Breaking News: Alaska Ironworkers Get MPRA Letter

In April, 2017 the Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan of Anchorage, AK filed to cut benefits under MPRA. In October, 2017 they withdrew that application. This January they refiled and today they got their letter.

Approved. The fifth approval with six still in review.

Excerpts for the plan’s latest 5500 filing:

Plan Name: Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan
EIN/PN: 91-6123695/001
Total participants @ 6/30/17: 792 including:
Retirees: 563
Separated but entitled to benefits: 109
Still working: 120

Asset Value (Market) @ 7/1/16: $49,524,313
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.18%) @ 7/1/16: $125,656,662 including:
Retirees: $93,537,229
Separated but entitled to benefits: $19,646,034
Still working: $12,473,399

Funded ratio: 39.41%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 7/1/15: $76,132,349

Asset Value (Market) as of 6/30/17: $49,259,700
Contributions: $2,147,339
Payouts: $7,405,265
Expenses: $921,779

68 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by El gaupo on May 3, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Moochers

    Reply

    • Posted by El gaupo on May 3, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Everyone else—- “el guapo we hope you lose everything, ungrateful moocher, your gonna be rich w that pension. Now time for me to collect social security. “
      El guapo— “jimmy crack corn and I don’t care”

      Reply

      • Posted by MJ on May 4, 2018 at 6:19 am

        El gaupo, at least we know how you really feel and at last some honesty!!

        ….and I thought you might be a decent guy

        Reply

        • Posted by PS Drone on May 5, 2018 at 2:53 pm

          As I have previously stated, regardless of the occasional seemingly rational “debate”, when it comes to the public sector, it’s “I got mine, the rest of you can go f–k yourselves”. And, of course, keep paying your exorbitant taxes, suckers, I need someone to fund my well-deserved lifestyle.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 3:39 pm

            YUP !

          • Posted by El gaupo on May 6, 2018 at 7:57 am

            No more than in the private sector, smarty pants. Stop looking down you’re nose and think your better than anyone else fool. You don’t know shit. The whole fucking economic system is meant to say “hooray for me fuck the other guy”.
            Ray Kroc —- when I see my competition drowning, I stick a fucking garden hose in their mouth.
            Facebook— actually has folks working for them that work to enhance the addictive nature of social media. Holding back “likes” and such to appeal to the hard wiring of your brain that likes rewards(I am not even on Facebook or any social media, but of course my kids are)
            Gordon Gekko—. Greed is good.
            Big Pharm— don’t get me started.
            Leo Derocher— nice guys finish last.
            So don’t preach to me about hooray for me fuck other guy. As if any of you are any different. Your “job” as is mine is to get the best employment deal possible to provide your families with the best standard of living you can given your career choice that you presumably made in your early twenties.
            The whole system is designed for that.
            The USMC motto is “never leave a man behind, service before self”. We have it backwards.
            You guys bitch and moan all the time in here but do nothing else such as giving back to your community by running for political office.(ha, that’s a good one right? Lol. We all agree that last line about political office is complete bullshit.) or how about just moving out of jersey? Maybe you can hate on public employees in another state too?? I even endorse it for your retirement years. In the meantime, say what you will. I check this blog from time to time to amuse myself. I know GODDAMN well I will never change your mind and I’m not trying. Police pensions will not be cut any time soon if ever in my lifetime. Even if S5 isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. We both know that. Other employees? Maybe.
            I like how I’m a greedy fuck but that guy selling insurance to seniors who don’t need it is just trying to provide for his family.

          • Posted by PS Drone on May 6, 2018 at 2:18 pm

            El Gaupo – the only problem with your rant is that all of those pricks you cite were dealing in the PRIVATE SECTOR. No taxpayer teat from which to extort milk. They were better at capitalism than their competitors hence they ended up with most of the marbles. You and your brethren are just plain union extortionists using a rigged system to rob the soon to be destitute private taxpayer.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 6, 2018 at 8:32 pm

            PS Drone,

            Looks like El gaupo realizes he’s part of a group of MOOCHERS ……… and is tired of being reminded of that.

            Quite a nasty rant, wasn’t it.

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 4, 2018 at 12:04 am

      563 retirees collecting a total of $7,405,265 gives and average payout of $13.153 ANNUALLY.

      Granted some my have had short careers or been part-time, but that’s certainly a great deal less than what even low-wage Public Sector workers typically get in pensions.

      YOU are part of a group (Safety workers) that has EARNED the right to be called MOOCHERS. Sharing is nice, but it’s not deserved here.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on May 4, 2018 at 4:42 am

        What another load of crap from TL. I am low level state worker and that almost exactly what I get. Where does she get her information.??

        Reply

        • Posted by MJ on May 4, 2018 at 6:23 am

          Anonymous, for comparative purposes can you give us a description of your job, length of years worked and any other health benefits, perks, etc that you are receiving in your retirement so that we have a more accurate picture of what “low level” actually looks like in the public domain…

          Reply

          • Posted by El gaupo on May 4, 2018 at 7:08 am

            And for the record, I mean I don’t care about the comments. As in I can take out what your dishing. Doesn’t mean I am not a decent guy. I take them with a grain of salt. Or a shot of whisky. Lol.

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 4, 2018 at 8:45 am

          Whatever you get, what wuld have ben if doing the SAME job in the Publicrivate Sector? In fact, would you pension, or a 401K Plan ? Would ytou have ANY retiree healthcare subsidy ?

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 4, 2018 at 8:47 am

            Yikes (need some more coffee), lets try that again ………….

            Whatever you get, what would it have been if doing the SAME job in the Private Sector? In fact, would you have a pension, or a 401K Plan ? Would you have ANY retiree healthcare subsidy ?

          • Posted by El gaupo on May 4, 2018 at 11:03 am

            Hsjndrbtjsmdm…..🤪🤪🤪

            (There’s the flair)

      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm

        Tough Love @ 12:04 am…

        “but that’s certainly a great deal less than what even low-wage Public Sector workers typically get in pensions.”

        Alaska Ironworkers

        Wages… About $36.25 per hour, plus $28 per hour in benefits

        http://cms.impactunions.org/Iron-Workers-Local-751_68/uploadedFiles/WageRateAug2015toJune2016.pdf
        —————————————————————
        The defined benefit appears to pay “$37.56 multiplied by the years of Pension Credit earned before July 1,
        1974, plus…” Then it becomes confusing.

        http://www.akironworkerstrust.com/pdfs/F47-04-PlanInfo-SPD2015.pdf#page=1&pagemode=bookmarks
        ——————————————————————
        In addition to the DB is apparently an annuity plan to which the employer contributes $5.25-$5.50 per hour. (Not a 401(k), apparently the worker is not allowed to contribute.)

        http://ironworkerstrust.com/pdfs/F15-13-SPD-2009.pdf
        ——————————————————————–
        1) It doesn’t appear that any of the skilled labor state jobs come even close to Ironworkers wages.
        State of Alaska
        Plumber…….$26.73 hr.
        Auto mechanic……$23.60

        2) Employer paid annuity of $5.50 on hourly wages of $36.25 looks like about 15 percent.

        3) It would be interesting to see the typical pension + annuity + Social Security for Ironworkers and yes or no on retiree healthcare.

        4) All in all it appears Ironworkers get paid very well compared to Alaska (or New Jersey) state workers. Wages or total compensation.

        5) It also appears that these jobs are very strenuous and very dangerous.

        Reply

        • 6) It is so painfully obvious that… it is invalid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 1:11 pm

            Most of my recent comments have been related to NJ Police pensions, and with NJ police “WAGES” (alone) FAR more likely to be GREATER (rather than LOWER) than those of comparable educated, experience, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers, a comparison of ONLY pensions and benefits UNDERSTATES the the impact if instead the comparison was on a “Total Compensation” basis.

            But you know that ………. but are just doing what you (as one of the many Public Sector “moochers”) do, diverting attention, omitting material facts and outright lying.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 4, 2018 at 12:04 am

            563 retirees collecting a total of $7,405,265 gives and average payout of $13.153 ANNUALLY.

            Granted some my have had short careers or been part-time, but that’s certainly a great deal less than what even low-wage Public Sector workers typically get in pensions.
            ————————————
            “even low-wage Public Sector workers”
            ————————————-
            “Most of my recent comments have been related to NJ Police pensions,”

            Unless and until you produce actual data on those hypothetical “comparable educated, experience, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers”, all your comments are invalid.

          • ” diverting attention, omitting material facts and outright lying.”?

            Mr. Love is the one who consistently makes statements such as this… “Granted some my have had short careers or been part-time, but that’s certainly a great deal less than what even low-wage Public Sector workers typically get in pensions.”… without so much as a cursory search, because you begin with the assumption that all Publicrivate Sector are overpaid.

            Here’s me just trying to help you again, Brother Love. Every time you throw out this unsubstantiated bulls hit, you are just eroding your credibility.

            Don’t be invalid.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm

            Isn’t it YOU Mr. Douglas who repeatedly brings up the need for “Total Compensation” comparisons, something that I have acknowledged and agree with.

            El gaupo has stated that he expects to retire in just a few years with $150K in annual WAGES. That wage level isn’t less than comparably experience, educated, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers and likely wasn’t at any point in his career beyond his first few years as a new hire.

            As I stated in another comment, with HIGHER wages and “Total Compensation” = wages + pensions + benefits, my Public/Private Sector comparison of ONLY NJ Police Officer PENSIONS vs those of comparably situated Private Sector workers UNDERSTATES the true “Total Compensation” differential.

            With 3.5 to 4 times greater pensions PLUS VERY generous/expensive retiree healthcare, AND HIGHER wages for most ………. how much better do NJ Police REALLY have it than what is really necessary, just, fair to taxpayers or affordable?

            NJ Police Officer Total Compensation is patently absurd by any and every reasonable metric, and all of your ”diverting attention, omitting material facts and outright lying” doesn’t change that.

          • “Total Compensation”

            Yes, indeed.

            And… data, and logic, and common sense.

            Bless his soul, El guapo could be doing the same job in Camden for half the pay, or somewhere else for even less.

            We have already discussed how you have repeatedly succumbed to the “Flaw of averages” (El guapo is not average.)

            Here is another concept in the practice of salary comparisons that you might have heard of if, in fact, you actually worked in the field of finance.

            https://www.bls.gov/oes/oes_perc.htm

            El guapo is not only above average, he is likely above the 90th percentile. (Good for him.) He is not a valid comparison for all jobs in the Publicrivate Sector. He is _not_ typical of NJ Police Officer Total Compensation let alone representative of non-safety positions.

            Data… we have reasonably recent data for public employees, misleading and misrepresented as it may be. If you insist on comparing Publicrivate Sector _total_ compensation, you need some serious private sector data.

          • Memory indeed…

            May 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm was a _reply_ to…

            Posted by Tough Love on May 4, 2018 at 12:04 am

            563 retirees collecting a total of $7,405,265 gives and average payout of $13.153 ANNUALLY.

            Granted some my have had short careers or been part-time, but that’s certainly a great deal less than what even low-wage Public Sector workers typically get in pensions.
            ————————————–
            Total compensation.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm

            You’re correct that El gaupo isn’t average, many towns paying even MORE ….. and had he been part of the Bergen COUNTY Police Dept, it would be even FAR more. Remember my earlier demonstration …WITH ACTUAL DATA …. on 2016 Bergen County Police retirees?

            Average 2016 wages upon retirement …over $150K

            Average pension ….. over $100K
            ——————

            It’s all patently absurd ……. average Police IQ 104* .

            The techies with similar wages likely have average IQ’s over 130 and FAR superior (and MUCH MUCH harder to obtian) skill and knowledge.

            Light-bulb-changers need NOT apply !

            ————————————-

            * “The average national score for police officers is 21-22 or an IQ of about 104.”

            http://realfarmacy.com/man-denied-job-as-police-officer-due-to-above-average-iq/

        • Posted by Stanley on May 5, 2018 at 2:40 pm

          Iron workers have high hourly rates plus benefits, but IMO their work is the most irregular of all of the trades. They have high earnings when they are working but they can go weeks, months or even years without working or they may have to travel very long distances to find work. As far as the strenuousness of the work goes, it’s harder than office work I’m sure, but probably less hard than laborer and maybe more or less equal to carpenter. They don’t physically lift the beams into place. The work is more dangerous than policeman, but less dangerous than logging, fishing, roofing and mining.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm

            Stephen Douglas likes to pick from the few high hourly-wage Private Sector Union jobs to compare with Public Sector jobs.

            Of course what he doesn’t include is that they are rarely in full-time jobs and only work when their Union has a project to assign them to. I personally know an IBEW Union election usually w/o work for 3+ months EACH YEAR.

            LOL ………. how much “work” do you think an Alaskan Ironworker gets during Alaska’s 6-month winter?

          • I didn’t “pick it” Brother Love, you did. How many Alaskan ironworkers do you personally know? How many workers anywhere who get 15% employer paid annuities?

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 5:23 pm

            Stephen Douglas,

            What, short memory?

            No, YOU picked Alaskan Ironworkers………. from YOUR comment above timestamped May 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm:

            ————————————–
            Alaska Ironworkers

            ——————————————

            And from your same comment above it said:

            “2) Employer paid annuity of $5.50 on hourly wages of $36.25 looks like about 15 percent.”

            That sounds like an employer contribution (of the DC type) towards a retirement Plan. Yes, big compared to most Private Sector Plans, but small compared to almost all PUBLIC Sector Plans when PROPERLY valued (i,e, using the assumptions & methodology commonly used by PRIVATE Sector Plans in their pension valuations), and VERY VERY VERY small compared to the level annual %-of-pay contribution necessary to fully fund a Safety worker pension over their working career.

            In fact, in your home state of CA, the NORMAL COST (alone ….. without any contribution toward paying off unfunded liabilities) of the LUDICROUSLY excessive 90%-of-final-pay COLA-increased Police pension after 30 years (usually starting in the mid 50s) is a level annual 50% to 60% of pay, and that’s WITHOUT contemplating the “spiking” that happens all to often.

            —————————–

            Any “other” BS you want to try out today ???

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 5:26 pm

            Stephen,

            And I forgot to mention …………..

            Alaska Ironworkers: Wages… About $36.25 per hour, working REAL hard.

            NJ Police at a local/LOW-traffic street repair: $125/hr mainly staring at their cellphone.

          • Memory indeed…

            May 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm was a _reply_ to…

            Posted by Tough Love on May 4, 2018 at 12:04 am

            563 retirees collecting a total of $7,405,265 gives and average payout of $13.153 ANNUALLY.

            Granted some my have had short careers or been part-time, but that’s certainly a great deal less than what even low-wage Public Sector workers typically get in pensions.
            ————————————–
            Total compensation.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 6:23 pm

            Stephen Douglas,

            Lol……. I take 2 numbers from Mr. Bury’s Post, calculate an average and even point out that it may be low because it likely includes ” short careers or been part-time”

            SO ??????????
            ————————–

            Short memory that YOU (not I brought up the Alaska Ironworkers ……. and can’t even admit it.
            —————————————-
            Oh, and no comment on the …………

            Alaska Ironworkers: Wages… About $36.25 per hour, working REAL hard.

            NJ Police at a local/LOW-traffic street repair: $125/hr mainly staring at their cellphone.

            Is that relationship perfectly peachy with you ???

          • Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 5, 2018 at 6:44 pm

            Two numbers

            from _Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan_ implying that NJ state _pensions_ are higher, therefore excessive.

            Moderation says, if you look at total compensation, Ironworkers appear to be higher. Regardless of the higher NJ state pensions. In other words…

            It is invalid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.

            Still.

          • Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 5, 2018 at 7:05 pm

            LOL!!!

            “Alaska Ironworkers: Wages… About $36.25 per hour, working REAL hard.”

            Alaska Ironworker gets promoted to general forman. Gets $4 hr raise and carries a clipboard.

            Tis true, life ain’t fair.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 7:40 pm

            Stephen Douglas,

            Don’t dance around the problew, or give up more BS, JUSTIFY it:
            —————————

            El gaupo has stated that he expects to retire in just a few years with $150K in annual WAGES. That wage level isn’t less than comparably experience, educated, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers and likely wasn’t at any point in his career beyond his first few years as a new hire.

            As I stated in another comment, with HIGHER wages and “Total Compensation” = wages + pensions + benefits, my Public/Private Sector comparison of ONLY NJ Police Officer PENSIONS vs those of comparably situated Private Sector workers UNDERSTATES the true “Total Compensation” differential.

            With 3.5 to 4 times greater pensions PLUS VERY generous/expensive retiree healthcare, AND HIGHER wages for most ………. how much better do NJ Police REALLY have it than what is really necessary, just, fair to taxpayers or affordable?

            NJ Police Officer Total Compensation is patently absurd by any and every reasonable metric, and all of your ”diverting attention, omitting material facts and outright lying” doesn’t change that.

  2. Posted by Anonymous on May 4, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    How can you have $921,000 in expenses?

    Reply

    • Posted by El gaupo on May 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      TL. “That’s the payoff to the public sector union moochers.”

      Reply

    • or…

      Page 3 of the 5500 filing

      Professional fees……………………………………………….401801

      Contract administrator fees…………………………………196160

      Investment advisory and management fees…………..208339

      Other………………………………………………………………..115479

      Reply

  3. Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 5, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    “That wage level isn’t less than comparably experience, educated, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers and likely wasn’t at any point in his career beyond his first few years as a new hire.”

    That sentence is pure speculation. No matter how many times you copy/paste, you could not verify it if your life depended on it.

    That’s your problew, not mine. I “personally know of” a local business where the top three execs earn about $400,000 in wages, plus unknown pensions and bonuses. There are other department heads and salesmen who earn $100-200k or more. Likely not more than a few Bachelor degrees among them. They “worked their way up” like thousands, or hundreds of thousands do all over the country. It’s not rocket science, Brother Love, it’s wholesale produce.

    Until you bring some hard data, you got nothing.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      Go ask these guys that you “personally know of”” if they provide Final Average Salary DB pensions OR heavily subsidized (VERY VERY GENEROUS) retiree healthcare benefits to their employees.

      The answer to BOTH is assuredly NO.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 5, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    1) Don’t know… Personally know “of” is not the same as personally “know”, and in either case, they should rightly tell me it’s none of my business.

    2) You wouldn’t believe me anyway.

    3) It’s still anecdotal. You need a full blown study.

    4) No matter how meticulous the study, you would challenge it anyway. (So would I.)

    5) El guapo is an outlier. There are lots of outliers, high and low. You’re obsessing on this one. It’s not good for your health.

    6) Comparing pensions outside the context of total compensation is invalid.

    7) $400,000 a year is more than adequate to fund one’s own health care. (“Total compensation”, ¿comprende?)

    8) Don’t be invalid.

    9) Don’t be rude.

    10) Don’t be a boor.

    Assuredly

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 5, 2018 at 11:33 pm

      Police pensions in NJ (all while usually making MORE in “wages” than comparably situated Private Sector workers) are 3.5 to 4 TIMES greater in value upon retirement than those granted comparable Private Sector workers.

      Ok, so some will be less, perhaps “ONLY” 2.5 to 3.5 TIMES greater.

      Should Private Sector Taxpayers be happy with that?

      No, they should demand that all of the LUDICROUS pensions be frozen and replaced for future service with a DC Plan with a %-of-pay match EQUAL to what Private Sector taxpayers typically get from their employers.

      Reply

      • Posted by El gaupo on May 6, 2018 at 9:11 am

        1) TL. My father is a retired local 3 union electrician. His pension is roughly $60000(retired in 1996, that is with cola) and he has never paid a dime for medical insurance in his life. My mother rarely if ever worked and his income allowed him to support 2 kids with a solid middle class lifestyle and he really never has to worry about money. God bless him. Yes he did go through furloughs and layoffs but he did all right for himself. Not super great but all right.
        And it’s funnh how you keep saying $125 an hour for looking at cell phone but are absolutely MIA (except for the PA commish) when a cop gets murdered, hurt etc. sued, assualted abused). You should reserve opinion or at least acknowledge that the job is tough. Honestly, you really need to be a stud to be pulling over cars filled with god knows who while you alone at 230 in the morning. When you talk about other dangerous professions, these are all accidental deaths AS are most police deaths. However, can you name one other civilian profession where your job is to arrest or control situations where someone is actively trying to murder you? Where your job is in fact to not just run away and save yourself but to control the worst among us?

        Reply

        • Posted by El gaupo on May 6, 2018 at 9:18 am

          There is a premium to be paid for that. You can safely read from your smartphone or newspaper about car chases or school shooters casino shooters what have you. Not saying we should be millionaires, but after 30 years of doing that as opposed to an office job?
          Active shooter here active shooter there. Video camera here, lawsuit here etc. all while safely read about it from your smartphone.
          Just saying, I know where you are coming from with the pensions, but he idea that a guy for serves for 30 years of his life being a moocher is quite frankly beneath you. More so than the some of the other keyboard warriors on here.

          Reply

          • Posted by El gaupo on May 6, 2018 at 10:26 am

            Maybe the woman getting her ass kicked by her boyfriend should call that techie to help her out. Or better yet, the fool who says disband the police can go help her and arrest her boyfriend.
            You must NOT have that high of an IQ either, “light bulb changers need not apply” etc.
            please TL, tell me what it is that you do for a living. All we know is it is in the “finance” field. We all thought insurance , but you say no. Relax, your anonymity will remain in tact…

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 6, 2018 at 8:37 pm

            El gaupo,

            All I’ll admit to is Finance……….. and to your chagrin, I’m sufficiently educated and experienced to spot the Public Sector Union/Retiree/Worker BS a mile away.

            Some of you guys are such liars that you make America’s Professional-liar-President (Trump) look like a saint.

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 6, 2018 at 11:02 am

          El gaupo,

          That a pretty generous package for a Private Sector Union if indeed as you described (never paid a dime for Medical insurance…. e.g. no premium while working or retired, no deductible, no coinsurance, no copays, “free” prescriptions?).

          Perhaps not intentionally, but you’re doing the same a Stephen Douglas. He accuses me of using your specifics (i.e., higher than NJ average Police income and hence pensions in the town in which you are employed) calling you an “outlier”. Well, isn’t selecting a one of the highest-wage Private Sector Union positions and “outlier” ?

          I just Googled some stats. From Wikipedia ……… “Union membership in the private sector has fallen under 7%”. How about the OTHER 93% Non-Unions Private Sector workers that get nothing even remote like your father’s retirement package, or perhaps 6.5+% out of the 7% that are Private Sector Unions but get far less than your father.
          ——————————–
          I didn’t say that Police work doesn’t have it’s tough or dangerous moments, but don’t exaggerate please. When googled, Police NEVER come up on the US Gov’t BLS lising of the most dangerous occupations, and perhaps with the exceptions of major commercial airline Pilots, NJ Police assuredly make at least DOUBLE all the other occupations on that list….. that being MORE evidence that you are overcompensated.

          My cell phone-use comment was my emphasizing the WASTEFUL and UNNECESSARY employment of Police (at $125/hr) at most minor road work sites (e.g., PSE&G), where they often have so little to do, that they’re on their cell phones. Taxpayers or PSE&G ratepayers should not be abused by having to pay for $125/hr Police when a $15-$20/hr flagman will do just fine. VERY noticeably, when it’s the Bergen County DPW doing the roadwork on a County Road, there is RARELY a Police Officer directing traffic because Bergen County isn’t stupid enough to Pay the Local Town Police for UNNECESSARY services.
          ——————————

          Quoting (from your 2-nd comment) ….

          “There is a premium to be paid for that.”

          I agree and have stated such on this and other Blogs that Police pensions should be SOMEWHAT greater than comparably situated (in wages, age at retirement, and years of service) Private Sector workers. But I have also gone on to opine that if NJ Private Sector Taxpayers were queried on HOW MUCH greater in value upon retirement Police pension should be, that some would say 10%, a larger group would likely pick 25%, a smaller group might pick 50%, but NOBODY would come even remotely close to the CURRENT STRUCTURE wherein NJ Police pensions are ROUTINELY 3.5 to 4 TIMES greater in value upon retirement. The run-of-the-mill NJ taxpayer has no idea how much they are being financially “mugged” by your ludicrously excessive pensions. And then, to make it worse, we layer ON TOP OF THAT heavily-subsidized Platinum+ retiree healthcare benefits.

          When I use the term “moochers”, I’m not using it in the sense that individual workers are actively seeking out pensions & benefits so excessively greater than the Taxpayers called upon to pay for them, but using “moochers” to accurately describe the RESULT in place right now for the group as a whole..

          ———————————–

          Quoting …………. “Not saying we should be millionaires”

          Oh you will EASILY be a “millionaire” upon retirement. Using a mortality table commonly used in pension valuations, a single life annuity of $100K annually (the amount you suggested that you expect to receive) has a lump sum “value upon retirement” of over 16 times that annual payout …… over $1,600,000.

          And from what I’ve read, there is no reduction in the annual payout (for Police) to get a Joint and Survivor pension wherein 100% continues to your spouse if you were to predecease her. If that is true, the value of you pension increases to just about $1.8 Million.

          All of the above assumes that your Plan NEVER regains COLA-increases. If they are reinstated at 2% per year, all of my above amounts INCREASE by about 30%, bringing that $1.8 Million to over $2.3 Million.

          And, if you were to try to BUY that promised pension on the open market from an Annuity-writer (e.g. a Life Ins co,) it would easily cost $2.5 to $3 Million because they would price it more conservatively.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 6, 2018 at 11:26 am

            All of the above figures are based on your retirement at age 55.

          • Posted by El gaupo on May 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm

            I only brought my fathers pension into the mix because YOU made a comment about a union electrician in another post. That kind of pension for someone who worked 45 years in the business is not outside the norm for trade union folks. Local 3 was indeed one of the better paying unions for sure. His father was also in that local. 1925. One of the first.

            And again, you don’t know everything and make comments on here that always bash us. A spousal survivor pension is 50% of an officers final salary. So there is a decrease. Still is a great deal. I admit that. Hell, most I’ll get is 70% for the two of us. So, when I drop the old lady will get more per person. 35% goes up to 50% per person. But she does not keep the same pension. There is s 20% reduction. Still is a good deal.

          • Posted by El gaupo on May 6, 2018 at 1:03 pm

            And btw, I have no idea but assume that union electricians now do pay into their benifits. Don’t forget he retired in 1996.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 6, 2018 at 1:14 pm

            El gaupo,

            LOL …………. NOW you mention that that pensions was after 45 years !

            And your pension will be $100K starting at age 55 after ONLY 25 years ……… given me a break.
            ———————————————-

            Your 2-nd paragraph is very confusing…………

            Are you saying that it’s a Life annuity for you WITH 50% for your wife is given w/o reduction if you predecease her? If that’s the case, yes there is a decrease in payout to your spouse, but the other side of the coin is that it’s a FREE 50% survivorship annuity to your Spouse that ISN’T “free” in Private Sector pensions. A Private Sector pension single Life Annuity payout would be REDUCED by 5% to 10% if adding a 50 survivorship benefit to your spouse.

            Almost all Plans allow the election of 50%, 75%, or 100% continued to the survivor with the reduction in payout (from a single Life Annuity) increasing as the % continuing to the spouse increase

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 6, 2018 at 2:32 pm

            El Gaupo,

            Your SILENCE to my demonstration (in response to your statement “Not saying we should be millionaires”) that your statement is BOGUS ………. is deafening.

  5. Earth to Mr. Tough:

    El guapo is not a millionaire (unless his IRAs have been doing very well.) He doesn’t have $1.8 million. If he did, he could give half to his kids, and live off the rest.

    That’s the difference between DB and DC plans. He is part of the collective. If he lives to a hundred, he keeps getting paid. If he only lives to age 60, his kids can’t inherit anything. It all goes back in the pot.

    $1.8 million isn’t assets. It’s if-come.

    El guapo is “one-of-us.”

    Reply

    • Posted by El gaupo on May 7, 2018 at 8:59 am

      Thank you. I appreciate that. Honestly, what started as a somewhat interesting dialogue about pensions on this blog has devolved into mostly name calling, and an antagonistic view of me by most on this site. Some more than others.

      Reply

      • Posted by Earth, (allegedly) on May 7, 2018 at 11:13 am

        Forgive them, for they know naught…

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 7, 2018 at 11:13 am

        You “appreciate” ?

        Him being a Retired Public Sector trough-feeder, what would you expect him to say ?

        Reply

        • Posted by MJ on May 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm

          Mr Earth…I believe that there are survivor benefits as part of El Gaucho’s and other Police/Fire pensions so that would take any of their pensions well into the 1.5 million range…for surviving spouses and kids

          Anybody know for sure?? Thought I read about it somewhere……..if not then I stand corrected

          Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 7, 2018 at 10:48 am

      If it would cost $2 Million to BUY his guaranteed Single (or J&S) pension, then he’s WORTH that $2 Million + whatever ever else he has in assets.

      El gaupo may be one of “you” guys (YOU likely being Stephen Douglas posting under your alter ego), but he certainly didn’t “EARN” those riches in the same way that similarl-income NJ Private Sector Taxpayers would have to do.

      He doesn’t DESERVE them, and hopefully, NJs Taxpayers will RIGHTFULLY get the opportunity to reset that balance to a level 50% to 75% LOWER……… or only 40% lower if he waits until age 65 to begin collecting his pension.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 7, 2018 at 11:50 am

    There were serious flaws in the pension system before the Great Recession hit and magnified the problem. It didn’t just hit pensions; it hit every aspect of New Jersey finance, as it did in every other state. It is possible that reasonable pension reform well before 2008 could have softened the blow somewhat. Pension reductions, or smaller increases, may have been part of that reform.

    Without question, the biggest factor in New Jersey pension crisis now is failure to pay even the low-balled Annual Required Contributions. “Pensions are like a mortgage”… If you paid your mortgage like this, you would be out on the street.

    You live in a dream world if you think anyone is getting a 75% cut, or 50% or even 40% cut in pensions. …unless… bondholders _and_ taxpayers take an equal hit.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 7, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      All of what you stated amounts to a refusal to acknowledge the underlying ROOT CAUSE of the problem ….. ludicrously excessive pension generosity, with NON-safety-worker pensions ROUTINELY 2 to 4 times greater in value upon retirement than those of comparably educated, experience, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age, with the SAME wages, and the SAME years of service………… and with those multiples rising to 4 to 6 times for Safety workers.

      The “lack of full funding” isn’t the CAUSE of the problem but a CONSEQUENCE of that true root cause …. the excessive pension “generosity”.

      FIRST, we have Public Sector formula-factors 50% to 100% greater than those of Private Sector DB Plans. SECOND, we have granted retirement ages 5, 10, even 15 years younger than those of Private Sector Plans (with NO actuarial reductions). THIRD, most Public Sector DB Plans grant COLAs virtually unheard of in Corporate-sponsored Private Sector DB Plans. And don’t get me started on the super-easy to obtain PHONY Disability retirements.

      Do you think these UNJUSTIFIABLE “advantages” come cheap ?

      Reply

    • Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      It is invalid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 7, 2018 at 1:19 pm

        Is it “invalid” for Police where in the vast majority of cases their WAGES (alone) exceed those of comparably situated private Sector workers ……….. and then we layer ON TOP OF that pensions & benefits many multiples greater in value upon retirement?

        And why do you ignore that per the AEI Study, in BOTH our home Sates of CA & NJ, on a “Total Compensation” basis, Public Sector workers have a 23%-of-pay ADVANTAGE (33% if the incremental value of the FAR greater Public Sector job security is included) ……… and assuredly even greater if Safety-workers with far higher than average wages and the richest pensions had not been EXCLUDED from that Study?

        Taxpayers …………. how much MORE would you have for YOUR retirement needs if YOU had an ADDITIONAL 23% of pay to save and invest in EVERY year of YOUR career …… $500K, $1 Million, perhaps $2 Million for some ?

        Well, THOSE FIGURES are a valid estimate of how much Taxpayers are now OVER-COMPENSATING full career Public Sector workers.

        Reply

      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 7, 2018 at 2:14 pm

        Still haven’t produced the data on those private sector workers “comparably situated” to police officers.

        We have already seen private sector truck drivers and electricians who earn more than comparably situated NJ state workers. Private sector lawyers, doctors, and other professionals earn more (much more) than comparably situated public workers.

        Show me the data.

        If you seriously want to “reset that balance to a level 50% to 75% LOWER………” , you better come up with better justification than _one_ study with data up to ten years old… ten of the most volatile years of financial and employment changes in our lifetimes, public _and_ private.

        Get a new study. Wages _and_ pensions.
        ——————————————————————
        “he certainly didn’t “EARN” those riches”

        “He doesn’t DESERVE them”

        And yet, in many cases, state and local governments across the country are still making the tough decision to _increase_ salaries for teachers, police, firemen, and other public workers because they have the actual responsibility to attract and retain a qualified workforce, not the luxury of spouting personal opinion.

        Yes, encourage true pension reform by requiring ERISA _type_ standards on pension governance. Reduce pensions for some new employees (and in many cases, simultaneously increasing wages to compensate).

        Stay calm, and don’t begin a vast pension “reform” with half-vast ideas.

        Reply

    • Posted by MJ on May 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Mr. Douglass…good point except that in NJ we already have the highest real estate taxes, highest business taxes and worse business climate, economy poor in central and southern part of the state, many companies already leaving, highest gas prices, very high utilities as compared to other states, taxes, fees, licensing etc one of the highest in the country, home prices stagnant in most of the state….highest income tax, large number of residents who don’t work, pensioners piling up……….

      Well AC seems to be on a little upswing maybe the casinos can pay more instead of their PILOT program

      Um….where would the already broken down taxpayers come up with another hit of splitting 40% reduction of pensions with bondholders??

      It’s too far gone just too far gone unfortunately for everyone

      Reply

  7. Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Don’t feel left out, Brother Love; you are one-of-us, too. We’re all in this together.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Very unfortunately, the FINANCIAL “enemy” of Private Sector Taxpayers is now their town’s Public Sector workers.

      Reply

  8. Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 7, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I have a honey-do list that won’t quit, so if there are any more disagreements, feel free to

    any of my previous posts. Do the ones with pictures. They are my favorites.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Tough Love on May 7, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Stephen Douglas,

    Where’s the data ?

    Well, you don’t have to look far in your neck of the woods to find excessively PAID as well as excessively PENSIONED & BEN FITTED Safety workers with some making over $300K w/overtime and MANY making over $200K.

    But what’s equally ridiculous are Trainee wages, quoting:

    “The minimum salary for a firefighter in training is listed at $103,302. ”

    https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2018/05/02/top-menlo-park-fire-district-compensation-for-2017-totaled-378703

    Who in the Private Sector makes anywhere near that as a “trainee” ?

    —————————————–

    Thank goodness we’re not AS CRAZY in NJ.

    Reply

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