Another Dead End Tactic for NJ Unions

After 20 years of being rebuffed by the New Jersey legal system public sector unions put a spin on their arguments in the penison payment case and again struck out.

1. Since the second decade of the 20th Century, New Jersey has consistently and intentionally failed to fund its public employee retirement systems in a consistent and cogent manner so as to ensure that benefits earned by dedicated officers and employees of the state would be available as promised. Given the current drastic underfunding of each of the Plaintiff Retirement Systems, that promise is in real and present danger of failing.

Yes there has been consistent underfunding but not since 1910 since the plans were not around then and, if they meant the last two decades, they undershot.  These plans have been underfunded from the beginning since no actuary anticipated the benefit-inflating strategies of the New Jersey political class.  And it is not only the dedicated officers and employees who will be losing their pensions.  The deadwood of political appointees strewn throughout the system will also lose out.  You do have honest  civil servants dedicated to the public’s welfare retiring on a well-earned pension but you also have the Susan Bass Levins.

17. The promise to make the annual required contribution is separate and apart from the promise that the Legislature will make the necessary appropriations to satisfy those obligations and appears in a separate subsection of Chapter 78. N.J.S.A. 43:3C-9.5(c)(l) and (c)(2).

18. It was only the promise to make the appropriations that was held to be unenforceable by the Supreme Court.

Does this make any sense to anyone?

19. The annual payment of the annual required contribution is mandatory and ministerial. The legislative branch and the executive branch play no role in the calculation or determination of the amount of the contribution. There is no discretionary element or aspect to the State’s obligation to make this annual contribution. The amounts due are to be entirely calculated by the Plaintiffs and their actuaries.

No role other than to define the actuarial assumptions and refuse to make the contributions developed when it suits them.

54. The Burgos decision unequivocally affirmed that the underlying right of members and beneficiaries to payment of retirement benefits remains intact: “We reiterate that there is no question that individual members of the public pension systems are entitled to this delayed part of their compensation upon retirement, but, as stated at the outset, that is not in question in the instant matter before this Court. That said, the State repeatedly asserted at oral argument that it is not walking away from its obligations to the pension systems and to pay benefits due to retirees.”

No, the right of retirees to their benefits (with or without COLAs) was not in question in Burgos so how could this court affirm that right?  When benefits inevitably do get cut (beyond COLAs) then we will all get to see the next set of specious arguments that the state will be using as justification.

 

37 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Follow them off the inevitable P&B cliff! Confusius say man who keeping making mistake no longer fool but a**hole!

    Reply

  2. Posted by skip3house on July 28, 2015 at 10:54 am

    S Bass Levin good example of legal abuse. $5300/mo AND health for being ‘Corzine’s favorite grandmother, affectionately described by a paper.
    First step is to eliminate retro-actively these type results ( x-Middlesex mayor,……)

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2015 at 11:19 am

    TL still in rehab

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    http://www.occupydemocrats.com/chris-christie-caught-taking-bribes-and-abusing-power-to-protect-criminal-allies/
    Ok so the source is a little bias but it’s hard to find neutral sources these days.

    Reply

  5. Posted by dentss dunnigan on July 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Just read a article on SL where the average cop pay in Trenton is over 80K …and NYC average is 52K …..TL might be on to something excessive com compension..http://www1.salary.com/police-officer-salary.html

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Hmm, BH can you help us out here?

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 1:44 am

      Nothing like having some REAL facts instead of stuff journalists write.

      The following was complied from the Asbury Park Press Public Employee database.

      I chose to look at Police salaries from a nice (reasonably sized) bedroom community in NJ …. the Village of Ridgewood in Bergen County.

      The data was from the year 2013 (with employment durations are measured from year hired are to 2013).

      Source:….

      http://php.app.com/NJpublicemployees13/results.php?pageNum_Recordset1=0&totalRows_Recordset1=76&lastn=&firstn=&location=RIDGEWOOD+VILLAGE&countyname=%25&fundname=Police+and+Firemens+Retirement+System&Submit=Search

      I only included Police (excluded the listed Firemen).

      There are 39 total Police officers listed. In the following summary, I excluded 2 of the officers because based on their odd salaries (relative to others in the same or near duration), they appear to be part-year workers.

      Summary:

      (1) for duration 5 and below …. 5 officers with average salary of $81,980
      (2) for durations 7-10 ………….. 7 officers with average salary of $130,402
      (3) for durations 11-15 ………… 9 officers with average salary of $142,294
      (4) for durations 16-20 ………… 7 officers with average salary of $148,183
      (5) for durations 21 & over …… 9 officers with average salary of $154,809

      NOTE …. these are shown in the database as BASE salaries. All officers regardless of rank are shown w/o distinction because rank is not included in the database.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 1:59 am

        Follow-up…….

        Police in NJ can retire with 65% of final pay with 25 years of service. Using the $154,809 for the duration 21 & over group gives us an average starting pension of 0.65 x $154,809 = $100,626 …. and the salary data is from 2013.

        Thank God the COLAs have been suspended.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 9:27 am

          You forgot to mention no reduction in base retirement allowance for spousal/dependent survivor’s benefits!

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 9:32 am

            I wasn’t aware of that …….. the true actuarial reduction for going from a single life annuity to a 100% joint & survivor (at typical retirement ages) is about 15%.

            ANOTHER PUBLIC Sector “freebie” …….. on the Taxpayers’ dime !

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 9:45 am

            fyi, this is only for P&FRS & SPRS, PERS & TPAF joint survivor selection reduced their base allowance per applicable actuarial tables.

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 9:49 am

            Another point, the P&FRS or SPRS beneficiary can’t remarry and dependents are covered until at least 18. Not sure about beyond that if they attend college.

        • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 7:05 pm

          You idiot the COLAs have been reinstated!

          Reply

      • Posted by PatB on July 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm

        To add some context to your police salaries:

        “The Census Bureau’s 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $143,229 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,530) and the median family income was $172,825 (+/- $9,197). The Census Bureau’s 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $143,229 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,530) and the median family income was $172,825 (+/- $9,197).”
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ridgewood,_New_Jersey

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 3:36 pm

          So is it your position that because Ridgewood is a wealthy town that the Police should be paid based on the TOWN resident’s high income?

          If so, should Saddle River or Alpine pay their Police $400K annually ….. instead of the fair value of the services provided?

          Ridgewood’s police need to live in Ridgewood no more so than NYC Police who patrol 5-th Ave. near Central Park expect to live there.

          Reply

          • Posted by PatB on July 30, 2015 at 12:07 am

            Actually my position is that you picked one of the most expensive communities in NJ to make your example. You tend to cherry pick your facts for shock value, not because the town is representative of a typical NJ community.

          • Posted by PatB on July 30, 2015 at 12:28 am

            And a quick google search finds that Ridgewood does have a residency requirement for police and firefighters, like many NJ towns. Hard to buy or rent with all those wealthy residents pushing up housing costs. http://ecode360.com/6689240

          • Posted by Tough Love on July 30, 2015 at 1:05 am

            Nice try PatB …. think the readers won’t check a few towns themselves?

            Sure, Ridgewood is up there in income, so I checked a few more (middle-of-the-road, e.g., Bergenfield, and perhaps a bit lower down in income, e.g., Lodi). There is VERY little difference from the Ridgewood averages although Lodi seems to have new officers grade in to full scale over a few more years.

            And these are just BASE pay. To FULLY fund their pension over their working career with PROPER assumptions and methodology (ala what Moody’s now uses in it’s analysis, and close to the valuation methodology REQUIRED by the US Gov’t of Private Sector Pension Plans) requires a level annual 50%-of-pay to fund their pensions and another 10%-15%-of-pay to fund their retiree healthcare benefits.

            And OK, deduct from that 60%-65% total the 10% the employees contribute, and the Taxpayers are still responsible for a level annual 50% to 55% of pay.

            And then we have to add the annual cost of healthcare & other benefits while “active”. When we hear that the TRUE total cost of each Police Officer is in excess of $200K annually, they are UNDERSTATING the cost.

            No offense to these Officers, but most would have difficulty earning HALF that total Compensation in the Private Sector. It a HUGE financial “mugging” of Private Sector taxpayers.

          • Posted by Tough Love on July 30, 2015 at 1:16 am

            PatB, Nice find on that Officer residency requirement in Ridgewood.

            Looking over the 39 officer list, I see 4 sets of 2 identical last names. Statistically, that EXTREMELY unlikely if randomly hired.

            Perhaps the residency requirement is a back-door way to justify nepotism in their hiring.

      • Let’s try and convince anyone (not already a LEO) that you could not hire qualified replacements for (at most) one half of these amounts TOMORROW. It’s true; insanity reigns in the public sector in NJ. All involved in this and the pension debacle should be indicted for grand larceny.

        Reply

  6. Posted by MJ on July 29, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Best to reform now so that publics have time to make alternate plans, etc. Its the right thing to do and we will all be better off in the end. Publics are still in varyig stages of denial and anger, looks like unions are in the bargaining stage. Can only imagine what scandals these unions must have on these politicians to keep it playing out so long.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Quoting …. “unions are in the bargaining stage”

      ?????

      Really …… with whom ?

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm

        By bargaining I meant the ridiculous proposals by the NJEA to fund pensions ala a .15 per gallon gas tax (Paul Mulshine article) and this frivolous, grasping at straws law suit. Perhaps bargaining isn’t the appropriate term to use more like grasping at straws to keep it alive at any cost. COLA reinstatement??? By all means reinstate it and retroactively so that the ship can more quickly settle to the bottom of the ocean floor.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm

          Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, ………….

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm

            Did you know politicians are so powerful they can even “stop the clock” at June 30 if there’s no Budget in place?

  7. Posted by truthnolie on July 29, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    RE: COLA case

    Heard from a good source (whom some of you have doubted my info from before….even though I was proven right) that the NJ Supreme Ct will soon issue an announcement as to whether they will hear case or officially remand it to a lower court.

    Of course, this is all still a delaying tactic in order to refuse dealing with the issue (knowing the state will lose) so they are taking as long as possible to purposely keep it in limbo and hold up the COLA restoration.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      And why not….if the feds can bail out the banks & car companies the pension systems should be able to get the same.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        It would never get through Congress, as long as Republicans control EITHER the Senate or the House.

        Reply

  8. Posted by Eric on July 29, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Anonymous:
    The feds. do not care about the stinking “little people”. The feds are owned by Wall Street. The banks are too big to fail and too big to jail. Got it? If not, just ask Greece.
    Eric

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Eric are we talking about the same country, one that’s for the people, by the people, and the h*ll with the people?

      Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    The Feds have enough of their own problems with SS, Medicaid and Medicare, food stamps, HUD, disability claims, to name a few not to mention the huge war bill coming due……….I’m sure they will jump right to the rescue, See my other post about grasping at straws. Its all a show, dog and pony show. Sweeney ha ha what a laugh. They just can’t accept that they have run out of other people’s money and yes they will throw their minions under the bus to save their own sorry a$$es.

    Reply

  10. Posted by Javagold on July 29, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Every time I hear that dolt Sees me speak…….I just have to laugh…..a high school dropout should be the next governor of NJ…..it’s perfect.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on July 29, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      Sweeney is positioning himself for a run for the next NJ governorship ….. and is endlessly looking for the next Public Sector Union ass to kiss.

      Reply

  11. Posted by Anonymous on July 30, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Forget about the GOP being out of touch with the majority of Americans, they’re out of touch amongst themselves.

    Sorry public’s mongers get ready for at least four more years of it in the White House and a change of power forthcoming in the Golden Dome for at least four yeats.

    Disregard the above, according to the Gov it’s all a facade.

    Reply

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