Christie’s Pension Spiel

Thanks to the New Jersey Herald youtube site that uploaded the video of yesterday’s town hall in Sparta that revealed much about the governor’s propaganda campaign to reform pensions.  Below are the excerpts from that meeting that deal with pensions and benefits starting with the stump speech:

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Selective information, half-truths, outright lies, dodgy statistics: they were all in that presentation and those do not help solve New Jersey’s second biggest problem.*  Here they are in order (with the time in the video they were asserted):

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1:55- $31,500 average cost per employee for health care – really?  Where is the backup for this?  If you have 500,000 employees at all levels of government costing $31,500 each that would add up to $15.75 billion.

2:40- $750 million cadillac tax (when fully phased in) – but the numbers in the pension study commission report were $58 million in 2018 and $284 million by 2022.

4:15- $39,000 average New Jersey pension – but the 7/1/14 valuation reports put the average pension at $31,507.

6:00- pension underfunding between $35 and $40 billion – GASB would put that underfunding at $83 billion though $166 billion is the honest number.

6:15 and 31:25- put in more than any other governor $4.2 billion: but also skipped more payments ($14.9 billion) than any other governor.

7:05- $3 billion in savings by going from platinum plus to gold – will insurance providers who are often political insiders really take a $3 billion hit?

7:30- turn over pensions to the unions – when union (multiemployer) plans are almost as big a basket case as public plans and were recently allowed to arbitrarily cut benefits.

8:20- NJEA was on board for this reformNo.

9:30- only other options are raising the sales tax from 7% to 10% or raising the income tax on everyone 29%eliminating county government not on the table?

15:10- not cutting anyone’s pension: ignoring the COLA elimination which is a question brought up later at 24:05 (are you serious?)

16:10- “when the economy doesn’t work” you can’t go to your boss to get what was promised – yet in his posturing for the presidency Christie claims that the wrecked ship of an economy he inherited is now sea-worthy.

31:50- “this pension is in better shape because of the reforms we made – it’s absolutely true – than it would have been had we not made the reforms” – debatable since the COLA could come back creating massive additional liabilities not counted on but notice that even Christie will not go so far as to claim that the pension system is better off now than when he took over which means that there is not even an iota of backup anywhere (NCPERS, the state’s actuaries, anyone willing to consult for $7.5 million) to support that lie.

Pensions and benefits desperately need to be reformed in New Jersey but not based on lies.  Next blog: the real truth and it’s a whole lot worse than the story concocted by Christie’s people.

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* A corrupt political system where campaign donors get to dictate policy is likely still the biggest problem but that may have more to do with my view of the shenanigans in Union County.

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PS: Unions fighting back:
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124 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Zero based budgeting & EVERYTHING is on the table.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      ZBB would be WONDERFUL …. at all gov’t levels. If done properly, we would likely layoff 1/3 of all Gov’t employees.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 10:52 pm

        bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha, that is the only appropriate response to such a dreamer as yourself. Yeah lets lay off 1/3 of the politicians as well! Thats rich! And while we are at it, recommend that private companies reduce pay at least 1/3.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 11:30 pm

          Getting rid of 1/3 of our “politicians” would be a good “start” toward larger reductions ……… most being taxpayer-betraying shills for the Public Sector Unions/workers.

          Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    6:15 and 31:25- put in more than any other governor $4.2 billion: but also skipped more payments ($14.9 billion) than any other governor. TL supports this in full, she thinks it saves her taxes, wait till she finds out it will cost her more in the long run.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      I support … EQUAL, but not better.

      You support …. MORE for the workers, and have stated that. That’s called Greed.

      Reply

      • Posted by Michael S Polish on May 15, 2015 at 6:22 pm

        Life is not equal. A clerical worker like you has never received the same compensation and benefits of a person who protects lives. Not in the Roman times,not during the Great Depression and not now. You don’t deserve equal to me,you work in an office and provide nothing of value for society. A trash man contributes more to society in truth.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm

          Quoting …”You don’t deserve equal to me, you work in an office and provide nothing of value for society.”

          Well, my employer would disagree with you …. and EARTH to Public Sector pig (YUP, your comment is deserving of that response), it is the taxes paid on the sales and earnings of Private Sector businesses and on their worker’s income that is the sole source of revenue for your wages, pensions, and benefits ……….. which means, your food, your shelter, your clothes … your entire well-being.

          You’re quite pathetic, ungrateful, and clearly greedy.

          —————————————————————–

          I see that you and I traded a few comments on a recent Blog-post of Mr. Bury titled …”New Jersey Pension Payment (NJPP) Case 1: The Endgame”

          Just as ridiculous there, with your comment:

          “In all honesty most private sector positions are not needed.”

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 7:59 pm

            And when I called you out on THAT ignorant comment, you responded :

            “As for my pension you will take it in the a$$ before I do in the form of tax hike.”

            Nice show of class.
            ————————————————————-

            It’s scary that a person with your mentality might be a Police Officer in NJ … or anywhere else for that matter.

          • Posted by Michael S Polish on May 15, 2015 at 10:41 pm

            Yes,I’m sure you are employee of the year,spending every moment of your employers time on here posting about the same thing over and over. Not a shining example of a much needed private sector slug. Stealing money,surfing the net all day,complaining about what police officers benefits are. If ever a company needed to evaluate their internet policy at work it would be your clueless employer.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 11:53 pm

            Well, being BOTH an employee of, and THE employer, it’s not a problem ……..

            And yes, I legitimately “complain” about Police Officer compensation. I suggest you take a look at my just-posted work-up of the pension “advantage” that NJ Police Officers TYPICALLY have over that of a Private Sector worker retiring at the SAME age, with the SAME pay, and the SAME years of Service. You can find it on Mr. Bury’s PRIOR Blog article titled …. “It’s embarrassing, and I’m tired of hearing this I want what I was promised”.

            Look for the 2 LONG comments. Result ….. NJ Police pensions are TYPICALLY 5.41 times* greater in “value at retirement” than similarly situated Private Sector workers ………. and that doesn’t even include the $250k-$500K ADDITIONAL Taxpayer-paid-for cost of your FREE “family” retiree healthcare benefits.
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            * and that 5.41 times would assuredly be even higher if I used the much LOWER Defined Contribution Plans (Not the DB Plan I used in the work-up) now almost universal in the Private Sector.
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            Taxpayers are rapidly wising up to the financial “mugging” being perpetrated upon them by the insatiably greedy Public Sector workers and enabled by the Elected Officials whose favorable votes (on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits) are BOUGHT with Public Sector Union campaign contributions and election support.

        • Posted by BH on May 16, 2015 at 10:48 am

          “Life is not Equal”,….That’s the point I’ve been trying to make this entire time with TL. They preach equal and fair. That’s their entire premise. But my point is –if you make the public safety jobs AS safe as the private sector jobs…. We can entertain the argument of equal and fair. It makes NO sense to discuss same age, same duration of work, same retirement age if we are talking about completely different jobs. It’s like comparing oranges to bananas…. Yes, they are both fruit but nothing alike, so you can’t say one can be equal to the other.
          It’s this socialist, communist, idiotic ideology that drives me crazy!!!!!
          All this does is lower the bar for everyone!!
          And when you speak of equal and fair…. What level of compensation do we use?? Those at the top, bottom…. Average?? Because then we are all the same already!!!

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 11:17 am

            If you rationale were correct, all of the people who work in MORE dangerous occupations (beolo, per the BLS) would be compensated MORE than safety workers, not far LESS (especially when the absurdly generous pensions and benefits of safety workers are included).

            Your position is driven by self-interest … and greed.

            The 10 Deadliest Jobs:

            1. Logging workers
            2. Fishers and related fishing workers
            3. Aircraft pilot and flight engineers
            4. Roofers
            5. Structural iron and steel workers
            6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
            7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers
            8. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers
            9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
            10. Construction laborers

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 10:54 pm

        how about equal taxes on Millionaires, same percentage as middleclass! no more loopholes!

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 10:09 am

        Perhaps you missed the latest news article which depicts the lowest paying jobs for individuals with a bachelor’s degree–mostly education degrees. Why on earth would anyone jump into the political abyss to be a teacher now–you can’t make enough to support your family.

        Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Yeah thats right , lets turn the money over to the unions for them to decide. Yeah the money we never put into the fund, let turn it over to the unions. Bwahahahahah, there will be nothing to turn over! too funny!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      There is $80 Billion in Plan assets right now.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        The six insurers that handle NJABP funds can handle administering the NJ pension funds, this sky is falling is tired and old. NJ has subcontracted higher ed retirement to insurers for decades.

        Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Some POTENTIAL facts from our commander in chief;

    P&B most recent non GASB 67&68 unfunded lisbility is ~$95. fyi, this includes the recent missed payments

    BFY16 proposed ARC approp is $1.3B

    IF we amend c.78 to extend the catch up and future ARC payments to 40 years the annual funding would be $2.375B.

    IF we changes health benefits coverage to gold we’d save $3B annually.

    Problem solved with 625M for TTFA funding on infrastructure.

    All health care savings, when necessary. would be dedicated to ARC funding.

    Clearly this is purely GOP political propaganda to destroy America’s last roadblock standing in the way of the 1% destruction of the working class – public sector unions and their members!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Learn some math ……..

      Your $2.375 Billion came from … $95B/40.

      Even ignoring the fact that John believes that the true unfunded liability is $166 B, not $95 B., you have ignored the time value of money completely. If you owe (in today’s dollars … and due in hand TODAY, because it is ALREADY a “present value” figure) $95 B, you need to put ALL $95 B in TODAY. If you want to “pay-it-down” over 40 years you need to pay interest on the unpaid balance.

      To pay off $95 B over 40 years at the NJ-assumed Plan rate of 7.9% would require a payment of $7,304,436.85 at the beginning of each year …. not $2.375 Billion.

      Reply

    • Posted by BH on May 15, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      TL, John clearly stated,”Pensions and benefits desperately need to be reformed in New Jersey but not based on lies. ”
      And I’m not even a fan of anyone who wants to diminish pensions for our hard working public workers. But you go off base and get out of line. It’s his blog, he can post whatever he wants…. Or does that not flow with your socialist movement??
      Start your own blog.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm

        BH,

        Interesting comment coming from someone desperately trying to shift the Blog’s entire focus from Public Sector Pension Reform to …”Corporate Greed”.

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm

        Just noticed that John said that (I missed it in my first reading).

        Did you also notice that John followed that statement with…….

        “Next blog: the real truth and it’s a whole lot worse than the story concocted by Christie’s people.”

        Does that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling that your family’s (or your) NJ pensions & benefits will be paid as “promised ?

        Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Chris Christie wants to cut back on pension contributions, insurance benefits along with his latest bathing attire
    https://scontent-mia.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t34.0-12/11275632_1094751547207189_1725776921_n.jpg?oh=57a3fa932d2056cb01cf614e98df41a1&oe=5558D3DD

    Reply

  6. Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    John,

    (1) You seem to be falling for the Union’s tactic of trying to move the discussion from the VERY CLEAR need for pension reform (and YES, that means REDUCTIONS) to the misdeeds of Gov. Christie ….. and then coming to the ridiculous position that because Christie is a jerk, they don’t need (or won’t cooperate constructively with) any pension reforms.

    I can’t believe you’re not seeing past that.

    (2) When you said …”governor’s propaganda campaign to reform pensions”.

    I can’t believe you do not agree that MAJOR pension reform is necessary (and that such reforms need to include future service pension accrual reductions) as well as contribution increases. While I understand your rightful dismay with the actuarial community in being complicit in allowing this current situation to develop, the language in your above quote suggests that you do not even support pension reform. Is that sending the right message …… especially to your less-well-informed, non-Public-Sector readers who are trying to learn the TRUE FACTS (and direction we need to take) from the dizzying array of competing comments ?

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on May 15, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      TL finally realizing that her position only flies in fantasyland. I really think you would be best served to move out of the Garden State. You can continue to rip off the general public in a nicer climate. Come on , be brave TL , change is good for you.

      By the way, TL when will you realize that neither your opinion nor mine matter with the corrupt government of NJ. I guess you really dont live in the real world after all. Sad

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 15, 2015 at 4:58 pm

        If I moved away, certainly eliminating any financial reason for my continued advocating for pension reforms in NJ, would that lesson the need for such reforms ?

        Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Distorted one sided opinions, what’s factual is debatable.

      Reply

  7. Posted by dentss dunnigan on May 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Pensions all around are being cut ,they were never meant to be collected for 20,30,40 years in retirement “In practical terms, workers claiming benefits at age 62 in 2022 and beyond will face a 30% reduction in the annual benefit that they receive throughout their lives.”
    http://news.investors.com/051415-752658-social-security-retirement-age-rising-hitting-early-retirees.htm?p=2

    Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 8:41 am

    P&B like SS, Medicare & Medicaid can only be fully funded on paper using future value or discount rate illustrations because the dynamics are so fluid the target can never be hit. In theory the ARC funding is intended to “pay off” the UAL at some future point in time. In practice we’ll always be chasing our tail as there will always be a “pay as you go” element involved.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Nonsense …………… The annual actuarial valuation is structured to keep the funding “on target” to 100% and never contemplates pay-as-you-go.

      It would work just fine if:

      (a) the promised pensions were never amortized beyond the average lifetime of the employee population,
      (b) the assumptions were true best estimate with reasonable margins for adverse experience (e.g., investment, mortality, salary increases,, employee termination, etc.),
      (c) the game-playing would end (endless benefit increases, often retroactively applied, greater than average end of career raises and promotions, pay “spiking”, phoney “disability” pension approvals, etc.)

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 12:55 pm

        Theorictical speaking, but in practice it’s never been a reality since the moment in time of Whitman’s POB. Adding to your list of reasons, lack of any funding and underfunding over the past ~27+ years.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

          Yes, lack of fully funding an amount (the ARC) which is A FUNCTION OF (in it’s calculation) the “generosity” of the pension Plan.

          And with the Plans VERY clearly being GROSSLY EXCESSIVE (per my mathematical demonstrations given as 2 long comments in Mr. Bury’s Previous Bold article), there is ZERO justification for the Taxpayers to agree to fund such Plans ………. the pension benefits of which are CLEARLY the result of the Public Sector Unions’ BUYING the favorable votes of our Elected Officials (on pay, pensions, and benefits) with campaign contributions and election support.

          Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Two other points on health care relating to State’s unfunded liability. First, IF everyone is switched to gold coverage it will reduce the UAAL. Second, IF we target rising health care cost at its source we can bring down premiums saving everyone, except the Insurance industry, money. Provider services for everyone, regatdless of insurance covetage, should be a two part component one fixed for procedure the other variable based on fluctuating overhead cost by regional location.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Quoting ….. “First, IF everyone is switched to gold coverage it will reduce the UAAL. ”

      The UAAL is a “pension” liability Reducing healthcare coverage from what has been described as a Platinum+ level, would lower healthcare costs, but that would have no direct impact on the pension UAAL ….. other than to the extent such savings is actually APPLIED to reduce that pension UAAL.

      Quoting …”IF we target rising health care cost at its source we can bring down premiums saving everyone, except the Insurance industry, money.”

      The place were real savings can be made here is typically not with the insurance companies (unless you lower coverage levels) but with the intermediaries (brokers, etc.), arguably, unnecessary middlemen (brokers, etc.) that rake-off significant “commissions” for very little real “work”.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        Not sure about that with the type of profits Insurance companies generate? A for profit Insurance company (specifically health insurance for this topic) is counter intuitive to patient’s well being and lower premiums.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 1:42 pm

          The “profits” of the Insurance companies are smaller than you believe them to be.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 3:06 pm

            I cant stop laughing at the blatant lie. Prudential was the richest company in the USA until EXXON Took over the spot at one point.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm

            Prudential is a LOT more than a Health Insurer (which I thought what was being discussed). And being highly profitable can’t rationally be measure in “dollar” profits, but by measures such as ROI and ROE.

            There are good arguments* for “health” insurance (but generally NOT for Life , Annuities, casualty, etc.) to be not “price controlled”, but “profit controlled”, and many health insurance products ARE in fact so controlled by way of “minimum loss ratio requirements” imposed by Sate Insurance Departments …… meaning that the Insurer MUST return (say) 80 cents of every dollar collected in the form of claim payouts.

            And if you noticed from my earlier comment ……. I SUPPORT a single payer Health Plan for all Americans as structured In Canada and Europe.

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            * such as the need for EVERYONE to has reasonable access to affordable healthcare (but up to a limit that the country can “afford” to provide ….. and certainty NOT the Platinum+ coverage that most Public Sector workers/retirees enjoy, mostly at Taxpayer expense)

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 11:53 pm

            As a follow-up to my above comment mentioning Minimum Loss Ratios for health insurance products, the following (below) quotes from the NJ “minimum Loss Ratio” regulations, with the source of this quote being ……

            http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/health-insurance-medical-loss-ratios.aspx
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            New Jersey- (C.17B:27A-25) “Each calendar year, a carrier shall return, in the form of aggregate benefits for all of the five standard policy forms offered by the carrier pursuant to subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19), at least 75% of the aggregate premiums collected for all of the standard policy forms, 35 contracts, g. (1) Beginning January 1, 1995, a carrier desiring to increase or decrease premiums for any policy form or benefit rider offered pursuant to subsection i. of section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19) subject to this act may implement such increase or decrease upon making an informational filing with the commissioner of such increase or decrease, along with the actuarial assumptions and methods used by the carrier in establishing such increase or decrease, provided that the anticipated minimum loss ratio for all policy forms shall not be less than 75% of the premium therefor as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection.”

            2001 NJ Regulations: The rules contain a 75 percent minimum loss ratio requirement for group policies, and a 65 percent minimum loss ratio requirement for individual policies. These loss ratio requirements are consistent with those applied to Medicare Supplement policies: http://liberty.state.nj.us/dobi/pn01_038.htm.
            New Jersey has a “care share” requirement of 75% for the individual and small group markets. If less than 75-cents of every premium dollar is spent on direct medical care, an insurer must issue the difference in refunds to their members. Families USA reports that insurers have refunded policyholders $11.6 million since the early 1990’s.

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

            Yeah right and the P&B underfunding has more to do with the lack of employer ARC payments than you believe it to be.

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 1:45 pm

          And for what it’s worth, I’d love to get all of the “Insurance” out of the picture with a single payer healthcare system as structure in Canada and Europe.

          Reply

  10. Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Staying on point with the Governor’s P&B Commission’s report. Let’s assume we freeze the current DBP, switch everyone to gold health benefits (dedicating the $3B annual savings to the ARC) what is the revised actuarial P&B ARC amortized over 30 Years? Does this number fit within the current budget framework, ie no tax increases? Again just one scenario based on the Governor’s facts. Bottom line, current proposed BFY16 ARC approp is $1.3B plus the $3B “gold” savings with no employee contributions going forward. If responding please stick with the scenario don’t complicate the answer with other suggested changes.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      What is the source of your $3 Billion “savings” from moving from Platinum to Gold … a link please?

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        Her source is a cow pod.

        Reply

      • I would like to know that too along with a link for the $31,500 average cost per employee for health benefits.

        The $3 billion is what they would need to keep property taxes steady once those taxpayers have to pick up teacher pensions again but that they would get it from a reduction in health benefit costs is aspirational and likely something the P&B committee threw in there so they could wrap up.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 6:03 pm

          Wow that’s crazy, so to wrap it up they just “plugged” a $3B savings so their scenario worked in theory but in practice, just another lie. We’re back to square one, we need a new bipartisan Commission because IF their $3B savings is pie in the sky it undermines the entire report.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 6:11 pm

            No (but nice try) ….. we need that $3 Billion in give-backs from wherever the workers/retirees choose to take the hit …. it really doesn’t matter if it’s pension reductions AND/OR healthcare reductions.

          • $3 billion was a made up number but it is achievable in they eliminate county government and get some real campaign finance reform. The Pension Study commission got a lot right but I suspect their naivete about how government really works (or doesn’t work) kept them distracted from the revenue source that the majority of the public would favor.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 8:50 pm

            I’d love to see all County Govt’s in NJ eliminated. There is just SOOOO much redundancy …. all to simply keep MORE workers employer, to pay MORE Union dues which makes MORE money available for campaign contributions …. and on and on ….

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 6:07 pm

          I’m guessing the $31K is the annual cost of the highest option family coverage (which most choose anyway) assuming the retirees are in a claim-pool of just retirees and not combined with “actives”. Keep in mind that that reflects their TRUE cost, rather than being artificially understated.

          Reply

          • Posted by BH on May 17, 2015 at 8:21 am

            0148

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 9:18 am

            $27,510.44 active bi-weekly family coverage NJDirect15 including Rx

            $32,303.76 retired monthly family coverage NJDirect15 includes Rx

            So I’m not sure where the $31,500 number comes from or how your reference to true cost for retiree’s claim pool ties into the premium costs I obtained from NJ Treasury P&B website. Of course this is for non medicare eligible where State’s coverahe is primary. As usual a bunch of numbers being bantered about and they’re all different.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

            BH, Your chart is for “Individual” not “family” coverage.

            And the premiums are likely so high in NJ, because the benefit COVERED by those policies are very generous.

        • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm

          Oh that makes sense, let’s lose our bulk purchasing power leverage by creating sub-pools coverage groups. Sounds like the Insurance fix is in on that one.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 9:02 pm

            You are so beyond clueless ……. as to how ANY of this works,

            You always think you are being screwed by someone ….. unbelievable.

      • Posted by BH on May 17, 2015 at 8:22 am

    • Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 9:39 am

      An answer please, like I said not my numbers only the Gov and his hand picked Commission know.

      Reply

  11. Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    P&B reform, benefits or funding problem? Are the much needed reforms grossly overstated? Is it a matter of ideology and budgetary choices?

    Reply

  12. Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    By all means feel free to share your business name, which I’ve asked for previously, wouldn’t want your business profiting on public sector “blood money”. You’ll have to talk to Gov for details on the $3B savings, it’s his number not mine.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Sharing my name or business ……..not a chance.

      And how about a link to where Gov. Christie stated a $3 Billion savings from a Platinum to Gold shift.

      And you do of course realize that such a shift/”savings” likely means all STATE and LOCAL workers & retirees would have to agree to that (likely picking up higher deductibles, copays, coinsurance percentages, and less cover in certain areas) or have it forced upon them.

      Do YOU see the greedy Unions/workers/retirees agreeing to this? I certainly don’t.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm

        OK no business name fair enough but it would be interesting to see you scmmozing for the public worker’s almighty dollar.

        Unfortunately I’m not privy to the details of the information spewing from the Gov’s mouth but John confirmed this in his above post.

        I can only speak for myself, I’d vote yes to gold coverage and encourage Unions support. Assuming the Gov’s number is accurate and it would be dedicated to P&B ARC. Otherwise it’s more reforms rooted in lies that won’t solve the systemic problem. Deja vu, back to court because the ARC funding isn’t being met.

        It’s easy to express opinions in writing we wouldn’t consider doing face to face ( myself included). OK I’m getting off topic but my point is not ALL public sector workers have the mentality you’ve labeled us to possess.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 6:23 pm

          Quoting …”Unfortunately I’m not privy to the details of the information spewing from the Gov’s mouth but John confirmed this in his above post.”

          No, what John stated was that we NEED (per the report) $3 Billion annually to amortize the UAAL (assuming the plans are frozen so it does not continue to grow)..

          He stated (i.e., his “aspirational” statement) that he thought the NJ Pension Commission was guessing that that annual $3B might come from the Platinum to Gold healthcare shift.
          ————————————

          FWIW, I respect ALL honest,productive workers, Public & Private, and do recognize the special nature of the job that safety workers have. I just believe that the level of compensation (pay + pensions + benefits) NOW provided is so over-the-top unnecessary, unfair, and unaffordable that it’s killing the ability of our States & Cities to provide truly “necessary” services.

          Reply

          • Posted by BH on May 16, 2015 at 7:18 pm

            So, police, fire and education are not “necessary” services????

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 8:22 pm

            Agree. There are many people able to do the above jobs at a much more reasonable cost.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 9:16 pm

            BH, Do you have a reading comprehension problem ?

            Was it not VERY clear that THIS Statement of mine:

            ” I just believe that the level of compensation (pay + pensions + benefits) NOW provided is so over-the-top unnecessary, unfair, and unaffordable that it’s killing the ability of our States & Cities to provide truly “necessary” services.”

            mweeaning that their excessive “COMPENSATION” is unnecessary …. not that the workers themselves are unnecessary ?
            ——————————————-

            You and “Anonymous” (who I still believe may be you) are 2 nutty dudes.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 9:18 pm

            In my last comment I was referring to the OTHER “Anonymous”, NOT the one who said THIS …..

            “Agree. There are many people able to do the above jobs at a much more reasonable cost.”

          • Posted by BH on May 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm

            TL, are you male or female? Just curious.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 16, 2015 at 10:44 pm

            BH, How could that possibly matter or be relevant to any discussion that takes place on this or other blogs/websites ?

            Concerned you’ve been bested by a woman ?

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 8:54 am

            From John’s points on our fearless leader’s town hall story of lies;

            7:05- $3 billion in savings by going from platinum plus to gold – will insurance providers who are often political insiders really take a $3 billion hit?

            You sure know how to play dumb and ignore the points being made when it suits you.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

            Quoting ….”7:05- $3 billion in savings by going from platinum plus to gold – will insurance providers who are often political insiders really take a $3 billion hit?”

            That makes no sense. You BUY (and pay a premium) consistent with the level of coverage provided by the Insurance contract. If the total premium goes down by $3 Billion (and to me that seems impossibly high), the only “hit” he insurance company would incur, would be less profit due to the lower coverage level and hence premium collected. If this “profit” averages 10% of premiums, than one “might”t call 10% of $3B or $30 Million a “hit”.

  13. Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    She is ashamed of her employer

    Reply

  14. Posted by Tough love for tough love on May 17, 2015 at 2:01 am

    I see that not much has changed on this blog from my last post. TL still taking her position that we (public and private-of which I am) should all be greatful to pay our companies for the privilege of working. Uh, uh, uhhhh TL, remember you don’t get to whine about prior contracts, while you didn’t complain then or run for office. You voted for all those reps who gave you funds that ahhhh technically you shouldn’t have been getting. Your elected reps at the time spent the monies they should have been saving then. Be mad at THEM. A contract is a contract as our beloved governor will find out when he loses on both the recent case and COLAs. Too bad Christies choices to try and stuff the SC in anticipation of these 2 cases failed…LOL. It will be sad for us when his presidential ambitions will get in the way of the compromises that need to happen. Reducing existing pensioners benefits or those promised to current workers is a moral crime. Face it. And if you believe contracts only apply to you, once they start being broKen for others, you are really truly Deluded. After reading a lot, pensions are constitutionally guaranteed but not amts. it will be interesting to see how the SC balances both of these. No funds set aside or constitutional promise on benefits, BUT there are contracts to provide them. I expect the state to roll public employees over to obamacare and pocket the savings. Even though they should be spent on the pensions…those savings I mean, I somehow feel the state will find some other way to. Christies goal since day 1 has been to break the unions and through neglect create a slow emergency that strangles the pensions until drastic action is required. It’s not his party’s demographic. And for those folks who can’t see the big picture, this whole blog, this whole issue of the pensions, is targeted at a minority (publics) and are a dry run for the conversation we get to have about social security in 10 years. That’s the real prize for the repubs. I was surprised Christie unvaried his agenda so early. It’s too early really while there isn’t a glaring crisis in Social security (yet). GW thought he’d try but he was way early. As I continue to say, the needed solution will involve all parties, public, private, young , and old and involve generational fairness to tackle the larger issues.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 2:52 am

      Little of this dribble will create the money (that does not now, nor will ever exist) to pay for the absurdly generous Public Sector pension & benefit “promises” BOUGHT from Our Elected Officials with Public Sector Union money …. nor does it justify them or make them affordable

      As I’ve stated before, the lack of adequate State/City “funding” is not the CAUSE of the pension mess in which we now find ourselves, but a CONSEQUENCE of the problem’s ROOT CAUSE, that being being grossly excessive pension GENEROSITY …. as I demonstrated in my 2 long comments to Mr. Bury’s prior blog article.
      ——————————————————————————————

      Quoting …”Reducing existing pensioners benefits or those promised to current workers is a moral crime. ”

      With respect to FUTURE service pension accrual reductions for CURRENT workers, perhaps it is a “moral crime”to do so, but while it’s both legally allowed and routinely done in Private Sector Plans, somehow, the (Gov’t) powers that be, that made such reductions LEGAL in PRIVATE Sector Plans, made the SAME reductions ILLEGAL in PUBLIC Sector Plans.

      I consider that a far greater moral crime than the reductions themselves.
      ————————————————————————————————

      Quoting …”Christies goal since day 1 has been to break the unions ”

      I can think of little, more desirable and necessary … for the greater good.

      Reply

    • Posted by denss dunigan on May 17, 2015 at 6:22 am

      TL for TL So the ultimate agenda by every governor by not properly funding the pension was to try and confiscate the SS money ……our government didn’t need that as an excuse ,Obama has already done that with My Ira …forcing people to buy government bonds

      Reply

      • Posted by BH on May 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

        Sorry to say, but Your IRA is peanuts compared to the countries public pension funds. The public pensions are a golden goose for the elite. By financially backing any and all politician willing to underfund the public pensions…thus forcing them into a DC plan or 401K plan, the real genius is revealed. It’s the banker and financiers who make millions upon millions. So far, Wall Street has only broke the surface of the amount of money they can truly make once these funds are entirely at their hands!!!
        It won’t end there. Their goal is to keep making America more and more broke. Social Security, Medicare..etc
        And while we bicker amongst each other, they are fleecing us all blind.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm

          BH, And exactly WHERE do you think your pension money is NOW invested ?

          Do you Plan’s investment managers not now invest through “Wall Street”. ?

          Reply

  15. Posted by BH on May 17, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Please disregard above video!!!

    This is the correct one

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for the chart on health benefits, no surprise there was no direct response from the usual suspects. Unbelievable hogwash being thrown around on this blog, I feel like I’m in a pig’s pen.

      Reply

      • Posted by BH on May 17, 2015 at 9:03 am

        They redirect when anything factual compromises their lies…….

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm

        Did you NOT notice that that chart was for “Individual” coverage for “actives”, not “Family” coverage” for “Retirees” ….. a FAR more expensive category and group to insure and to which the $31K premium referred ?
        ————————————-

        IS the “filtered vision” through which you see things intentional ?

        Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on May 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm

          It’s not rocket surgery.

          Average premium for employee only…$758…employee pays $95

          Average premium for emp + dependents…$1623..employee pays $134

          Overall average….$1,334…employee pays $120
          ___________________________________________

          CC: “The total cost of those health insurance policies, today, per employee, is $31,500.”

          “Think about that.”
          __________________________________________
          “$31K” is unadulterated bullcrap.

          CC’s statement did NOT refer to family coverage.
          It did NOT refer to retirees.

          He is flat out lying again, and TL is knowingly aiding and abetting.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm

            When Christie stated ………. “The total cost of those health insurance policies, today, per employee, is $31,500″, I believe that he was talking about the cost of “Retiree” “Family” coverage when the more expensive options are chosen.

            While that’s my “guess” , here is something more FACTUAL that shows just how much MORE costly coverage is for RETIREES ……..

            Per the bottom of page 16 of the NJ pension Commission Report which can be found at the link below, while the average cost for Family coverage for “actives” is $16K, that average rises to $26K for early Retirees not covered by Medicare.

            http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pdf/FinalFebruaryCommissionReport.pdf

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 7:29 pm

            Just found some more FACTUAL information (straight from the NJ treasury Dep’t website) … and NJ (State-worker) Retiree healthcare costs are even HIGHER than we have been led to believe.

            The are many Plans that the retirees can chooses from.

            For “Family” coverage (with no Medicare) for the year 2015, six of the available Plans options have annual costs higher than Gov. Christie’s $31K figure, with the highest being … $2,848,68 monthly ($34,184.26 annually).

            Source … http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/hb_open_enrollment_2014/state-retired-full.pdf

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 7:50 pm

            The above Retiree (no Medicare) costs were for “State-workers” retirees.

            Interestingly, the cost for “Local Government – non-Education” retirees are even HIGHER ….. I guess this group of workers is even MORE effective at ripping-off the Taxpayers at the LOCAL level.

            At the Local level, there are eleven plans with costs greater than Christie’s $31K annually, with the highest being $3,044.83 monthly ($36,537.96 annually).

            Source …. http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/hb_open_enrollment_2014/local-gov-retired-full.pdf
            ————————————————————————————

            For Local-Educational retirees, the costs are a bit lower, with only 1 Plan over $31K (but with most not much below),

            Source … http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/hb_open_enrollment_2014/local-ed-retired-full.pdf

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on May 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm

            “I believe that he was talking about the cost of “Retiree” “Family” coverage when the more expensive options are chosen.”

            Nobody believes that, not even you. His statement was crystal clear and completely false. There was nothing in the context of the speech even hinting at that. It’s a total fraud.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 1:25 am

            S. Moderation Douglas,

            And your point … other than your ongoing tactic of trying to re-direct the discussion AWAY FROM the issue at hand …. the immediate need for Public Sector pension/benefit reform …… which in my educated opinion means VERY material REDUCTIONS in the grossly excess pension & benefit promises in place today for all CURRENT Public Sector workers.

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on May 18, 2015 at 11:38 am

          TL:

          “the immediate need for Public Sector pension/benefit reform”

          burypensions:

          “Pensions and benefits desperately need to be reformed in New Jersey but not based on lies.”

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 1:13 pm

            Do lies from Christie LESSEN the need ?

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on May 18, 2015 at 2:21 pm

            Credibility.

            Don’t leave home without it.

            If he’s lying about this, (and he is) what else is he lying about?

            How can you agree on any pension changes based on inaccurate information?

            And we’re not just talking about lies from Christie.

            IF………you were as knowledgeable as you claim, then the only reason for all your many errors would be…….”distortions, misstatements, omissions of material facts and lies.”

            We will give you the benefit of doubt and stipulate that your self proclaimed expertise is entirely delusional.

            Ignorant or lying: Either way, you are wrong. And you can’t make vast changes in pensions and benefits with half-vast ideas.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm

            Oh please ….. your only goal is the STOP pension reform.

            If the Legislature had ANY desire to fix this (WITH the needed reductions), they could so so w/o ANY input from Chrisite. Oh, but THEN they might get less in Union campaign contributions….. which is why NOTHING happens.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on May 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm

            TL:

            “And your point … other than your ongoing tactic of trying to re-direct the discussion AWAY FROM the issue at hand ….”

            Point being….CC lied, consistently.

            TL lied, consistently.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 3:23 pm

            S. Moderation Douglas,

            I have never lied (meaning intentionally misstated something) in any of my comments on this or other blogs. I’m not infallible, and given the thousands of comments I’ve likely made over the past decade, I’m sure a “few” have not been completely accurate.

            YOU, on the other hand …… LOL

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on May 18, 2015 at 4:31 pm

            TL. “other than your ongoing tactic of trying to re-direct the discussion AWAY FROM the issue at hand …. ”

            We have no need to go back in time or to other boards. Or to redirect the discussion.

            The “issue at hand” is; “The total cost of those health insurance policies, today, per employee, is $31,500″,

            CC lied.

            TL. “I believe that he was talking about the cost of “Retiree” “Family” coverage when the more expensive options are chosen.”

            That is either delusional or prevaricating.

            TL, like CC, is prone to exaggerating the pensions and benefits of public workers in an I’ll advised attempt bolster their agenda.

            It is counter productive. You are your own worst enemy. Like the boy who cried “wolf”.

            Your loss.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm

            Like YOU quoted above, THIS NEW comment is (just like your many others) your ongoing attempt ….. “to re-direct the discussion AWAY FROM the issue at hand ” ……… the need for very material pension reductions for the future service of all CURRENT workers, and for retiree healthcare to be reduced almost to ZERO ….. because ZERO are the employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits that Private Sector workers get, and Public Sector workers are NOT deserving of a better deal on the Taxpayers’ dime.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on May 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm

            You could have been a politician.

  16. Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 9:52 am

    All the postulating in the world isn’t going to change the reality of how these situations end. Somewhere in the middle where no one is happy but something gets accomplished.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      When you let problems get TOO BIG, they can become unfixable ….. w/o more financial pain than either side is willing to accept.

      That’s where we are right NOW.

      Reply

  17. Posted by BH on May 17, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Wrong! The courts will side with the unions. That’s the entire duty of the judicial system. Blind, impartial, fair and just. When even the SC sides with the unions….. Because it is clearly the only right thing to do, Some of you say, well…. We know it’s not the workers fault…but too bad!!! The SC will not see it that way. They will say….. It’s a law!! Pay!! And find a way to continue to do so.
    If that means less subsidies, less pet projects, increased tax, cutting welfare programs, reigning in all investment fees from Wall Street, giving pension over to union to control..etc…. The state will pay!! And we will witness justice for the workers by the end of June.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      We;ll see soon enough, but NOT just from the SC decision, because that decision still won’t create the actual funds to pay the bills.

      Reply

  18. Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 10:26 am

    We nerd TL to join hold town hall meetings so the public can determine if you’re more full of it than Christie. Then your public sector clients/patrons can see you for who you are, that’ll be fair and equal for your business.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Sure …….. as exemplified by some NYC Unions now demanding that firms that invest pension funds sign off on agreeing not to act against the best interests of the Public Sector Unions/workers.

      Reply

      • Posted by BH on May 18, 2015 at 7:55 am

        Because the unions are very aware at how bad they are getting screwed from every side, it is sound business to ensure the people investing the pension money don’t make MORE than the investments themselves!!!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 8:12 am

          Bh,

          “Unions” getting screwed ?

          Sure, if the definition of “screwed” is finally having to give-back what was never necessary, just, fair, or affordable in the first place ……. and gained ONLY as a result of the Unions’ BUYING of the favorable votes of our Elected Officials with campaign contributions and election support.

          Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 8:34 am

          And by the way, the Unions weren’t demanding that sign-off because they were concerned about improper “investing”.

          The sign-off demand was VERY CLEARLY directed at sending MESSAGE ….. that funds to invest will NOT be given to firms that politically (or “free-speech-wise) believe that Public Sector pensions are too high and need to be reduced.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

            Ah, duh!!! Of course….. Wouldn’t you??

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 10:57 am

            Anon,

            Investment managers are typically quite intelligent, especially in economics & finance …. and surely realize the excessive Public Sector Pensions & Benefits are one of the greatest financial threats to America’s future.

            It’s no surprise that the greedy Unions would want to muzzle their opinions.

  19. Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    On topic and to the point propagating your own self serving interest, just like our Governor.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Unlike Public Sector workers who have a HUGE self-serving financial interest in defeating/delaying all types of pension reform, and keeping the current (UNJUST,
      UNFAIR, and UNAFFORDABLE) gravy train rolling right along, I advocate SOLELY as a well-informed taxpayer who understands what the magnitude of Tax-increase and/or service-cut must be UNLESS the grossly excessive Public Sector pensions & benefits now in place are materially reduced for all CURRENT workers.

      Reply

      • Posted by BH on May 18, 2015 at 8:04 am

        Its too bad TL, that since we showed you evidence at how the reason we are at this point is because the government failed to make the required payments, you’re not advocating the government make those payments instead of underfunding the system. You’d rather point the finger at the hard working public sector instead of asking why our government has failed us. Why have subsidies grown by billions in recent years, why has the administration cost countless millions because of its useless lawsuits brought on by itself, the raping of the pension funds for decades is what makes it unsustainable!!!!!

        It’s like me TAKING from your savings account, and you telling the mortgage co, sorry I can’t pay!!! And then not only does the mortgage co say not only do you owe, but you owe all what was stolen too or we will default on your house. Too bad!! It’s not our fault..and we know you were robbed…. But just pay!!!!!

        Wrong is wrong!!! And I’m not saying it is entirely coming from our taxes…. But we share a burden in this as do the corporations and government.

        It astonishes me how you call these people greedy and thieves. How do you sleep at night??

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2015 at 8:24 am

          What “evidence” ? I have read no “evidence” other than agreeing that Taxpayers have not “funded” ARCs consistent with the pension benefits promised.

          Taxpayer were correct and eminently justified in NOT funding ARCs based-on and a-function-of Plan “generosity” which is unquestionably grossly excessive by any and every reasonable metric.

          And that argument is rightfully correct even if money to do so was available, because there are (as I have enumerated in priot comments) far better uses for available funds than unnecessarily OVER-COMPENSATING our Public Sector workers.

          Reply

  20. Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    So sad especially for someone we had such high hopes for, just another addition to NJ Hall of Shame.

    Reply

  21. Posted by Anonymous on May 17, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    We all aspire to and for something, the question we need to ask yourself is what?

    Reply

  22. Posted by Anonymous on May 18, 2015 at 7:06 am

    I had a dream last night, OK maybe it was a nightmare, this issue was resolved – back to reality.

    Reply

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