Breaking News: Twenty Fourth Multiemployer Plan Files To Cut Benefits

We will have an updated spreadsheet shortly on all the plans that filed under MPRA with pertinent information taken from 5500 forms and the MPRA website which added a big one ($2 billion in unfunded liabilities) to the list today.

This time it was the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund out of Pittsburgh, PA.

Excerpts from their latest 5500 filing:

Plan Name: Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund
EIN/PN: 25-6029946/001
Total participants @ 12/31/17: 22,536 including:
Retirees: 12,332
Separated but entitled to benefits: 6,015
Still working: 4,189

Asset Value (Market) @ 1/1/17: $624,594,715
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.05%) @ 1/1/17: $2,793,710,973 including:
Retirees: $1,755,346,643
Separated but entitled to benefits: $427,440,822
Still working: $610,923,508

Funded ratio: 22.36%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/17: $2,169,116,258

Asset Value (Market) – H as of 1/1/17: $718,421,370
Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/17: $743,681,982
Contributions (MB): $66,777,902
Contributions (H): $59,181,940
Payouts: $134,093,979
Expenses: $8,568,051

75 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 25, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    For what it’s worth, this document might give a rough idea of how much pensions will be reduced.

    (Although, beware of “averages”.)

    For instance, it appears the “average” pension will be reduced from $1,087 per month, to $890 /month.

    But that average includes 2,900 who will receive no reduction, and 2,300 who will receive 20-30 percent reductions. And many in between.

    Keep in mind, as TL and others remind us, those averages seem to include partial career employees and those who retired years ago under lower salaries. More recent retirees seem to have much higher pensions. (And probably will receive larger cuts.)


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on October 26, 2018 at 12:35 am

      begs the question: Would it be fair to slash the smaller pensions on the logic that if those people are getting a pittance for only working a few years, its more likely they have other retirement savings?

      the guy with the ‘massive’ pension because he put in 30 years probably has nothing else. Mean while the dude entitled to like, $700/yr probably has SS or a 401k or another pension etc etc


      • Posted by Stanley on October 26, 2018 at 9:22 pm

        Well, it’s complicated. In the past, the large pensions took a big whacking and the little ones none or a small cut. The executives get hit the hardest and the poor guys do better. Older people, maybe 80 years of age or older get by with no cut. I believe a number of shorter legs under the retirement stool will fare better than a longer one leg stool.

        A 20% cut off of a $1087 pension doesn’t seem that bad to me. A person with a “massive” pension should have had an income that supported more saving and a bigger house and better financial skills. There are some with a large income and no financial skills. One friend married the x wife of an MD and she went through his 401K in no time. One former supervisor married, well heck I bet some of these people with very large incomes and multiple marriages run into all sorts of problems. Like some of the NBA stars.

        It’s all sort of Kafkaesque. How could anyone write a law that covers every peculiar circumstance? Afraid the big pensions have to take a whacking


    • True. You need the wisdom of Solomon. Someone should be working out some guidelines or ground rules, because it’s coming to public pensions soon.


  2. Posted by MJ on October 26, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Stephen,,, why is it appropriate that some will not be reduced as you stated while others will be reduced. Will those receiving the lowest payments not be reduced?
    Can you share how the decisions are made or is it simply what your thoughts were in your post?


  3. No, I am not connected and know very little about how this works. That’s why I tried to look it up. These figures are from the exhibit 7, with the total number of retirees, and how many will take cuts.

    8366 retirees

    2951 no reduction
    2534 0-10%
    564 10-20%
    2317 20-30%
    These below are just my spitballing how it might work. Yes, I assume there is a bottom limit where there will be no reductions. $500 is just my wild guess. Above that, they may be reduced on a sliding scale. (My guess, again, given what the table shows.)

    It seems, from the other info, that the max pension is $3,500/mo. (for 30 years at age 55) This is my wild guess of the pensions before and after reduction.

    >$500 no reduction

    I wouldn’t take any of these numbers to the bank, but it looks like it might work this way. If anyone has inside information, I would really like to see it.

    A lot more pensions will be cut in the future (including some public). If it were me, I think I would consider my cut “fair” if I were at any point on the above scale. Like at $550, my pension might be reduced to $545 (1%?) Losing $1,050 from $3,500 would sure hurt, but not as much as losing the whole shebang 10 years from now. I think other unions have even bigger cuts than these.


    • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 12:57 am

      Quoting …………….

      “It seems, from the other info, that the max pension is $3,500/mo. (for 30 years at age 55)”

      So THAT is the Private Sector “UNION” Plan pension that you often say are “comparable” to Public Sector Union pensions ?

      Gee………… A Police Officer retiring in NJ or CA would LIKELY be getting a starting pension (at age 55 with 30 years of service) of $100+K annually.

      And in CA, it’s COLA-increased (making it EQUIVALENT to a non-COLA-increased pension of $125K-$130K). THANK GOODNESS (for NJ’s Taxpayers) that the COLAs are suspended (and have been since 2011).


      • How much pension does a New Jersey State truck driver get at age 55 with 30 years?


      • In 2017, max pay for a NJ state tandem axle truck driver was $48,400, so his 30 year pension at age 55 would be about $2,200/month.


        • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 10:59 am

          And free (or VERY low cost) family retiree healthcare cover that cost Taxpayers $$25K-$35K per year……….. vs almost ALWAYS ZERO for the Private Sector age 555 retiree.

          And I’m sure there are MANY PUBLIC Sector workers in NJ COMPARABLE to that Union employee with MUCH greater wages ….. that you choose to ignore.


        • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 28, 2018 at 6:25 pm

          “And I’m sure there are MANY PUBLIC Sector workers in NJ COMPARABLE to that Union employee with MUCH greater wages ….. that you choose to ignore.”

          I don’t know how much more comparable to that Union “truck driver” you can get than a State “tandem axle truck driver”.
          Yes, sir… there are MANY PUBLIC Sector workers in NJ with MUCH greater wages. According to Mr. Biggs (a PhD), once you get into the higher wages of managers, scientists, accountants, attorneys, as well as other PhDs, you begin to find that those pensions and benefits are not enough (or barely enough) to offset the lower wages, vis-à-vis private wages.


        • Posted by Earth on October 28, 2018 at 6:26 pm

          Earth to Stephen Douglas:

          You forgot to say:
          “It is invalid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.”

          Don’t be invalid.

          Also, please ignore that avatar in the upper left corner. Apparently it’s a sore point.


      • ” A Police Officer retiring in NJ or CA would LIKELY be getting a starting pension (at age 55 with 30 years of service) of $100+K annually.”… In the coastal cities.
        Go over into the central valley or northern CA and full career officers don’t even make $100k. Some Sergeants do.


        • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 11:01 am

          The 2015 AVERAGE starting pension for all (non-disability) retirees in the Bergen County Police force was slightly over $100K, and beginning at age 51 !!!


          • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 11:03 am

            The all had just about 25 (not 30) years of service.

            Such rich pensions, 85% to 90% of the cost being the responsibility of the Taxpayers is PATENTLY ABSURD.

          • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 27, 2018 at 1:41 pm

            Blame in on Mrs. Smith who lives on Main St.

            For better or worse, the affluent towns in your area have decided what they want from their police force, and how much they are willing to pay. This article is eight years old, and pay was already among the highest in the nation.


            If it makes you feel any better, times are changing and limits are being placed on compensation. Likely not enough or quickly enough to satisfy you, but whatever happens, your police will still cost more than the average in New Jersey, just like police in San Jose or Los Angeles.

            We feel your pain.

      • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 11:39 am

        Sweeney says they coming back for Pfrs within 5 years(I don’t beleive it,) at some point it will return I think as a dividend payment instead of boosting your pension up and only if there is an age floor to collecting a pension, something Pfrs needs)
        PBA once again has both sides of the aisle in its back pocket. 👍
        Once again we wield our considerable power at the ballot box!!! Guadagno(although don’t confuse her with a cop, she was always a politician first) was in law enforcement for Christ sake and she got zero percent of the cop vote against a liberal guy who outside of his support for unions doesn’t really mesh with law enforcement ideals.
        Lots of cops venture into politics. We bring lots of votes to the table. The 2% arbitration extension is DOA. S5 passed easily. Politicians are realizing once again that happy cops equals lots of votes and happy life.
        Read this months issue of cops magazine. All the talk is about returning cola. Again, I don’t beleive it, yet.
        Bottom line though, unions are back in power here. Not only did christie stupid task force fail(freezing pensions etc) they didn’t even pass the sick time bill and haven’t even introduced bill that starts newbies in a 457 type plan!!!
        BTW, both of the last two should be done. Let police cash out remainder of sick time at end of year at present value after saving some for an injury. That’ll keep overtime down and the sick time is already budgeted for. No banking whole career and getting huge payout. That should pass. Other one should pass too. Doesn’t affect cops nor should it. (I wouldn’t do it for teachers either if I could help it. Quite candidly our greatest resource is in fact our employees. We don’t want our best leaving for greener pastures)


  4. Posted by Tough Love on April 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    The groups impacted by MPRA are FAR FAR different than Public Sector workers, where pensions are so absurdly generous (and so fraudulently obtained from Union-BOUGHT Elected Officials) that they were NEVER justifiable ….and SHOULD BE materially reduced.
    $3,500/mo. @ 55 is not multiples less than $2,200/mo.


    • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 11:06 am

      My statement was CORRRECT…………….. BY FAR, most ” groups impacted by MPRA are FAR FAR different than Public Sector workers” ………… in MOST cases, comparing NJ’s Typical Public Sector worker to a MPRA-covered worker is ridiculous.


      • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 1:08 pm

        Provide some facts. Back of that claim. Most jobs. lol. U know not what u speak of.
        Sorry if I don’t take your word for it. Generally speaking most public employees have a modest retirement because their pensions were based on a modest amount t.


        • Posted by Stanley on October 27, 2018 at 1:33 pm

          There are some low level public service jobs that provide a pension whereas similar work in the private sector doesn’t have a pension program at all. Sorry Constable, TL is correct. This is going to be better than Hurricane Miike.

          You’ll be working as a security guard, a uniformed security guard.


          • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 3:18 pm

            Doubt it. I wish I knew you. I would Make this bet. If my pension get cut by 50% let’s say. I’ll give you the other 50% of it.
            If it doesn’t then you give me an additional 50% of my pension.
            Let’s use a date of say 2025-2030. I’ll let u pick.
            With my crash investigation background ill hardly have to do security. Although I would take a class 3 job here in NJ. About $40,000 or so to school security. Summers off. Low impact. Where I am the kids are actually excited to go to school and all decent kids. With a six figure pension and a working spouse and no mortgage, kids outta college etc. max 457 and Roth etc. not expecting a rough go of retirement Stanislaus.
            You want to spend your says in the buncker be my guest.
            And I’ll take u up on the bet I posted above any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
            Every cop job in the country gets a pension. Never heard any swapping to DC plan. (Not saying I didn’t miss one or two but).
            Anyway tL states that it is ridiculous to compare most jobs in public sector to private. I asked her some facts to back up her position. But then again, your the one who thinks that we should look out for our neighbors and not have cops, and that nothing worthwhile and new has been taught in last 100 years. Go back to the bunker, ear your baked beans, load your AR and wait for the day that will never come.

          • Posted by Stanley on October 27, 2018 at 6:05 pm

            Constable, I actually hope that you are correct. It would be nice if under funded pension were our only problem. Failing pensions are really only small potatoes compared to the big problems, although they do make up part of the problem of excessive, unpayable debt and over valued financial markets. If your pension is only whacked IN REAL TERMS by 50%, I would say that you were very fortunate. Possibly, you won’t get whacked but inflation reduces the buying power of your pension dollars.

            By the way, Constable, are you thinking that you are the only policeman with accident experience? What about the other 10K retiring policemen who have their heart set on one of those cushy insurance company jobs? And anuther thing, you just think that your house will be paid off. What about your co owner? The SRS.

            I visited with a retired couple in the dentist’s office this week and they were extremely discouraged that they owned a house in a very bad place–no need to name names. I feel very sorry for them and the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) who are in a similar predicament. They did not own their house! Their co owner owned it! (I didn’t bring up how the cops had joined up with the cowboys.) Have a nice weekend Constable.

          • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 11:29 pm

            I get where your coming from. However, in northern nj the numbers don’t back up your claims. Housing prices here have remained strong. And if you really think there are ten thousand cops that are crash reconstructionists, I have a bridge to sell you. Maybe one out of twenty of us, maybe…..and of course we don’t all retire at the same time. Check and see how big your fatal crash inv unit is in your county. Our squad rolls w 24 part timers(local cops) and 4 full timers. This is for a county with 1 million people.

        • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 27, 2018 at 2:47 pm


          Most low level public sector jobs provide pensions and retiree health care (for now). Most low level private sector jobs don’t.
          TL is also correct that most in low level private sector jobs which do provide pensions (MPRA), the pensions are lower than those in the public sector.
          One of the gray areas is for Teamsters and skilled trades (electricians, plumbers, machinist, welders, etc.) Depending on the trade or location, private trades often have higher wages (and pensions) than public.

          For most occupations requiring a college education, though, compensation evens out and begins to favor the private sector as education levels increase (on average*)

          *On average… There are exceptions all over the place which make it difficult to generalize (and easier to mislead).

          I still highly recommend the Biggs study…

          Although apparently it is like the Bible; you can interpret it almost anyway you want.
          Without a doubt, lower educated or unskilled public sector workers are compensated better (generally MUCH better) than the private sector.

          But, according to Biggs*, most (60 percent) state workers nationwide are either roughly equally compensated or under-compensated, compared to similar private sector workers.

          *Not a lampchanger, he; impeccable credentials (PHD, London School of Economics, etc….)

          In the words of Monique Morrissey*…

          “The national pattern that public-sector workers with college degrees are compensated somewhat less and those without college degrees are compensated somewhat more than their private-sector counterparts holds true for Connecticut as well. The more compressed pay structure—with top and bottom pay closer together—reflects the fact that people are drawn to public service for nonpecuniary reasons and that government employers have an interest in setting a higher floor on compensation than private-sector employers, some of whom pay poverty-level wages and pass health care and other costs onto government programs. Because public-sector workers are more likely to have college degrees, public employers—and taxpayers—are getting a bargain while ensuring a decent standard of living for less educated workers.”

          *Monique Morrissey… Not a lampchanger… She has a PhD in Economics, and speaks three languages.


          • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 3:22 pm

            Guess who I am:

            “Shut up, light bulb changer!!! 4 to 6 times….Earth/Stephen Douglass why you use both blah blah blah…”
            I want some warm Brie w that wine.
            Even if the pension multipliers are correct, she still can’t grasp her head around the fact that she has absolutely no say as to what my pension would be. It is all her miserable opinion.

          • “The more compressed pay structure—”

            Is key.

            And it’s not just a national pattern. It extends to some degree to most OECD countries… for a reason. Yes, it’s re-distributive. If that’s anathema to you, it is a separate discussion.

            Some people, TL included, as I understand, are of the opinion that lower skilled public workers should receive pay and benefits similar to private sector workers, à la manière de WalMart. If the pay is not sufficient to support a family, they should rely on social services, just like the private sector.

            However, as sure as night follows day, IF the average compensation for public workers is higher than for private*, this redistribution is the reason. Again, it is a separate discussion.
            *Biggs says nationwide the average public sector advantage is 10 percent… 23 percent in California and New Jersey, 26 percent in Illinois. Other researchers in the same time period say the average pay is roughly equal, or slightly lower for public workers. In either case, the “average” is unquestionably increased by these lower level workers.

            My rough guess… remove these empirically proven “excess” benefits for the lowest skilled (approximately 40 percent of workers) nationwide, and your unfunded liability will disappear overnight (except in New Jersey, Illinois, Kentucky, Connecticut, etc.; you guys scrood the pooch.)

            My other guess, you will never find the political will or popular support to follow through on that… for good reason.

          • Earth to El guapo (IF that is your real name)…

            You, or someone in yo fambly is obviously a greedy Public Sector employee, exploiting the taxpayer with your bought and paid for politician cabal.

            As we have tried to tell TL many times in the past; s/he is her own worst enemy.

            Moderation is good.
            Civility is good.
            Histerical hyperbolic rhetoric… not so much.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 6:15 pm

            Moderation ……….. will fix nothing.

          • Hysterical hyperbolic rhetoric…. counterproductive.

          • Civility is still good.

            In short supply, though.

  5. El guapo,

    I don’t think there is much disagreement among the experts that many lower level public workers make much more in total compensation than similar private sector workers.

    But, what about police?

    Thirty some years ago, I was clearing accident damage (in the rain) and the police on scene said that’s why I get the “big bucks”. No internet then, but I happened to be in an Econ class studying city budgets. Turns out these guys made about as much as my supervisor. Considering their responsibility and work requirements, I was very surprised they didn’t make more.
    Fast forward… after 9/11; there seemed to be substantial increases in police and fire salaries, partly due to federal anti-terrorist spending. In 2004, CHP received a contract to “catch up” with local police salaries. CHP pay increased by about 20 percent over and above CPI increases.

    There is a definite difference in police training and responsibility in the intervening years. Question… Are the police overpaid now, or were they underpaid before?

    Josh Rauh…

    “I am, however, skeptical that comparability of individual and job characteristics in the public and private sector has been or really can ever be achieved. Attempting to benchmark the compensation of, say, public safety officials to private sector employees is obviously problematic.”

    Joshua Rauh further mentioned that, since there is no real private sector comparison to police or firefighter work, the only proper way to value it is what can be reasonably negotiated.
    To be fair, in looking up that quote, I also found this from our old friend Seesaw Junior…

    “It is NOT “problematic” at ALL. These are unskilled/semi-skilled blue collar job where ALL the training is on the job. They are compensated at 1%er levels (or close to it).
    90% of the public could do either job, if given the chance.”

    I’m going with Josh Rauh. He gots a PhD. For all I know, Seesaw Junior (if that is his real name) might be a light bulb changer.


    • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      Quoting ……..…….

      “Joshua Rauh further mentioned that, since there is no real private sector comparison to police or firefighter work, the only proper way to value it is what can be reasonably negotiated.”

      Might work IF there REALLY WAS a well-informed PRIVATE Sector Taxpayer (with EQUAL POWER to those on the other side of the table so that they can stand their ground) at that “negotiating table” was truly is looking out for the BEST-INTERESTS of the Taxpayers.

      There ISN’T now (and never has been).


      • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 11:40 pm

        Ideally that REALLY INFORMED taxpayer would be your local council person TL. If it’s not, you have no one to blame. You “appear” (gag…cough) to be somewhat informed. Give it a go.


    • The “negotiating table” is between a rock and a hard place. Always has been, but especially since 2008.

      Listen to El gaupo. Look at the teachers in Kentucky. The Police in San Jose. You can cut their pay… cut their pension, but they just won’t stick around long.

      In their BEST-INTERESTS, the Taxpayers may just find that they need police and teachers more than police and teachers need Taxpayers.

      Don’t let your paranoia overrule your common sense.


      • Posted by Stanley on October 27, 2018 at 7:50 pm

        Steve: “Look at the teachers in Kentucky. The Police in San Jose. You can cut their pay… cut their pension, but they just won’t stick around long.”

        Sorry Steve, the customer is always right. And don’t ever forget it! You just won’t buy much when you cash in your bill of goods and your wooden nickels.

        You may think that you can dictate terms to the customer, but you can’t. Besides that, most people aren’t very mobile. I have made a few moves, but most people stay near their stomping grounds. They don’t move on until they have to.


      • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 8:06 pm

        Quoting ………………

        “The Police in San Jose. You can cut their pay… cut their pension, but they just won’t stick around long. ”

        That’s why Police “Total Compensation” (wages + pensions + benefits) must be reduced by AT LEAST 25% at the upper end …………. so there is no better place for the MOOCHERS to go if they leave.

        And a work-slowdown (or the “blue-flu”) should be a legal basis to FIRE them, so you can hire newbies at even LOWER compensation.

        Maybe Public Sector wages & compensation are “reasonable” in those redneck-States (where the idiots think that Trumps really cares about them), but it’s off-the-wall too generous in the Coastal Blue States.


        • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 11:51 pm

          The smartest thing you said on that paragraph was “the idiots think that Trump cares about them”
          Stephen was talking about teachers and cops leaving the profession as a whole as opposed to hopping between departments.
          You also would need to prove a blue flu. That rarely happens in NJ. Illegal for us to strike also.
          You also really don’t get the concept that it literally takes years before a officer is ready to be responsible for everything that can happen on a police shift. When you stop to think about it, it is an awesome responsibility to have. You are literally responsible for anything that goes wrong and are in the business of responding to calls where things have gone wrong.
          And let’s be honest, by any metric the pay in some of these states is by no means reasonable. When you have cops halfway thru their careers unable to qualify for mortgages on modest homes you have an underpaid force. Mississippi, where my partners bro in law can’t buy a $155,000 home and many other Trump oasises around the country. All right to work there.


      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 27, 2018 at 11:07 pm

        Kentucky is a red state. According to Biggs, (a PhD) their state employees were considered “market level” in 2008-2012. The biggest problem with their pension system is a long history of “DON’T PAY THE BILLS, THE DEBT GETS LARGER.”

        San Jose cost of living is 260.0 based on average of 100.
        (Bergen County is 161.)

        Stanley and Tough Love seem to be commenting under the automatic assumption that teachers and police are overpaid. Maybe they are right. I guess we’ll see.


      • Stephen, not to sound snooty but what other jobs would potential teachers and police apply for that would provide at least the health and retirement benefits not to mention the many other perks, generous sick days, vacation time pay outs, job security (a biggie in a shaky world)……..

        Personally, I always want a few extra well trained cops on the street…….teachers will be phased out as technology takes over……im home courses already available in NJ for credit towards HS graduation and college courses

        And let’s not forget to mention that if you want teachers and cops to live in NJ communities one has to pay them a livable wage so don’t know how one places a value on that cause our public schools here are not doing that well in education our students and future workers


        • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm

          From “comments” in… April 5, 2013

          Mike W
          “…. I often hear this argument from upper-educated public employees (including those in education) that they not being paid what they are *worth* compared to similarly educated private sector workers. So why do they stay in the public sector.”

          Tom West
          “So why do they stay in the public sector?

          Following that line of reasoning, it’s tautologically impossible to *ever* be ‘screwed on pay’, in either the public or private sector.”
          Stephen Douglas…Oct. 30, 2018
          “So why do they stay in the public sector?”

          They don’t. They go back and forth like butterflies. Only about 20 percent are career employees. About half of new public employees don’t even stay long enough to vest. The average length of service for CalPERS retirees is 20 years. There are thousands of “vested” private sector workers out there right now just waiting til they reach the age to start drawing their pensions. (Those ones won’t get retiree health care.) The average overall tenure for public employees is about 8 years.

          Most public employees are actually just private sector employees on hiatus. Which is why I like to say…


          • Posted by MJ on October 31, 2018 at 7:44 am

            Stephen, IDK about that….. as all public workers that I know, and I know a lot of them, are career public workers and grumbling all the way I might add. I always tell them feel blessed that you have a job to go to and have great health insurance. I’m talking about the teachers, cops, state workers, etc…….I often wonder if there is a true private sector anymore?

          • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 31, 2018 at 12:57 pm


            I don’t know enough workers to get a reliable sample size. But the BLS does.


            The info on length of of service came from CalPERS.

            Incidentally, “generous sick days, vacation time pay outs,…” etc.: According to the BLS, “paid time off”, including sick days, holidays, and vacation, is virtually identical for public and private workers. Confirmed by the Biggs study, which used data from the American Community Survey, an annual survey of households conducted by the Census Bureau. IDK?

            Pensions are obviously a means to attract and retain employees, but sometimes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Due to typical budget restraints, we frequently went 2 to 3 years with no general salary increases, especially in a recovering economy, state workers could see similar private jobs paying 5 to 15 percent more. Cash in hand… it’s hard to pass up.

    • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Spot on Earth. TL doesn’t want you to say that though. She wants you to agree with her …..because she says so!!!!!


      • Posted by Tough Love on October 30, 2018 at 10:27 pm

        How many LEO’s (of those who last say 2 years) in NJ terminate VOLUNTARILY before reaching the minimum 20 year target ?

        I’d bet it’s well less than 5%.

        They KNOW all about the ludicrously excessive pension & benefits that await them for those who hang in there ……to the ripe old age of the early 50s


      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm

        Is 33 months “average” longer than “say 2 years”? Is 14 percent higher than “well less than 5%”?

        Do you just pull numbers from your fertile imagination? Do you really think “GED” police work is so easy even a cave man could do it?

        “..when taking into account the bad hours, the stress that comes with the job, the loss of days off due to court or other special details, and the evenings and holidays and other family time missed, the compensation often doesn’t appear to be commensurate with the experience of the job. Many officers simply leave for better-paying opportunities, either in the private sector or for more lucrative federal law enforcement careers.”


      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 31, 2018 at 1:53 pm

        SeeSaw junior (if that be his real name) should apply for a police job in Camden.

        After all, it’s just a GED job (like firewhiner) and there are “hundreds of applicants for every opening.” 90% of Americans are qualified to do the job?

        Yet 35 percent wipe out in the academy.

        And somewhat more than “well less than 5%” quit when they find out what the job is really like.


  6. Earth to El guapo:

    Seesaw junior, by the way, seems to be Tough Love on steroids.

    “They are compensated at 1%er levels (or close to it).”

    As per USA Today, in New Jersey…

    • Top 1 percent earn at least: $588,575
    • Avg. income of top 1 percent: $1,581,829

    Police need not apply

    “90% of the public could do either job, (police or fire) if given the chance.”

    No way in hell, junior. Further, 90% wouldn’t even WANT their jobs.


    • Posted by El gaupo on October 27, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      Another spot on observation by Stephen.
      I’m starting to think TL and the juvenile Seesaw are one in the same. It lets her bent and sound even more like a fool, while having us think they are the different people. Lol. From now on TL/Seesaw are exposed as the same.


      • Posted by Tough Love on October 28, 2018 at 1:50 am

        El Gaupo …….….. you’re losing it.

        Looks like the TRUTH ……….. that NJ Police pensions & benefits are off-the-wasll too generous (4x greater in “value” upon retirement than those of comparably situated Private Sector workers) and need to be VERY materially reduced ……. is just too much for you handle.


  7. Bottom line, both the Teamsters and public employees.

    The “REAL” problem ………….. the underlying ROOT CAUSE of the Public Sector pension …and… the Multiple Employer Pension mess is not the “Ludicrouslygenerosity”? pension (AND benefits).

    Many of the less generous pensions, both public and private, are in just as much trouble as the more generous. Actual reform… not just “reductions” are needed. They were needed twenty years ago. For some it may be too late. They may need reforms… and… Federal bailouts of some form.

    Josh Rauh…
    “While citizens of states that are particularly hard-hit by the pension crisis may be able to escape to other states, an acceleration of this demographic phenomenon would leave a dwindling taxpayer base behind in the states facing the largest liabilities. This would increase the likelihood of a federal taxpayer bailout in which taxpayers in all states would bear the burden of the states in default. The problem of state and local pension liabilities is therefore a problem for all US taxpayers, not just those in the states with the largest deficits.”


    • Posted by Tough Love on October 27, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      Corporate-sponsored PRIVATE Sector Plans (NOT MEPs) currently have a average “funding ratio” in the mid-high 80s% …………. using a MUCH more stringent standard in it’s calculation than that used in Public Sector Plan “funding ratio” calculation.

      On average …… if calculated on the SAME basis ……… Corporate-sponsored PRIVATE Sector Plans are TWICE as well funded as are Public Sector Plans. In fact that mid 80% would be well over 100% using Public Sector assumptions/methodology.

      Don’t believe me …………. ask Mr. Bury.

      As usual …………… you’re wrong, by a MILE.


    • No need. I believe you. I’ve said it before, MEPs and Public Pension Plans need serious reform. I even agreed that …some… of that reform may need to be in reduced pensions, in some cases, even reduced for future accruals of current workers. And in the worst cases (you know who you are, NJ, et al.), even in reductions for current retirees.

      “Bailouts”, should they occur, either for MEPs or public plans, should be tied to enforceable reforms.

      It’s axiomatic.


      • Posted by Stanley on October 27, 2018 at 11:24 pm

        Well then maybe you need to start a private charity, call it the society to bail out underfunded pension plans. You get some free advertising at John’s blog and Pension Tsanami and maybe CNN et al. Heck, maybe a few of us here would kick in a few bucks, you know, help you get started. Heck send a email to George Soros, he has lots of money. What about it Steve?


      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 28, 2018 at 12:21 am



        • Posted by Wind and Fire on October 28, 2018 at 7:54 am

          Lol. Earth 🌍 is killing it on these posts. I bet that TL and Stanley feel that they are depositing to a Go Fund Me account for that cool guy El Guapo. He is a legend around here and spoken about in hushed tones. I’d like to meet him one day and offer my appreciation for a job well done and a pension well earned.


          • Posted by Tough Love on October 28, 2018 at 11:14 am

            LOL ……………….

            Anybody every pay any attention to the assignment of the little pictures on the top line, next to the commentators name ?

            For a given Blog-post they generally unique to identify one Commentator from another, and are likely tied to the incoming IP address rather than the name. That’s why it’s so easy to KNOW that EARTH and Stephen Douglas are one and the SAME commentator.

            Well guess what?

            The comment to which I’m responding is from “Anonymous” but it has the SAME little picture as all the above comments From El Gaupo.

            So El Gaupo is commenting HIMSELF, and calling himself “cool” and a “legend” who we speak about in hushed tones.

            So much so that …………. he would like to meet him and offer his appreciation.
            El Gaupo, try a mirror ………. then a psychiatrist.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 28, 2018 at 12:32 pm

            ooophs ……….…… “Anonymous” in my above comment should be replaced with “Wind and Fire”

          • Posted by Wind and Fire on October 28, 2018 at 3:03 pm

            Uh….yea TL. You got me 🙄
            I thought you would realize it was a joke and a play on words. Earth, Wind and Fire. Like the old rock group.

          • Earth to Wind and Fire:

            Apparently you thought wrong. Earth is curious as to why Brother Love is so consumed by the names, since most of us are Anonymice anyway.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 28, 2018 at 9:38 pm

            El Gaupo/”WInd and Fire”.

            I too thought is was likely a joke (being WAY over-the-top), but thought other readers might not realize it……. and NOT know that the guy now posting as “Wind and Fire” is the SAME guy as the often-commenting LEO El Gaupo …… the soon-to-retire Bergen County LEO with a fat pension, a HUGE bias, and an extreme sense of entitlement.

          • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 28, 2018 at 11:02 pm

            WAY over-the-top?

            “The Myth Of Tough Love” It seems more and more, people are finding that tough love just doesn’t work… from drug treatment programs to “boot camps” for errant teens.

            Just another oxymoron, like “Powerful Public Employee Unions”.

      • Posted by PS Drone on October 31, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        I have never presumed that the “logic” surrounding SS is bulletproof. For example, in 1935, FDR (and his cronies) set the benefit age at 65 when the average age of death was lower. Thus, in its infancy, it was probably a tax-raising scheme masquerading as an anti-starvation program. But at least the benefit schedules made some sense, being based on lifetime earnings and the number of years that FICA taxes were paid. At the present tense, public sector pensions make no sense. Immediate benefits at retirement, even at age 52, 55 and 58 make no sense now, whereas they may have made sense in 1935. And benefits based on the last year of earnings make no sense either. So, adust benefit age to age 66 (like SS) and benefit calculations based on lifetime earnings and much of the underfunding problem goes away. But this logic continuously falls on deaf ears, thus the lack of empathy from those in the private sector.


        • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 31, 2018 at 11:34 pm

          Glenn Beck gets numbers on Social Security and life expectancy correct

          “When Social Security started, age expectancy for the average man was 58. It was 62 — 62 for women.”

          “Glenn Beck got it right.”… That alone should be a red flag.

          But, one who lived to age 65 in 1940 (and paid SS taxes) could expect to live to age 77.8.

          58 and 62 were the average life expectancy …at birth… and was lowered by childhood diseases, among other things.
          “As Table 1 indicates, the average life expectancy at age 65 (i.e., the number of years a person could be expected to receive unreduced Social Security retirement benefits) has increased a modest 5 years (on average) since 1940.”


        • Posted by Stephen Douglas on November 1, 2018 at 12:27 am

          And it just gets more complicated…

          Life expectancy for whom? Most people should know that SS is progressive… Those with lower lifetime incomes get a higher percentage of income replacement. But all life expectancies are not the same. The top half of earners live (and collect SS) 5.4 years longer than the bottom half, reducing the progressivity. Even a larger advantage for the top ten percent, who live 10 years longer than the lowest ten percent.

          Good thing money can’t buy happiness.


  8. TL… take all of this way way too seriously…just sayin….who cares if posters are making up different names…….supposedly it’s anonymous anyway:)


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