State unions must stop lying about N.J. pension funding

This was the headline, with one word and a colon excised, of an opinion piece on nj.com today written by a couple of people who I happen to have met in real life* and who, on balance, are lying more than Christie on this issue.

Gov. Chris Christie often says he wants public-sector benefits to mirror what’s offered to employees in the private sector. However, the governor won’t dare mention that shorting pension funds in the private sector is illegal. Only in government can Christie get away with flouting his pension obligation without legal ramifications.

Multiemployer (union) plans seem to have flouted alright, primarily by gaining the ability to write their own rules including for benefit cuts.

For all Christie’s bluster about “exhorbitant” benefits plans, the truth is that New Jersey’s average yearly pension benefit of $26,000 is among the nation’s least generous — 95th in benefit generosity out of America’s 100 largest pension funds.

A bogus figure from a bogus study conducted by New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) with what was undoubtedly union encouragement, both spiritual and monetary, that was debunked here.

The governor flat out isn’t being factual when he claims a typical government employee pays $126,000 toward pension and health benefits and receives $2.4 million in return. The average state worker earns about $65,000 a year and pays $7,600 for family health insurance and $4,875 toward retirement, for a total of $12,475 a year. The employee’s pension contribution, plus the amount the state is supposed to match, have 30 years to generate interest.

How the $4,875 for health benefit is generating any interest is anyone’s guess since it is being used to pay for insurance premiums and there is no OPEB fund while on the pension side there would be far more generated in interest if the benefits were honestly funded for.  As it is, actuarial math presumes that full past contributions have been deposited and that future interest is generated on them.  In the case of NJ that is simply not true as there is far less money in the plan than there should be and so there will be far less interest generated.

By the time the employee retires at age 65, he or she will have paid $374,250 for pension and health benefits.  Earning a pension of $35,000 a year and receiving individual medical coverage worth $6,200 a year in today’s market, the worker would have to live 58 years after retiring to reach $2.4 million in benefits. Christie’s calculations would have workers living well into an age when they’d be able to see their own grandchildren become grandparents.

Who pays $6,200 annually for health insurance without Medicare being involved?

The New Jersey Supreme Court last year ruled that pensions are deferred compensation and must be paid. In other words, employees in the state pension system are pushing off a portion of their earnings until retirement. If New Jersey keeps skipping payments, or making partial payments (as Christie has proposed again next year), we will pay more later. Taxpayers will be on the hook for $3 for each $1 Christie is skipping now.

Another innumerate rant.  If that’s $3 for $1 is set in stone without any mention of time then why not keep skipping those $1 payments and have taxpayers in the year 2525 pick up the $3?

The only way to ensure future governors make required payments is to make it illegal not to, just as it is in the private sector Christie so desperately wants to emulate. We can do so without raising taxes on the middle class.

The current deficit in pension funding alone is honestly at about $166 billion.  Only someone ignorant of that fact can assert that the middle class, however that may be defined, will be spared if all public employees are to be made whole.

The elephant in the room is how to pay for pensions without cutting everything else. Christie’s crew will have you believe taxes will soar and the sky will fall if the state is required to meet its pension obligation.  That’s simply not true.

That ‘elephant in the room’ or some variation of ‘weighty’ seems to pop up in more than half of pieces on Christie.  And, to anyone who grasps the real situation, that simply IS true.

And if New Jersey began making its yearly pension payment quarterly instead of waiting until the last day of the fiscal year — legislation Christie vetoed — we’d reduce the liability by another $13.1 billion.

If the state had the money to make quarterly contributions they could just as easily make earnings on that money outside the plan and put it in later as within it assuming they do not pay taxes on earnings.

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* The authors are listed as Charles Wowkanech who is president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and Hetty Rosenstein who is area director of Communications Workers of America New Jersey. I know Charles Wowkanech from having worked on the NJ AFL-CIOs own pension plan (though I knew his predecessor Charles Marciante better) and from his occasional appearances at Union County freeholder meetings. I met Hetty Rosenstein decades ago when an ex-partner and his now ex-wife were on a night out in Kenilworth and they decided to stop by the house with Hetty who was a friend of the ex-wife’s at the time. There is as a story behind that whole interaction and future events but I’ll save it for when I know you people better.

49 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dentss dunnigan on February 21, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Could this have more to do with it .Even while they were neglecting pension contributions, New Jersey politicians were sweetening the pot. In 2001 benefits for the state’s two largest groups of workers, government employees and teachers, were increased by 9%, creating an additional $4.2 billion in liabilities. In 1999 the state approved a “20 and out” measure that allowed firefighters and local police to collect pensions equal to 50% of their pay after 20 years of service – a perk previously available only to the state police. Benefits added since 1999 have increased liabilities by more than $6.8 billion, according to official estimates.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 21, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      The $6.8 Billion estimate is WAY too low.

      NJ Safety worker pension are 65% at 25 years or 65%/25 = 2.6% as the per-year-of-service “formula factor”. The is Extraordinarily generous (50% higher than the BEST Private Sector pensions of a bygone era, and double the more typical Private Sector DB pensions, also mostly long gone).

      Combine that with full/reduced retirement at age 55 (vs typically 65 for unreduced pensions in the Private Sector) and you AGAIN double the “value” of the Safety worker pensions vs that of the Private Sector pension.

      While NJ’s COLAs are now susended, they are being challenged in Court and may be reinstated. And the WERE in place for decades. the Fact that NJ’s pensions were COLA increased (while Private Sector Plans never include annual COLA increases) increases the Safety-worker pension by another 25-30% in NJ.

      This layer after layer after layer of VERY generous formulas/provisions is VERY costly ….. for Safety workers, 4 to 6 times greater in value at retirement than the pensions (for the lucky few who still get DB pensions) of Private Sector workers who retire with the SAME pay, the SAME years of service, and at the SAME age.

      And anyone who argues such pensions are justified by low pay, is disingenuous in the extreme. Given the MODEST risks (per the US Gov’t BLS) and the typical education, knowledge, and skills of safety workers, who with similar education, knowlwedge, and skills in the Private Sector makes $125+K in BASE PAY after just 5 years ?

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 21, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        (per the US Gov’t BLS)

        Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers, New Jersey, Annual mean wage $88,530

        Notwithstanding Bergen County, of course. Maybe because they have better “education, knowlwedge, and skills” than other police in the state?

        Disingenuous indeed, this post is ripe for Moderation.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on February 21, 2016 at 10:40 pm

          Quoting SMD …..

          “Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers, New Jersey, Annual mean wage $88,530”

          While YOUR figure very like includes workers in years 1 to 5 during their grade-in period, mine didn’t ….. and I was very specific as to what I included.

          Why did you not identify that difference ?

          Misleading again ? Smoothing again ?

          Reply

        • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 12:40 am

          In Bergen County, including Chief of Police and top administrators.

          Smooth.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 1:24 am

            Linked Source (with detailed data please) …. so we can see where/how you’re “smoothing”.

            A few possibilities:

            (1) workers in year 1 -5 (or 1 – 7) with much lower “grade-in” wages
            (2) workers hired or terminated/retired with PARTIAL year wages yet averaged in w/o adjustment for the PARTIAL year.

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 2:15 am

            per the US Gov’t BLS

            The same one that says law enforcement has MODEST risks.
            They’re not credible now?

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 2:37 am

            SMD,

            If you want to play in this pond, you can’t hide your ACTUAL source …and just saying the BLS (w/o a verifiable link) doesn’t cut it.

            As I said before ………

            Linked Source (with detailed data please) …. so we can see where/how you’re “smoothing”.

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 3:40 am

            You’re quite satisfied quoting BLS figures on hazardous work or fatalities, but you question their data on salaries because it doesn’t fit your definition of “real”? LEO’S with 5 years (7 years) seniority? And they separate actual patrolmen from supervisors and Chiefs.

            “$125+K in BASE PAY after just 5 years” is for the highest paid county and includes all upper management.

            But it’s your pond, play however you want.

            http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 4:11 am

            SMD, You finally supplied the “source”. Yup … as of May 2014, the BLS is showing for NJ, Annual Mean wages of Police and Sheriffs Officers at $88,530, and in a footnote it defines Annual Mean wages as follows:

            “(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.”

            Interesting, but the link provides no access to the actual underlying data.

            It’s hard to argue that the Asbury Park DataUniverse with EVERY employee’s actual salary by town and county, and with detail for EACH worker (including their Names) isn’t far better.

            http://php.app.com/NJpublicemployees14/search.php

            I live in a middle-middle class area, and TODAY (per that database) almost all the surrounding towns show Police BASE “wages” at roughly $125K. When compared to Private Sector “wages” it is difficult to conclude that such “wages” (ALONE) aren’t unnecessarily high given the modest job risks and the education, knowledge, and skill requirements.

            Layer on top of those “wages” pensions that are ROUTINELY 4 to 6 times greater in value at retirement (than those of comparable Private Sector workers) and “platinum+” benefits (both while Active AND retired) and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to conclude that their “Total Compensation” is anything buy grossly excessive and patently absurd.

      • Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 12:12 pm

        What bull, spouted out by someone who does not research the facts but merely says whatever comes to mind with absolutely no proof.

        Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on February 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    SMD. ….

    Must be time for some of your “smoothing” ….. i.e., move along folks, nothing to see here …… we’re only ripping you off a little bit.

    Reply

  3. Posted by impeach1 on February 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Incorrecto. Have you seen their paychecks? I have…..you have no clue what you are talking about as usual typical Chris Soprano apologist

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 21, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      You can look up any individual employee, a single town’s employees, or and entire County’s employees.

      And can choose any of the pensions systems ….. such as …”Police and Firemens Retirement System” …. from the drop-down boxes.
      —————————–

      Go ahead, try it ….. and the listed salaries are BASE pay. Safety workers are sucking the taxpayers dry, and add 50% of that base pay to fully fund their grossly excessive pensions over their working years. And that 50% is just for the the “Normal Cost” of their pensions (using reasonable and appropriate assumptions & methodology, not the absurdly rosy assumptions & methodology that NJ uses to make the cost of these Plans look far lower than they really are).

      And……. A huge amount of ADDITIONAL contributions is need to pay off the unfunded liability ….. that Mr. Bury estimates to be $166 Billion.

      ———————

      Go ahead SMD ….. time for you to step in with more “smoothing”.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 12:29 am

        Woophs, here’s the link to the database noted in my above comment:

        http://php.app.com/NJpublicemployees14/search.php

        Reply

      • Posted by The Resident Nutcase on February 22, 2016 at 8:26 am

        Yeah nucklehead….. You could look up those numbers!! And you’d think what you will. But you’re also forgetting….as usual…. Those numbers do not tell the whole truth.
        You’re smoothing here TL.
        Don’t forget to take away …..
        The healthcare premium of 35%…..
        The 10% deduction for pensions…..
        The union dues……
        And any other crap that comes off the top number.
        So while you’d love the readers to think $125,000 is the norm. It simply is not.
        But go ahead….. Have your fun on this anti union, anti labor, anti pension blog with your 4 minions.
        I really do just giggle when I come here. Such hate, such disdain. this place wreaks of it.
        In any case….. I’m here… Yet again… To set the crooked record straight

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 11:18 am

          Yup, and your 10% of pay contribution, accumulated (WITH expected investment earnings) to the date of retirement, RARELY accumulates to a sum at retirement sufficient to buy more than 10% to 20% of the absurdly generous pensions you have been promised……. sticking the Taxpayers with the tab the OTHER 80% to 90% of a pension 4 to 6 times greater in value at retirement what THEY typically get from their employers. It NOT what YOU pay that matters, it’s what you get from your employer (i.e., the Taxpayers) that matters.

          If you paid an ADDITIONAL 25% of wages towards you pension (offsetting an equal amount of contributions foisted upon the Taxpayers), the Taxpayers’ contributions toward YOUR pensions would STILL far exceed their employers’ contributions towards their pensions .

          And who but Public Sector workers accrues employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits today ?

          You’re fooling nobody ….. greedy little man.

          Reply

          • Posted by The Resident Nutcase on February 22, 2016 at 11:40 am

            And you’re deflecting nobody with your smooth lies and misdirections. People aren’t stupid.

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

            TL: “And who but Public Sector workers accrues employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits today ?”

            “In 2012, 45 percent of retirees ages 55 to 64 had health benefits from a former employer (Figure 3), reflecting a small decline from 2009, when 50 percent of early retirees had retiree health benefits.”

            “Large employers typically self-insure the benefits for pre-65 retirees and contract with health insurers to make available their provider network and administer the benefits and claims payments on a national basis.”

            “Employers offering pre-65 coverage typically offer the retirees the same health plan options that are available to active employees…….”

            http://kff.org/report-section/retiree-health-benefits-at-the-crossroads-overview-of-health-benefits-for-pre-65-and-medicare-eligible-retirees/

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

            Yes SMD,

            ““In 2012, 45 percent of retirees ages 55 to 64 had health benefits from a former employer (Figure 3), reflecting a small decline from 2009, when 50 percent of early retirees had retiree health benefits.””

            But what percentage of that 45% (“employment-based coverage” is from:

            (1) Public vs Private Sector retirees ?
            Likely 90%, 95%, 98% Public ?

            (2) Private Sector retirees getting covered by a still-working spouse because their former employer does no offer it?

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 2:32 pm

            Tough Love Says:
            January 13, 2015 at 1:15 am (Calpensions; this is just a random, but typical TL rant)

            “Now tell me, how is that fair to comparably situated Private Sector taxpayers who typically get ZERO employer-sponsored retiree Healthcare benefits and rarely get more than 3%-4% employer contribution “match” into a 401K Plan?”

            Tough “If you want to play in this pond…” Love:

            Please define “typically” and “rarely”.

            Linked Source (with detailed data please) …. so we can see where/how you’re “smoothing”.

            ———————————————
            Tough Love on February 22, 2016:

            “But what percentage of that 45% (“employment-based coverage” is from:
            (1) Public vs Private Sector retirees ?
            Likely 90%, 95%, 98% Public ?”

            Lemme see… according to TL, 85% of workers are private sector. According to Biggs and Richwine, about 15% of public workers do NOT have retiree healthcare. And 42% of state workers are unmarried so, no dependent coverage.

            I’m speculating that “Likely 90%, 95%, 98% Public ?” would be…..

            incorrect.

            ___________________________________________________
            Unquestionably, a higher percentage of public sector workers than the private sector have retiree healthcare. (It actually appears, however, that in sheer numbers, there may be more private sector workers with this benefit.)

            Unless you have actual data, how about we stop using terms like “typically”, “rarely”, or “likely”?

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm

            Tough Love:

            move along folks, nothing to see here …… we’re only exaggerating a little bit.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 2:54 pm

            Quoting Mr. “smoothing” SMD….

            “According to Biggs and Richwine, about 15% of public workers do NOT have retiree healthcare. ”

            I’d bet that doesn’t apply in NJ for Public Sector workers who meet the service-year requirements.

            Perhaps in those States with Elected Officials NOT in the Union’s pocket …. and who have some financial common sense.
            —————————————————————–
            Taxpayers,

            Raise your hand if YOU are currently accruing anything (but perhaps a few $ hundred/yr into an HSA) towards retiree healthcare ……….. LOL

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm

            “I’d bet that doesn’t apply….”

            Way to document your sources!!!

            “move along folks, nothing to see here …… we’re only exaggerating a little bit.”

            LOL!!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 5:56 pm

            SMD,

            So go ahead and tell me which groups of …. NJ ……. Public Sector workers (who meet the service year requirements) don’t get retiree healthcare.

  4. Posted by impeach1 on February 21, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    reminder of the things he said before the election to get the TEACHERS to vote for him……….From Candidate Chris Christie.
    “An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ
    I am the proud product of our state’s public education system. In fact, my late mother was a dues-paying member of the NJEA. I know firsthand that one of the main reasons many of our schools ramk among the best in America is because of our dedicated teachers and educational professionals who work hard every day to give our children the learning experience they deserve.
    Like you, I am fully committed to supporting New Jersey’s kids, teachers and parents to make sure our children receive a first-class education so they can pursue limitless opportunities once the graduate. Our state’s teachers are charged with one of the greatest responsibilities one can have, and they deliver each and every day for our kids.
    But lately, there has been some misinformation circulated falsely, by supporters of Governor Corzine, suggesting I would attempt to diminish or take away teachers’ pensions and benefits. Let me be clear – nothing could be further from the truth. The claim that any harm would come to your pension should I be elected Governor is absolutely untrue. It is a 100% lie. Your pension will be protected when I am elected Governor.
    Right now, the Trenton-based leaders of the teachers’ union are literally spending millions of dollars of your union dues to falsely attack me on television and through slick mailers. This is nothing but an attempt to poison me in your eyes so that you will vote for four more years of Jon Corzine and his failed policies. Just so I am clear, what they are saying about my intentions to hurt pensions or lay off teachers is absolutely, 100% untrue.
    Here are the facts:
    *I will be a strong ally for teachers in the classroom. When elected, I will make education funding a top priority and I believe we must ensure those dollars reach our children, not the educational bureaucracy. In these tough economic times, we must ensure that the proper resources get to you, the teachers in the classroom. Despite what is said by my opponents, I would accept federal education stimulus dollars to help fund our children’s educations. Education is a priority and this money is critical to ensuring we are able to continue giving our children the education they deserve. We must also make sure that eduation dollars are always a priority and come from stable sources. Too often these grants or stimulus dollars are accepted for programs with no plan on how to pay for them after the money runds dry. It is time for a new era of responsibility in Trenton, and I will work to secure a steady source of funding for all education programs.
    * I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. In fact, in order to ensure your retirement savings are safe, I believe we must prioritize the protection of pension fund dollars and investigate the cause of Jon Corzine’s large investment losses to our pension system. Currently there is a $34 billion deficit in the State’s pension fund, which threatens the retirement and lifeline of so many teachers. We must do better for our teachers, future teachers and retirees. As Governor, I will work to close unfunded liabilities and make sure our state lives up to its promists, unlike Jon Corzine. I will not raid your pension fund to cover budgetary shortfalls like previous governors of both parties have done. One of the changes I will bring to Trenton is responsible management, investment, and oversight of state pension dollars.
    *I will not end collective bargaining and will safeguard protections for ALL public employees, including teachers. Collective bargaining is an important safeguard for public employees and is a part of a long American tradition of self government. We must make sure that the voice of every worker is represented in contract negotiations. I will demand open, honest, and fair deliberations.
    It’s true that times are tough. But the truth is that Jon Corzine has handed the NJEA and every student a ticking time bomb in this year’s budget. He has funded the new school aid formula with $1 billion in one-shot revenue that will disappear next year. Every school budget and academic, athletic, and extra-curricular program for our kids is at risk becausee of the Governor’s reckless, short-sighted policy. GOvernor Corzine has refused to make the tough decisions requried to make sure we make education funding a priority for recurring revenue and to avoid the ticking time bomb.
    We may disagree on some issues, but I know we agree on what’s most important – delivering the best education we can for our kids. Giving New Jersey’s children a quality education is critical to their future and I wouldn’t be able to do that without the dedication and tireless commitment of teachers like you. I appreciate you allowing me to clear up some of the misinformation being circulated about my plans to support our state’s teachers.
    Thank you for your service, and best wishes on a great school year.”

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Guess it’s like the song goes, either side is signing the same tune. Need to find common ground and move forward.

      Reply

    • High or low pay, haircuts are coming to the outrageous LEO, Firewhiners and School District employee pensions. They all should stop politicking and get better prepared for the tough financial times ahead.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 21, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Who cares …. ALL Politicians lie.

      A lying politician will NEVER justify the grossly excessive Public Sector pensions/benefits promised Public Sector workers…… with 80%-90% of the total costs foisted upon the beleaguered and betrayed Taxpayers.

      Reply

  5. Defined Benefits pensions are a failed experiment of the 20 Century that have been proven to be Not Affordable and subject to manipulation and corruption (e.g. union actions and Bell Calif.). The private sector is and continues to eliminate them. And that’s exactly what governments should do. Politically it’s impossible to change the systems. Thus, the only way to fix it is to simply STOP paying into the systems (stop all government contributions). They will self-destruct in short order…. Problem Solved!!!
    Chris Christie spoke of fixing Social Security during his Presidential campaign. Great idea it’s needed, but he has totally and absolutely failed to fix New Jersey pensions. And thus has no credibility what-so-ever for fixing SS pensions which is far larger than the New Jersey’s system.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Not sustainable at what level and for what reason(s)? Certainly public sector DBP haven’t hurt America’s top 1-2 % b/c their wealth has grown exponteially over the decades!

      Let’s not forget Federal DBP, including Armed Forces? Or do you to think they’re an exception to the rule b/c of self interested reasons? All service members CHOOSE to enlist for their own personal reasons. Serve our country, travel the world, free schooling, the pension and health benefits, etc. Bottom line it’s no different than any other profession, especially first responders. Most don’t see combat or ever discharge their weapons in the line of duty.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 3:01 pm

        Wow…. using the MILITARY “hero card” to justify the DP pensions of non-Military Public Sector workers ?

        That’s a new LOW …. even for Public Sector “taker” like you.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 3:07 pm

          Again YOUR self interested opinion….but please tell me what I stated about Armed Forces that is inaccurate?

          Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

          Furthermore, here is a specific example. I won’t misstate or overstate b/c I don’t personally know all of this individuals details. Here is what I do know, they are retired military, an enlisted trained physician, now a civilian doctor, and actively protests any and all local government tax increases. In my opinion, the consummate hypocrite. Guess it’s OK Federal taxpayers paid for his medical schooling, and now his pension. All the while making a very comfortable salary as an MD in civilian life.

          I don’t fault him. He served our country and got what he was promised when he signed up – hmm sounds familiar!

          Reply

  6. Posted by Pauline Walnuts on February 22, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    If Christie got involved with SS? Please. His cocktail napkin plans have proven enough. It’s over.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    If a public worker in NJ retires, for example, at age 60 with 35 years of service time, I understand the state would be pay towards health benefits. But at age 65 doesn’t that public worker go on Medicare like everyone else from the private sector. Where are all the retiree health costs for public employees?

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Their retiree coverage becomes secondary but experiences higher thave average claims because they don’t require plan participants to see providers/facilities that accept Medicare assignment. This could be easily curtailed by implementing a traditional Medi-Gap plan that typically require the in-network provider/facility to accept Medicare assignment.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 22, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      I addition to what Anon replied to you, I believe:

      (a) Some NJ Public Sector workers may not participate in SS & Medicare

      (b) I believe NJ reimburses the Medicare premiums for those on Medicare

      (c) for retiree on Medicare, NJ contributes towards insurance coverage for the 20% of covered costs that Medicare doesn’t pay for, as well as for service that Medicare doesn’t cover at all.

      (d) dental Coverage ???

      (e) vision coverage ???

      ——————–
      NJ’s Public Sector retirees should be able to buy whatever coverage they want …… and THEY should PAY FOR 100% of the total cost LESS a Taxpayer contribution EQUAL to what Private Sector employers in NJ typically contribute toward their retiree healthcare coverage ….. which is MOST OFTEN, NOTHING.

      ——————————
      Got a problem with EQUAL ?

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 7:22 pm

        ” what Private Sector employers in NJ typically contribute toward their retiree healthcare coverage ….. which is MOST OFTEN, NOTHING.”

        pretty non-specific. Do you have ANY actual data available?

        Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm

        I am guessing that in 2014, 32.5% of private sector establishments with 1000 or more employees offered health insurance to retirees under 65. And 26.8% offered health insurance to retirees 65 and over.

        Ballpark estimate.

        Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm

        SMD:

        Yeah, right. Big deal! How many Americans work for those large companies?

        Huh?

        Ballpark guesstimate: 54,182,280 (That’s about 46+% of private sector employees.)

        Huh!

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2016 at 8:43 pm

        Incorrect, it’s mandatory ALL Medicare eligible retiree’s enroll – no exceptions. Yes they do get some but not all Medicare part B reimbursement. Dental is available with NO employer contribution. No vision coverage is available. I’m speaking to those civilian State retirees.

        Reply

  8. Does it really matter what anyone’s opinion is regarding the pensions? Bottom line–paying way too much to way too many for way too long to do way too little with no accountability at all. Doesn’t matter how much or how little a public makes, cuts are coming, this is just the very tip of the iceburg what we read here. It’s beyond what’s fair to who, there is no money and all that matters is how long the slimy politicians can keep the game going. Publics should be taking their ire out on the scumbags they elected to keep the gravy train going not the private taxpayers who are paying most of bill for this shell game

    Reply

  9. Posted by Phil Montoe on February 25, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I don’t even know where to begin the math & figures sited are so insanely wrong it’s obscene..the pension & healthcare cost is so ridiculously out of control it ludicrous enough is enough it’s time to cut anywhere and everywhere the taxpayers have had it!

    Reply

  10. Posted by Bill R on March 16, 2016 at 10:17 am

    This article is beyond ridiculous where did you get your facts & assumptions Disney world…we’re past the point of even justifying the argument that’s pension are destroying the country..this must stop & it will & all the babies & leeches who are now sucking the system dry will lose most if not all their pensions & since your all so greedy & ignorant I could care less anymore..so when the pension cuts come rest assured most if not all of the people paying your innsane & unsustainable pensions will breathe a sigh of relief that the madness has finally stopped…best regards!

    Reply

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