Pension Perspective Breakdown in NJ

NJ Spotlight’s John Reitmeyer joined NJTV News for what they called a “Budget Breakdown” with Part 1 being on the pension system.

What we have here is a reporting breakdown as perspective goes out the window and your typical NJTV viewer is likely to be more confused at the end of the piece if they did not already grasp the basics:

  1. The fund is paying out $11 billion annually and even with the additional money that localities and employees are putting in we still have negative cash flow of about $4 billion, which means…
  2. New Jersey is not ‘catching up’ on funding but rather digging deeper holes.

21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by skip3house on July 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

    The organizations of the types here above, and a few others are too influenced by political feelings and mutual cooperation (cleaned that up).


  2. Posted by boscoe on July 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Let’s cut reporter John Reitmeyer some slight slack here. Don’t forget that this a TV presentation for a general audience, not for Wonksville. “Playing catch-up” goes to the general (if mistaken) understanding that the five-year ramp-up in contributions to so-called full ARC payment is the current goal. I do agree that the use of “MetLife stadiums” as a comparative measure adds nothing to anyone’s understanding of the issue. Reitmeyer has written more cogently on the pension crisis in his NJ Spotlight columns. In fact, this video is up on NJ Spotlight now and that might be a more appropriate place, Mr. Bury, to emphasize your own knowleddge of the issues to a (barely) wider audience. You’ve done it before.

    As far as skip3house’s comment above — the usual paranoid “captive organization” nonsense — it’s misbegotten and adds nothing to the debate that needs to occur. Just my opinion.


    • Posted by skip3house on July 16, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      ” the debate that needs to occur…” , your words. Where have you been since NJ tax cuts using NJ retirement funding, adding increasingly impossible defined benefits ‘promises’ for votes,……in these past 20 years, or so? I stand by my “.. too influenced by political feelings etc…”..


      • Posted by boscoe on July 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        “The debate that needs to occur” has nothing to do with your unfounded accusation that “the organizations of the types here above…are too influenced by political feelings and mutual cooperation.” I’m assuming you’re talking about either NJTV or NJ Spotlight or both. What’s the proof? What does that even mean?


        • Posted by Tough Love on July 16, 2018 at 12:46 pm

          I would simply be happy if Skip3house wrote comments in full/coherent sentences.


          • Posted by skip3house on July 17, 2018 at 9:01 am

            Hi, TL,…. No need for more than my short phrases referencing what you detail in exquisite clarity. Thank you, again.

        • Posted by skip3house on July 17, 2018 at 9:11 am

          Dear ‘boscoe’, Your accusatory worded diversion attempt to sink into irrelevant details for past 20 years reminds me….’We run the danger of trivial observation being accepted as the measure of achievement’. Why attempt to distract…….?


          • Posted by boscoe on July 17, 2018 at 8:25 pm

            Forget it sir/ma’am. Life’s too short to try and parse your observations. Onward and upward!

  3. Posted by Tough Love on July 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    While the video wasn’t “bad”, the missing piece is that even if/when NJ complete’s it’s grade-in to 100% of the ARC, it’s still based on a woefully inadequate ARC because the ARC calculation still assumes ASSETS will earn 7+% annually forever (that alone being VERY VERY optimistic), when it the much larger Plan LIABILITIES that must annually earn the 7+%.


  4. Posted by Tough Love on July 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Sure, every ELSE is delusional, and Trump is the only sane one in the room ……

    Just like LUDICROUSLY EXCESSIVE benefit levels isn’t the ROOT CAUSE of the Public Sector pension mess.


  5. Posted by MJ on July 17, 2018 at 6:34 am

    I find it ludicrous that so many different people “breakdown” the pension problem but nothing ever happens……….personally I’ve heard it so many different times that I am becoming indifferent. Everybody gripes about high taxes, most publics hate Trump but yet I guarantee you Menendez will be voted back in……UGH and the beat goes on!


  6. Those unfunded pension liabilities are SUPPOSED to continually increase due to the cause of those unfunded liabilities, DEFINED BENEFITS. We’re constantly trying to put band aids over the wound, but the only way to heal the wound is to change Defined Benefits to DEFINED CONTRIBUTIONS, like the rest of the business world. With Defined Contributions ONLY, there would be no need for CALPERS that already pays more than 640,000 retirees their DEFINED BENEFITS.

    The international business community is intelligent enough to know that DEFINED BENEFITS, neither capped nor precisely quantifiable in advance, are financial disasters to any business, thus all businesses focus on the known, i.e., DEFINED CONTRIBUTIONS alone.

    Since the public pension system is severely underfunded, city governments need to fund the retirements of former employees by taking money from government services as the increasing pension costs will likely continue to crowd out resources that otherwise would go to public assistance, recreation, libraries, health, public works, and public safety.

    The young generations who are unable to vote today, will bear the costs of many enacted “Defined retirement benefit” pension programs requiring the younger generations to pay higher taxes and work later into their lives to pay for those promises, to subsidize older Americans.


    • Posted by PS Drone on July 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      No, “city governments” (as well a state) do not “need to fund the retirements of former employees by taking money from government services…” They need to reduce the amount of the pension benefits to current and future retirees so that the resources they have and the payments equal each other. Cap all pensions (max $60K per annum), defer any benefit payments to age 66 for ALL public sector employees and claw back any excess payments by reducing excess benefit payments going forward. Those are harsh but realistic and necessary steps to continue to provide any benefits in future years.


      • Posted by Tough Love on July 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm

        Are you trying to give Stephen Douglas/EARTH a heart attack ?


        • Posted by PS Drone on July 17, 2018 at 9:39 pm

          Whose payroll do you think he is on? No one not being compensated to do it (except those paying for this idiocy) would spend as much time on this blog always naysaying anything resembling common sense.


          • Posted by Tough Love on July 17, 2018 at 9:52 pm

            Especially since Stephen Douglas/EARTH is NOT even from NJ (but from CA).

            FWIW………… I spend a heck of a lot of time on this Blog because I understand the HUGE magnitude of the Public Sector pension/Benefit Taxpayer ripoff, requiring VERY substantive increases in future taxes if it’s not ENDED soon ………. and nobody is paying me.

          • Posted by bosccoe on July 18, 2018 at 10:40 am

            Dear TL: no one is paying you, but no one except the very small choir in this church is paying attention to you either. You need to go down to Trenton and make a scene when pension legislation or hearings are being held. We can take up a (small) collection to register you as a paid lobbyist, or we can take up a (very small) collection to buy you personal protection when you have to face down the union red shirts. Your outrage should definately be on display for a wider audience. 🙂

          • Posted by El gaupo on July 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm

            Yea. Good luck w that. You couldn’t raise one dime from anyone here to send TL to Trenton. lol. She is fine right where she is….behind a keyboard commenting on a blog.

          • Posted by Tough Love on July 19, 2018 at 8:47 am

            Yes El gaupo, I likely WILL remain behind a keyboard commenting on a Blog rather than going-to-Trenton*, just as you when on the $125/hr “traffic details” will spend most of your time just sitting in your Police car or talking on your cell-phone. Yes, it’s quite incredible how NJ’s Taxpayers (or Ratepayers in this case) are ripped-off.

            But keep in mind …….. abuses like this (e.g. your pension & benefits) can’t (and won’t) go on forever. Reform measures will assuredly include YOU at some point. To what degree remains an interesting unknown.

            * Many “in Trenton” understand the problem as well as the great magnitude/difficulty of EFFECTIVE solutions quite well. It’s a matter of developing the political will and the strong stomach necessary to start that HUGE ball rolling.

      • Posted by MJ on July 17, 2018 at 9:29 pm

        The public pensioners believe that Murphy is the savior of their pensions and health benefits….starting to sound like Murph is dead man walking as far as budgets and funding pensions…but then the publics would vote for Satan himself if the continued gravy train was promised


        • Posted by PS Drone on July 17, 2018 at 9:37 pm

          At least Murphy has his priorities straight….that is straight as far as his primary support constituents, the NJEA, AFSCME and the other corrupt unions in this crap state. I have said this for a long time: the public sector took over NJ about 40 years ago. It is run solely for the unions’ (and the corrupt politicians) benefit. The rest of us suckers just get to stand in the corner, shut up and pay for it all. Bankruptcy of the state cannot come too soon for me as that is what we all deserve.


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