Census Bureau Public Pension Survey – 2019

The U.S. Census Bureau released a supplemental unit and public-use file from for the 2019 Annual Survey of Public Pensions (ASPP). The ASPP provides revenues, expenditures, financial assets and membership information for defined-benefit public pension systems. The file provides detailed actuarial data for state and locally administered defined-benefit public pension systems in the ASPP.

Their highlights first and then a look on how New Jersey stacks up:

In 2019, 76.1% of state and locally administered defined-benefit public pension systems met or exceeded their actuarially determined contributions.

  • State and locally administered defined-benefit public pension plans, on average, were 73.6% funded on a dollar-weighted basis.
  • In 2019, 83.4% of the state and locally administered defined-benefit public pension systems reported a net liability, while the remainder had a surplus or had a net position equal to their total pension liability.
  • State and locally administered defined-benefit public pension systems reported liabilities totaled $4.7 trillion compared to the reported assets of $3.5 trillion.
  • For state and locally administered defined-benefit public pension systems, the mean reported assumed rate of return (discount rate) was 6.6% with a modal rate of 7.0%.

There is a dataset by state of census, asset, and liability amounts and when you compare New Jersey to the entire country you get this:

28 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on October 9, 2020 at 10:00 am

    John,

    Why such a lower % of “Inactive members” in NJ vs the nation?

    Looks like those are vested-terminators, but is it that in NJ a FAR higher proportion (than elsewhere) reclaims their own contributions (exiting the Plan completely) than elsewhere?

    Reply

    • Still have to digest the numbers but some plans have very few vested terminees (judges, state police) which might be an indication that public employees don’t leave in NJ and when they do leave they take their money with them. Other states might not allow distributions to terminees so their ranks build up.

      Initial impression was that NJ percentages were higher than the nation especially when it came to employee contributions.

      Reply

  2. https://www.newsday.com/amp/news/new-york/nypd-retirements-shea-1.49362848

    Record # of retirements. Twice as many as last year with NO academy recruits to take their place. Crime skyrocketing will only get worse. Schools closed. Horrible mayoral leadership. Broadway closed through May 2021 (at least another 8 months) No restaurants open. Work from home. Forgot about Yankees and Mets etc. (who will come see them anyway when they reopen—traffic will be great, your safety not so much)
    Rents dropping as folks continue to leave for suburbia. Who wouldn’t. Drug needles all over the street. Guys masturbating on the street corner. No thanks.
    Stick a fork in the former greatest city in the world. Sad. But it all starts with Safe Streets!!!
    Portland OR is going to elect a communist as its mayor. Good luck with that.
    A new term coined— blue flight. Police leaving these urban shithole departments leaving behind a dramatically less safe city. And TL wants to cut pensions. Laughable.
    You commute occasionally into NYC for work TL. Tell me I’m wrong?

    Reply

    • And what would your suggestion be to retain these officers that are retiring or resigning. And what would you do to attract new talent?
      I like the Houston chief who offered to hire Austin recruits that got defunded. Guys had uprooted their life to move to Austin to start the academy and then were told “nope, some asshole killed a guy in MN so you guys are done”. By all accounts, it appears that Biden is going to win this. Trump is off the rails now. He’s done
      . If that is so, I say give him a chance. But I am pessimistic about it. He will do nothing to make these cities safe again. It will take Giuliani types to win the mayorships there. Biden will have his hands full. GOP May even lose the senate.
      The difference we have now is that too many Gen Z and Millennials feel that they have gotten fucked over. In many cases they aren’t really wrong. Climate change is a “them” problem. College tuition etc. financial inequality,
      Your property taxes for the PD will be the least of your worries TL. Not that you should have worries anyway. Itty bitty and all.

      Reply

      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on October 11, 2020 at 11:41 pm

        Guys had uprooted their life to move to Austin to start the academy and then were told “nope, some asshole killed a guy in MN so you guys are done”
        LOL@ 1) uprooted family; 2) MOVD to Austin.

        El Feo your “entitlement mentality” is jacking on some serious steroids. No one “uprooted” any family to take a RECRUIT job in Austin TX, unless you’re talking about a recently discharged military and his pet ferret. And NO ONE “moves” to Austin to take a RECRUIT job unless they are a total loser. It s a GED job with a TON of openings, more now with everyone quitting. And TRUST ME, it has NEVER hard to fill a $200K/year GED cop job, 500 applicants per each opening. What else does a GED Wonder have in the pipeline, minimum wage Walmart?????

        Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 9, 2020 at 12:57 pm

      Quoting ……….

      ” And TL wants to cut pensions. ”

      Is there a recruiting problem in YOUR town ?

      Has your town’s police been de-funded?

      Is there violence/looting in your town ?

      I’m sure the answer to ALL of those questions is NO.

      ——————————————————–
      Therefore, the answer to these questions is also NO.

      Do you “deserve” a $250K compensation package (or anywhere near it) ?

      Do you deserve a pension SO RICH, that to fully fund it over your career, requires annual Taxpayer contributions 10+ TIMES what Private Sector workers typically get in 401K contributions from their employers ?

      Do you deserve free retiree healthcare benefits for your and your family, with an annual Taxpayer cost of over $35,000, when FEW Private Sector retirees get ANY (yes ANY) employer-sponsored retiree healthcare benefits ?

      Reply

      • Charles Barkley put it best. In white neighborhoods, the police will never be defunded. In rich neighborhoods, they will never be defunded. He calls it like he sees it. He is against defunding. The suburbs do not currently have the problems the urban areas do. Let’s see what Biden does. If he gets in there, and I think he will, it may not be peaches and cream for all the liberal women in suburbia who have now turned on trump. (Like TL). A change may be a coming.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on October 9, 2020 at 6:56 pm

          Trump will go down as the worst EVERYTHING America has to offer.

          I’d more soon vote for Rex the puppy.

          Reply

          • I agree he will lose. And they will more than likely lose the senate. Hang on, it will be a Jimmy carter type presidency. Biden will lucky to get halfway thru the term.
            Socialists will primary them all. This ain’t your grandpappies Democrat party. The wackos who tried to kidnap the Gov in Michigan will come out in force. Just like Antifa is now!!
            Let’s see how much you like Biden, TL, when your investments go south and the forces that be call you a Karen for bitching.

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on October 9, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Guys masturbating on the street corner.
      El Feo, could you at least get a room 😎

      Reply

  3. Posted by geo8rge on October 9, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    As of Agust the NJ pensions assets are at an all time high of $80,302,560,000.
    https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/doinvest/directorsreports.shtml

    Reply

    • Posted by PS Drone on October 9, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      And how much are the associated liabilities?

      Reply

      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on October 9, 2020 at 2:32 pm

        And how much are the associated liabilities?
        Exactly! Sort of like the MLB pitcher who claims his ERA dropped by 3 runs, sounds great, until he tells you his ERA before the 3 run drop was 15 🙂

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on October 9, 2020 at 4:00 pm

          Reference points are VERY important.

          I recall a number of years back how loud a Public Sector Union was bitching that the members’ drug copay was going up by 66%, screaming at how outrageous that was.

          Turns out that it was going from $3 to $5 ………… when in the Private Sector (at that time) $15 to $25 was typical.

          Reply

          • Probably not the PBA. Our bitching is usually concentrated on bigger ticket items. Hence the “bigly” pensions you love to hate. Maybe the NJEA?
            Or better yet, how about a link? Hmmm? Best buddy? Pal of mine?
            How about we see what our 401k etc are a couple months after Biden is in there.
            Trump is right, pelosi is all OVeR this 25 amendment to use against BIDEN a year or two in!!!! He will be the new Trump to the far left.

          • The progressives are not satisfied at ALL with Biden. They will primary the hell out of many dems in the mid terms to get their people on board.
            This new generation doesn’t think like we do. My oldest (18) is way more liberal than I was at her age. Socialism is not a dirty word to them.
            Sad but true. Very few folks in the 18-25 age group will go for trump as opposed to Biden

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 9, 2020 at 7:04 pm

            Quoting E ………. “How about we see what our 401k etc are a couple months after Biden is in there.”

            Well Goldman Sack disagrees with you …………

            Article: “Goldman’s chief economist breaks down why a Biden-led blue wave would prompt an upgrade in growth forecasts”

            https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/stock-market-outlook-biden-blue-wave-boost-growth-goldman-sachs-2020-10-1029649255
            ————————–

          • I hope I am wrong. I really do. I hope respect for law and order is restored. And I surely hope I am wrong about the economy.
            I’ll gladly say, “best buddy you were right”.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 9, 2020 at 7:21 pm

            Lol ……… Can I assume that “right” includes my commentary about your pension & benefits ….. best buddy ?

          • You know what happens when you assume……😉

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on October 10, 2020 at 3:22 pm

            The progressives are not satisfied at ALL with Biden. They will primary the hell out of many dems in the mid terms to get their people on board.
            This new generation doesn’t think like we do. My oldest (18) is way more liberal than I was at her age. Socialism is not a dirty word to them.

            Sleepy Joe will not win, no way. Not happening. Mark my words. I have never seen a presidential race where one candidate-Trump- is holding HUGE mega rallies every other day. Likewise, I have never seen a Presidential candidate stay in his basement 6 out of 7 days and win. IMO there is no way Biden can win. Average voter will not vote for a clown who refuses to campaign, to sell himself, his ideas, his plan for America. Game over for sleepy Joe.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 10, 2020 at 3:49 pm

            Rex,

            You are delusional. Time for another rabies shot.

  4. “In 2019, 76.1% of state and locally administered defined-benefit public pension systems met or exceeded their actuarially determined contributions.”

    This is one area actual pension reform would help. MPC wrote about plans contributing 100 percent of ADCs and still increasing unfunded liability.

    Instead of contributing 100 percent of ADC, contribute each year what ever is necessary to bring the fund to 100 percent. Big difference.

    Doesn’t really matter if the discount rate is 7 percent or 4 percent.

    Reply

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on October 10, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      Instead of contributing 100 percent of ADC, contribute each year what ever is necessary to bring the fund to 100 percent. Big difference.

      Doesn’t really matter if the discount rate is 7 percent or 4 percent.
      You don’t say😒. TY Captain Obvious 💤💤

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 10, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Or, what is eminently justifiable and fair to the Taxpayers forced to pay for these ludicrously excessive Public Sector pension promises ………………

      Ignore such ADCs which are A FUNCTION OF (and calculated based upon) the excessive benefits promised, and INSTEAD SET (yes SET) the annual Taxpayer contribution level (as a % of pay) EQUAL TO the 4%-of-pay that is all most Private Sector workers get in retirement security from their employers and BACK-INTO the pension BENEFIT LEVEL that can be support by that 4%-of-pay contribution, and no more.

      Yeah Stephen Douglas, we know you won’t like that idea, because EQUAL is never enough for you.

      Reply

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