Kentucky Pension Bill

The Kentucky public pension system is almost as bad as New Jersey’s when you look at the numbers though not nearly as bad when you examine the actions being taken to address problems – lip service in New Jersey and this 505 page bill introduced late Friday in Kentucky which starts off with:

The funding requirements to support the Commonwealth’s current public pension systems are unsustainable and severely constrain the capacity of state and local budgets to allocate adequate funding to support vital public services and thereby undercut the General Assembly’s goal to promote the general welfare and material well-being of the citizens of the Commonwealth (page 1)

Having some understanding of the scope of the issue Kentucky gets:
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Whereas in New Jersey we get:

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23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by skip3house on October 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    For NJ, no need to haggle any more over DB/DC if a 401K like here in KY ‘proposal’
    Question…. NJ teachers get SS ?

    Reply

    • Looked into this:
      https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/public-pensions-and-social-security/

      and though Kentucky employees are not covered by Social Security their average payout to retirees are at the bottom while NJ employees are covered but average payouts (along with Oregon) are the highest of any state where employees also get SS.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on October 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm

        You act like getting Social Security is a big favor after all we have to pay for it don’t we. Look if they don’t want to take it out of our checks that’s fine. We have no choice when it comes to pension payments those are taken from our checks to we cannot opt out of the pension system. I am speaking as a state employee not a teacher

        Reply

        • Posted by NJ2AZ on October 29, 2017 at 4:23 pm

          i think that might be the most egregious part of the NJ pension plan, that workers can’t opt out.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm

            And why is THAT ?

            SS generally provides a very lousy return on investment other than for the very low paid …… which excludes MOST Public Sector workers.

            With Private Sector workers (who ALSO get a lousy deal via SS), why should only Public Sector workers be able to opt out?

            Clearly you think Public Sector workers are “special” and deserving of a better deal than those who work in the Private Sector.

            Well you NOT special, and DON’T deserve a better deal………… which is also why your now ludicrously excessive pension & benefit “promises” (80% to 90% of the cost of which is the responsibility of the Taxpayers) needs to be materially reduced.

          • Posted by Anonymous on October 30, 2017 at 10:15 am

            Not to split hairs but at one time Christie suggested NJ become a right to work state ,which would have let you opt out of the pensions …..still could be done

    • Yes, NJ teachers definitely get Social Security.

      What’s important to know is that the state pays for Social Security, not school districts.

      This means that as school districts increase their spending either because they are increasing their tax levies or receiving more state aid, NJ has to increase its spending too due to FICA taxes.

      This responsibility for FICA taxes also exists for PreK in district-run programs.

      So, increasing opex state aid by $100 million, $500 million, $1 billion has secondary, but substantial, costs to the state through FICA that have to be funded.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    From my reading of the proposed changes the KY “reform package” addresses between 10% and 25% of the needed reforms, and will only push the day of reckoning out by a few years.

    Continuing to allow future service accruals based on formulas and provisions that are CLEARLY unaffordable is nuts, and shows how little stomach Elected Officials have for making NECESSARY but tough choices.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Patrick Whalin on October 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    raise taxes. the rich can afford it. Do not shortchange the NJ promise to fully fund pensions. You blame elected officials for being beholding to union employees, but those elected officials were elected by a majority of voters. Meaning: the majority of voters believe the pensions should be (rightfully) fully funded.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      When Googled, a Patric Whalin comes up as a NJ State employee auditor (perhaps now retired) in the …….. OFFICE OF THE STATE AUDITOR, STAFF ROSTER.

      Sounds like your just another “moocher” who is looking to protect the ludicrously excessive pension and benefits that the Public Sector Unions BOUGHT from our Elected Officials with campaign contributions and election support.

      Taxpayers have MORE than sufficient justification to renege on the 50+% of your pension & benefits that assuredly would NOT have been granted in the absence of that Union/Elected-Official collusion.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        Just found the following:

        http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/10/31/letter-nj-covers-up-fraud-abuse-government/92882580/

        And the full wording:

        “I am recently retired from the Office of Legislative Services, as an auditor with 30 years of in-the-filed experience with the Office of the State Auditor. I can tell you unequivocally there are a great many financial bombshells that are not disclosed solely for political reasons so as not to embarrass one party or another’s pet projects. I have led teams of auditors who have uncovered millions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse that, instead of being reported to the public as you would expect, were instead handled as “discussion only” issues between their management and our office.

        The reason? A senator or assemblyman favored the project or funding and did not want to lose the continued appropriation. Instead of canceling or recouping the lost dollars, management often “promised to make changes” and never did (does). I want the public to know how it really is. There is so much waste, fraud and abuse out there that does NOT get reported – all because of legislative and political favoritism and influence within and throughout the Office of Legislative Services and the Office of the State Auditor.

        Patrick R. Whalin

        Willingboro”
        ************************************************

        Looks like I was correct in my above comment.

        In addition, 30 years od service in NJ gov’t and aware of all the misdeeds (and criminal actions perhaps ?) you described, yet you did NOTHING to try to remedy this abuse ?

        Personally, you sound like you miserably failed the Citizens on NJ, and ANY pension you are now getting is too much.

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 8:52 pm

        Found a comment (on Burypensions) from Patrick Whalin on 6/11/17:

        https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/pennsylvania-pension-reform-ppr-1-introduction/

        You stated …………. “I retired at 54 with 50% pension.”

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

        At the time you retired the NJ misc-worker pension formula was pensionable wages x (years of service)/55. With your stated 30 years of service, the “formula %” was 30/55 = 54.55% of your pensionable wages. Since you stated you only received a 50% pension, it appears you had a reduction from 54,55 to 50% because you retired at age 54, likely earlier than your Plan’s full (unreduced) retirement age.

        Gee ……… Private Sector Plans typically reduce the formula-calculated pension by 4% to 6% (noting that Social Security uses 6%) for EACH year of age that you retire before the Plan’s Normal Retirement Age, which for most Private Sector Plan is age 65 (sometimes 62 with 30 years of service).

        Had YOUR NRA been 62 and the 5% (the mid-point of the 4% to 6% range noted above) was used, your reduction (if in a TYPICAL Private Sector Plan) for retiring at age 54 would have likely been (62-54)x5%= 40% and instead of getting a pension of 50% of your pensionable compensation, it would have been 54.55% x (1-40%)= 32.7% of your pensionable compensation, or about 1/3 LOWER than your NJ State pension.

        Sure, you didn’t design the Public Sector you rec’d, but this is just another of the many elements which when taken together have resulted in the ludicrously excessive and hence VERY costly Plans granted Nj’s Public Sector workers. Public Sector workers neither “deserved” nor “earned” such rich pensions. They were simply STOLEN from the Taxpayers.

        Reply

        • Posted by dentss dunnigan on October 30, 2017 at 11:24 am

          Thank you TL …for shining the light on the hidden cockroaches…..I’m sure there will be more scurrying around

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm

            Your welcome…………

            By the way, I was being GENEROUS when I stopped the calculation at showing that if he was a Private Sector worker, his pension would have been 32.7% of his pensionable compensation instead of the 50% that he received, because that reduction ONLY reflected adjusting for an EARLY-AGE-RETIREMENT.

            Had he REALLY been in a typical Private Sector Corporate-sponsored DB Plan, his per-year-of-service “formula-factor” would ALSO have been lower. HIS “formula-factor” was 1/55= 1.818% per year of service, while a Private Sector Plan would likely be granting 1.25% or (perhaps 1.50%). Even if using the higher 1.50%, his pension would have been 54.55% x (1-40%) x (1.5/1.818) = 0.27 or 27% of his pensionable compensation instead of the 50% that he actually rec’d.

            AND, he assuredly wouldn’t be getting any employer-sponsored retiree healthcare subsidy, which if he has family coverage (and won’t be eligible for Medicare until age 65), will likely cost the Taxpayers of NJ an ADDITIONAL $300K to $500K.

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

            The THEFT from NJ’s taxpayers by the insatiably greedy Public Sector Unions/Workers and enabled by our gutless, self-serving Elected Officials is palpable.

    • Posted by PS Drone on October 30, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      Since in NJ somewhere between 23% and 40% of the “voters” actually vote, I am always curious what percentage of votes actually cast for these criminals we call state legislators come/came from public sector workers and their family members. I would hazard a guess it is a substantial percentage, so blaming the decades-long politician/public sector union corruption on the “voters” is bogus.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on October 30, 2017 at 7:37 pm

        Well, to the extent Private Sector workers DON’T VOTE (to counteract the Block-Voting of the Union members), they certainly are contributing to the problem.

        Reply

  4. Posted by George on October 29, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    But are KY’s pension changes constitutional?

    If I were a retiree I would try to negotiate reduced benefits to keep the new hires in the plan. Retirees have no negotiating leverage without active employees.

    About the ARC tunnel, they should start their plans over again.

    Elon Musk Shares New Photo of the Boring Co. Tunnel Under LA
    https://www.inverse.com/article/37869-boring-company-elon-musk-tunnel-california

    To me it looks like Musk’s plan might actually work, meaning that the ARC tunnel will be obsolete before it is built.

    NYC tunnel project:
    Second ave extension was way over budget, and final phases may never be completed.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Avenue_Subway#Design_and_cost

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 29, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      The Primary reason that Christie killed the ARC Tunnel was because NJ would be “responsible” for all cost overruns. ALL Public Sector projects (of this magnitude) go WAY over budget…… witness the huge overruns in Boston’s “Big Dig”.

      NJ would have been foolish and irresponsible to accept that risk, and as such Christie did the correct think …. ended the project.

      Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on October 30, 2017 at 9:52 am

          Phil Murphy is the typical ass-kissing NJ Democrat. Their (and his) mantra is to support the Public Sector unions for their massive block of votes and for their campaign contributions and election support.

          At one time I though that a REALLY RICH candidate, even if a Democrat, might be a good thing for NJ, thinking that he/she wouldn’t be beholden to the Unions for their money. Not needing the Unions’ money, he/she COULD do what they are SUPPOSED TO do, and fairly represent ALL of NJ citizens, NOT just the Public Sector Unions. The trouble is, that it takes GUTS, because doing the RIGHT THING and fairly representing represent ALL of NJ’s citizens means confronting the insatiably greedy Unions and ending the blind support for their member’s ludicrously excessive, unnecessary, unjust, and unaffoirdable pensions & benefits that are sucking the life out of N.J.

          And of course it’s a LOT harder to gather the needed votes from the mostly passive and uninvolved NJ citizenry than from the actively-involved, cohesive, and organized (for their own self interest) Public Sector Unions.

          Phil Murphy is certainly not the REALLY RICH candidate I was hoping for.

          Reply

        • Posted by PS Drone on October 30, 2017 at 7:40 pm

          Nice photo. What a smarmy, “sanctuary state” (wonder which voters he is pandering to with that one) phony. Just what NJ needs.

          Reply

  5. Posted by George on October 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Hey all, AC is back in the news.

    Why Atlantic City is over its bonding limit
    http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/atlantic_city/why-atlantic-city-is-over-its-bonding-limit/article_c8c46d9b-df32-54d7-9999-f5fb2a3e9ba2.html

    [But don’t worry] State officials contend the city will be under its debt limit over the next couple of years.

    “Based on our projections, the city will see some debt dropping off,” Lloyd said. “Within the next two to three years, the city will be back under the debt limit.”

    Reply

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