Monmouth Forum on NJ Pensions – Videos

The forum on pension funding held at Monmouth University on 9/28/18 is now online. Some notable video excerpts:


Ex-State Senator Joseph Kyrillos setting the state:
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Senate President Steve Sweeney on how “government screwed up this state” so to set up his panel he went to ‘experts’ from government:
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Richard Keevey sums it up well (and does not open with a joke):
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Gordon MacInnes thanks God for Illinois:
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Pension Obligation Bond Scam
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Blaming the actuaries:
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From the Q&A: Will COLA’s return?
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Full forum:
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18 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on October 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    What authority/responsibility can a NJ Budget Director exert over such matters on their watch?

    Reply

    • Posted by boscoe on October 7, 2018 at 12:20 am

      Not as much as you might think or wish. The state budget director (technically the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting) reports to a State Treasurer who reports to the Governor. The budget director, no matter how competent, is essentially a technocrat who is charged with ensuring that the policy and political decisions made by others “work,” at least on paper. The budget director does not get to tell the governor that none of the governor’s favorite initiatives can be implemented because all additional funds expected in the next fiscal year have to be dumped into the pension systems.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on October 7, 2018 at 11:51 am

        I guess they can be more impactful after service by being on a commission offering up solutions?

        Reply

        • Posted by boscoe on October 7, 2018 at 2:22 pm

          I would agree with that statement. When Richard Keevey was NJ’s budget director in the early 1990’s, he knew his stuff. But he also knew his place in the pecking order. So when his bosses (Governor Florio and the Republican Legislature swept into office in 1992) passed the 1992 Pension Revaluation Act that resulted in $1.5 billion NOT being contributed to the pension funds over the next two years, Keevey had to make it look feasible. Which it wasn’t. Now that he is a retired “expert,” he is free to speak his mind and folks are free to concur or not.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on October 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

            And when you look into your crystal ball where do you see this in say 15 years?

          • Posted by boscoe on October 7, 2018 at 10:41 pm

            Sorry, my crystal ball only works in reverse. But there are numerous commenters on this blog who claim to have the future figured out. Maybe one of them can weigh in.

          • Posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2018 at 9:19 am

            Well I picked up a crystal ball at a garage sale yesterday. I’m still learning how to use it but this is what I’ve seen so far. Additional tweak reforms will prolong the inevitable. Ultimately, NJ will have to pull the plug on retiree health care to, once again, prolong the inevitable. Eventually, the unavoidable, dreaded moment of pension reductions. How much and when depends on future funding levels and the ensuing bear market.

            Hey I’m probably way off base but than again best to prepare for the worst…..

          • Posted by boscoe on October 8, 2018 at 12:54 pm

            My crystal ball has cataracts. But your scenario is plausible. I do not think retiree health benefits will be abolished, but I do think they will be curtailed significantly. If the current level equates to a Bentley, the future envisions a Toyota Camry (the base model, not the options). Health benefits for early retirees (pre-Medicare eligible) to get a major haircut. Pension reductions for sure. I’m assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that you are a public employee or retiree. If so, your age and service accumulation at impact will be an important determinant of the personal pain level. But here’s the real question: what are you doing to “prepare for the worst?” I hope not just investing in Bitcoin.

          • Posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2018 at 3:00 pm

            Nothing new diversification, including investments other than those in the pension funds’ portfolio. No need to expose oneself to a ‘double hit’.

          • Posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2018 at 3:44 pm

            Please clarify ‘pension refuctions’, for those retired or retirement eligible versus those who are not?

          • Posted by Stanley on October 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm

            ” If the current level equates to a Bentley, the future envisions a Toyota Camry (the base model, not the options).”

            Maybe a Corolla level of coverage. Chevy Vega? A Yugo level coverage? Why not move to health savings accounts and catastrophic coverage. The health care sector loves the present arrangements for as long as they last. Walk in with double coverage and you’re royalty.

  2. MacInnes: “The confusion created by the actuarial science…” hahahaha. Science does not create confusion..it resolves it!

    Reply

    • Posted by Stanley on October 10, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      With fiat money and falsified, centrally planned interest rates, it’s pretty hard to resolve anything. It’s all hocus pocus.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Michael Cleary on October 8, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Kyrillos doesnt want to balance the budget on the backs of taxpayers? Really? Doesn’t the budget come from tax revenues and fees? Instead of expanding government programs and creating new ones, our elected officials should be paying all the bills that are due in full.

    Reply

    • Posted by PS Drone on October 8, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Agree with no expanded/new programs. But as far as “paying all bills that are due in full” that only applies to “bills” that were created on an arm’s length and reasonable basis. Due to corruption, power and greed, that excludes most public sector pensions. They need significant and immediate haircuts.

      Reply

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