NJ Pensions Back On Court

Now that Chris Christie is back nj.com provided a handy to-do list headed by replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund (contractors/campaign donors have their needs) and fixing Atlantic City.  Next comes what they term the ‘Pension Mess’ and continuing a policy of malign neglect won’t work much longer as the courts become involved.

According to a story in Pensions & Investments:

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide Feb. 19 whether it will hear claims by public employee unions seeking to reverse Mr. Christie’s withholding of certain state payments to the New Jersey Pension Fund for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.

Then we have the COLA case appeal to the NJ Supreme court which is supposed to be argued mid-March.

Losing these cases could mean tens of billions of dollars that New Jersey would somehow have to make appear.  Coincidentally the Pension and Benefit Study Commission has a plan that they chose to release the day after Christie freed up some time for glancing at it.

22 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dentss dunnigan on February 11, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I would think this alone would kill this bill dead in the water “It would do so without regard to cost or the resulting impairment of the State’s ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens.” how could you possibly suggest a bill that has this type of harm to all it’s citizens…

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Do you think Sweeney cares ……. as long as this Bill’s “sucking-up” to the Unions (and lying to NJ taxpayers as the the Bill’s DIRE consequences) get’s him the Union-block-votes needed to get him elected NJ’s next Governor ?

      Reply

  2. Posted by Javagold on February 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Jersey Comeback. Lol.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Pauline Walnuts on February 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Bubble butts’ “new” report is out. It re-emphasizes the need to put the responsibility for teacher pensions and retirement healthcare on the local taxpayer. The last set of reforms took the employees share of healthcare from 0% to up to 35% while doing nothing to cap the annual 8-12% premium increases. Now that those “savings” have been swallowed up it is time to go back to the employees and local taxpayers to make good on the states responsibilities. Enough is enough. Everything lardass touches turns to shit. 24-48% raises for the largest gubernatorial staff in NJ history. Why? “Because they’re doing a good job”. The commission states we could face catastrophic cuts. Cut away.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 12, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Employee pensions and benefits paid by the State of NJ for decades was implemented for property tax relief. What has evolved with 1600+ local and county governments plus local/county school districts makes the relief effort unsustainable. The only choice is to send the obligation back to where it came from. Home rule wins by default.

      Reply

  4. Maybe like that time with Corzine, billions will just suddenly appear. Anyone remember that one?

    Reply

  5. Posted by Pauline Walnuts on February 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Those billions would be earmarked for the AC comeback.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on March 1, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      AC, another failure of Trenton. AC had a 25 year head start over all the states in the northeast that have now adopted gambling. NJ had 25 years to make AC an east coast destination and they blew it. If it had been done right AC could have been a year round tourist destination generating billions in annual taxes. Once again NJ’s government has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on February 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/02/point_of_no_return_is_fast_approaching_for_njs_pen.html#incart_river_mobileshort_index

    Put the reforms and funding on the ballott. Interesting (or maybe not so) timing? I guess it F he stayed in the race this would still be on the back burner!

    Reply

  7. Posted by skip3house on February 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save (NJ).”–Thomas Jefferson
    If only….DC were used, unrealistic promises not made, no abuses, and used just Medicare after retirement at 65.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Yes. THAT describes what Private Sector workers typically get ….. and Public Sector workers are NOT “special” and deserving of more …. on the Taxpayers’ dime.

      Reply

      • Posted by Greg Lamon on February 12, 2016 at 10:58 am

        68 million working Americans do not have access to a workplace retirement savings plan.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on February 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm

          While I don’t know if that figure is accurate, most workers in this situation are likely lower-earners (because businesses that employee medium/higher-earners almost always make 401Ks available to their workers …. even if they don’t match employee contributions) and while it would be a good idea to contribute even more, most likly would not be able to contribute more than annually maxing out an IRA contribution …… an option available to ALL workers.

          Reply

        • Posted by DarkMatter on February 15, 2016 at 1:03 am

          When I was a contractor, I had to manage my own 401k or IRA. It’s not a big deal… and there are non-trivial advantages. The money is *mine*, and you avoid Enron style company implosions affecting your pension.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 15, 2016 at 1:26 am

            I don’t think Public Sector workers would mine too much “managing their own money” as long as the CONTINUE to get taxpayer-funded pensions & benefits 3 to 6 times greater in value at retirement than those of Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age, with he SAME pay, and the SAME years of service …. as they do RIGHT NOW.

  8. Posted by Tough Love on February 11, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    John, I took a long look at the Commission’s new report ….. via your last link and clicking….. “Supplemental Report on Health Benefits New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission.”

    While I agree with the Commission members focus on taking Total (health) Costs out of the system rather than simply shifting from employer (meaning taxpayers) to the employees, their proposed result remains VASTLY unfair to taxpayers and I see no reason (ESPECIALLY for future retirees) for taxpayer Public Sector worker healthcare subsidies to be greater than what Private Sector employers typically provide THEIR employees in retiree healthcare benefits.

    And the Commissions new report make no bones that is is doing exactly that (quoting):

    “The third input is the percentage of employee premium contribution. Changes in this input result in a zero-sum gain which merely shifts costs from employer to employee. For this reason, the Commission has elected not to change premium contribution percentages, even though the current Chapter 78 grid results in average premium
    contributions significantly below what is prevalent in the private sector. By keeping the grid in place, employees continue to enjoy a health benefits package better
    than that in the private sector, while the reforms affecting total cost and actuarial value will result in a reduction of premium costs for all employees.”

    Note the words … “even though the current Chapter 78 grid results in average premium contributions significantly below what is prevalent in the private sector.”
    —————————————————————————————–

    There is ZERO justification for this recommendation of a CONTINUATION of the THEFT of Private Sector taxpayers wealth. It way past time to put an END to it …. FULLY.

    Reply

  9. Looks like they will be going after the health benefits first….forget where I recently read about that and then the pensions.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Not surprising …… health benefits.being the lower-hanging fruit, and with far less legal protections (if any at all).

      Also, reducing (active and/or retiree) health benefits saves cash TODAY (as well as lowering the growth in future liabilities).

      To save (in any mater way) cash today via pension changes, requires reducing the past service accruals of those already retired …. a huge legal as well as political hurdle.

      Reply

  10. Posted by Anonymous on February 12, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Ok so maybe I’m shadowing Shawn but it really doesn’t come down to numbers in politics unless you’re talking votes! Regardless of what any of us know or think we know the D’s won’t accept the Commission’s recommendations as delivered and the R’s won’t accept Sweeney’s constitutional amendment (not that they need to). It comes down to that nasty 10 letter word, compromise. Broken record, “time will tell”.

    Reply

  11. Chris… you have to fix NJ pensions and greatly reduce them… it’s necessary to have credibility to fix the Social Security System on the U.S. Keep 2020 election cycle in mind. Do what has to be done… beyond just “talking.”

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: