Lying Baster

First we got:

 

Then yesterday we got this official press release from the governor’s office focusing on what he has done for the New Jersey public retirement system:

Governor Christie today signed his eighth and final balanced budget, continuing his unprecedented support for New Jersey’s pension system and overdue transparency and accountability reforms of the state’s largest health insurer.

The Fiscal Year 2018 state budget includes the largest pension payment in state history, $2.5 billion, bringing Governor Christie’s total contributions to $8.8 billion more than 2.5 times the total contributions of all governors combined since 1995. This will be the first year that pension payments will be made quarterly, allowing the fund to grow more quickly toward solvency.

This is also the first year that lottery revenues will also be dedicated to the state’s pension system, under a policy proposed by the Governor during his February state budget address. The Governor today signed into law his measure, Senate Bill 3312, implementing the Lottery Enterprise Contribution that will generate $37 billion in pension funding over 30 years, provide an immediate reduction in the state’s long-term retiree obligations by $13.5 billion and reduce pressure on the state budget from ever-increasing pension costs.

This new law will immediately elevate the system’s Funded Ratio from 45 percent to 59 percent, while reducing the General Fund obligation to the system. It is projected to elevate the entire Retirement System’s Funded Ratio to approximately 90 percent by Fiscal Year 2047, years earlier than immediate full-funding of the actuarially determined contributions. It should lower the state’s borrowing costs.

These pension solvency actions for generations of current and future public employees and taxpayers build upon the Governor’s bipartisan reforms of 2011 that are providing $120 billion in 30-year savings to the pension and health benefits systems. Without debate, Governor Christie has resurrected the state’s pension system and done more to ensure its future solvency than any other governor.

All lies:

  • The pension system is the worst funded in the nation and will continue as such as even states who rival New Jersey in dereliction at least are not in open denial.
  • $8.8 billion in contributions over 8 years is far less than the $11 billion being paid out ANNUALLY right now. Under Christie (and due in part to revised GASB rules) the system’s official unfunded liability rose from $43.8 billion as of 6/30/09 to $135.7 billion as of 6/30/15.
  • Quarterly contributions are a gimmick with no useful purpose except to reduce state contributions slightly.
  • Lottery-to-pension is a gimmick with no useful purpose except to reduce state contributions slightly while deceiving those who choose to be deceived about the real funded ratio.
  • I ranked Chris Christie back in 2014 as the second-worst offender against the pension system. With these denials, gimmicks, and lies since he now tops the list.

But then again:
.

55 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I’m not disagreeing with your observations but I wonder if the line between lies and truth are blurred by the viewers own self interested visions?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Ok do I admit this stuff doesn’t consume every moment of my life but isn’t the guy mentioned in this article the same one that speaks out against DBP in California and possibly elsewhere?

    https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/07/05/reports-of-a-us-retirement-crisis-are-off-the-mark-think-tank-study.html

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 12:06 am

      One and the same. And when he headed up Social Security, he supported Bush Jr. in advocating privatization of SS.

      Biggs…
      “Yet a 2016 Gallup poll found 74 percent of U.S. retirees say they are living comfortably.”

      “Perhaps most surprisingly, Biggs points to recent research suggesting retiree incomes generally match or even exceed their pre-retirement incomes.”

      Now, it looks like he’s saying “move along folks, nothing to see here.” Very little retirement problems? Retirement incomes exceed pre-retirement incomes? I am skeptical.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    The most interesting and, in my opinion, truthful statement in this article that applies to the conversation here and elsewhere is;

    So who’s right?

    The answer, experts says, probably lies somewhere in between.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/07/will_changes_to_michigans_pens.html

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Everything you stated is correct……………. and many (yourself included) seem to be of the mindset that NJ’s taxpayers have been terribly derelict in not fully funding NJ’s Public Sector Plans …………..”as promised”.

    Considering that NJ likely wouldn’t have contributed more or less (due to budget restraints) if the Plans were more or less generous, if they were twice as generous and the funded ratio was thereby HALF (i.e., about 20%) of what it is now, would that have made NJ’s taxpayers MORE derelict, or might it be that the Plans are simply (even MORE so) too generous?

    Several times I have opined that an intelligent discussion of “full funding” (or the lack thereof) cannot take place without the “generosity” of the underlying pension Plans being part of that discussion ……. because the calculated annual pension contribution to achieve “full funding” is A FUNCTION OF (and moves IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO) the Plans’ generosity.

    I have also (more than just opined, but) on several occasion demonstrated that NJ’s Non-Safety-worker Public Sector Plans have a “value upon retirement”* that is just about 2.5 times that granted a comparable Private Sector worker who retires with the SAME wages, with the SAME years of service, and at the SAME age ……. with that 2.5 times rising to 4+ times in NJ for Safety workers.

    NJ’s funded ratio is now on the underside of 40%. But what if the (Non-Safety worker) Plans’ generosity wasn’t 2.5 times greater in value upon retirement, but instead was only EQUAL in value to that typically granted comparable Private Sector workers? Current Plan assets would be sufficient to FULLY FUND that less-generous Plan and it would have a funded ratio of just about 100%.

    Yes, NJ’s Elected Officials DID grant our Public Sector workers Pensions that are 2.5 times and 4+ times greater, and yes there are all sorts of arguments about honoring Contracts, vested rights, and Laws/Regs. that severely restrict the ability to reduce pensions …… even for just FUTURE service.

    How did a structure develop in the PUBLIC Sector SO DIFFERENT (so much MORE “generous”, and hence so much MORE “costly”) than that in the Private Sector ?

    (A) In the Private Sector, Corporate funds are the source of pension contributions, and being THE COMPANY’S money, Corporate executives (and/or owners) management is careful to spend their money wisely AND manage “risk”.. i.e., to provide fair and reasonable Total Compensation (of which pensions are a component), but NOT to unnecessarily over-compensate, nor take unnecessary “risks”.

    In the Public Sector, our Elected Officials (or their representatives) that determine Total Compensation (including pensions & benefits) are NOT spending THEIR money but the Taxpayers’ money. As such, there is MUCH less personally-impacting reasons to not over-spend, and in fact, there are many benefits to THEM for doing just the opposite (over-compensating). When they grant generous pay, pensions, and/or benefits, they please the Public Sector Unions/workers, thereby all-but-guaranteeing their votes in the next election, and the Unions pour campaign contributions into their election campaigns. Sure sounds like a quid-pro-quo that might be a crime in the Private Sector.

    (B) Contracts are enforceable to the extent that they are honestly (“arms-length”) negotiated, with the two opposing parties looking out for THEIR side’s best interests. Clearly that happens in Private Sector contract negotiations, and especially when a Corporation is negotiating with a Private Sector Union over wages. pensions, and benefits.

    In contrast, in Public Sector wage/pension/benefit negotiations, the Taxpayers do not have a TRUE seat at the table. Sure, it is argued that we do because we Elect those who are negotiating with the Public Sector Unions/workers. We all know that’s lip-service, Those actually “negotiating” with the Unions/workers are THEMSELVES participants in the SAME pension/benefit Plans, and know that whatever raises or pension/benefit enhancements are granted the rank-and-file, THEY will get at least as much. As such they have ZERO incentive to fight for the best (i.e., lowest cost) contract achievable …. for the Taxpayers.

    (C) In the Private Sector, the Federal Gov’t (through Treasury/IRS Regulations) has established CONSERVATIVE requirements (as to assumptions and methodology) in the valuation of Private Sector Pensions. Yes, they are “reasonably” conservative, but NOT overly conservative. Do you think the powerful Corporate lobby would put up with UNNECESSARILY conservative requirements.? Of course not.

    Then why are Public Sector Plans not held to that SAME “reasonably conservative” standard, but instead allowed to value their Plans using assumptions and processes that often require HALF the contributions (to achieve “full funding”) that would be required under Private Sector Plans?

    The answer is obvious, if they were held to the MUCH more conservative Private Sector valuation standards, the annual taxpayer contribution-requirements would be so great as to make it obvious to Taxpayers that the CURRENT level of Public Sector pension “promises” is excessive (being MULTIPLES greater in “value upon retirement” than what THEY typically get from their employers), and they would likely demand that Public Sector pensions be lowered. Elected Officials, beholden to the Public Sector Unions/workers (for their votes and campaign contributions), won’t rock-the-boat, and the result of these VERY LIBERAL Public Sector pension valuation assumptions/methodology is ever-growing unfunded liabilities ……. even WHEN the Plan assets meet their stated investment goals. Private Sector Taxpayers are simply being hoodwinked by the insatiably greed Public Sector Unions/workers in cahoots with our self-interested, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting, Taxpayer-betraying Elected Officials.

    (D) In Private Sector Plans the legal structure is such that only PAST service pension accruals cannot be reduced, and it is both legal and commonplace for Private Sector Plan sponsors to reduce the pension accrual rate for the FUTURE service of CURRENT workers or even freeze the Plan completely (with ZERO future growth).

    How did we develop such a radically DIFFERENT structure with PUBLIC Sector Plans? When looked at vs the protections afforded Private Sector workers, the unfairness of the level of protections afforded ONLY Public Sector workers is no less than astounding.

    While those Public Sector Plan protections vary considerably from State-to-State, ALL provide MUCH greater protections from reduction (even for just FUTURE service) than the very limited protections afforded Private Sector Plan participants. Some States (such as CA) have ruled that Plans can never be less generous (formula/provision-wise) than those in place on the date of employment, and even post-employment pension increases are locked-in once granted. To believe ANYTHING-BUT Public Sector Union/Politician collusion (a you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours attitude) in allowing such a grossly unfair (to Taxpayers) structure to develop is absurd.

    Back to that ………… mindset that NJ’s taxpayers have been terribly derelict in not fully funding NJ’s Public Sector Plans “as promised”.

    I don’t believe so. If we (NJ’s Taxpayers) have already contributed an amount sufficient to provide fully funded pensions EQUAL in “value upon retirement” to that typically granted comparable Private Sector workers …… and NJ’s Taxpayers HAVE done so ………. than we have already met any “reasonable” obligation that should have been placed upon us. And the fact that our self-interested/Union-BOUGHT Elected Officials promised far more than they should have, should be ignored………. or at least legally fought with no less ferocity than that of the Public Sector workers who continue to demand MORE than what is EQUAL and FAIR.

    It is irrelevant that NJ has one of the lowest funded ratios in the nation. ALL that means is that the other State’s Taxpayers have been “suckered” to a greater extent in actually funding pensions far greater in value upon retirement than those typically granted to it’s Private Sector Taxpayers.
    __________________________________________

    * value upon retirement is a determined not only by the Plans’ per-year-of-service “formula factor”, but also by the age at which a participant can retire without an actuarial reduction (young ages costing a LOT MORE), the existence and extent of subsidized early retirement adjustment factors, by COLA increases (including those of past years if COLAs are now suspended), and of course the financial cost of all retroactively granted pension increases (including changes in “provisions” that enhance a pension’s value).

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I agree with your underlying sentiment however the vast majority of public workers were, as you say, suckered by the same politicians you speak so highly of. There’s no question again, as you say, that anyone with a working brain understands the immediate need and urgency for extremely meaningful reforms. A freeze to the current DBP with a laddered hybrid plan for vested employee’s depending on their years of service and a change in health coverage from platinum to gold. While not perfect Jack’s plan was the most comprehensive in holistically addressing this issue.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Jack Ciattarelli’s Plan was indeed MUCH better than anything else put forth……. in fact, the ONLY one not politically side-stepping the issue (so as not to anger the Public Sector unions).

      And yes …………….. that anyone with a working brain understands the immediate need and urgency for extremely meaningful reforms.

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Quoting ….. “however the vast majority of public workers were, as you say, suckered by the same politicians”

      Well, depends on how you define “suckered”. NJ’s Public Sector workers may have been “suckered” in the sense that they thought they were getting a securely-funded/exceedingly-generous pension. But if they indeed get MORE than a pension EQUAL to what their Private Sector counterpart gets (even if considerably lower that what they have been “promised”), have they REALLY been “suckered” ?

      NJ’s lowest rank Police often have BASE PAY in the $125-$140K range after only 5 to 7 years of service. Private Sector workers in jobs with equal “risk” and with similar qualifications as to experience, education, skills, and knowledge rarely earn similar wages so early in their careers. So with greater BASE pay ALONE, what justifies pensions that ROUTINELY have a “value upon retirement” 4+ times greater than those of these COMPARABLE Private Sector Taxpayers?

      Even if one considers their Base Pay to not be excessive, NJ’s Police would only be “suckered” if their pensions were no more than 1/4 of what they have been promised ………. and THAT is extremely unlikely.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 8:46 pm

        A few definitions of suckered are; fooled or tricked. So yes, the vast majority of public workers were suckered. When an employee accepts employment, typically HR explains the various aspects of employment including but not limited to salary and benefits, which of course includes pension and health care. This conversation, to my knowledge, does not include an explanation of the various, often contradictory, studies comparing private versus public salary and benefit comparisons. All employers/businesses rely on their customer sale/service base to remain in business, in the case of public workers it’s the taxpayer. All perspective employees/customers have the freedom to choose which employer/business is best for them. Again, the vast majority of public workers did/do not accept employment with the knowledge and attitude of the generosity, as you’ve indicated, as compared to their private sector counterparts.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm

          Quoting …………

          “This conversation, to my knowledge, does not include an explanation of the various, often contradictory, studies comparing private versus public salary and benefit comparisons.”

          I’m sure it doesn’t, such conversations usually concurring in Union (or “Association”) halls as Public Sector workers High-5 each other at the conclusion of “negotiations” about how they (in collusion with the towns BOUGHT-off Elected Officials) AGAIN screwed the Town’s Taxpayers.

          Quoting ……….

          “All employers/businesses rely on their customer sale/service base to remain in business, in the case of public workers it’s the taxpayer. All perspective employees/customers have the freedom to choose which employer/business is best for them”.

          Wow, you live in an altered reality………..

          Unlike Private Sector companies in which “customers” can (and DO) choose to shop elsewhere when employee over-compensation (reflected in the prices of the Company’s produces or services) makes them noncompetitive, can a Town’s residents choose to buy Police, DPW, MVP, or services elsewhere? No, we’re a captive audience with NO options, regardless of how unreasonable or excessive the prices of those products or services are.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 10:45 pm

            What, hopefully covered by an Rx plan, drugs are you on? Are aliens holding you captive to your municipality, State, or Country of residence – really? Your rationalization of the private versus public sector free choice well, pardon the expression First Lady, is despicable!

  6. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    1) Again, you are comparing pensions alone, not in the context of total compensation.

    2) When you do consider total compensation, it is based on one dubious study.

    3) There is absolutely no reason to believe that, had NJ pension formulae been 40% of existing formula, the state would have “fully funded” those lower ARCs. There are other states with lower pensions which are also underfunded, and states with more generous pensions, which are near full funded.

    4) Had NJ, and (and other states) fully funded their systems early on, they would not be so expensive today. The magic of compounding only works if there is something to compound.

    5) How very presumptuous of you to try to justify violating legal contracts because, in your opinion, they were not negotiated in good faith. Tell that to the judge.

    6) “Back to that ………… mindset that NJ’s taxpayers have been terribly derelict in not fully funding NJ’s Public Sector Plans “as promised”.
    Not “NJ’s taxpayers” …NJ state politicians. The only reason NJ is near 40% is the weighted average of local systems. NJ state systems are only 17 – 20% funded. No way to sugar-coat that.

    7) Yes, it is relevant that NJ has one of the lowest funded ratios in the nation. It is despicable.   Notwithstanding your personal opinion, there is a debt. NJ retirees will be paid. Undoubtedly, there will be reductions, not nearly as much as you crave, but there will also be tax increases and/or reduced services. DON’T PAY THE BILLS, THE DEBT GETS LARGER.

    8) No matter how you define it, public employees AND taxpayers were suckered by the politicians.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Wow…. glad you’re back ………vacation w/o internet access?

      What would we do w/o the great Public Sector pension “denier”?

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 11:03 pm

        No internet access, guess you didn’t know retired CALPERS get free unlimited data plan on America’s largest 4G network (and I have no idea which network that is b/c just like all the private versus public salary comparison it depends).

        Reply

  7. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    It’s not a “lie”, but it is still untrue.

    http://metro.co.uk/2015/12/01/if-you-repeat-a-lie-enough-people-think-its-true-5536488/

    Sorry, TL, there ain’t enough copy/paste to make anyone with a working brain believe your bushwa.

    Reply

  8. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    “pension denier” What does that even mean?

    Blast from the past…
    ………………

    Posted by Tough Love on April 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    The groups impacted by MPRA are FAR FAR different than Public Sector workers, where pensions are so absurdly generous (and so fraudulently obtained from Union-BOUGHT Elected Officials) that they were NEVER justifiable ….and SHOULD BE materially reduced.

    These workers have run-of-the-mill pensions, clearly very modest (and MULTIPLES LESS) than those granted Public Sector workers.
    ————————-

    Congress SHOULD look to remedy this situation …. but by forcing the profitable companies still in these Plans to pony up, NOT with a taxpayer-funded bailout.
    …………….
    MULTIPLES LESS!

    Mathematically calculated based on “assumptions” and empirically proven untrue in easily verified examples of actual NJ state employee truck drivers. Taxpayers, would you rather have a $3,500 private sector pension at age 55, or a  $2,566 public pension at age 60?

    And TL, based on his/her personal opinion would like to void the contracts and reduce that public pension to $1,026 (40% of $2,566) because…

    Bushwa.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on July 5, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Ah…….. A Public Sector pension “denier” is one who refuses to accept the FACT that Public Sector “PENSIONS” are MULTIPLES greater than those provided Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age, with the SAME pay, and the SAME years of service.

    *******************************

    Note to SMD (the great pension “denier”) …………. we’re taking “PENSIONS” here.

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 12:13 am

      Sorry, Love, you ain’t taking my pension.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 12:29 am

        SMD,

        To be honest, I don’t want “your pension” taken away, but what I DO WANT is for the pensions accruals for the FUTURE service of ALL CURRENT Public Sector workers to be reduced ALL THE WAY to a level no greater than that typically granted comparable Private Sector workers.

        Benefits (while active and retired) should also be so modified (which means VERY little in the way of retiree healthcare subsidies), and cash pay in comparable Public/Private jobs should (assuming equal hours worked and equal “productivity”#) be as close as possible.

        # E.G., If it typically takes 2 Private Sector workers fill 1 large pot hole in 1 hour, but a city typically sends 1 supervisor + 2 workers to do the SAME repair in 1 hour, they do NOT deserve the same wages.

        Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 12:17 am

      Ooophs,

      I missed that SMD is back at it again, so let me state this (see below) once and for all time ………. and I’ll simply point to this comment in the likely dozens of future times that SMD brings this same thing up again.

      ALL references I make to Private Sector Pension Plans refer to Single-employer Corporate Sponsored Plans, NOT Multi-Employer Union-Sponsored Plans.

      Private Sector Union-workers represent only 6% (yes only 6%) of all Private Sector workers but SMD likes to pick the Pensions of this small/unrepresentative group in his comparisons because these Plans tend to be more generous than Private Sector Single Employer Plans and allow actuarially-unreduced retirement at young ages (with long service)….. something virtually UNHEARD-OF in the FAR larger group of Private Sector Single-Employer sponsored pension Plans…………. but ROIUTINE in virtually ALL Public Sector Plans.

      Reply

      • Posted by PS Drone on July 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm

        And from what I read, many “multi-employer DB pension plans” are going broke and looking to PBGC to fund/replace plan benefits. This situation could not possibly be in part because the plan design was hopelessly generous, could it? Too many Teamsters believed it when they were told by their Union reps that they could retire at age 55. Arithmetic is a bitch.

        Reply

  10. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 12:59 am

    T-nonymous
    “so let me state this (see below) once and for all time ………. and I’ll simply point to this comment in the likely dozens of future times that SMD brings this same thing up again.

    ALL references I make to Private Sector Pension Plans refer to Single-employer Corporate Sponsored Plans, NOT Multi-Employer Union-Sponsored Plans.
    ……………………..
    Except you clearly referenced MPRA and emphatically stated their pensions were, not just higher, but MULTIPLES higher.

    Posted by Tough Love on April 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    The groups impacted by MPRA are FAR FAR different than Public Sector workers, where pensions are so absurdly generous (and so fraudulently obtained from Union-BOUGHT Elected Officials) that they were NEVER justifiable ….and SHOULD BE materially reduced.

    These workers have run-of-the-mill pensions, clearly very modest (and MULTIPLES LESS) than those granted Public Sector workers.
    …………………
    And, to add insult to ignorance, you mathematically proved that the public pension ($2,566 @ 60) is somehow 73% greater in “value” than a private pension ($3,500 @ 55).

    Lying Baster

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 1:19 am

      SMD,

      Noting I was not correct for Private Sector Union-sponsored Multi-Employer Plans, I did state the following in the string of comment ts on Arpil 16, 2017):
      _______________________

      Well I’ll have to admit I have far more experience with the retirement savings offered the 100%-7.6%*=93.3% of Private Sector workers who do not belong to Private Sector Unions ………….. and who, without doubt, are abused and disturbed by being called upon to pay for the multiples greater Public vs Private Sector pensions

      * corrected in a later comment to 6.7%
      ===============================================
      And my above comment (time-stamped July 6, 2017 at 12:17 am) clearly applies to all FUTURE references to Private Sector Plans…… ALWAYS meaning Single-Employer Corporate-sponsored Plans (and NOT Multi-employer Union-sponsored Plans)

      I’ll remind you of my having point this out when you assuredly bring this up again & again & again………….

      Reply

  11. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 2:02 am

    If you weren’t constantly spouting off about topics you know very little about, without bothering to verify your “facts”, you wouldn’t need to do so much backpedaling. And your math is worse than irrelevant. It makes absolute no sense to compare “pensions” when, as you say, they are virtually non existent in the private sector anyway. It is accepted that public pensions are higher. Literally no one “denies” that. Not even l. It is still called “deferred compensation” for a reason. And, as always…

    There are thousands of upper level public workers with pensions MULTIPLES HIGHER than their private sector peers, who nevertheless have lower total compensation.

    There are hundreds of thousands of mid-level public employees who have pensions MULTIPLES HIGHER than the public sector, who nevertheless have roughly equal total compensation.

    And hundreds of thousands more who have higher pensions and higher total compensation. You want to cut all pensions by 60%?

    You’re talking pensions?

    Highly illogical, captain.

    Reply

  12. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Congratulations, you have all the stereotypes down pat… potholers, watercoolers, websurfers, clockwatchers, etc., and all the anecdotal evidence to back it up.

    Tell that one to the judge, also. “Yer Honor, I don’t think we should honor these pension contracts, cause there was probably collusion, and “How many public workers do it take to fill a pothole”?

    Please grow up. Get some fresh material. Here…

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/07/07/Apathetic-Workers-State-and-Local-Government-Are-Costing-Taxpayers-Billions%3Famp

    Gallup says many government jurisdictions are saddled with a preponderance of unhappy, indifferent and generally unproductive workers who are costing taxpayers billions of dollars in lost productivity.

    But wait!!!

    “More broadly, employee disengagement across the economy costs the U.S. economy roughly $500 billion a year, which suggests that the problem is just as prevalent — or more so — within the private sector.”

    Oh! No! Not da private sector!

    Yes… “just as prevalent — or more so — within the private sector.”

    Lying baster.

    Reply

  13. Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Taxpayers, what would YOU do with “roughly $500 billion a year.”?

    Oh, never mind.

    Reply

  14. Posted by MJ on July 6, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I sit here reading all of the doom and gloom of the obviously failed/unsustainable DBP and can’t help but wonder why the public employees would not want to take charge of their own monies/retirements as opposed to deductions taken from their paychecks and going to the black hole known as NJ Budget…………surely the newer public employees must realize on some level that this shell game can not go on forever………just SMH wondering why public employees would want a corrupt enterprise to have control over their monies and future retirement…..anybody else wonder about this?

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 10:25 am

      MJ,

      I think it gets down to …… BIG (but materially undefunded) “promises” are more appealing than (by virtue of limited budgetary funds available annually) a modest but secure-“employee-owned” DC Plan (even one assuredly more generous than what Private Sector worker now get from their employers).

      They’re betting (THEIR RETIREMENT !) that someway/somehow they’ll force taxpayers to pay for that super-rich DB Plan.
      *********************************

      Clearly all but those already retired or within a few years of retirement are making giant fools of all the younger/shorter-service employees.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 10:57 am

        I thought we were discussing DBP, this sounds a lot like SS??

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        There you go again blaming us public’s for something we have no more control over than any voting taxpaying citizen. Come on now what’s up with that?

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 3:46 pm

          Who’s “blaming” you ?

          The “blame” lies with NJ’s self-interested Elected Officials …………… for granting grossly excessive pensions (MULTIPLES greater in value upon retirement than those granted COMPARABLE Private Sector workers by their employers) that were unnecessary, unfair to Taxpayers (called upon to pay for all but the 10% to 20% of Total Plan costs actually paid for by the workers), and clearly unaffordable .,…………. in exchange for Public Sector Union BRIBES disguised as campaign contributions and election support.

          But “you” are indeed the FINANCIAL BENEFICIARIES of the Union/Elected-Official COLLUSION, so THAT is where the Taxpayers must look to right this wrong …….. by very materially reducing YOUR “promised” pensions (AND benefits).

          Reply

          • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

            Déjà Pooh

            T-nonymous…

            “But “you” are indeed the FINANCIAL BENEFICIARIES…”

            Some public workers are financial beneficiaries, others are net financial donors.

            You are getting hung up on averages and simplistic thinking… again.

            “The national pattern that public-sector workers with college degrees are compensated somewhat less and those without college degrees are compensated somewhat more than their private-sector counterparts holds true for Connecticut as well. The more compressed pay structure—with top and bottom pay closer together—reflects the fact that people are drawn to public service for nonpecuniary reasons and that government employers have an interest in setting a higher floor on compensation than private-sector employers, some of whom pay poverty-level wages and pass health care and other costs onto government programs. Because public-sector workers are more likely to have college degrees, public employers—and taxpayers—are getting a bargain while ensuring a decent standard of living for less educated workers.”

            Monique Morrissey
            ……………………….
            Until I read Biggs, I had no idea of the concept or magnitude of compensation compression in the public sector. It functions very much like the progressive feature of Social Security. Essentially it is income redistribution, a vulgar concept to some, for sure, but if asked to vote to continue the process today, I would.

            COLLUSION is everywhere, it goes by several euphemisms and is often self cancelling. Until you get some very specific proof, you are just pissing up a rope with all your rants. (Or pissing into the wind. I have no objection to that. It happens, when you are your own worst enemy.)

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 4:55 pm

            SMD,

            You certainly are living up to your role on this blog … Public Sector pension “denier”.

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 5:03 pm

            Quoting SMD…… “Some public workers are financial beneficiaries, others are net financial donors. ”

            LOL ……….

            Go ahead, tell the readers how Public Sector workers are net financial donors (i.e., are NEGATIVELY impacted) by the Union’s BUYING of our Elected Officials favorable votes (on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits) with BRIBES disguised as campaign contributions and election support.

            This blog’s readers AREN’T dumb.

          • Posted by S Moderation Fact Checker on July 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm

            Not denier, T-nonymous, fact checker. And you are my job security.

            Often in error, never in doubt.

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm

            SMD, Here a fact you should check…………….

            Whether it was 50% or 3% (as you claim was the extent of YOUR retroactive pension increase from SB400 and similar Local increases) or something in between, in legal terminology what “consideration” did you provide in exchange for that RETROACTIVELY APPLIED (to your PAST Service) pension increase?

            If nothing ………. and it WAS nothing (unless you had a time-machine and went back in time and worked a little longer or a little harder) ……….. then it was simply an unjust THEFT of Private Sector Taxpayer wealth.

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 8, 2017 at 11:52 am

    • Posted by S Moderation Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
      Mark Twain (quoting Charles Dudley Warner)

      In my experience, it is very rarely a topic of discussion… until, perhaps, one person in a crew or office is near retirement and begins to prepare and gather information. I believe a Pew study determined that most public workers, especially younger ones, understand very little about their pension plan. A lot of them don’t plan to stick around that long anyway.

      I knew very little about pension problems and financing until after I retired. When SB400 passed, memos were distributed explaining the changes. Meh, to most of us, it was a nothing burger. My “added benefit” was around 3%. A 3% salary increase would have been better. It would give me more money now, plus the resulting 3% pension increase.

      What would you have public workers do? If the governor and legislature can’t figure it out, what chance does a DMV clerk have of making meaningful reform? The correct answer is… leave. Only about 20% stick around for a full retirement anyway.

      All is not lost. Much as some would like to see it, pensions will not disappear entirely. There will be haircuts, maybe worse than Detroit, and, ironically, from the suggestions I have seen, the lower paid public retirees will likely be spared. Most “reformers” suggest cuts only to those pensions over $50,000.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 1:49 pm

        No weather worries here, I purchased a cute fire retardant bungalow at the base of an active volcano. Only question now is which will last longer, the bungalow or the pension checks? In the meantime on working on monetizing the lava flow….

        Reply

  15. Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    With the injection of the lottery asset into the pension fund and a corresponding increase in funded liability, I am hoping for the return of a COLA in the near future (and retroactively would be even better). (:

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      Given the smoke & mirrors of the Lottery deal …AND the fact that it’s highly questionable if assets NOT OWNED can be counted as real Plan Assets, a reinstatement of the COLA would be an incredible political betrayal of NJ’s taxpayers.

      John,

      Was the specific criteria for COLA-reinstatement spelled out in the 2011 pension changes? If so can you provide a summary (and a link to the specifics, if possible)?

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 7:03 pm

        It was and it was based upon a specific funded % (? 80%) and then the established board had to vote on reinstating the COLA

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 7:51 pm

          Yes (reviewed the actual Law … Chapter 78, P.L. 2011). Seems the “Target Funded Ratio” was set at 75% for fiscal year 2012, increasing by equal amounts over the next 7 years until it reaches 80% (and then stays there).

          More detail can be found here:

          http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/pdf/laws/chapt78-2011.pdf

          The following are 2 COLA-relevant paragraphs (noting that the words “Pension Adjustment Act” in the Law below refers to the COLA increases):

          (1)

          22 The committee may contract with such actuaries or consultants,
          23 or both, in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1954, c.48
          24 (C.52:34-6 et seq.), as the committee may deem necessary to
          25 perform its duties, when the system or part of the system has
          26 attained the target funded ratio.
          27 When the retirement system, or a part of the system, has attained
          28 the target funded ratio as defined in section 27 of P.L. ,
          29 c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the
          30 committee shall have the discretionary authority for the system or
          31 for that part, as appropriate, to (1) modify the: member contribution
          32 rate; formula for calculation of final compensation; the fraction of
          33 compensation applied to service credited after the modification; age
          34 at which a member may be eligible for and the benefits for service
          35 or early retirement; and benefits provided for disability retirement;
          36 and (2) activate the application of the “Pension Adjustment Act,”
          37 P.L.1958, c.143 (C.43:3B-1 et seq.) for retirees for the period that
          38 the system or part is at or above the target funded ratio and modify
          39 the basis for the calculation of the adjustment and set the duration
          40 and extent of the activation. The committee shall give priority
          41 consideration to subparagraph (2) of this paragraph. The committee
          42 shall not have the authority to change the years of creditable service
          43 required for vesting.

          (2)

          45 27. (New section) For the purpose of the Teachers’ Pension and
          46 Annuity Fund, established pursuant to N.J.S.18A:66-1 et seq., the
          47 Judicial Retirement System, established pursuant to P.L.1973, c.140
          48 (C.43:6A-1 et seq.), the Public Employees’ Retirement System,
          Chapter 78, P.L. 2011
          59
          1 established pursuant to P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-1 et seq.), the
          2 Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, established pursuant to
          3 P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-1 et seq.), and the State Police
          4 Retirement System, established pursuant to P.L.1965, c.89
          5 (C.53:5A-1 et seq.), “target funded ratio” means a ratio of the
          6 actuarial value of assets to the actuarially determined accrued
          7 liabilities expressed as a percentage that shall be for the State part
          8 of each system, and the local part of each system, if any, 75 percent
          9 in State fiscal year 2012, and increased in each fiscal year thereafter
          10 by equal increments for seven years, until the ratio reaches 80
          11 percent at which it shall remain for all subsequent fiscal years.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 8:03 pm

            Another COLA-Reinstatement-relevant paragraph:

            38 No decision of the commission shall be implemented if the direct
            39 or indirect result of the decision will be that the system’s funded
            40 ratio falls below the target funded ratio in any valuation period
            41 during the 30 years following the implementation of the decision.
            42 The actuary of the system shall make a determination of the result
            43 in that regard and submit that determination in a written report to
            44 the commission prior to the implementation of the decision.

            I find the last sentence above helpful ….. “The actuary of the system shall make a determination of the result in that regard and submit that determination in a written report to the commission prior to the implementation of the decision.

            I would assume that report will be made available to the Public. Actuarial Standards require such Reports to be quite thorough (sufficiently so that a competent actuary would be able to duplicate the Report-writer’s results). Fudging the #s to achieve the goals of those engaging the actuary comes with considerable professional risks.

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 8:13 pm

            Oh so up until now the actuary hasn’t fudged the #s and therefore assumes no risk??

          • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 9:46 pm

            Providing professionally-unjustifiable support to help a COLA-reinstatement would (in my opinion) up the actuary’s professional “risk” considerably.

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        Never say never but in this case I’d say never…..

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm

        Based on current funding and benefit levels why not reinstate the COLAs and just put this to rest once and for all!

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 9:51 pm

          Put what to rest …………… perhaps discussions highlighting the need for material ADDITIONAL reforms) ?

          The funding ratios (even IF the Lottery is included as an asset) do not support COLA reinstatement (per the terms of PL 78).

          Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm

          The legislative and executive branches purposely craft legislation so a case can be made regardless of what color the chameleon in charge is!

          Reply

  16. Posted by Anonymous on July 7, 2017 at 9:26 am

    His comment; ‘I didn’t get any sun’ was taken out of context. He was referring to family and friends sitting in his shadow!

    Reply

  17. Posted by George on July 8, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Here’s a plan. Put Island State Beach into the state pension scheme. The NJ dept of Investment could charge whatever they want for entry, and hire whomever they want to operate it, on whatever terms they can get away with, collecting the profit. There would be a covenant about what kind of development could occur to keep things ecological.

    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: