Pensions For Lobbyists

Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty yesterday announced that he plans to introduce legislation to bar lobbyists from eligibility for New Jersey taxpayer-funded pension and health benefits.

The bill would prohibit officers and employees of several non-governmental agencies including the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Association of Counties and the New Jersey School Boards Association from being eligible for state pension or health care benefits. The measure also would apply to officers and employees of any school board insurance group, any county college joint insurance group, any county or municipal joint insurance fund and any corporation designated to manage a special improvement district established by municipal ordinance.

Undoubtedly a worthy initiative but exactly how much tax money are we talking about here?

According to the June, 2017 listing of participants in the state pension plans there was $10,562,840,926 in pension benefits being paid out annually. Of that amount 91 participants who listed one of the three lobbying organizations above as their last employer are receiving $2,661,317 annually. That works out to about .00025 of the total.

Then consider that there always is grandfathering and possibly additional state grants to make up for the loss of being in the retirement system and this bill has the potential to save each New Jersey taxpayer about forty cents.

26 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on October 6, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Hey, the Unions might even support this (while under the table making those impacted financially whole) all so they can wave more big red signs ……… “We’ve ALREADY addressed pension reform”.

    Reply

  2. Posted by MJ on October 6, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Well, I guess my question about grandfathering was addressed……….so I agree with John’s assessment that not much will be saved although I would have hoped for more than .40

    Reply

  3. Posted by Seesaw Junior on October 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Then consider that there always is grandfathering and possibly additional state grants to make up for the loss of being in the retirement system and this bill has the potential to save each New Jersey taxpayer about forty cents.
    This is much more than about $$, it goes to the CORE of leadership (political and otherwise). It is symbolic of making the moral and ethical decisions you need everyone else to make. It is not the amount saved, but the symbolic leadership of showing EVERYONE that the problem needs to be fixed and EVERYONE must share in the pain. By stepping up and shutting this scam down it shows the politicians are making everyone share the pain. What the politicians should do is CUT THEIR OWN pensions by 25% so they have skin in the game and can say with moral authority that ALL public employees should do as they do (not as they say), cut their own pensions, until the pension system is over 125% funded.

    That is my story and I am sticking to it, no matter what the cost.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Tough Love on October 6, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    “Grandfathering” or only applying Public Sector Plan changes to NEW workers is one of the biggest Taxpayer abuses.

    ERISA and the PPA which governs Private Sector pensions makes it VERY VERY clear, that ONLY already accrued pension credits associated with PAST service are protected, and that for FUTURE service, Private Sector Plan sponsors can reduce any aspect of a Plan (or freeze it completely) with ZERO input from Plan participants.

    Why, when PRIVATE Sector Taxpayer contributions (including the investment earnings thereon) are responsible for 80% to 90% of total PUBLIC Sector Plan costs, should PUBLIC Sector Plan participants get stronger protection from reductions than those (the Private Sector Taxpayers) that pay for almost all of the cost of the Public Sector’s MUCH richer Pensions Plans ?

    I’ll answer that myself …………

    It’s because those who make our laws, our Elected Officials, act in collusion with the public sector unions, granting pay, pensions, and benefits that are excessively generous in return for Union campaign contributions and election support.

    It’s supposedly legal Bribery and Racketeering.

    Reply

  5. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 6, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    For the most part, pension increases are very rare, occurring during the turn of the century during economic boom times. Since the 2008 crisis, pension changes have been mostly reductions, in almost every state.

    Even before 2008, public sector raises have been very sporadic, often going for two or more years with no raises, then trying to play “catch-up”.

    “Powerful Public Employee Unions” is an oxymoron.

    http://www.mnpera.org/vertical/Sites/%7BCB6D4845-437C-4F52-969E-51305385F40B%7D/uploads/%7BDBA0E14A-9DD0-49C3-8B6B-B1C3F756F1A2%7D.PDF

    Keep repeating that screed, though. Surely someone will fall for it.

    SMH

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 6, 2017 at 11:56 pm

      SMH,

      So who’s talking about future pension “increases” ?

      It’s the Public Sector pensions in place today for BOTH those hired before AND after any recent year (piddly) reductions ……… ALL of them STILL being grossly excessive, unnecessary, and MULTIPLES greater than what COMPARABLE Private Sector workers get …….. and with that excess FAR exceeding any lower Public Sector cash pay.

      “Fall for it? ………..LOL.

      No, everyone need to “think” for themselves and not be fooled by the BS coming from the Public Sector Unions and those benefiting from the current structure …………….. such as YOU.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Great read …………..

      “https://www.illinoispolicy.org/billions-in-unpaid-health-care-bills-shine-a-light-on-overly-generous-benefits/”

      SMH,

      So who’s BSing who about Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits …………… you or me ?

      Reply

    • Posted by Seesaw Junior on October 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      For the most part, pension increases are very rare, occurring during the turn of the century during economic boom times. Since the 2008 crisis, pension changes have been mostly reductions, in almost every state.
      #1- When the pension increases are as much as 50% and retroactive it doesn’t matter how “rare” they are, that is all they need.

      #2- There have been NO “pension reductions” for any current employees, just new hires and the reductions are de minimis.

      #3- Fail!

      Reply

  6. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 7, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I believe you have said, more than once, that information from the Economic Policy Institute is biased and untrustworthy. Shirley the same can be said for the Illinois Policy Institute, California Policy Center, Texas Public Policy Foundation, etc.

    For starters…

    “The average total compensation for a state AFSCME worker equals nearly $110,000 a year. That’s largely driven by the highest state worker pay in the nation. ”

    I think there are at least three or four state “Policy Institutes” which make the same claims about their own states (California, for one, and possibly New Jersey.)

    And don’t call me Shirley

    SMH

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 7, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Like I stated above ……………………

      Great read …………..

      “https://www.illinoispolicy.org/billions-in-unpaid-health-care-bills-shine-a-light-on-overly-generous-benefits/”

      SMH,

      So who’s BSing who about Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits …………… you or me ?

      Reply

    • Posted by Seesaw Junior on October 9, 2017 at 2:15 am

      🙂

      Reply

  7. Posted by Tough Love on October 7, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Quoting form an article (“The Pension Gap”) on the disasterous CA bill SB400 that increased State Safety worker pensions to 3%@50 ….. a COLA-increased pension of 90% of final wages starting as young as age 50 (with ZERO reduction in payout for beginning to collect one’s pension at such a young age)………….
    ************************************************************************

    “Asked to study differing scenarios for the financial markets, Seeling told the CalPERS board that if the pension fund’s investments grew at about half the projected rate of 8.25% per year on average, the consequences would be “fairly catastrophic.”

    The warning made no discernible impression on the board, dominated by union leaders and their political allies.

    “There was no real taxpayer representation in that room,” Seeling, now retired and living in a Dallas suburb, said in a recent interview. “It was all union people. The greed was overwhelming.””
    *************************************************************************

    source:

    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-crisis-davis-deal/

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

    Yes, Public Sector Union/worker greed was overwhelming THEN, and it remains so today, just about EVERYWHERE.

    Reply

  8. Posted by MJ on October 8, 2017 at 6:27 am

    TL funny you should reference an article about LA…..met a gentleman while on vacation who was a teacher and was planning on retiring at 55 which was 5 more years to go….I asked if he was worried at all about the pension debacle. His response was “no, not at all, we’re gonna get it all”

    Although if he has been teaching in LA public schools for 25 years, I’m sure that he has earned every penny of his pension and healthcare

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 8, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Another funny fact about LA…………

      Given that LA is broke (and going downhill fast), where are they going to find the money to fund the 2028 Olympics that they were recently awarded ?

      Reply

  9. Posted by Tough Love on October 8, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    The biggest take-away in my above quoted about CA’s passing SB400 is this….

    **************************************************************************
    “There was no real taxpayer representation in that room,” Seeling, now retired and living in a Dallas suburb, said in a recent interview. “It was all union people. The greed was overwhelming.”
    ***************************************************************************

    THAT is the root source of the pension mess that is infecting America’s States and City’s everywhere.

    Taxpayers should fight-back, by REJECTING (i.e. reneging on) the ludicrously excessive Public Sector pension & benefit promises FORCED upon use via the unholy relationship and COLLUSION between the Public Sector Union and our Elected Officials.

    Reply

  10. Posted by dents dunnigan on October 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    If one in three jobs are at risk of automation by 2030, as estimated, then this would mean retirement shortfalls increase over 66% from current shortfalls .We need leaders to take note of the retirement problem and recognize it for what it is: a snowballing crisis going downhill and gaining speed and size .When state retirement plans are underfunded, politicians can keep current taxes low while handing the bill to future generations. And of course future generations don’t vote in today’s elections. So the bills just keep getting sent down to the next generation . I believe that is the one of the reasons the next generation leave the state without any thoughts of returning . someday soon the can will meet the wall at the end of the road and it won’t be pretty for retirees or taxpayers .

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      We don’t need jobs. We need food, clothing, shelter, education, entertainment, and a little stash of sippin’ whiskey. Automation just means we can have all of that, and more, with less work. Shorter workweeks, more vacations, and earlier retirement.
      It’s a win/win.

      On an individual basis, the retirement “crisis” can be reduced by working longer. Work until seventy. You will save and invest more money, and have less time to spend it. But on a societal level, you are just keeping younger people out of a job.

      Income redistribution is not a four letter word. Neither is Universal Basic Income.

      “Basic income would be “an incredible boon to the country, and it would honestly take into account that we don’t need as many Americans to run this economy as we once did.”

      David Simon

      Reply

  11. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 8, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    And, if you think that’s bad, remember, pensions are not the only can being kicked down the road. Maybe (probably) not even the biggest one.

    SMH

    Reply

  12. Posted by Anonymous (NOT Earth... the other Anonymous) on October 9, 2017 at 6:11 pm

  13. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on October 9, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Nor tears of joy, hopefully.

    When, not if, pension cuts begin, it will not occur in a vacuum. If the past is any indication (it is), in bankruptcy, bondholders and businesses will take a bigger hit than pensioners. As more pension systems fail, they will be accompanied by general economic decline. And, as usual, those who can least afford it will be hardest hit.

    “This is the way the pensions end, not with a bang but a whimper.”

    SMH

    Reply

  14. Posted by MJ on October 10, 2017 at 6:54 am

    SMD,,,and that is a big part of the problem and the injustice to all pensioners. Significant reform should start at the top down not the bottom up……….but soon the pensioners will realize that they are all fair game as the greedy politicians and union hacks screw them and yes it will trickle down to everyone………it is only a matter of the how and when and who will be the political scapegoat (that person of course will keep their generous pension but everyone else will be expected to sacrifice)

    Reply

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