NJ Pensions Funding WC Insurers

The New Jersey State Comptroller released a report examining a practice within the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) that allows state, school and local government employees injured on the job to seek weekly benefits, a lump sum settlement or continuing medical coverage, in addition to an accidental disability pension.

As deleterious as this practice may be for the state pension fund, eliminating it will only cost taxpayers more when the bigger picture is considered.

The DWC’s policies encourage workers’ compensation petitioners to settle claims that undermine New Jersey’s pension funds, provide windfalls to workers’ compensation insurance providers, including joint insurance funds and private insurance companies, and provide medical monitoring and coverage to employees without evaluating whether these benefits are justified by the nature of the injury. The benefit of DWC’s approach to a public employee is that the employee receives the same amount of monetary compensation through the accidental disability pension (ADP) while receiving coverage for medical treatments for the work-related injury beyond the two-year statute of limitations normally in effect. (page 1)

Under DWC’s approach, joint insurance funds and other insurance providers that otherwise would be required to make considerable workers’ compensation payments pay nothing more than the costs associated with the proceeding and attorney’s fees and agree to cover future medical costs related to the injury….All of the downsides of DWC’s use of medical monitoring settlements in the manner discussed in this report fall on the State’s pension funds and, ultimately, New Jersey taxpayers, as financial obligations that would have been satisfied by insurance providers are placed on the pension funds. (page 2)

As part of its administration of the pension funds, DPB calculates and creditsoffsets due to the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits administered by DWC in accordance with the law….New Jersey courts have long recognized that workers’ compensation laws are intended to prohibit the double recovery of both pension benefits for injured workers stemming from the same injury.workers’ compensation and disability pension benefits for injured workers stemming from the same injury. (pages 5-6)

The pension funds would have retained an incalculable, but no doubt substantial,amount of money if DWC had not adopted medical monitoring and coverage policies for petitioners who receive an ADP, not departed from a focus on weekly wages, not created a different process for dismissing the claims, not waived the statute of limitations, and not created new rules for attorney’s fees. Even if it were well within DWC’s discretion to create the medical monitoring settlement policies, using that discretion in a way that causes financial harm to the State and its pension funds and that relieves insurers of their financial obligations is wasteful and inadvisable. (pages 14-15)

All that will be accomplished with the elimination of this scheme is a bigger bill for taxpayers. Whereas benefits are now being paid out of a pension system that New Jersey has no practical obligation to fund properly, when Workers, Compensation insurers have to pick up those costs they will most certainly pass it on to the state which, being a captive of the insurance industry, will have no alternative but to pay in full.

29 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on February 4, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    As deleterious as this practice may be for the state pension fund, eliminating it will only cost taxpayers more when the bigger picture is considered.
    Just move out here to CA if it gets worse in NJ, CA Gov HairGel works wonders here 👍👍👍
    “Gavin Newsom Joyfully Invites California to Reopen”

    Reply

    • Posted by geo8rge on February 5, 2021 at 1:17 pm

      As far as I can see in NJ, most of the closed small businesses have been replaced by new businesses, I am not seeing as many empty spaces in strip malls, former Sears locations are being filled. The problem with CA and NJ isn’t the little strip mall businesses leaving it is Tesla moving to Texas, Nabisco moving from Fairlawn NJ to Virginia, Honeywell to NC.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2021 at 3:56 pm

        I’m in Norther NJ, and I see PLENTY of unoccupied storefronts in high-end communities……. in town centers, in the strip malls, and in the bigger Malls.

        The rents are simply too high to support many business even in the best of times.

        Reply

        • Yes. Brick and mortar hurting for sure. But what is more alarming to the Northern NJ landscape is the amount of office space that will never come back. Pearson publishing was a big deal in my neck of the woods. Now it is townhomes. A & P, Mercedes, Sony, Hertz, Easai, not to mention the hotels that support them all being turned into housing in northern Bergen. Many office workers will never work anywhere but their own living rooms from now on. Rush hour is a sliver of what it once was. Like MJ says, ultimately it may be better. Instead of an hour commute into Manhattan each way, that is two extra hours one has to live life. Not to mention wear and tear on your car, tires brakes etc. all last a bit longer and huge win for the environment as many fewer tonnes of CO2 being thrust into the air. Not to mention, you can live just about anywhere now that you want and still be able to work from home. The decision to live somewhere will no longer be predicated on where the jobs are. Obviously, jobs like mine, construction, nurses, teachers (we hope) restaurants etc will still have to work in person. But softies like TL will probably never venture outside to go to work anymore. It’s jammies and cocoa from here on in. Very very little sacrifice made in terms of the This pandemic. But yet, she will point the finger at me who has been working through it from day one and want me to lose salary/bennies etc to make others whole, while she hasn’t lost a red cent during the pandemic. No thanks, I say, you first.

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          • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2021 at 8:23 pm

            Quoting ……………

            “But yet, she will point the finger at me who has been working through it from day one and want me to lose salary/bennies etc to make others whole,”

            WOW, what a stretch. And “to make others whole” ?

            The justification to reduce your compensation via materially less in pension accruals & healthcare benefits, has ZERO (yes ZERO) to do with the pandemic. It’s justified because you have been VERY materially over-compensated (by every reasonable metric) for probably 20 of your 25 years.
            ————————

            P.S. You started 🙂 🙂 🙂

            Reply

          • I know, from time to time I can’t resist. 😛
            It’s all in good fun. I try to be respectful doing it. Lol.

            Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2021 at 12:37 am

    Quoting …………….

    “All that will be accomplished with the elimination of this scheme is a bigger bill for taxpayers. Whereas benefits are now being paid out of a pension system that New Jersey has no practical obligation to fund properly,”

    Specifically …………”…. New Jersey has no practical obligation to fund properly.”

    “Funding” and “paying” are 2 different things.

    John,

    Are you saying that you now are of the opinion that NJ Pension Plan participants will NOT get all that they have been promised …. even if via a pay-go structure?

    Reply

  3. […] Posted on February 5, 2021 by Mary Pat Campbell NJ Pensions Funding WC Insurers […]

    Reply

  4. https://nypost.com/2021/02/05/qanon-shaman-unrecognizable-in-mugshot-from-virginia-jail/

    9 days without eating. Too bad a judge FORCED taxpayers not only to house him (good, I want him housed against his will for a long time) but to pay for his special organic food diet. Fuck that. As my mother used to say, this isn’t a restaurant, you eat what I make or you don’t eat. If he chooses NOT to nourish himself on the perfectly acceptable food offered, than let him pay the price of that—-up to and including starving to death. Should of thought of these things before he committed his treason by trying to overthrow a perfectly legal election.

    Reply

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on February 5, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      9 days without eating. Too bad a judge FORCED taxpayers not only to house him (good, I want him housed against his will for a long time) but to pay for his special organic food diet. Fuck that. As my mother used to say, this isn’t a restaurant, you eat what I make or you don’t eat. If he chooses NOT to nourish himself on the perfectly acceptable food offered, than let him pay the price of that—-up to and including starving to death.
      El Feo why must I always explain the law to you? #1- he has NOT been convicted of ANY crime yet. Nothing. Nada. Zero. #2-He is INNOCENT at this point, with mere allegations made by the Gov. Nothing more. #3- As MJ has stated, this guy, along with many many others (Jews, Muslims and many other religions/practices), follow a special diet because of their FAITH. Religion is a constitutionally protected RIGHT. So if the Gov wants to detain Chewbacca Bikini Boi, FINE, but they can, BUT they have to/are required under well settled law, give him the food he eats as part of a special diet or religion. If not the Gov can send him home on an OR release. Easy Peasy. I am surprised that you are not aware of this fact being in LE. County Jails have dealt with these very issues for decades, if not a century or longer. Nothing new here. Not uncharted waters by any stretch. I personally think the Gov is way off base here, charging this Clown with crimes that far exceed any reasonable probable cause (like claiming the innocuous note he let on the floor podium was some sort of future “death threat”, fucking A, please.

      Reply

      • I know the law Rex. I’m saying that I disagree with it. Which of course is my right.
        Have you taken cell block management training? I have. We all have since day 1. In your local clink, we have a 6 hr max for a prisoner before they must be taken to county jail or released. Not hard and fast, there are extenuating circumstances. If the time period when they are incarcerated occurs during a “normal” meal time. I.e noon or 6pm. We must offer them a meal. Usually a fast food meal from a local Wendy’s or Mickey D’s. If a guy of gal says “ I want x”. That’s too bad for him. They get what is reasonable. He also doesn’t have to eat it of course. We aren’t a hotel.
        n county jail it is different of course. I don’t think a prisoner needs to eat Kobe beef etc. and while all accommodations should be made for religious purposes, one can not say bring me filet Mignon.

        Reply

        • And incarceration is incarceration whether you are held pre trial or post conviction. All the same rules apply to every prisoner. So your first two points are moot. There is no distinction in county jail made for prisoners who have been convicted vs those held pre trial in terms of treatment.

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  5. E…..should Islamic prisoners, Hasidic prisoners, etc. be fed their special diets or should they have thought of the consequences before committing the crime?

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    • Their diets should be reasonably accommodated. I.e. the cheapest nourishment that sustains them. If the cost is the same than fine or close the fine. Most Islamic diets etc can be reasonably accommodates without extra cost. “The Shaman” doesn’t need grass fed, Kobe beef etc. if he is vegan give him some veggies etc.
      Personally, hunger strikes don’t do it for me. If he refuses the food, then fuck him. Maybe he needs those Viking horns or that bullhorn shoved where the sun don’t shine. As I get older I have less tolerance for far right and far left people. Go live somewhere else if you don’t like it. Or run for office. Which many progressives have successfully done. One is often judged by the company they keep. Whether it is the idiot Shaman or the woman killed in the Capitol or the one punched in the face over the phone. They were all doing something illegal. So….no sympathy here bro. Sorry

      Reply

  6. Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Worth reading ………….

    Article: “Critics Decry GASB Standards That Allow Governments to Hide Debt”

    https://townhall.com/columnists/johnnykampis/2021/02/05/critics-decry-gasb-standards-that-allow-governments-to-hide-debt-n2584229

    Quoting from the link….

    “GASB’s “Project 3-20: Recognition of Financial Statement Elements,” has seen its share of blowback from concerned parties. The concept would allow governments to continue their standard of cash-based accounting, which allows bureaucrats to prepare financial reports that show expenses only when the money is paid, not when the debt is incurred. TIA argues that this allows governments to show a rosier picture of taxpayer debt than what’s reality, helping government officials to kick the can down the road.”

    Consider THIS (which show just how misleading “cash-based” account can be):

    A brand new tech company hires a youngish workforce and tells each new worker that IF (and ONLY IF) they work there continuously for 25 years, the company guarantees 100% free Retiree Healthcare once they reach age 60. Now we know that when that time arrives some huge bills will come due, but under cash-basis accounting, the company doesn’t have to account for ANY of the sure-to-come expenses ….. until they arrive, likely 20+ years in the future.

    That makes NO sense ………. just like Public Sector pensions that discount supposedly iron-clad GUARANTEED benefits using an interest rate that is now more than TWICE the appropriate rate for discounting such strongly guaranteed future obligations.

    Reply

    • The state used to, many moons ago, deposit $$ in a fund for retiree health care. They stopped doing that and paid as they went. Still do. Difference is very very few state actives are left that will get this. My dept has only one guy left that had 20+ years on in 2011. There are between 12-18 or so officers, I’ll leave the exact number hidden somewhat to protect my anonymity (you never know) who made the deal with the devil to get back the 35% cost. Newer officers will not receive one dime towards medical after retirement (unless they can negotiate it back in). Most will leave at 20 years or become “lifers”. I.e 35+ year guys to get them to 65 and Medicare.

      Reply

      • Btw. This deal has been very popular in this area over the last 5-7 years.

        Reply

      • Posted by PS Drone on February 5, 2021 at 10:02 pm

        Sounds fair; you get it, they don’t. I guess their risk and effort are less than yours? Maybe, just maybe, it was not fiscally appropriate or “fair” to begin with.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2021 at 10:05 pm

          Sarcasm …. on steroids.

          Reply

        • Perhaps, but that is your opinion. But let’s not pretend that whether in the public sector or private sector, it is unheard of for management to offer an incentive to a bargaining group with the caveat that the incentive is not carried over to employees who have not been hired yet. (Grandfathering —but but the term has slavery connatations and we shan’t use it anymore🙄). The idea being that they realize what they are signing up for.
          But I agree, I did feel like I needed a shower after agreeing to that deal. I’m not a cold hearted person. We did them dirty and I fully admit to that. Not proud of it. However, my friend TL stated that she would’ve taken the same deal offered and I reckon you would’ve too. The town wanted it in the worst way. It was a win/win/lose for the town/actives/futures.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2021 at 10:52 pm

            Quoting ……………….

            ” But let’s not pretend that whether in the public sector or private sector, it is unheard of for management to offer an incentive to a bargaining group with the caveat that the incentive is not carried over to employees who have not been hired yet. ”

            EXCEPT THAT …………. “Union membership in the private sector has fallen to 6.2%”……………https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_unions_in_the_United_States

            The other 93.8% don’t get to “bargain” with their employer. They take what they are offered or can choose to go elsewhere.

            Because Tax revenue mostly comes from those in PRIVATE employment (93.8% of whom do not belong to Unions), there is no justification for Public Sector workers (mostly Unionized) to be granted greater Total Compensation that their Private Sector counterparts.

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on February 6, 2021 at 2:11 am

            The other 93.8% don’t get to “bargain” with their employer.
            What the F#*K are you talking about? You sure as hell CAN “bargain” with your employer as a non-union employee, and can probably drive a great deal IF you know how to negotiate. The problem in Gov is that they are not really bargaining, they are essentially bribing.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2021 at 2:05 pm

            In the non-Union Private Sector, with the exception of C-Suite executives and a very few extremely talented technical workers critical to a company’s continued existence and/or new product development, VERY VERY few employees have any real bargaining power.

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on February 6, 2021 at 9:41 pm

            In the non-Union Private Sector, with the exception of C-Suite executives and a very few extremely talented technical workers critical to a company’s continued existence and/or new product development, VERY VERY few employees have any real bargaining power.
            Bullshit. The pay you get is set by the market, not the employer.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2021 at 11:40 pm

            Do you actually have a job ?

            When was the last time you responded to your boss when told that you were getting a 2% raise this year with ……….. NO, it’s going to be 5%, take it or leave it?

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          • I lied. I didn’t see this thread before. Rex is right. Cmon TL, anyone that does there job well can most assuredly negotiate and make counteroffers/ask for a raise. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you work your ass off and your boss doesn’t realize or recognize your efforts it is upon YOU to show why you deserve more $$ or extra vac days etc. if he says no, then you can take a walk if there is a better deal out there. Very few jobs that are decent are take it or leave it. An employer always comes in a little low and allows for some wiggle room. Sometimes not, it depends on the relationship.
            Everything is negotiable.
            Yes, the shop rite cashier or deli man won’t be able to successfully get a larger raise compared to her fellow workers (they are Union so bad example) but anyone who brings $$ in to a business, sales etc certainly can. My wife is compensated best in the office. Why? Because she hammers these asshole insurance companies for payment and is very very good at what she does. When she works from home I see firsthand how well she does. I guarantee you that if tomorrow she went in and demanded a 10% raise they would give it to her. She is that good. Brings hundreds of thousands if not millions into the practice and she is worth every damn penny.
            Rex has said that he is retired and in his seventies and no longer works and just does the dog rescue. Good for him. We don’t know YOUR deal. Are you doing well and are a Scrooge? Or not doing well and hate on folks like me because your jealous? I say the first… since you had to let Marine1 know that he doesn’t have it Better than you!!!

            Reply

          • That mentality, TL, of “take what they give me” and “I’m just happy to have a job” is a LOSER mentality!!!!

            Maybe that 2% raise u mention is below market value and can be negotiated ⬆️
            Maybe not. But it doesn’t hurt to ask and back it up w stats. Where on Gods green earth would your police officers be if they didn’t fight for wage increase etc.
            George Carlin said it best….the boss wants you smart enough to run the machines but stupid enough to not realize you’re getting fucked.
            Sometimes I don’t think you would make a very good supervisor/leader/manager. It appears that you would lack empathy towards your employees and have a lot of turnover because you would low ball them and then fire them if they dared ask for more. You make it seem like in the “real world” every day folks are scared to death if their bosses and are lucky to have what the boss is willing to offer. Laughable. We just had a guy retire and take a job as a safety manager for a very large tree service firm. So much for not making it in the private sector. Stupid attitude from someone who always feels the need to be the smartest one in the room. 🙄
            How many retired cops that want to work are telling you”
            Gee Queen TL, you were so right this private sector is sooooooo hard to work in, I can’t find a job anywhere”🙄🙄
            Truth, doesn’t mean I don’t like you…I have my character flaws too.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 7, 2021 at 2:36 pm

            Quoting …………….

            “Where on Gods green earth would your police officers be if they didn’t fight for wage increase etc.”

            Let’s correct that ………………

            “Where on Gods green earth would your police officers be if they didn’t have the opportunity to “negotiate” with ELECTED OFFICIALS:

            (1) that THEY helped get elected,
            (2) that THEY threaten to work against their re-election if they don’t go along with their agenda, and
            (3) they generously donate to their campaigns when those Elected Officials agree (quietly of course) to go along with their agenda?”

            P.S. Agenda = MORE, MORE, and MORE

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on February 8, 2021 at 11:49 pm

            Rex has said that he is retired and in his seventies
            Holy shit 🤦‍♂️ Where the F did you dream this up?? 70’s …LOL! … OFF by a country mile … SMH

            Reply

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