Iron Workers – Another Model for America

The Central States Pension Fund did it last September and last week a second Multiemployer (Union) plan started the process to reduce core benefits.

There are many Union Plans that are as badly funded as your typical government plan (when valued honestly) since, even though Union Plans have rules, they have some ‘flexibility’ that allows them to keep using 7.5% interest rates for funding and, since 2014, cut benefits when they deem appropriate which is exactly what the Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund wants to do.

A little perspective:

As I predicted last June a government official (Kenneth Feinberg) is deciding how much participants get of whatever money remains and, though the participants get to vote, their vote only counts if is for the cuts:

Even if a majority votes no….the law requires the Treasury Department to impose the changes, once it approves them, if it deems that the Iron Workers fund is so large that it qualifies as “systemically important.” That means that if it collapsed, it could take down the multiemployer wing of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, jeopardizing the retirees who currently get their pensions through the program.

So much for legislated democracy.

Checking out the plan’s 5500 filing for 2013 here are the important numbers as of 4/30/14:

  • Trust assets: $91,889,710
  • Number of retirees: 1,125
  • Annual Benefit Payouts: $19,453,719
  • Average annual payout: $17,292
  • Annual Contributions: $16,794,821 (if you believe the Schedule H)
  • Annual Contributions: $11,769,883 (if you believe the Schedule MB)
  • Plan funded ratio as of 4/1/13: 38.4%

That last number – 38.4% – is based on a 7.5% interest rate and is about the average ratio of the plans that Illinois sponsors.

66 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Jon I was a bus driver maintenance for the state I was paid substantially less than my counterparts in the private sector, although TL and others don’t believe this it is true. If they want to take away my pension wouldn’t be fair if they paid me the difference in salary that I didn’t receive for 30 years then I am sure I would have enough for my retirement

    Reply

    • Posted by Sean on January 14, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      For what it’s worth, I DO believe what you are saying, and I DO believe that getting paid more (comparable to your private sector counterparts) would definitely have given you a better chance, and to take away your pension would be most unfair. For me, what makes this situation tragic is that the extreme shenanigans that have torpedoed the pension funds, from ALL sides, will end up screwing everyone out of a decent, reasonable, and FAIR pension. I won’t go into details of the extremes, because I don’t want to start any wars. My basic viewpoint is that the abuses that have been taking place, for years, and by EVERYONE (no one is innocent) will cost everyone, and it didn’t have to.

      What makes this so insidious is that politicians lie at both ends (yeah, you don’t make as much, but you will have a great pension – even though we can’t deliver it), then lie to the public about how much it costs (the investment returns will more than cover the cost), etc.

      Bear in mind, this is positively NOT true for a LOT of government jobs. There are many public jobs that are both well compensated and have ridiculous pension and benefits. They too, are part of the problem.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        Sean, this blog entry references multiemployer private sector pension funds. What are you’re work hours?

        Reply

        • Posted by Sean on January 14, 2016 at 4:48 pm

          Sorry for the confusion. I was responding to the first commenter who said:

          ” I was a bus driver maintenance for the state I was paid substantially less than my counterparts in the private sector…”

          Not sure why you are asking what my work hours are.

          Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm

        Other than the NLRB, DOL, IRS and PBGC I don’t understand the role government actively plays in private sector multiemployer pension plans. Sean, please share what are your work hours?

        Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Lesson to unionized public sector union members, union pension plans are not a valid option.

      Reply

    • Posted by Rex the WOnder Dog! on January 14, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Jon I was a bus driver maintenance for the state I was paid substantially less than my counterparts in the private sector, although TL and others don’t believe this it is true. If they want to take away my pension wouldn’t be fair if they paid me the difference in salary that I didn’t receive for 30 years then I am sure I would have enough for my retirement.
      You’re NOT the problem, GED cops, FF and a bazillion other gov employees “retiring” in their 40’s and 50’s (even early 60’s) IS the problem.

      You cannot work 20-30 years and then “retire” with a pension as high and higher than your working salary (especially if it is $100K and above), and that is what is happening, especially in my State of CA….

      Reply

      • Posted by Now retired Pat on January 14, 2016 at 7:53 pm

        I think my case is more Typical than the scenarios you present. ME: worked for the state 28 years and “bought back” 4 years of military service credit at a cost of $20K. Then with 32 years of service credit I retired at the age of 53 1/2. After deducting the 6% penalty (for not being 55 when I retired), my take home pension is MAYBE $40K per year! Not exactly as greedy and unequal as many have stated on this blog. Even if I do collect for 30+ years @ $40K per (No colas), I take in maybe $1.2 million, MAX. Believe me, I am not LIVING IT UP with this kind of deferred compensation!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on January 14, 2016 at 9:44 pm

          Wow, have you mastered the art of minimizing pertinent information (clearly trying to hide the true value and extreme generosity of your taxpayer-funded pension)……..

          First, we are NOT interested in your “take home” pension…. but the full gross pension amount before any deductions so that it can be compared apples-to-apples to those of Private Sector workers with the same final pay (without the differing amount retirees will choose to withhold for tax and other reasons to get to “net” pay).

          Second, you received a 6% reduction in payout because you retired “early” at age 53.5, likely because you could have retired with no reduction at age 55. Well it doesn’t work that way in private Sector Plans, where you typically get a reduction in pay of at least 4% PER YEAR for EACH year of age that you retire before age 65 (not 55). So, in most Private Sector plans, if you retire at age 53.3, your reduction in pay would not have been 6%, but more likely (65-53.5)x4% = 46%…. yes, you would lose almost HALF your pension. Why are YOU deserving of a better deal on the Taxpayers’ dime ?

          Third, you “bought” 4 years of military service for $20K. You didn’t say how long ago you paid that amount and in fairness that payment should be accumulated with interest to the date of your retirement to determine it’s “value” as of that date. Then that interest-accumulated amount should be compared to a PROPER (i.e., reasonably conservative) estimate of the value of those 4 extra years (4/32)=1/8 of your pension (when expressed as a lump sum value at the time of retirement). Suggesting a possible scenario, let’s assume your $20K payment accumulated to $40K at retirement and let’s assume that your $40K “net” annual pension is $60K “gross”). A non-COLA-increased pension of $60K annually starting at age 53.5 would have a lump sum “value” of approximately $900K. The “value” of those 4 purchased years is $900K x (1/8) = $112.5. So in THIS scenario, you bought $112.5K in value” for only $40K. I ask you WHY should taxpayers “sell” you anything for less than it’s FULL “value”. I consider such deals a theft of taxpayer wealth.

          Fourth, you “retired” at age 53.5. I’m guessing that you will get taxpayer-funded free or heavily subsidized retire healthcare for you (and likely your family) with a total annual premium cost (before Medicare eligibility) to TAXPAYERS of $20K-$30K annually. Do you know what the typical Private Sector worker with that income level would get from their employer in employer-sponsored retiree healthcare subsidy? Typically NOTHING. Again, why are YOU deserving of a better deal on the Taxpayers’ dime ?
          ———————————————-

          All that being said, I do not blame “you” for any of this, Clearly you accepted these extraordinarily generous (and hence extremely costly) pension and benefits with a smile.

          The primary “blame” lies with our self-interested, contribution-soliciting, vote-selling, taxpayer-betraying Elected Officials who willingly traded their favorable votes (on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits) for Public Sector Unions Campaign contributions and election support. Of course it doesn’t “help” your cause that both your Unions (and Public Sector workers) exhibited such insatiable GREED. But taxpayer can’t right this wrong by clawing back the monetary value of these unjust promises from those most guilty …. our elected Officials. But with YOU (the Public Sector workers and retirees) as the “financial beneficiaries” of this Union/politician collusion and underhanded dealing, THAT is where the Taxpayer must look to right this wrong …… by VERY materially reducing these unjust pensions & benefits.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 9:09 am

            Even with private sector 401k if you retire for lifetime income it can be any age before 59 1/2, that’s the law for defined contribution plans public or private.

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 15, 2016 at 10:53 am

            Anon, That does not change the great difference in generosity between Public & Private Sector pensions & benefits.

        • Max SS benefit @ age 70 after paying in @ max income level for the entire period is about $40K!! AT 70!!, NOT 53 1/2!! You have a lot of ba–s commenting about how REASONABLE your poor $40k pension is. You should wait until age 66 like the non-public sector world has to do. And only in the public sector can anybody “buy” any prior service credits. You and your countless ilk are why the drones are going to get the shaft soon. Well deserved I must say.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm

            And that SS $40K maximum (if one waits until age age 70 to BEGIN collecting) is “Gross”, not Net “

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 14, 2016 at 10:27 pm

            Quoting ….”And only in the public sector can anybody “buy” any prior service credits. ”

            And may I add …… most often 1/4 to 1/2 the true value of the incremental pension years purchased. Surely the Taxpayers would SCREAM if our Public Sector workers had a perk wherein they could by a $30K car for only $10K with the Taxpayers ponying-up the other $20K.

            This is NO DIFFERENT.

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm

            SS was never ever meant to be ones sole source of income. He worked hard all those years and deserves to not go hungry in his retirement years. No one is saying he deserves to live high on the hog for fixing buses and with a 40k pension he won’t be. I couldn’t live on 40k a year. That is why I own a firearms business (booming by the way), but I don’t begrudge this guy. He is not the problem with the USA. Nor are the many cops I deal with. These are solid middle class jobs. I am a conservative in many ways, but I don’t begrudge a guy who works hard a small pension. I won’t get one but then again I make 10 times what that bua driver makes. TL all you do is bitch. Run for office, and change things from within. Or for the love of God, STFU. You, my dear, are a one trick pony for sure.

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 15, 2016 at 4:42 pm

            Quoting …. “He worked hard all those years and deserves to not go hungry in his retirement years. ”

            No, he “deserves” taxpayer-funded pensions and benefits EQUAL TO but no greater than those typically granted comparable Private Sector workers by their employers …… and right now, when BOTH the richer Public Sector formulas AND the MUCH younger full/unreduced retirement age are factored in, PUBLIC Sector pensions are ROUTINELY 3 to 6 times greater in value at retirement than those of comparable Private Sector workers.

            This is simply an unjustified THEFT of Private Sector Taxpayer wealth.
            ———————————————

            If a Public Sector worker’s income in retirement in insufficient to meet basis needs, that shortfall should be dealt with in the SAME manner in which it would for a Private Sector retiree in that situation …. through the Social Service system ….and NOT via artificially and unjustly inflating their pay or pensions or benefits …at taxpayer expense.
            —————————————————————————————-
            Quoting …. ” Nor are the many cops I deal with. These are solid middle class jobs.”

            In the bedroom communities of NJ, while Police “work” may be “middle class”, their total compensation (pay + pensions + benefits) is typical of a Private Sector executive making $200K to $300K annually.

            It’s patently absurd.

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      What are the duties of a “bus maintenance driver” ?

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 14, 2016 at 7:23 pm

        Ooophs … you said “bus driver maintenance”.

        Duties ?

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2016 at 9:59 pm

          I would answer you but you will probably attack me somehow. It’s actually Driver/Maintenance worker

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 14, 2016 at 10:13 pm

            I was simply trying to understand what you do ….e.g. a bus “mechanic” is a skilled job, a bus”driver” no so much, and a maintenance person (perhaps bus cleaner) not at all skilled.

            While I might see how an experienced bus “mechanic” might earn more in cash pay in the Private Sector, I doubt that the Private Sector bus driver or bus cleaner would.

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 3:08 am

            TL again showing her ignorance as bus drivers in the private sector made substantially more, almost double at times. And I was also responsible for the maintenance and repairs for an entire school building. TL knows everything about nothing, it makes me sad how she accuses people of lying. Not everyone is as dishonest as she is. Now she will say she never accused me of lying. It must be hard for you going thru life not trusting people.

          • Posted by The Resident Nutcase on January 15, 2016 at 7:21 am

            Anon…… Anything you say that does not fit their (TL, Sean, PSdrone etc..) narrative or they simply disagree with, gets shunned and ridiculed.
            Don’t even bother with any reasonable rebuttal or facts. Because they gloss over it.
            Just sit back…. Read the commentary and sometimes giggle to yourself over how hate filled and jealous they are. Let it make you feel better… like I do.
            Nothing like they so feverushy want to happen to public workers or their pensions will happen. Yes…. There may be some moderate reforms…… But the public workers will continue to get their pensions.

          • Posted by MJ on January 15, 2016 at 9:49 am

            I think TLs question is valid. What exactly are your job responsibilities as bus driver maintenance?

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 15, 2016 at 11:02 am

            Anon, While I focus on excessive Public Sector pensions & benefits as the primary source of greater Public Sector “Total Compensation” (cash pay + pensions + benefits), many times I have made it clear that EQUAL Public/Private Sector “Total Compensation” in reasonably comparable jobs is my goal ….. which mean that to the extent there is a cash pay difference (up or down) that difference SHOULD BE factored into the necessary adjustments made to the generosity of Public Sector pensions and benefits.

            I’m NOT looking to financially screw Public Sector workers. I just fed up with Public Sector workers financially royally screwing Private Sector Taxpayers….. as is often the situation today.

          • Posted by Sean on January 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm

            Quoting TheResidentNutcase:

            “Don’t even bother with any reasonable rebuttal or facts.”

            Pretty much sums up your style, doesn’t it, Nutcase? Look in the mirror dude. ANYONE who questions the sanctity of the government worker is a bitter, jealous, hater, paid by the Koch brothers.

            Come on man. Your hypocrisy is beyond words.

            God forbid, anyone come looking at the cost of these things and ask legitimate questions. Nope. Just pay up and move it along folks. Public sector unions always have the taxpayers’ best interest at heart. What more do you need to know? Just pay up, go back to sleep, and leave it to us.

            Sorry, Nutcase. The private sector is starting to notice, and starting to ask serious questions. And they are starting to get angry at a group of people who seem to think they should be totally insulated from any change, from any risk, from any economic challenge simply because they were “promised” something,

            There is nothing in the world wrong with getting a decent and fair pension. THAT, my friend, is NOT the issue. Everything else surpassing decent and fair…IS.

  2. Posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    This is a private sector multiemployer union pension plan so the rules and protections are different, I believe the pension payouts are from a trust not insurance-based TRADITIONAL annuities. I don’t know if a percentage of these pension funds are invested in bonds, treasury notes or mutual funds. I believe the pension staff is extremely well compensated. I don’t see the same outcome for NJ pension woes as with private sector multiemployer plans.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on January 14, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    I have a potential solution for the public pension crisis and want to submit to Bury Pensions for review. Please send me an email in which I can attach some documents,

    Reply

  4. Posted by MJ on January 15, 2016 at 9:47 am

    I have a problem with the statements that public sector worker make so much less than private sector counterparts. Way way back when teachers were making 13k per year, cops making 20k per year, etc, a good health plan and retirement option was appropriate. With salaries today (we know what cops and teachers area making) they can afford to pay way more into their cadillac health plans and save for their own retirements. Not to mention that they work way less hours, have more paid vacation and sick time and can retire at 55. I’m just not buying it.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

      It’s hard to believe anything you say

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 15, 2016 at 11:06 am

        Is THIS one of your “substantive rebuttals” ?

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm

          In Nov. 2016, the NJ DIVISION OF PENSION AND BENEFITS readopted pension legislation, it will not be revisited until 2022, which gives TL years to rant against NJ public sector pension schemes.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 2:44 pm

            I must add, that TL has no influence in Trenton, the laws support the existing or pension schemes for all state pension plans.

    • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      Good. Cause I’m not selling.

      Reply

    • Posted by Sean on January 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Quoting MJ:

      “I have a problem with the statements that public sector worker make so much less than private sector counterparts…”

      Right on, MJ. Everything you said in your post is right on the money. Public unions try to keep peddling these old cliches as if they are still the current reality. They aren’t, and the economic changes happening in the past decade are making these cliches even less credible.

      Government workers in the highest skill levels (doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc) DO have larger income disparity compared to private workers in those fields. Everywhere else, it is not the case, AND, those in the highest skill levels working for the government do have other, offsetting advantages (job security, no overhead, easier hours, etc).

      Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      MJ says:

      ” Way way back when teachers were making 13k per year, cops making 20k per year, etc, a good health plan and retirement option was appropriate.”

      Urban legend. The relative pay of public vs private workers is very volatile from year to year, but in the long run average has been very consistent.

      There have been numerous studies comparing public and private pay and most have roughly the same conclusions.

      Public workers generally earn less in wages but have better retirements.

      Public workers at the lower end of earnings do much better than the private sector.

      Public workers at higher education levels do much worse.

      Studies comparing “lifetime income” show pretty much the same thing.

      Studies in Europe and other OECD countries show the same patterns, for the same reasons:

      “As in the raw data, we estimate greater income compression in the public sector in all countries in our sample.”

      Private sector jobs have lower lows and higher highs, but public sector employment seems to set a “floor” and a “ceiling” to limit wider dispersion of wages.

      Most of the studies use algorithms and logarithms and huge datasets. And arrive at ambiguous conclusions:

      “Examining a potential causality mechanism between institutions and public sector lifetime premium with a theoretical model thus seems an interesting avenue for future research and policy choices.”

      While the experts are ….still….. waiting for “future research” and “policy choices” Tom West has an interim observation:

      It’s been said many times that public sector workers “claim” to be underpaid. If they were truly underpaid, they would get one of those good paying private sector jobs. Alternatively, private sector workers who claim public pensions are more than theirs could …..wait for it……. get a government job.

      Says Tom West:

      “Following that line of reasoning, it’s tautologically impossible to *ever* be ‘screwed on pay’, in either the public or private sector.”
      ……………………………………..

      In the interest of full disclosure, many of these studies do not apply to safety workers. But the Tom West principle still does. If you can pass the background checks, physical and psychological tests, and live with the job stress and unorthodox working schedules, you, too, can have a pension 4.62 times greater than a private sector worker with the SAME pay, SAME years of service, and SAME age at retirement.

      Reply

      • Posted by Sean on January 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm

        SMD,

        As I have stated before on some of your posts, I think you do have good points, but I have issue with a few of them.

        “but in the long run average has been very consistent.”

        Beware of long term averages. If Tom makes zero, and Bob makes 100K, their average income is 50K, but I would submit to you that Tom ain’t feeling better about it. Long term averages take too long to change direction to reflect current settings. Yes, they do smooth out the volatility, and yes, private income IS positively more volatile. Agreed. However, changes occurring in the last ten to twenty years have caused the private sector to make serious adjustments, while the public sector has not. This will/is causing the trajectory of the current public pension setup to be unsustainable.

        I think an earlier post of yours about what to do currently had decent points along these lines.

        Also, in the interest of disclosure (though anecdotal), I remember speaking with a teaching colleague of mine who remembers, quite well, earning less money (several years ago, and very early in her career) than some of the local factory workers down the street. She lamented about the fact that she had to earn a college degree to earn less. I agree. However, that is no longer the case. I personally don’t know any teacher who is making a substandard income, and their benefits are the envy of everyone, public or private. Again, anecdotal, but it’s what my experience is.

        So, where do we go from here?

        I simply believe that the time for taking that “avenue for future research and policy choices” is now, because we are running out of time. If the public sector union leadership, and public workers, as well as the politicians and taxpayers, continue on their current path, there will be much pain and suffering ahead. Another downturn in the markets is not too far away. Time is running out, and doing nothing will prove fatal. My two cents.

        Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 5:07 pm

          nj.com, September 19, 2010

          “N.J. police salaries rank highest in nation with median pay of $90,672”

          How much is a police officer worth?

          The interesting thing about this article is something discussed on this blog within the last month. Not the median pay, but the difference between highest and lowest. It almost seems here is a plan in NJ that cops in the areas with highest crime rate should get the lowest pay. Why is that?

          According to Josh Rauh:

          “Attempting to benchmark the compensation of, say, public safety officials to private sector employees is obviously problematic. In such a case, the appropriate level of pay is simply whatever the employers and employees can agree upon – but that only leads to efficient outcomes if there is transparency about the public sector compensation packages that allows all parties, including taxpayers, to understand the value of the benefits. That transparency is currently lacking.”

          So Bergen County for some reason wants to pay a lot more? I don’t know why.

          “seems an interesting avenue for future research and policy choices.”

          Reply

          • Posted by Sean on January 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm

            I had commented about a month ago on this, and I think this is a key issue: Why not create a pay structure for police (and perhaps fire) based on the level of incidents/level of danger involved. In other words, those cops working in the worst areas SHOULD receive more pay, as an incentive, as opposed to those who work in nice, low-crime areas.

            “It almost seems here is a plan in NJ that cops in the areas with highest crime rate should get the lowest pay. Why is that?”

            I agree, and I think, just like in education, we need to get away from basing everything on property taxes/property values.

            I don’t think it would be too difficult to form some sort of “index” based on violent crime rates per capita, or something like that, in order to arrive at more realistic pay rates.

            The bottom line, to me, is that the old models for doing things need to be done away with. If we can get away from the status quo, and formulate better structures based closer to reality, with more dynamic ways of measuring (instead of static ways), we will all be WAY better off. Yes, ALL of us taxpayers, public and private. The time has come. Doing things the way they have always been done, has only one outcome: doom.

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm

            “Doom” may be extremely pessimistic.

            All police departments are not the same. In spite of the ubiquitous “GED” police and fire whiner cracks on many of these blogs, some departments do now require two or four year degrees, and are willing to pay for them. Even in those which don’t, in competitive exams, a degree is always a plus. If some cities feel they can hire officers for (much) less than Bergen County typically pays, more power to them. They may be getting lower cost employees at the expense of higher turnover.

            It is a local decision. Who are we to dictate what level of education they require or pay they offer?

            According to LE and firefighter blogs, the norm in California is to apply for EVERY position within commuting distance, or within moving distance if single (or desperate). If a lower paying job or job in a less desirable areas opens up, jump on it. You get experience and an income while you keep an ear out for a better job.

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

        Quoting SMD ….. “Alternatively, private sector workers who claim public pensions are more than theirs could …..wait for it……. get a government job. ”

        Do you mean like to 1000+ applicants* for EACH Safety (police or Fire) job opening ?
        ———————-

        * of which HUNDREDS are assuredly “qualified” …. not the very few that Safety Unions/workers “claim” so as to create an artificial scarcity and thereby maintain their grossly excessive pay, pensions, and benefits

        Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm

          “One Million Applications, 62,000 Jobs Served At McDonald’s”

          http://chicago.cbslocal.com/ April 28, 2011

          Probably because McDonald’s has “grossly excessive pay, pensions, and benefits”

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 15, 2016 at 6:32 pm

            SMD,

            Is that supposed to be your counter-reply to the very obvious charade* that takes place everywhere in Public Sector Safety-worker hiring ?

            I would bet than a LARGE percentage (of McDonald’s applicants) are students/kids looking for part time work or those looking for a 2nd job to make ends meet.
            —————————————————–

            * Oh … did I forget to mention that only in rare cases (or in response to Civil Suits claiming hiring bias) does someone outside of Friends or Family of current safety workers get hired ?

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm

            “* Oh … did I forget to mention…..”

            Did not forget to mention. Did fail to substantiate.

            Can’t wait to see the dataset or spreadsheet function for “rare cases”. Is that more than “mean” but less than “median”? Or is that in the same category as the “typical” ?

            Remember Carl Sagan: ” Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

            It ain’t just McDonald’s or the Benevolent Brotherhood of Police Officers. Welcome to the twenty first century. There are hundreds of applicants for many jobs.

            “For the specific case of an online job posting, on average, 1,000 individuals will see a job post, 200 will begin the application process, 100 will complete the application, 75 of those 100 resumes will be screened out by either the ATS or a recruiter, 25 resumes will be seen by the hiring manager, 4 to 6 will be invited for an interview, 1 to 3 of them will be invited back for final interview, 1 will be offered that job and 80 percent of those receiving an offer will accept it.” (Talent Function Group LLC).

        • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

          Sean and TL, the laws governing the State of NJ pension plans were readopted in Nov. 2015, there will be no changes until 2022, the payouts are as written, accept and move on. By the way Sean, what time does your workday begin and end?

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 15, 2016 at 6:34 pm

            Please provide a link to this “readopting” of the “the laws governing the State of NJ pension plans”.

          • Posted by Sean on January 15, 2016 at 7:08 pm

            Quoting Anonymous:

            “there will be no changes until 2022, the payouts are as written, accept and move on.” AS WRITTEN?

            Who gives a rip? Really. Do you think that as long as the words are written, you will have the CASH on hand to PAY them?

            Let me clue you in: When mathematical reality starts hitting these plans, that which is written will give way to that which IS.

            Does it ever occur to you, that when mathematical reality sets in, the people in power at the time may just change what is written, to something else that is written, due to the current necessities of the day? Politician always keep their word, don’t they?

            And WHEN that time comes, I think you would do well to remember your own words: Accept and move on.

            “By the way Sean, what time does your workday begin and end?”

            Excuse me, but with all due respect, who the f*ck are you? You need to know my work hours, why?

            Tell you what: My hours are no mystery, and probably have nothing to do with whatever point you are going to make, but I’ll play along. So, you tell me your work schedule, and I’ll tell you mine. Fair enough?

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 8:08 pm

            Seriously TL, ask underpaid, constantly blogging Sean to be your research assistant. The information is on the NJDP&B website.

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 8:10 pm

            The pension payment will come out of the general budget.

  5. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    “Tell you what:”

    I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

    This blog may be getting too racy for me.

    Reply

  6. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 15, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    OH, NO !!!

    Go for it.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Now retired Pat on January 16, 2016 at 12:22 am

    while employed, I worked 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (7 hours of pay). I had 3 personal days, 15 holidays, 25 vacation days, 20 sick days and enjoyed an “alternative work day” that allowed me to work 70 hours in 9 days instead of 10 (thereby getting an additional 26 days off per year). I also received 5 “comp” days (discretionary) , and I was given one day extra for “COMMUTING WITH COWORKERS”. I was also allowed to take advantage of the Family Leave Act (if applicable) and if necessary, others could “donate” sick time to me if they had a surplus. I also cashed out $25K in sick time that I did not use during my career.

    I still don’t think this was enough to compensate me for the opportunity cost of being a public worker. If I had chosen Wall Street over River Street, I would have done much better!

    I am entitled to enjoy the fruits of my contract. I am not greedy.. I am just dependent upon YOUR promises and my plans.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 16, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Based on your whining commentary (primarily about how deserving you were of such out-sized pensions & benefits) I SERIOUSLY doubt that you were “Wall Street material”.

      The Public Sector is loaded with those who like to compare their pay with the pay at Class A companies in the same Sector. E.g. Public Sector IT workers always seems to tell us how much more they would be making at companies such as Google, Facebook, etc.

      Oh please …. such companies look for brilliant risk-takers with an entrepreneurial bent, who look at working 15/hrs a day for weeks on end as a passionate challenge to beat the competition to market with a new product or idea. Such companies would not even consider giving interviews to those with the typical Public Sector mindset …. 35/hrs/wk, out the door at 4 PM, demands for overtime for staying a minute late, risk-adverse, job security from cradle-to-grave, and Union control over Corporate decisions.

      Reply

    • The only job on Wall St. you would/could have been hired for would have been building custodian, aka janitor. Based on all of the days off you had how many days per year did you actually accomplish anything of value that the private sector was paying you for? What you recite is enough to make any honest working stiff throw up. I am thrilled that all of this horse sh-t is ending the hard way for all of you deadbeats.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 16, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      Now retired Pat,

      I’m glad you posted the particulars of your work schedule and perks, specifically:

      (a) you worked 70 hours every 2 weeks (via your “alternative” 9 instead of 10 days)
      (b) you received 3 personal days
      (c) you received 15 holidays
      (d) you received 25 vacation days
      (e) you received 20 sick days
      (f) you received 5 “comp” days (discretionary)
      (g) you received one day extra for “COMMUTING WITH COWORKERS”
      (h) you were allowed to take advantage of the Family Leave Act (if applicable)
      (i) others could “donate” sick time to me if they had a surplus
      (j) you cashed out $25K in sick time that I did not use during my career.

      Let’s compare that to a Private Sector CPA…..

      I’ll ignore (h) and (i), worthwhile perks, and becoming more common in the Private Sector.

      While cashing out limited (up to 1 year) unused VACATION time is not unusual, the cashing out of SICK time (j) is a perk that is VERY VERY rare in the Private Sector, but I’ll ignore that and just assume you used the 20 annual sick days. While I’m not sure you did so, my experience with Public Sector workers (from blue collar to college professors) is that sick days that cannot be cashed out are used …. all of them. While they are sometimes “banked” DURING one’s career, they will ALL eventually get used or cashed-out before retirement…… sometimes with 6+ months off with a paycheck still coming in after you have unofficially “retired” and stopped going to work.

      So how many days did you actually work in a year (noting that from (a), I will count that as 10 days of 7 hours per day):

      5 week days per week = 5 x 52 = 260 days per year
      minus 3 from (b)
      minus 15 from (c)
      minus 25 from (d)
      minus 20 from (e)
      minus 5 from (f)
      minus 1 from (g) … unless that was monthly in which case it should be 12

      which gives … 260 – (3+15+25+20+5+1) = 191 days

      which (at 70/10 = 7 hours per day) gives …. 191 x 7 = 1337 hours per year

      Now let’s look at the hours that are generally worked in one year by a Private Sector CPA, and I will split that between those working for Corporations and Accounting firms:

      In both Corporations and Accounting firms, 3 personal days is common along with 10-12 holidays (call it 11). In more senior positions in Corporate America, 4 weeks is typical. 4 weeks is a bit high for Accounting Firms because they need to “work” to bill clients and bring in revenue …. but I’ll use 4 weeks for them as well.

      In my experience, there are no “Comp” days (in addition to Personal days) and no extra days for “COMMUTING WITH COWORKERS”.

      Sick days are a bit tricky ……… but unless you are seriously ill, actually USING 20 days every year is WAY too high (I’ve averaged 1 to 2 days/year over quite a number of years). I’m going to use 10, even though I believe that 10 is (on average) perhaps even double the actual number of sick days taken.

      Let’s work up the numbers for the PRIVATE Sector CPA:

      260 – (3+11+20+10) = 216 days

      Now let’s figure out the # hours……..

      I’m sure you will challenge this, but a 45 hour average work-week for Corporate CPAs and a 55 hour work-week for Accounting Firm CPAs are ON THE LOW SIDE of typical. For simplicity, I will use the average (50 hours) so as to have only one resultant figure:

      The average number of hours/day is 50/5 = 10, and the number of hours per year is 216 x 10 = 2160.

      What does this “mean” ? Well, assuming the Public and Private Sector CPAs are equally knowledgeable, skilled, competent, and productive ( and not wasting time talking at the water-cooler or spending “work-hours” on non-work things such as estimating how big their pension will be or studying the avenues to goose-it before retirement), for each $216,000 the Private Sector CPA is paid in cash, the Public Sector CPA “deserves” $133,700 ……… and then, ONLY if they have EQUAL pensions and benefits.

      Without going into it in details, I’ll assume that any reasonable person would agree that the PUBLIC Sector CPAs pensions & benefits (both while active and retired) will FAR exceed those of the Private Sector CPA ….. perhaps with the exception of CPA Firm “Partners” who receive part of their total compensation as profits (an ownership interest in the Firm).

      Now I do not know what the AVERAGE (say 20 year) Public Sector CPA earns in cash nor do I know what the average Private Sector CPA earns in cash, but simply saying that because (on average) Public Sector CPAs earn less in cash pay than what Private Sector CPAs (on average) earn in cash justifies the FAR greater Public Sector CPA pensions and benefits …….. without FIRST making the comparison an APPLES-TO-APPLES one by adjusting for the far different number of Public Sector CPA vs Private Sector CPA hours worked in a year ….. IS WRONG.
      —————————————————–

      Getting back to my initial statement ……… “Now retired Pat, I’m glad you posted the particulars of your work schedule and perks”

      First, I am STUNNED that you posted such detail, believing that:

      (a) you are oblivious, and believe this is “normal” and Private Sector workers get similar, or
      (b) you are aware that what you got was FAR more generous than in the Private Sector and are simply shoving this in the face of those who call for pension reform as your version of an upward middle finger,

      Either way, It does NOT help your argument/cause.

      Second, commentator S Moderation Douglas repeatedly points out that compensation studies indicate that Public Sector PHDs and “Professionals” (which would include CPAs) make less in BOTH “cash pay” and “Total Compensation” (cash pay + pensions + benefits) than their Private Sector counterparts. In responses to him on that subject, I have pointed out that I doubted we are really making an apples-to-apples comparison.

      Thanks to you …. with your listing of generous time off and perks …… you have handed me the facts that support the doubt I had that such studies are NOT comparing Apples-to-Apples.

      Reply

  8. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 17, 2016 at 7:27 am

    First, i am STUNNED

    That you “know” to the hour how many hours per year are worked by both Corporate and Accounting Firm CPAs, and yet……….

    “Now I do not know what the AVERAGE (say 20 year) Public Sector CPA earns in cash nor do I know what the average Private Sector CPA earns in cash, ”

    And based on your ersatz intelligence (and, OMG!!!, more “math”?) on working hours, and total lack of knowledge on average salaries, you are able to imply that “what you got was FAR more generous than in the Private Sector”

    ‘It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.’

    Will Rogers
    ……………………………….
    The actual studies use data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and/or the Current Population Survey, which actually DO know the hours worked AND the average hourly pay. And,

    One

    More

    Time

    They all agree on the private sector pay premia. They don’t just use math. They use algorithms and logarithms. These guys leave no stone unturned. When they calculate the “value” of employer paid social security, they discount it from the 6.2% actually paid, to 2.4% value received (due to the progressive nature of SS benefits)

    Do you really think they “forgot” to consider hours worked in their apples to apples comparison?

    Also, one more time, I don’t know where you get your anecdotal evidence, but:

    “Paid leave encompasses sick time, vacation days, paid holidays, and personal leave. On average, paid leave is almost precisely the same in the private sector as in state government, with values of 11.11 percent and 11.06 percent of wages respectively. There are variations from region to region, with some governments providing more paid leave than private employees and others less. Overall, however, differences between the public and private sector are quite small relative to other fringe benefits. It is unusual for the value of state and private paid leave to differ by more than 1 percent of wages.”

    Mebbe you should talk to your boss about more vacation time?

    Or sick leave.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      SMD,

      Exactly the type of response I expected, or as Sean has said …….

      “Or is it time for SMD to come to the rescue with one of his patented drive-by smoothings?”

      Reply

  9. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    If, by “patented drive-by smoothings?” ….you mean actual data compiled and analyzed by professionals in the field, as opposed to anecdotal evidence massaged by an obviously biased observer, then …….

    Yeah. Guilty as charged.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Nah, Sean also pegged you correctly when he said ……

      “Now, SMD, carefully parse and spin that into what you want the narrative to be. That is YOUR forte. ALL of your entries on the various blogs that you post on have the same theme: “Just move it along folks. Nothing really that bad is happening to the taxpayers. We’re not really ripping them off TOO much.””

      Reply

  10. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Moderation is merely citing information from professionals in the field.

    http://www.ledger-dispatch.com/bin/dont-shoot-the-messenger?tp=nws&id=11012

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 17, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      SMD quotes many OTHERS, throwing things at the wall hoping something (ANYTHING) will “stick” to help divert attention from the clear need to VERY materially reduce FUTURE Service pensions (and benefits) of Public Sector workers ……. and because PAST Service accruals are ALSO grossly excessive (having been granted only via the Public Sector union’s BUYING the favorable vote of elected officials with Public Sector Union campaign contributions and election support) there is more than ample justification that they too should justifiably be reduced……. even IF we could find the money to pay for the absurd promises

      Reply

      • I love all of these comparisons of pay between the public sector and the private sector for “similar” jobs. The fact of the matter is anyone with a strong work ethic, ambition, creativity, drive, personality etc. etc. would never think of becoming a government drone. I would posit that an analysis of who chooses what “profession”, i.e doctor, lawyer, banker, indian chief etc. would disclose that those who pursue a “career” as a government drone (with the possible exception of some teachers and some military) have little to no desire to actually work for a living and are more than satisfied to put in time for as few years as possible in exchange for a decent salary and ridiculous working conditions and benefits. That’s why so many of them are unionized – lowest common denominator bottom feeders with no desire to achieve anything in life.

        Reply

  11. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on January 17, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Déjà pu

    Reply

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