Flagging Pension Spiking

In pro football you are still allowed to spike the ball after a touchdown but if you work in conjunction with a teammate on your celebration you will be flagged.

Not so with pension spiking, at least in Scotch Plains, NJ.

Last year I blogged about another politician gaming the system:

Al Mirabella has been a Union County Freeholder since 1991 earning about $30,000 per year for that part-time position that includes membership in the New Jersey Public Employees Retirement System (PERS).

Last Thursday he was appointed the new township administrator for Scotch Plains at a reorganization meeting where it was reported:

“Giamis, the sixth township manager in five years, resigned from his position, citing the “political realities” of a now Democratic council that did not intend to rehire him. The council flipped to a Democrat majority after November’s six-way election, in which two Republicans lost their seats to members of the other party.”

Had Mirabella stayed in his freeholder position only (he has said he will hold both jobs) his annual pension on 1/1/18 after 27 years of service would have been about $14,727 ($30,000 / 55 x 27).  With his second job added that annual pension jumps to $73,636 ($150,000 / 55 x 27).  That $58,909 annual difference for a relatively young retiree with COLA adjustments is conservatively worth about a million dollars.

Who will pay that extra million dollars? Not the township of Scotch Plains which according to the PERS contribution schedule will only need to pay 11.92% of his salary (about $43,000 over 3 years).

The honest fix is to have the Scotch Plains payment be based on the the actual amount of benefits being accrued on account of that job which would mean about $300,000 annually. That’s not going to happen which is one reason that Mirabella’s extra million dollars doesn’t bother me.  It’s only on paper.  He will never see anything near that.  The sad part is that people who really earn their pensions for real work are in the same boat.

This week we found out that the mayor who brought Mirabella aboard also gave him a boost on his spike:

10 responses to this post.

  1. Are any of these people really worth that much in salary and pensions. Nothing worse than somebody taking advantage of others with out earning it. In this case I hope he gets nothing. And the everyday publics wonder why the system is insolvent……….too bad that it will happen to them as well as they stood idly by and kept voting in these bozos without asking questions


  2. Posted by bpaterson on September 2, 2016 at 10:17 am

    JB1-as you noted elsewhere, what is union county freeholder/scotch plains township manger Mirabella’s real salary for the double dip 2 jobs, the township manager job he got in the last 1 1/2 years. You lowballed it at $150k total, but its more like $30k (UCFH) + $145k (SPTM)=$175k total. So after the 3 years top salary, and in 30 years which he is closing in on, we have 175k/ 55 x 30= $95,000/ annual pension versus $30k/55×30=$16,000…that’s a 600% increase in his pension in a quick 3 years, reward for enabling the corrupted system in union county.

    Oh, i forgot to mention that he had no experience for the job, yet was hired over a gulf war vet who had experience and even 12 others. And piggy Mirabella was able to negotiate a $25,000 raise over the last township manager. Political connections certainly help here in the soprano county.

    Whose pockets is all that pigtrough pension money supposed to come out of for Mr Piggy. And this tip of the iceberg is just one item of so many chronicled in the countywatchers website the last 10 years. I dare any of your readers to disprove that union county is the most corrupt county in NJ. I make that sure bet. As a democrat in the county, i am embarrassed all this corruption is being done by these democrats (actually they are posers). JB1-thanks for bringing this to light for the readers.


  3. Posted by now retired Pat on September 2, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Voters in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday approved a referendum that creates a half-cent sales tax that will be used exclusively to fully fund the city’s three pension funds.

    I think NJ taxpayers would agree to do as much…


    • Posted by dentss dunnigan on September 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      the agreed to the 1/2 cent raise if it went for property tax relief ,which I doubt it ever has ,so why not just take that …..i don’t know what the sales tax brings in …but would be interesting .


    • Posted by Anonymous on September 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Like any additional revenue would make into the pension fund….. Ha ha ha. This is NJ


    • Posted by Anonymous on September 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      And it should be noted with a Republican administration fully supporting the referendum, go figure NJ’s dysfunctional.


  4. Posted by Anonymous on September 3, 2016 at 3:57 pm


    While the Feds just keep printing money and devaluing the dollar….


  5. Posted by Anonymous on September 3, 2016 at 4:18 pm


    Let’s can the selective criticism and stop making excuses for some….it’s all or nothing.


  6. Posted by Anonymous on September 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm


    Same old excuses but the Military (excluding Fed civilian) pension numbers keep growing at twice the amount battered about for State and Local governments across the US.


  7. […] freeholder Al Mirabella who got two big-paying years out of the Scotch Plains job with which to pad his pension but ideally you need a third year to maximize benefits so this election likely cost him not only […]


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