling more than $1 million each for 176 executives at 89 large companies that filed proxy statements through mid-March. For those executives, pension gains averaged 30% of total pay.

    The gains often don’t represent new pay decisions by corporate boards. Instead, they reflect the sometimes dramatic growth in value of retirement promises made in the past. Nonetheless, they are creating an optics problem for companies at a time when executive-pay levels are under greater scrutiny from investors and the public. Companies now face regular shareholder votes on their pay practices that can be flash points for broader concerns, leaving them sensitive about appearing too generous.

    New mortality tables released last fall by the American Society of Actuaries extended life expectancies by about two years. That, as well as low year-end interest rates, helped push pension gains higher than many companies had expected. The result is much higher current values for plans with terms like guaranteed annual payouts, which are no longer offered to most rank-and-file workers.

    GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt’s compensation rose 88% last year to $37.3 million. Meanwhile, excluding $18.4 million in pension gains, his pay actually fell slightly to $18.9 million.

    The company says about half of the pension increase came from changes in its assumptions about interest rates and life span. About $8.8 million, however, comes from an increase of nearly $490,000 a year in the pension checks he stands to take home as his pay has risen and he approaches 60 years old, the age at which top GE executives can collect full pension benefits.

    In all, Mr. Immelt’s pension is valued at about $4.8 million a year for life. The company puts its current value at about $70 million, up from around $52 million a year ago.

    A GE spokesman said that much of the gain reflects accounting considerations and that Mr. Immelt’s recent salary increases reflect balanced-pay practices and board approval of his performance.

    The SEC is particular about how companies report pay in their proxy statements. There is a standard table that breaks out salary, bonuses and pension gains, along with totals for the past three years, and other details. GE, encouraging investors to overlook the pension gains, added a final column to the table to show what top executives’ total pay would look like without them. The company says investors find the presentation useful in making proxy voting decisions.

    Lockheed Martin is also asking investors to look past pension gains when considering its executives’ total pay.

    At Lockheed Martin Corp., CEO Marillyn Hewson’s total pay rose 34% to $33.7 million last year, with $15.8 million of that stemming from pension gains. An extra column in the proxy statement’s compensation table strips out those gains, showing her pay up about 13% to $17.9 million.

    Lockheed says that $5 million of the pension gains can be traced to changes in interest rates and mortality assumptions. Most or all of the remaining $10.8 million probably stems from increases in the payments she would receive in retirement: about $2.3 million a year now, up from about $1.6 million a year under last year’s proxy disclosure. Ms. Hewson’s pay rose sharply with her ascent to CEO in 2013 and chairman last year, increasing her pension benefit significantly.

    Overall, the company’s obligation for future pension benefits for executives and other highly paid employees totaled $1.1 billion last year, up from $1 billion at the end of 2013.

    A Lockheed Martin spokesman said the company broke out a nonpension compensation total in the proxy statement to provide more context for pay.

    Executive pensions generally don’t consume the attention that pensions for the rank and file do. For years, as costs of traditional pension plans have risen amid low interest rates and longer lifespans, big companies have been closing them to new employees or even freezing benefits in place, often continuing with only a 401(k) plan for all but the oldest workers.

    Last June, Lockheed Martin told its nonunion employees that it would stop reflecting salary increases in their pension benefits starting next year, and that the benefits would stop growing with additional years of work starting in 2020.

    “It eliminates a lot of the variability that defined-benefit pension plans can create in our cost structure,” Chief Financial Officer Bruce Tanner told investors during a Dec. 3 conference presentation.

    In 2011, GE stopped offering new employees traditional defined-benefit pensions and replaced them with 401(k) plans. At the time, Mr. Immelt cited recent market downturns and lower interest rates as being among the reasons for the shift.

    In a cruel twist of irony, America’s top CEOs are now enjoying much higher pension payouts while they cut defined-benefit plans to new employees and increase share buybacks to pad their insanely high compensation. I guess longer life spans are fine when it comes to CEOs’ pensions but not when it comes to their employees’ pensions.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 10:23 am

      See my response to your prior comment.

      Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on March 31, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      BH,
      Good choices. The standard answer is the private sector is sacred because it’s not my tax money, and I can always choose to shop elsewhere. Free enterprise in action. It works OK at the corner mom and pop grocery, or the pizza shop, but you can’t “shop elsewhere” from GE or Lockheed Martin. And it sure is your tax dollars.

      Even more ironic is their pensions:

      “The government also promises to help defense companies shore up their pension funds when they become underfunded. Many of these funds have lost money in recent years in declining financial markets or on bad investments, so the bill for taxpayers has been growing.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/business/dear-committee-main-st-says-look-at-pensions.html?_r=0
      ………………………
      And it’s not just the CEOs. According to AEI, engineers, technicians, researchers, accountants, attorneys, and mid level executives in these companies earn as much as 60% more than equivalent public sector workers. Even factoring in the added public pensions and OPEBs, these workers make as much as 20% more.

      And it……..is……..your tax dollars.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 12:31 pm

        Yup ….. but all of those with PHDs and Professionals that you are talking about represent just 3% of all Private Sector taxpayers.

        No much “meat” there huh ?

        Reply

        • Posted by BH on March 31, 2015 at 1:10 pm

          But all the examples that you and other people cry about within the public sector are all numbers of Directors, Chiefs and Deputies all at the top tier of their respective leaderships. And these issues have been addressed by either chapter 78 or local municipalities through direct negotiations. There is no longer any type of uncapped monetary payments being made after a certain date. I believe rather soon, once this last round of pension reforms makes the rest jump ship, those who remain are alllllllll capped. No longer will we read about all these enormous retirement buyback checks.
          So again, my point is….. If ALL the things people claim is at issue, has already been addressed….. What is the problem???
          Give the unions control of their pensions (after the state pays what it owes) and leave it be. No longer a concern of the tax payer…..
          Why won’t you advocate for that??

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 4:07 pm

            Since it appears that your Public Sector “family members” are Police officers, I’ll stick with that …..

            No, not just the … “Directors, Chiefs and Deputies all at the top tier of their respective leaderships. ” …… EVERYONE, from the patrolman on up gets a retirement package (pensions & retiree healthcare) for which the Taxpayer’s cost-share is 4x-5x greater in value upon retirement than the employer-paid-for retirement package TYPICALLY granted a Private Sector worker retiring at the SAME age, with the SAME years of service and the SAME wages.

            There is no justification for it to be ANY (yes ANY) greater.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

            Quoting ….. “Give the unions control of their pensions (after the state pays what it owes) and leave it be. No longer a concern of the tax payer…..
            Why won’t you advocate for that??”

            Oh I’d advocate for that IMMEDIATELY ……… IF, as you said earlier, if the transfer included …. “Give them the pension funds to manage. If it fails on their watch who can they blame??” ………. meaning investment, mortality, expenses, etc. losses imply a reduction in PAST service pension accruals.
            ————————————————

            But considering that the State Plans are 44% funded and the Local Plans are about 65% funded, YOU want that shortfall to be topped up by the Taxpayers …… and I don’t, because topping-it-up MEANS that we (the Taxpayers) ACCEPT the CURRENT level of Plan generosity is fair and appropriate …. and it is NEITHER.
            ———————————————–

            What wrong with the proposal put forth by the NJ pension Commission …. to honor PAST Service accruals (primarily by bringing Public Sector healthcare benefits/costs down to the level typically granted Private Sector workers), but freeze the current DB Pension Plans for FUTURE Service, replacing them with a “Cash Balance” Pension Plan comparable to what Private Sector workers typically get ?

            That called EQUAL (and “fair”). Got a problem with that ?

  19. Posted by BH on March 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    No, not the losses of past accruals …unless the state pays the amount it owes that was expressed by the actuaries (that the state kept as tax rebates for the rest of us from the pension money they did not pay into the system for more than a decade) and “top off” as you claim, I’d prefer to call it a debt paid, but either way… Pay that back, up to date and then give the unions the pensions to manage. Until then, you’d just be taking all that loss and giving them a half full barrel. Make it full, like it should have been and then transfer it over. Fair and equal right???
    And I would have no problem with freezing the pension plans for future hires, if the state would make all the payments it’s required to make and relinquishing the funds to the unions to manage. The cash balanced plan sucks, plain and simple. But if given enough time, younger employees would have time to make calculated desicions about their retirements. But to expect an employee to make up that shortfall mid career is unconscionable. What is this, the Bernard Madoff show???

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      The proposal by the NJ Pension Commission calls for making up (i.e., amortizing over 30 years) the shortfall associated with PAST service accruals by reducing active & retiree healthcare subsidies to a level comparable to that typically granted Private Sector workers. Seems “fair”, and then no PAST Service pension accruals are lost. But if the workers won’t budge on the healthcare-subsidy reductions, we are at an impasse because there is no money to fund those past service pension accruals ….. which means no topping-up the pension shortfall w/o the healthcare reductions.

      And Quoting ….. “And I would have no problem with freezing the pension plans for future hires,”

      Not sure if you were trying to sneak those words ..”for new hires” …. in or not, but it’s certainly NOT what I stated or what is sufficient in my opinion or in the proposal put forth by the pension Commission. Changes made only for NEW workers save next-to-nothing until they begin to retire 20-30 years in the future. NJ’s Plans are in DISMAL financial straights now, and need immediate reform not more phoney tinkering around the edges.

      I know you’re not happy with the Commission’s proposal to freeze the pension Plan for all CURRENT workers. No one who is (or whose family is) impacted by it would be. But do you realize that pension “freezes” for CURRENT workers are both legal and very ROUTINE in the Private Sector … and no less unconscionable. And with Private Sector taxpayers being forced to fund the vast majority of Public Sector pension & benefits, there is no justification for those pension or benefits to be greater in value than those granted comparable Private Sector workers.

      Reply

  20. Posted by Anonymous on May 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    TL and devout followers; individuals presenting a right wing conservative perspective based on half-truths and lies.

    TL continual posts repetitive misinformation citing sources with extreme ideology. Yet sumarial dismisses other posts with conflicting opinions and sources.

    Specifically, purposely misstated the tax status of public pensions in the following post; https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/christie-curses-out-nj-media/#comments When called to task tried to double talk their way out of it. Standard operating procedure for most of their commentary.

    Fair and equal for all is the mantra. Fair enough, but not when I suggest Federal workers and members of our beloved Armed Forces be part of the bigger conversation. The response, they’re different. But why, because they risk their lives like first responders at home. Their DBP are paid with Federal tax dollars as opposed to State or Local. Everyone knew the job risks when they accepted employment. But they also knew what their salary, pension, and benefits were supposed to be.

    To blame and demonize public workers for the current situation is unfair and untrue. Do politicians make “deals” with unions that don’t always have the taxpayers best interest? I think everyone knows the answer to that is yes. But politicians are always making “deals” it’s what they do. Just ask the various segment market corporations; defense spending (lucrative contracts), farming (subsidies) and the list goes on and on.

    Your bully tactics and demeaning attitude only motivate me more to push back your parties ridiculous vision for NJ and America. Yes I’m sure John knows all of our IP address, so you and your business name can be exposed as well.

    The purpose of continually posting this comment is to allow the counterpoint perspective to be heard. I will no longer personally engage your comments tit for tat.

    Reply

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