NJ Local Pension Bills

Annual pension contributions from local employers in New Jersey come due next week based on the June 30, 2019 actuarial valuations. The state website only has the breakdown in pdf format but it was easy enough to export the numbers into excel for the PERS and PFRS plans.

Many local employers are also drafting their 2021 budgets so it was interesting to see what one of them (Union County) allocated as pensions costs for 2021.

From the Union County 2021 executive budget:

Comparing what was budgeted to what was billed for PERS and PFRS:

Increases in pension contributions are exempt from the budget levy cap calculation. Could Union County be arbitrarily adding what turned out to be $750,000 in 2020 and $466,195 in 2021 to pension costs to sucker more money out of taxpayers? Can anyone out there come up with another explanation?

115 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 3:11 am

    If NJ Police won’t voluntarily agree to VERY MATERIAL reductions in total compensation, every town in NJ should replace at least half their Police force with Special Class II Officers. Especially appropriate in the quiet bedroom communities of northern NJ.

    https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2021/03/25/special-police-officers-nj-towns-find-benefits-risks-job/4296944001/

    Reply

    • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 8:35 am

      What exactly is a bedroom community now that half the people in them work from home now? Like you.
      And silly lady, read some of the contracts (including ours) out there. You can’t replace a full time officer with a class 2. Not to mention, most if not all are in shore towns and are young kids trying to get hired, or old timers trying to Kill some time —and having never given up on their dream to get hired. You’d never get full time coverage with these guys. Nice try tho.
      You will just keep paying. Thanks 👍

      Reply

      • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 8:49 am

        Oh wait——you mean you will go to the academy for 6 months and go through the training/6am runs etc to come out and work weekends, midnights and holidays for $22 an hour?? Not to mention the risk involved with QI teetering on extinction? You’ll run headstrong into the DV and mentallly ill calls with every action you take available for the whole world to see on your BWC? Lol. Give me a break—dumb bell. Maybe your dumbest idea yet. And for the record, I’d never voluntarily give up any of my compensation. Like you would? Haha. Fuck you, pay me.

        Reply

        • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 26, 2021 at 12:10 pm

          Haha. Fuck you, pay me.
          EG, why the fuck do you keep saying “fuck you” to TL? I mean seriously, saying TL is a “fucking dork” is one thing, saying “FU TL” to her is another… Besides, I thought the “Online EG-TL Bromance” between you two tree huggers was back on? Dial that hatred down a few notches. I mean you don’t even say that to me, your #1 nemesis here 🤐🤐🤐

          Reply

          • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 1:04 pm

            Because……she deserves it. Lol. She spends soooooo much of her limited time here in this wonderful planet worried about what I earn when she clearly can afford it. It seems to be her passion as yours is with rescue dogs.
            I’m always nice, until she starts up with her jealousy.

            Reply

          • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 1:05 pm

            And you’ll have to ask her if the bromance is back on.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 1:27 pm

            E,

            Nothing I say is personal.

            I simply (and strongly) advocate for material reductions in excessive (by every reasonable metric) Public Sector pensions and benefits. And with few exceptions only for reductions in FUTURE service pension accruals ……. but yes, for almost all CURRENT workers, there being no justification for granting additional accruals on a basis known to be excessive (thereby digging the financial hole we are in in even deeper).

            Police pensions get (and deserve) a lot of commentary simply because by their being the most generous, are the most egregious.

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 26, 2021 at 1:31 pm

            I am backing TL on this one EG, dial it back some SJW…

            Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 12:33 pm

          Quoting …………

          “And for the record, I’d never voluntarily give up any of my compensation.”

          Who said that the abused Taxpayers should give YOU the choice. When the need arises, the Gov’t TAKE THINGS AWAY to “fix” it.

          Reply

          • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 1:12 pm

            Give it a try then. Advocate at meetings. Lol.
            Govt take things away? Like my AR??? Ha. NO cops (I would hope) would take part in any of that nonsense.
            Come and take it TL.
            You sound just like Larry Krasner. “We will arrest any federal officers who come to our city against our wishes”. Really Larry? Who is gonna arrest them ? You? The cops that hate your guts? That class 2 you talking about?
            Dumb bell.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 1:18 pm

            “Take things away” ……….. Lawfully of course.

            Perhaps through a Bankruptcy or similar proceeding where the (excessive) promises made mean nothing.

            Reply

          • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 2:16 pm

            Dream on woman. Why waste time with things you know won’t happen in either of our lifetimes?

            Reply

    • Posted by Marine1 on March 26, 2021 at 9:03 am

      TL- outside of summer time shore towns they are limited as to how many hours they can work,they receive no benefits or pension. It’s a stepping stone to be a full time officer. The legislature would have to change the current law and Murphy would have to sign. In this climate why would anyone do it without a benefit package ? Yes it’s an exciting part time job for college kids,but the risk is too great. You could get hurt with no disability pension,charged with something due to racism hysteria. No thanks,better part time jobs without the headache.

      Reply

      • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 9:19 am

        She knows Marine. She knows. The taxpayers themselves with expensive homes and families etc would not want that in their hometowns. She knows it’s a non starter. She can’t stand me anymore. Maybe you ought to try to get some things thru that thick skull of hers. Lol.

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:11 am

        Hmmmmm ….

        For the average NJ Private Sector worker, NO PENSION is 10 TIMES closer to the “value” of what Private Sector workers get in retirement security from their employers than what Public Sector workers take from the Taxpayers.

        Reply

      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 26, 2021 at 12:25 pm

        TL- outside of summer time shore towns they are limited as to how many hours they can work,they receive no benefits or pension. It’s a stepping stone to be a full time officer.
        In Krazee KA EVERYONE in the LE system gets the 3%@50 pension, even lowly CSO’s and correctional deputies. Even the moron probation officers, including the Juvie “Probation Officers” (juvie correctional deputies). BTW, the Juvie probation officers, the lowest level in county LE, pays $25/hour ” ++ full benefits+3%@50 pension, and the people they hire are idiots- the basic HS grad idiot. Don’t even try to tell me these gold plated ridiculous comp packages are needed to hire WalMart level employees ….

        Reply

        • Posted by Marine1 on March 26, 2021 at 12:59 pm

          Rex- There is a difference between a juvenile detention officer and juvenile probation officer. One is basically a prison guard,high school diploma and the other is a community corrections officer,college degree. To confuse things more,in our state probation doesn’t carry,but parole does. In many states probation/parole are combined and they carry. In any case not the same job as a juvenile detention officer.

          Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 26, 2021 at 1:18 pm

            In the CA juvie system the “correctional deputies” WERE labeled “Probation Officers”, which on its face is a misnomer, but that is what they called them. I just checked it and now they are called “Deputy Juvenile Correctional Officer” and are still a branch of the Probation Department.

            BTW- here the the requirements for OC Sheriff Deputy “TRAINEE” … Enjoy 🙂

            Deputy Sheriff Trainee

            Salary
            $72,300.80 Annually [not counting the $100K/year in fringes!]

            MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

            Age: Must be at least 20 years of age on date of appointment.
            Citizenship: Must be a U.S.. citizen or permanent resident alien who has filed for citizenship prior to the date of application.
            Education: U.S.. High School Diploma –OR- U.S.. General Education Development Credential (GED) –OR- A California High School Proficiency Certificate –OR- Have attained a two-year or four-year degree from a U.S.. accredited college or university.🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

            https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/oc/jobs/3015000/deputy-sheriff-trainee

            Reply

  2. Posted by MJ on March 26, 2021 at 7:25 am

    If they’re snookering us with false pension bills I have no doubt that they are snookering us taxpayers every other way that they can…..and I wonder how did things get to the way they are? and nobody seems to care

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:34 am

      MJ,

      That’s why I believe it would be so enlightening to enumerate ALL of the outrageous contract provisions that over-compensate, provided an absurd level of protection from being held accountable for wrong-doing, goose their pay & benefits in SOOOO many ways not available to Private Sector workers, and let THEM rule-the-roost with Work Rules that inappropriately tie the hands of Town Officials.

      Below (remove the leading and ending * characters) is a link to ALL of NJ’s Town-specific employment contracts.

      *https://www.perc.state.nj.us/publicsectorcontracts.nsf*

      Use the Search tab to bring up the employment contracts from the town you want to look at, noting that the choices to look at include the most recent and older contracts separately for Police and other groups of employees.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      MJ,

      re your ………. “and I wonder how did things get to the way they are? and nobody seems to care” ……… is perplexing.

      I believe that is primarily because Private Sector workers are (a) simply too busy living their lives to dig into this, and (b) are woefully uninformed as to the magnitude of the financial “rip-off”.

      Perhaps the shit-will-hit-the fan if Private Sector retirement funds take the full hit from a BIG downturn in the equity markets ……. and realize that Public Sector workers suffer NOTHING re their VERY generous promised pensions ………. and that THEY (the Taxpayers) have to not only re-build their now lower retirement assets, but pay MORE in taxes to guaranteed the un-impacted Public Sector pensions.

      Reply

  3. Posted by MJ on March 26, 2021 at 7:26 am

    TL it won’t let me open the article without subscribing, can you give us the summary?

    Reply

    • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 8:31 am

      Same. I haven’t subscribed to that rag in years now. Basically CNN in print.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:19 am

      An excerpt ………

      There are benefits to having a thriving special police program beyond cutting budgets, said Thomas Shea, director of the Police Graduate Studies program at Seton Hall University and a retired Long Branch police lieutenant.

      Yes, the officers are typically paid far less than their full-time colleagues. But they’re also easier to remove if they don’t meet department standards, Shea said.

      “You’re kind of weeding people out,” Shea said. “I wish it was the norm to hire someone as a special with no job protection. It’s good for the first two years… because then you really know what they’re all about.”

      Shea also isn’t surprised officers such as Balistrieri — who still hopes to get a full-time job with a police department — are willing to take the risk.

      “These guys will take any of these jobs just to get their foot in the door somewhere,” Shea said.
      —————————————-

      Reply

      • Posted by Marine1 on March 26, 2021 at 11:48 am

        TL- I’m not surprised that people will do it as a stepping stone to full time employment with pension/benefits. That’s entirely different from replacing full time officers with part time officers permanently.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:55 am

          My point is that the SIGNIFICANT over-compensation of Police Officers in NJ (primarily via the ludicrously excessive generosity and hence COST of their Pension & Benefits) should NOT be allowed to stand, and one way to address this is via a replacement of half the current Officers with the lower-compensated Class II Officers.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:59 am

            Marine1,

            Did you see my above comment ………..

            “For the average NJ Private Sector worker, NO PENSION is 10 TIMES closer to the “value” of what Private Sector workers get in retirement security from their employers than what Public Sector workers take from the Taxpayers.”

            That’s a TRUE Statement wrt the cost of Police pensions. There is ZERO justification for this abuse of NJ’s Taxpayers. If it takes replacing half of them with lower-paid Class II Officers to make them understand that this structure needs to END quickly, then so be it.

            Reply

          • Never happen. Shut the fuck up and leave the cops alone. Our contracts are there for the world to see. And yet we have 2 cops on this thread and 3 or 4 regulars that aren’t. And only one is a female. And only one is really a dumb bell. Lol.
            No one would want this job with no pension and bennies and crap pay for too long. And yea $22 an hour is crap pay for our area. Stepping stone yea.
            Did you see Chief Anzilotti retiring? He is exactly what you want in law enforcement. An exceptional talent that will be missed.
            Class 2 is great for crowd control, concerts, directing traffic and keeping the boardwalk in order. That’s about it.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 12:41 pm

            E,

            I’m hardly a “dumb bell”. If I were ………… and weren’t demonstrably SHOWING how excessive and unjustified Public Sector compensation packages are …… you’d simply ignore me.

            You don’t because you KNOW that my comments are accurate and my strong advocacy for change is well-founded.
            ————————-

            And more with the ………” Shut the fuck up” ?

            You’re better than that ……… it’s not personal.

            Reply

          • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 1:15 pm

            That’s why I’m rolling with dumbbbell as opposed to fuck you pay me. I save that for when you really deserve it. You should talk. Nothing personal? Yea right. YOU also are better than that. And yet here we are.

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 26, 2021 at 8:06 pm

            Lol!😂

            You’re not demonstrably SHOWING anything but your bias and irrationality.

            You’re just precociously posting your opinion.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 9:50 pm

            The ONLY demonstration that would satisfy you …….. no matter how ERRONEOUSLY constructed ………..would be one that showed the opposite of the very obvious over-compensation of Public Sector workers.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 10:58 pm

            E,

            I read an article about Chief Anzilotti’s retirement. Lot’s of praise and it appears he was a valuable/productive LEO. We need more like him.

            A public database search shows his base wages were $250,000 in 2019 as Chief of County Investigators I’m sure it’s higher now (in 2021) but I’ll use the $250K.

            With 29 years of service, giving a 69% of final pay pension, his annual pension will be $250K x 0.69 = $172,845 or $14,404 monthly. On a lump sum value basis, using a discount rate similar to what Moody’s uses in such calculations, that pension …. starting at his current age of 51 (yes 51 !) ……… has a “value” just over $3 Million.

            If that stream of monthly pension payments were purchased (as a single payment single-life annuity) from a writer of Annuity contracts, it would assuredly cost even more because they would determine the cost using a LOWER rate than Moody’s (as well as include a modest increment for profit). In addition, if his pension includes any continuing payments to his wife if he dies first, and it does not require a reduction in monthly payout for it, then the lump sum value of his pension is also higher…….. and by 10% to 15% if his full pension continues unreduced until the 2-nd death (raising the $3 Million lump sum value to about $3.45 Million).

            While I didn’t look up his contract, I’ll guess* that he and his family will get NJ’s “platinum+” health insurance free of charge in retirement. The CURRENT annual cost is about $35K/yr and with 14 years to age 65 (at which time eligibile for Medicare …… and a much reduced cost to NJj’s Taxpayers), a LOW estimate of the Taxpayer cost of this retiree healthcare coverage is 14 x $35,000 = $490,000. With Medical care inflation over the next 14 years, that $450,000 will likely increase to at least $600,000.

            Because I have no idea what a perfectly-determined & appropriate wage for Chief Anzilotti is, I won’t question his (quite HIGH) wage of $250,000, but I sure DO believe that layering ON TOP OF THAT a retirement package (pension + retiree Healthcare) that will cost Taxpayer on the underside of $4 Million is …… ludicrously excessive.

            ——————–

            * Yes Stephen Douglas ….. I made a “guess” !

            Reply

          • Chief Anzilotti’s retirement is like a lightning rod for pension opponents. Without his and others like him (see Transparent California), the anti pension movement would have lost traction.

            Here I agree with Ed Ring…

            “Impose a ceiling on pension benefits to retirees, based on the principle that pensions are supposed to ensure retirement security, not lavish affluence.”

            As has been legislated in California, and other states. I do -not- agree it should apply to current employees. Pensions are a long term program and should be changed slowly and carefully.

            Of course that means some salaries will be raised to offset the lower pensions.

            “Similarly, establish a floor for pension benefits to retirees, based on the principle that employees at the low end of the pay scale are nonetheless entitled to retire with an income sufficient to live with dignity.”

            Might get some pushback there. But that is a separate story. “Separate but equal”, in fact. It’s a policy decision.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2021 at 12:25 am

            Quoting ………………

            ““Similarly, establish a floor for pension benefits to retirees, based on the principle that employees at the low end of the pay scale are nonetheless entitled to retire with an income sufficient to live with dignity.””

            Public Sector workers “at the lower end of the pay scale” are “entitled” to NO MRE than what comparable Private Sector workers are compensated.

            Taxpayers are tried of being treated as the SUCKER in the room.
            —————————-

            Quoting ……………..

            ““Impose a ceiling on pension benefits to retirees, based on the principle that pensions are supposed to ensure retirement security, not lavish affluence.”
            As has been legislated in California, and other states. I do -not- agree it should apply to current employees.”

            The first sentence suggest that you agree to the cap because WITHOUT it the pensions are excessive. Yet by NOT applying it to the FUTURE service of all CURRENT workers you are calling for (via non-implementation of such a cap) a continuation of the excessive pensions for the balance of a career that my be 30 more years.

            Illogical ………. and indicative of your Pro-Public-Sector-worker mentality.

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 27, 2021 at 2:51 am

            I agree with the cap because the purpose of a pension is to provide retirement security. Period.
            Whether one makes $50,000 a year or $250,000, a $70,000 pension should keep the wolves away from the door. If you want Continental vacations, set aside part of that $250,000. Only, in lieu of the higher pension, the employer may need to offer $275,000 wages to “attract and retain” a -new employee- to the same job. Smaller pension, same total compensation. Nothing excessive about it.

            We’ve covered this before. Still, I think, in the “normal” range where state workers average $60k to 70k/yr, we will see a continuation of tbe same principle… public workers will receive a higher portion of compensation as benefits than do equivalent private sector workers.

            Reply

          • Posted by E on March 27, 2021 at 4:16 pm

            He was truly an exceptional investigator. While working up the ranks, he solved many old cold cases. Sammy “the Bull” Gravano. The “ice man” serial killer. I know him well. He was THAT good. He rose to the top through exceptional work performance. Competition is healthy. All are NOT created equal. I will be the first to say , I don’t deserve the pay he got. A big loss for Bergen. But it was time. He will write his own ticket with his consulting work he plans in doing.

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 27, 2021 at 11:07 pm

            Chief Anzilotti’s retirement is like a lightning rod for pension opponents. Without his and others like him (see Transparent California), the anti pension movement would have lost traction.
            IDIOT^^^^^ ALERT FROM MONKEY BOI!

            Reply

        • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 26, 2021 at 12:19 pm

          TL- I’m not surprised that people will do it as a stepping stone to full time employment with pension/benefits.
          Here in Krazee KA we have what is known in Police Dept’s as “Community Service Officers” or CSO’s for short. Mainly School Districts and Gov colleges (yes our large school districts have their very own PD’s). They’re like what you’re speaking of, a “helper” officer. And a CSO is just that, a “stepping stone” to a FT LEO position, and the pay between the two is drastic (much lower for a CSO). We also now have “Correctional Deputies” for our 58 county jail systems. These are fairly new (last 20-25 years). The jails USED to be staffed by fully certified “Peace Officers”, or fully sworn County Deputies (all fully sworn and certified cops in CA are technically “Peace Officers”). No one wanted to join the County Sheriff back then IF they could get hired as a City Cop because the County Deputies were MANDATED to spend their first 5 years in the jail system, they did NOT go to Patrol until they did their stint in the jails. Then they added a newer, and lower classification of deputies called “Correctional Deputies” and they work ONLY in the Count jail system. Of course no one wants to be a “Correctional Deputy”.

          Reply

          • I ask Tl to put her $$ where her mouth is on this one. Write a letter to the editor at the record and see if it gets published. Start a Facebook page dedicated to it and attend a council meeting and present the idea. You can do via zoom and won’t have to leave the house. 😉
            What a great idea!!! And it the process you can educate ALL on the financial rape of the taxpayer by the police officers in town. Show some balls sister. Instead of 3 other guys on this blog. Dumb bell.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 12:53 pm

            I may do so (anonymously of course), simply enumerating all of the absurd provisions included in a typical NJ Police employment contract.

            And request that they publish it and ask their readers if they think such provisions are appropriate and fair to Taxpayers called upon to pay for it.

            Reply

          • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 1:19 pm

            I don’t think the paper will publish anonymous opinions. Maybe online? Many rags have disabled this feature in an attempt to stop the division etc and hateful comments that were plentiful. Nj.com did the same thing. I don’t subscribe to either one. Used to get the record delivered back in the Stone Age lol.
            Twitter will. And why the fear about sharing your identity with something you are so passionate about.

            Reply

          • Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 1:20 pm

            And be real…..the record has been anti cop forever. Whether it’s social justice wise or fiscal wise there is never a shortage out there from them. Join the club. Throw your name in the mix.
            Nothing that hasn’t been covered before ad nauseum.

            Reply

  4. Posted by E on March 26, 2021 at 9:16 am

    https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2021/03/26/biden-health-republican-senators-477813

    Brilliant move by the GOP. A majority of them should take this approach. By the opposition commending him and stating that Biden is sharp as a tack, it puts loads of pressure on the progressives trying to replace him with Harris anytime soon. Buying time to win the 2022 races. Brilliant. That’s politics for you.

    Reply

    • Posted by Marine1 on March 26, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      E- Have no fear my Brother. Philadelphia has a plan to curb gun violence. Drum roll please: Hire more female officers 🙄. I have an idea,how about we let the males on the job be the warriors they were trained to be,start locking up people,get a DA who actually cares about the safety of the people,get a new Mayor and a new Police Chief. I bet that might be a great start. Rome is burning and they are still playing politics.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    More good news ……………….

    Article: “Dominion Voting Systems files $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News for ‘orchestrated defamatory campaign'”

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/26/media/dominion-voting-systems-fox-news-lawsuit/index.html

    Reply

  6. Posted by MJF on March 26, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Not sure it matters, anyone can sue anybody for anything. Remember the rating agencies that blew the entire world to bits in ’08. They plead 1st amendment that their work was free speech and they skated. Dominion can be in that biz if they want but they need to be careful about what happens with their products.

    Reply

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 26, 2021 at 4:22 pm

      Remember the rating agencies that blew the entire world to bits in ’08. They plead 1st amendment that their work was free speech and they skated.
      Do not recall this, but in any event FRAUD is an exception to Free Speech.

      Reply

  7. Posted by A on March 26, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Posted by Tough Love on March 25, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    “…The result ……. higher Public Sector Total Compensation ……….. YUP, that pesky 23%-of-pay Total Compensation ADVANTAGE in both NJ and CA.”
    ………………………………………..
    But what about Vermont?

    Pension tsunami, Mar. 26
    Vermont Lawmakers Pitch Plan to Shore Up Pension Funds (Calvin Cutler / WCAX-TV)

    (by asking teachers and state employees to pay more and get less.) Of course.

    If Biggs is correct, or was correct, Vermont public worker compensation is “market level” (+/- 5%, by his definition) what caused their underfunding crisis? Certainly not ludicrously excessive compensation.

    And yet, that is the solution. That is “reform”.
    Pay more.
    Get less.

    How about diagnosing the actual problem and instituting appropriate reform?

    DON’T PAY THE BILLS, THE DEBT GETS LARGER.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 9:45 pm

      I’m not in Vermont, and NEITHER are you.

      Reply

      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 26, 2021 at 10:05 pm

        Dougieeeee is currently in Anaheim CA, in Fantasyland … 🤸‍♀️👍🤸‍♀️👍

        Reply

    • Vermont is underfunded for the same reason California and New Jersey are. Failure to fund. Even with market rate compensation. Wisconsin is eminently sustainable because they have a commitment to funding, not because their pensions are less generous.

      The Reason Foundation recognizes it. Josh McGee sees it. Take off your blinders. Solve the real problem, not your imaginary ones. It won’t work and it makes you look even more foolish.

      “Much can be learned from the best funded plans, like those in South Dakota, New York, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. Plans in each of these states are better than 90% funded at this point because policymakers have been proactive in adjusting important assumptions, closing funding gaps quickly, and developing risk-sharing mechanisms that can fairly adjust contributions or benefits as needed. These states demonstrate that it is possible to sustainably manage a defined-benefit pension plan.”

      https://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/how-to-avert-a-public-pension-crisis

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:25 pm

        From Bigg’s AEI study, Vermont is showing a 2%-of-pay Public Sector Total Compensation advantage (rising to 4% if the greater value of Public Sector job security is factored in).

        Bigg’s study also shows significantly greater-in-value Public Sector pensions & benefits in Vermont, but the significantly greater pensions and benefits are MOSTLY offset by 17% lower Public Sector wages.

        So …….. other than that small Public Sector advantage, their Public Sector total compensation (as judged by comparison to comparable Private Sector workers) is quire reasonable …………….. noting the NOT insignificant issue that Public Sector SAFETY workers are excluded from Bigg’s study, and given their MUCH greater than average wages and pensions, had they been INCLUDED, the Public Sector Total Compensation advantage would assuredly been considerably greater than the 2% (or 4%) noted above.

        If we put aside the (NOT insignificant) issue of non-inclusion of Safety workers in the Public/Private Sector compensation comparison, I agree that the ROOT CAUSE of the mediocre funding ratio, is not grossly excessive Total Compensation ……… as IS THE CASE in NJ ……… but inadequate funding.
        ———————

        See that Stephen ………. in the rare case it’s true, I willing to agree. You should try doing the same.

        Reply

      • Posted by A on March 27, 2021 at 3:08 am

        Military and safety workers the world over have been retiring early for decades. One little asshat stomping feet in New Jersey won’t change that.

        You need more data. You need convincing logic. You need history, or case studies, or… much bigger shoes.

        Reply

        • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 27, 2021 at 9:14 am

          Military and safety workers the world over have been retiring early for decades. One little asshat stomping feet in New Jersey won’t change that.

          You need more data. You need convincing logic. You need history, or case studies, or… much bigger shoes.
          That’s rich, a GED educated lightbulb changer who lies more than Pinocchio giving out more “free” propaganda… STFU you stupid little Progressive Surrender Monkey ….🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒

          Reply

      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 27, 2021 at 9:17 am

        Vermont is underfunded for the same reason California and New Jersey are. Failure to fund.
        Yeah, that’s right Monkey Boi, and WHY can’t they fund? Because they can’t afford multi million $$$ pensions at age 50 for GED educated public idiots, idiots like YOU….🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒

        Reply

    • They are not just better funded, they are better funded -and- sustainable, at a lower cost.

      Reply

    • As it happens, Mary Pat Campbell just reposted a link to her 2017 article…

      “Public Pensions: Why Do 100% Required Contribution Payers Have Decreasing Fundedness?”

      Which should explain that string of “full” payments ” from 2007 to 2015 (and beyond).

      Scary, isn’t it? Illinois and New Jersey get constant press, but Vermont and dozens of other states are on the brink. State and city workers are paying the price for shortages “through no fault of their own.”

      Once you get behind, it’s doubly hard to catch up.

      Reply

  8. Posted by A on March 26, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    What the hell happened in the nineties anyway?
    Pete Wilson tried to tap CalPERS
    Whitman hit up New Jersey pensions
    Howard Dean sabotaged Vermont

    Reply

    • Posted by MJF on March 26, 2021 at 9:49 pm

      If you stack the blue sticks on each other then the black sticks on each other you get a blue tent beside a black skyscraper. Thanks for posting that it is a great visual.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:38 pm

        A VERY informative visual would be one that replaces the (darker blue) Statutory Annual Required Contributions (ARC) that are associated with (and directly calculated as a function of) the promised NJ pension Plan generosity, with similar ARCs, but determined based on DB pension with a generosity level EQUAL to what Private Sector workers typically get (mostly now in 401K DC Plan contributions) from their employers.

        Why ? Because Public Sector workers never :”deserved” any more.

        And there is a good chance might find that ………….. averaged of the years …….. the re-constituted DARK BLUE bars are no greater than the LIGHT BLUE bars (the ACTUAL Taxpayer contributions).

        YUP ……… in NJ (and most other places) the ROOT CAUSE of the pension mess is NOT the lack of full funding, but ludicrously excessive pension generosity.

        Reply

        • Posted by MJF on March 27, 2021 at 5:47 am

          Sure and there is the added issue of cost accounting versus accrual that may have skewed these numbers greatly. And not to mention the blatant dishonesty of the actuarial industry. The point I found interesting was that these pensions were never funded, not even close. I don’t get how you can screw something up this badly and get away with it.

          Reply

          • Any dishonesty from the Plan actuaries pales in comparison to the dishonesty, self-interest, and arrogance of the Public Sector Unions and our Union-bought Elected Officials.

            It’s the structure, created by Elected Officials (with Union input of course) and the well-pension judiciary (refusing to do something about it) that are to blame. They “get away with it” because Union campaign contributions …….. that BUY the favorable votes of out Elected Officials on pension & benefit …… are legal.

            NOBODY should be able to buy those votes (aka …. OWN those Elected Officials). Not rich people, not Corporate America, and certainly not UNIONS (Private or Public).

            Reply

    • You’re welcome. It’s one of my favorites. Right up there with Pogo.

      We have met the enemy.

      Reply

  9. More people are beginning to recognize it. Pension reform is more necessary than ever. And more urgent. Sure, DC pensions are an option, but with their own set of problems. DBs can be salvaged, and -some- may require a bailout… in exchange for more strict controls.

    IMHO

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 26, 2021 at 11:48 pm

      Quoting ……………

      “and -some- may require a bailout… in exchange for more strict controls. ”

      MUCH better (and eminently justifiable due to the excessive generosity in current Plans) is a VERY modest bailout in exchange for SIGNIFICANT decreases in PAST AND FUTURE service accruals, for BOTH Actives & those already Retired …………… as well an end to ALL retiree healthcare subsidies.

      Public Sector workers are NOT “special” and deserving of a better deal (ANY better deal) than the Taxpayers called upon to pay for yours.

      Reply

  10. May be.

    So you are willing to agree with the Vermont situation?

    Do you get points for that? (………. in the rare case it’s true)

    Because, I wouldn’t wager two shekels on it.

    I don’t know why, as much as I respect Biggs 2014 paper, you, the ersatz financial expert, cannot understand that this one paper is not the definitive word on public/private pay. Not now, not even when it was written.

    Case in point… Vermont, 2010. Like most other states was still reeling from the Greatest Recession. Just scanning articles, I see they took salary reductions -and- various pension reforms (reductions. Call a spade a spade.)

    Biggs data was from 2008 to 2012, a very volatile economic period, both public and private. Were those give backs (from the greedy all powerful cancerous unions) included in Biggs calculations?
    For that matter, were the New Jersey COLA eliminations of 2011 included? Or the California PEPRA reductions. You want to take a guess? Because that may, or may not, blow a crater in your 23 percent meme. A big crater.

    Want to take a guess?

    “I willing to agree.”?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2021 at 2:05 am

      Biggs is a Great Deal smarter and infinitely better informed on this subject than you ……… I don’t need to re-post his bio vs yours.

      Reply

    • Posted by A on March 27, 2021 at 2:20 am

      I agree.

      The question is, was the elimination of COLAs in 2011 included in his “23 percent advantage ” calculation?
      Do you want to guess, assume, believe, or try to find the actual answer? It’s kind of a big deal.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2021 at 4:03 pm

        Go ask Biggs.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2021 at 4:10 pm

          And while your asking, ask him for an estimate of the impact of the many PRIVATE Sector DB Plans active during the time period of his study, but now frozen or terminated (with workers shifted into MUCH lower value Cash balance or DC Plans) has had on LOWERING PRIVATE Sector compensation relative to their PUBLIC Sector counterparts.

          Reply

    • Posted by A on March 27, 2021 at 7:56 am

      Also, don’t even try to pretend that Biggs is unbiased.

      Reply

  11. Donkey Odie? Or a one trick phony. You be the judge.

    Keep us informed if you go public on this. Sidney Powell may be available, for now, if you need an attorney.

    (Nothing personal, by the way. We just disagree. A lot.)

    Reply

  12. Posted by A on March 27, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    Irony.

    Still trying to convince TL that, good as it is, Biggs’ 2014 study simply cannot be relied upon today for legitimate public/private pay comparison. It had limited usefulness even when it was released. One source; no consensus, not sufficient evidence if you want to materially reduce my pension. Or E’s.

    But the principle of “overpayment” of the least educated/skilled public worker still stands. It has been verified by economists the world over. And the fact that, -if/when- there is an average public sector advantage, that average is driven overwhelmingly by the lowest paid public workers, mainly attributable to pensions and benefits.

    And, it is the main reason that privatizing lower paying government jobs saves money. Lower level private workers cost less, mainly because of lower benefits.

    Then this happens…

    https://www.epi.org/publication/a-first-step-to-fifteen/

    I am not advocating against this policy; I just find it ironic, and wonder if Biden and company are aware of the Biggs paper.

    The pay scale and benefits of public workers are clearly* a redistribution of income.

    Now redistributing to the private sector, also.

    *Clear to me, anyway. Occasionally clear to TL, although we disagree on the significance.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      Quoting Stephen Douglas ………….

      “And, it is the main reason that privatizing lower paying government jobs saves money. Lower level private workers cost less, mainly because of lower benefits. ”

      WOW, talk about flipping reality on it’s head.

      Sorry Stephen but it’s the PRIVATE Sector, where 85% of all workers are employed and where employers freely compete for workers that rightfully sets “market rate” compensation ………… not the PUBLIC Sector, in which compensation is distorted and unduly influenced & encumbered by powerful Unions and Union-beholden Elected Officials.

      Lower wage Private Sector workers aren’t under-compensated (they’re paid what the “market” demands), it’s their PUBLIC Sector counterparts that are materially OVER-COMPENSATED.

      Reply

    • Posted by A on March 27, 2021 at 6:40 pm

      Don’t have a cow, man.

      How is ““And, it is the main reason that privatizing lower paying government jobs saves money. Lower level private workers cost less, mainly because of lower benefits. ”

      Any different from “privatizing lower paying government jobs saves money. Lower level public workers make more than private workers, mainly because of higher benefits. ”

      Six of one, half dozen of the other
      It seems that Biden is trying to narrow the gap, not by reducing public sector benefits, but by requiring government contractors to pay his private sector workers prevailing wage, supply healthcare, and perhaps even mandating some type of retirement system, over and above SS.

      We shall see. I think he also wants stronger union protection.

      Reply

  13. Posted by E on March 27, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    https://nypost.com/2021/03/27/officer-taken-hostage-at-juvenile-jail-in-oklahoma-report/

    @TL. This is why you don’t lay off corrections officers by 10% when the inmate population drops by 10%. Because when it goes back up, you are short because you have to hire and train new ones. Leaving the rest exposed. Dumb idea. Almost as dumb as the Class 2 idea.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Tough Love on March 27, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    What does that story have to do with staffing a prison appropriately based on it’s population ?

    And how about if/when the inmate population drops by 20% or 30% or 40% ?

    How big a drop is necessary to terminate (involuntarily) even ONE corrections officer ?

    UNLIKE in the Private Sector ……….. which can’t ignore financial reality via having a captive audience of Taxpayers upon whom bills can be forced ………… the PUBLIC Sector makes ZERO attempt to manage staffing according to needs, with reductions in staff as the need declines.

    Reply

    • Do we lay off nurses if we don’t get sick people for a month or so? The number fluctuates and that is my point. Yes if numbers were shown to fall year over year either through decarceration initiatives or thru everyone being good or police laying back on arresting folks and we had an extended time of reduced inmate population then fine. Hospitals don’t say “we had 20 ER surgeries in May and 10 in June, let’s lay off half our docs. “ it doesn’t work that way. The workload may fluctuate from month to month. You would be to quick to do this and then when you needed them again, you would need to go through a 9 month or so process from the hiring process Tl rookie officer. This process in Europe (for police anyway) goes 2 or 3 years. Anyone who makes it through that isn’t going to be laid off. It is managed differently.
      Do we lay off a third base umpire because for the last 2 baseball games there has been no plays at third base?
      I get what you are saying but with professions like these where folks take a year or so to be ready to go (and even then they are rookies) you aren’t going to lay them off when there are unpredictable slight variations in inmate population. If there are huge declines then we are either ALL better off and crime is low, or people aren’t being punished for their crimes.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2021 at 12:25 am

        YOU gave the example of Prison guards, and I responded. It looks like you switched to nurses because (due to the pandemic) THAT issue is now quite a bit more complicated.

        If you recall, a while back I raised the issue of a lowered prison population in NJ because NJ (or certain Counties) wasn’t going to renew it’s deal to house ICE detainees …… resulting in a SIGNIFICANT drop in the prison population.

        THAT change (if not reversed) is of the type that suggests a permanent drop in prison population, which suggests that it should be accompanied by a drop in prison staff. Yes, not proportional to the % decline in prisoner population due to the continued need for administrative and supervisory staff, but certainly a drop in the number of Corrections Officers that day-to-day directly deal with the prisoners.

        If you have few prisoners (and expect that reduction to be of a lasting nature), you need fewer people that directly deal with them. It’s not rocket science.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2021 at 12:56 am

          And the decision NOT to do so (terminate unneeded Corrections Officers), is a result of Elected Officials being bought & owned by the Unions. …. along with their Taxpayer-be-damned attitude.

          Unions should NOT be allowed to directly or indirectly make campaign contributions, and those now in or running for Office should not be allowed to accept them. And BOTH offenses should be treated as a felony.

          Take the monetary incentive out of the picture, and the abuse of taxpayers goes WAY down.

          Reply

  15. You take a CO hostage like that, there is a good chance you won’t survive the encounter (this man didn’t) or you will have a very long addition to your sentence. They took the CO’s phone and live-streamed the whole thing. It seems that almost every day we are seeing incidents like this one or multiple murder victims or trying to kill cops etc. what the fuck is wrong with people nowadays??

    Reply

  16. Posted by A on March 28, 2021 at 9:39 am

    ” UNLIKE in the Private Sector ……….. which can’t ignore financial reality via having a captive audience of Taxpayers upon whom bills can be forced ………… the PUBLIC Sector makes ZERO attempt to manage staffing according to needs, with reductions in staff as the need declines.”
    ……………..
    ” In response to the Great Recession, New Jersey lawmakers and Governor Christie made brutal cuts to state agencies and public programs, ultimately slowing the state’s recovery.”

    ” Taken as a whole, staffing levels across all departments dropped by over 20 percent since the Great Recession in 2008.”

    https://www.njpp.org/publications/report/years-of-disinvestment-hamper-new-jerseys-pandemic-response/

    Financial reality. Almost all states have reduced the number of public workers per capita ” ultimately slowing the state’s recovery.”

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      So how about you giving us your answer to the question ………….

      And how about if/when the inmate population drops by 20% or 30% or 40% ?

      How big a drop is necessary to terminate (involuntarily) even ONE corrections officer ?

      Reply

    • Posted by A on March 28, 2021 at 4:37 pm

      How about if I answer a question with a question(s)?

      Why do you have a bee in your bonnet about —your version— of equality?

      Did you even try to research state layoffs?

      Are you really all that sure about how private companies handle lay-offs?

      One of my first jobs after the Navy was Pacific Bell. They explicitly told us that they tried to avoid lay-offs as much as possible. Nothing altruistic about it. It is generally bad business. It is difficult and costly to recruit and train employees. Worst case scenario, they will lose employees by attrition, even retraining within the company as necessary.

      It does happen. E’s favorite liar claimed that New Jersey had fewer employees in 2011 than in 2000, and they did it without lay-offs. Wrong on both accounts according to Politico.

      “100 gov’t employees laid off in Monmouth Co.”
      News 12 Staff
      May 05, 2009,

      “The layoffs include 14 sheriff’s officers and 38 corrections officers at the jail.”

      And my all time favorite, Arnold Governor Schwarzenegger in 2009, going on TV with his charts and graphs showing state workers were “not doing their part”. Unemployment in the private sector was over 12 percent, yet NO state worker had lost his job or been laid off.

      Fine so far? My son in law was reduced to four day weeks because demand was off, and there was no money to pay idled workers. And that is understandable.*

      There was NO shortage of work for state employees. No drop in demand. In fact, demand increased for Employee Development and social services. Nevertheless, state employees were furloughed three days /month, —while— the state increased contract workers to fill the void, and highway workers (I) increased OT significantly to make up for furloughed workers.

      Optics. Very expensive optics.

      *My son in law works for a small company, fewer than 100 employees. At the time, I believe it was fewer than two dozen. Large employers are a whole different paradigm. Here’s an idea… why don’t we run government like a business?

      “The companies that are pledging not to lay off workers amid the coronavirus unemployment crisis”
      A record 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. But some companies pledged to hold off on job cuts, and are offering workers a financial cushion.

      Washington Post, April, 2020
      …………………………….
      “10 Ways To Avoid Layoffs And Retain Talent”

      Forbes, May 27, 2020
      ………………………………
      “Employers Are Doing Their Best to Avoid Layoffs”

      Aon, 2020
      ………………………………
      Here’s me guessing again, but while these employers may be very nice, generous bosses, altruism is not the main driver. It’s business.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 28, 2021 at 9:40 pm

        Quoting ……………..

        “One of my first jobs after the Navy was Pacific Bell. They explicitly told us that they tried to avoid lay-offs as much as possible”

        Figures that your one example would be from a Private Sector company that is a State-regulated Utility.

        Utilities are a very special breed, are typically monopolies in the area of operation, and don’t function like most Private Sector companies that MUST be profitable to remain in business, and must operate efficiently and watch expenses like a hawk.

        A perfect example of the difference ……… why do you think PSE&G put up with (meaning it doesn’t CARE) that it pay off duty Officer $1,000/day to sit a do nothing more than a $20/hr flagman can do ? Answer…… because regulators allow them to simply pass along those costs to the ratepayers.

        Similarly, the wages, & benefits of staff are passed along to ratepayers even if they are clearly over-staffed. Companies that aren’t monopolies and have COMPETITION, wouldn’t survive very long if operating that way.

        I

        Reply

      • I won’t even suggest you read this, one of many actual examples of major corporations (including AT&T) dealing with real life situations, but the information is out there. It’s a good thing you don’t have a position of responsibility in your job. You might be last to know. And the first to go.

        Karma.

        https://hbr.org/2018/05/layoffs-that-dont-break-your-company

        “While companies tend to prioritize short-term financial results over the long-term well-being of their employees, employees are the lifeblood that enables a company to keep delivering the products and services that ultimately generate shareholder benefits.”

        “For all companies, planning thoughtful workforce change instead of automatically resorting to layoffs is a better way to address the vicissitudes of technological transformation and intensifying competition.”

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2021 at 1:51 am

          You clearly spend a great deal of time trying to find reports that support your bias. If you worked so hard in your career, you could have been ………….. ???

          Reply

        • Posted by A on March 29, 2021 at 2:56 am

          I am inherently curious. The Web brings the world to my door. Articles that support my “bias” are plentiful. What objection do you have with the Harvard Business Review? Or the other three articles I cited? Can you refute their claims, or are you just stuck on ad hominem attacks?
          You make it so easy; you have more confidence than common
          sense. Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong? —And— rude?

          You know what we are all waiting for. Let it out. Man up.
          Some people say the release of emotions is healthy.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2021 at 10:50 am

            It’s the totality of your sources, most very selectively chosen to support your bias ……… the best example being your referencing articles from former Rutgers Professor Jeffrey Keefe, who apparently believes that the contribution to Public Sector Total Compensation that comes from their DB pensions is what the gov’t Agency actually PAID in that year.

            Really ? So in the years when NJ contributed NOTHING* that the participant accruals of those years had ZERO value? Really ? Only if they will be excluded in the calculation of worker pensions, which assuredly WON’T happen.

            While they give professors a wide birth in there thinking and opinions, how he kept his position with such irrational and clearly wrong logic is amazing.

            Yet you continued to quot him, even AFTER I pointed out this issue. Why is that? Do you think what he did makes sense, or perhaps it’s your bias?

            *granted, not a good decision

            Reply

          • Not worth waiting seven hours for.

            1. I haven’t mentioned Keefe in years.

            2. That type of mistake is very common (on both sides) and doesn’t totally invalidate his studies.*

            3. Which means, you just officially made him a straw man.

            4. Google really works wonders, though you may have to try several combinations of key word searches. Have you found anything to counter the Harvard article on lay-offs?

            5. It is true, IMHO, Biggs studies and other articles are more logical and informational, but…

            You have to take the bad with the good, or vice versa. If you insist on using Biggs 23 percent advantage, you must acknowledge that the bulk of that “average” advantage comes from the lowest paid public workers and, mathematically, that’s where the cuts have to occur. That, after all, is the entire reason for doing any of these studies;

            A. If you pay too much, you are wasting taxpayer money.

            B. If you don’t pay enough, you will not attract and retain qualified workers.

            C. “Average” pay comparisons between states may be useful, but within the state, you must make the cuts —where the excesses are—. That
            will bring down the average, guaranteed.

            Reply

          • While going back through old posts, I came across this…

            Posted by burypensions on April 12, 2019 at 11:54 am

            I haven’t gone through detail on Biggs’ numbers since I have a prejudice against using government figures – especially when they come to pension funding – and drawing conclusions.
            ……………………….
            I can’t really argue with that, but where does that leave us?

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 29, 2021 at 1:34 pm

            I am inherently curious A SURRENDER MONKEY IDIOT.
            Fixed for truth in advertising 🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2021 at 2:43 pm

            Quoting Stephen Douglas ……….

            ” That type of mistake is very common (on both sides) and doesn’t totally invalidate his (Jeffrey Keefe’s) studies.”

            Baloney……… I wouldn’t be surprised if the uninformed (such as you) did it mistakenly (ONCE), but certainly NOT from Prof. Keefe with his background. He VERY clearly he was injecting HIS bias into the discussion.

            And Dr. Biggs, beat him to a pulp (in several responses) for that position.

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 29, 2021 at 4:06 pm

            The Reason Foundation is, I think, a reasonably reliable source (Reason is the monthly print magazine of “free minds and free markets.”) And has much experience and knowledge in the public pension arena.
            Yet, in a Mar, 2021 article, they say this

            “Public employers generally saw the higher retirement income provided by pension plans as an acceptable tradeoff for lower salaries. Today, however, salaries are generally seen as essentially equal between the public and private sectors or, even higher in the public sector, and the mobility of the public workforce is similar to the private workforce.”

            The link was to March 18, 2021 release of BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Summary. No way on Earth that is a valid comparison of wages, benefits, or anything else. Did Dr. Biggs beat them to a pulp? I don’t think so.* As a wise man once said… “2. That type of mistake is very common (on both sides) and doesn’t totally invalidate his studies.”

            https://reason.org/commentary/rethinking-public-employee-retirement-plans/

            *Then again, may be he did and I didn’t find it. Impossible to prove a negative.
            ———————————————-
            In their paper, “BEST PRACTICES IN THE DESIGN AND UTILIZATION OF PUBLIC SECTOR DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLANS”
            Reason Foundation, November 2020

            Excerpting from p.11…”Any retirement plan’s most basic goal should provide enough income during retirement to maintain the retiree’s pre-retirement standard of living. …Public sector DC plans should be designed to meet this standard, with a more accurate replacement ratio ranging between 70% and 90% of average final income, with the actual percentage being inversely correlated to income.”
            (with Social Security, and/or private savings, of course)

            “…Financial experts strongly recommend total contributions of 10% to 15% of pre-tax earnings into a retirement account throughout the employee’s career for those participating in Social Security; a higher 18%-25% is generally recommended for those with no other DB pension or Social Security to rely on. This is a combined employer/employee rate that could be divided any number of ways between the two parties.”

            Really, a combined employer/employee rate (divided any number of ways between the two parties.”) of 10% to 15% of pre-tax earnings. (Plus SS.)

            Is that “a type of mistake very common (on both sides) and doesn’t totally invalidate the studies.”?

            No, I think not. That would seem to be what they consider reasonable expectations of investment returns for a DC system/or a typical self financed retirement plan.

            Very similar to…

            “For traditional public DB pension programs, states like Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Carolina have exceptionally well-funded plans, which demonstrates that a plan can work quite well if properly designed and managed, despite detractors’ claims that pensions are inherently unsustainable.”
            p. 3

            The devil is in the details, of course. Wisconsin total expenditures/contributions have been steady for about two decades, but the “value”, due to risk, is theoretically much higher.
            ————————————————-
            “And Dr. Biggs, beat him to a pulp…”
            Metaphorically, of course. I have never compared my knowledge and experience to that of Dr. Biggs. Wouldn’t even consider it. That doesn’t mean I agree with him, of course. I would much rather see, or read, the back and forth with Biggs and similarly situated experts like Munnell or Girard Miller.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2021 at 7:20 pm

            Quoting …………….

            “No way on Earth that is a valid comparison of wages, benefits, or anything else.”

            Why don’t you send you complaint to the Reason article’s author, Richard Hiller and ask for a response.
            ————————

            Quoting ………………..

            “Public sector DC plans should be designed to meet this standard, with a more accurate replacement ratio ranging between 70% and 90% of average final income, with the actual percentage being inversely correlated to income.”
            (with Social Security, and/or private savings, of course) ”

            No Stephen, with BOTH SS AND (VERY MATERIAL) Private Savings ……….. just like what is expected (and NECESSARY) fro Private Sector workers. WAY too much of PUBLIC Sector retirement security now come form the Taxpayers.
            ————————-

            Quoting ………………

            “For traditional public DB pension programs, states like Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Carolina have exceptionally well-funded plans”

            No they don’t when valued using the assumptions and methodology Moody’s uses in it’s analysis, and not the optimistic/aspirational/”risk”-excluding assumptions rampant in the Public Sector Plan valuations (because they have the taxpayers to whom they can send a bill for MORE if things go wrong).

            How would YOU like it if that was reversed, and when I have a down year in my 401K Plan, I can send YOU a bill to bring my negative return up to a 7% positive return ?
            —————————

            Quoting …………… “The devil is in the details, of course. ”

            No Stephen, the Devil is Public Sector Unions and our self-interested, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting, taxpayer-betraying Elected Officials.

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 29, 2021 at 7:41 pm

            The Reader’s Digest version of the Reason Foundation “rethinking public employee retirement plans”, IMHO, is that DB plans can work for public plans. They have worked in the past. They are still working, and sustainable today, even with average and above average pension generosity, at reasonable costs.
            Still working, that is, for those states committed to making it work. And yes, Reason is advocating DC or hybrid plans.

            Yes, I still believe pension reform is vital.

            I see very few of the “experts” clamoring for “reduction” except as part of “shared risk”. Wisconsin has this, and, far as I can tell, it is very sparingly needed.

            Pension Tsunami is clearly advocating for pension/wage reduction, as is Californians for Pension Reform… ” believes that reining in the overly-generous pensions and retiree health benefits promised to public employees is the most critical public finance issue facing California.”

            But every time any of them criticize pension costs, they are referring generally to growth in unfunded liability, not to annual normal costs.

            See the Vermont contribution history. Once a state gets behind, “full actuarial contributions” is an oxymoron.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2021 at 8:00 pm

            No, Stephen (commenting on your cartoon) …….

            One thing this Blog’s readers will never do is listen to a Retired CA Public Sector light-bulb-changer (masquerading as someone knowledgeable about pensions) ……. for unbiased information.

            ———————

            Quoting ………………….

            “They are still working, and sustainable today, even with average and above average pension generosity, at reasonable costs.”

            Your definition of “reasonable” is the same as the informed-Taxpayer’s definition of “excessive”.

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 29, 2021 at 8:29 pm

            “How would YOU like it if that was reversed, and when I have a down year in my 401K Plan, I can send YOU a bill to bring my negative return up to a 7% positive return ?”

            That ain’t the way it works, Ace. In Wisconsin (and New York state) the —commitment— to full funding means they make up any short term losses immediately, not on a thirty year schedule. “Make up” means increases in contributions by both employer and employees. And/or temporary reductions in payments or COLAs, as necessary. If that is done conscientiously, it works. Probably at a lower cost than an equivalent DC plan. It appears that Wisconsin has more generous pensions than New Jersey, without all those pesky unfunded liabilities.

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 29, 2021 at 8:35 pm

            Then there’s Vermont, with market level compensation, and huge unfunded liabilities.

            I think your guesses and assumptions are wack, Mack.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2021 at 10:01 pm

            Quoting …………

            “That ain’t the way it works, Ace. ”

            wrt my “How would YOU like it if that was reversed, and when I have a down year in my 401K Plan, I can send YOU a bill to bring my negative return up to a 7% positive return ?”

            I’m not talking about a Plan with risk sharing, I’m talking about YOUR CURRENT PLAN. You know ……. that Heads-you-win/Tails-I-lose Plan.

            ——————-

            Quoting …………..

            “In Wisconsin (and New York state) the —commitment— to full funding means they make up any short term losses immediately, not on a thirty year schedule. ”

            Immediately ???

            Wrong. Not sure how the Wisc. Plan works, but in NY and other States, the schedule for amortizing unfunded liabilities in the Public Sector is RARELY less than 15 years (vs typically 7 years in the Private Sector).

            ———————–

            A change to a risk-sharing Plan in NJ (or CA) would be great. …… as long as all CURRENT (not just new) workers are included in that change. Don’t do THAT and it’s just just more BS “make-believe”/”feel-good”/”tinkering-around-the-edges” reform…………… and 30 more years of accruals (for those already employed) under the excessive/unaffordable basis.

            Reply

          • “Part of the answer seems to be that the New York systems, following state law, more quickly pay down the debt or “unfunded liability” mainly created when pension fund investments earn less than expected.”

            “Using its “net amortization” benchmark, Pew said the combined pension contributions of the California Public Employees Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System were 79 percent of the $18.9 billion needed to keep debt from growing.

            While the California contribution in 2015 was under the benchmark, the New York State and Local Retirement System contributed 163 percent of the $3.7 billion needed to keep debt from growing.”

            “Similarly, Moody’s reported last October that in 2015 California state pension contributions were 74.3 percent of its “tread water” benchmark needed to keep debt from growing, while New York state contributions were 120.8 percent.”

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 29, 2021 at 11:39 pm

            FYI, contributions sufficient to keep debt from growing are insufficient in total because (a) contributions are ALSO required to fund the new accruals earned in the current year, and (b) the amount needed for existing debt not to grow is typically (materially) understated because it is based on an assumed long term earnings rate of 7% to 7.5% ………. way to high …………… and that’s 7% to 7.5% of the LIABILITIES which are almost always much greater than the INVESTED ASSETS backing them.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 30, 2021 at 1:07 pm

            Yup ………… you aced that light-bulb-changer test, didn’t you.

            I can hear the call home …………. honey, honey, I DID it, will start my dream job soon !

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 30, 2021 at 2:36 pm

            Posted by A on March 29, 2021 at 2:56 am

            You know what we are all waiting for. Let it out. Man up.
            Some people say the release of emotions is healthy.
            ……………………….
            And there it is. Godwin’s law corollary.

            “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a reference to “light-bulb-changer” becomes more likely.
            …………………………
            We hope that was cathartic. It was certainly pathetic.
            Your educational post @ March 29, 2021 at 11:39 pm was garbage.

            Yes, contributions sufficient to keep debt from growing —do— include funding the new accruals earned in the current year, in those few states with a commitment to full funding.

            The proof is in the pudding.
            …………………..
            ‘Go North, Young Man,’ To The Wisconsin Public Pension System

            Elizabeth Bauer


            ………………………
            The Wisconsin Retirement System Is Fully Funded and a Model for Other States | Reason Foundation
            ………………………..
            Calm Amid the Chaos: Wisconsin’s Pension System and the 2008 Financial Crisis – Equable Institute
            Jan 31, 2020 · “The Wisconsin Retirement System offers stable, sustainable retirements for the state’s public employees. The pension plan has been 100% funded since 2001. This stands in stark contrast to the rest of the  …”
            ………………………….

            Pensions more generous than New Jersey. Sustainable.
            Predictable.
            At a —much— lower cost to the taxpayer.

            Nothing succeeds like success.

            Correction to the post @ March 30, 2021 at 1:45 am

            “We don’t need —your— education”

            Money talks. Bullshit walks.

            Reply

          • Posted by A on March 30, 2021 at 2:42 pm

            Mea culpa. I confess. That was I.

            Clearly spending a great deal of time trying to find reports that support my bias.

            Another fifteen minutes shot to heck.

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on March 30, 2021 at 3:15 pm

            Yup ………… you aced that light-bulb-changer test, didn’t you.

            I can hear the call home …………. honey, honey, I DID it, will start my dream job soon !
            Down, and out for the 10-Count
            🙂

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 30, 2021 at 7:42 pm

            Quoting me……………..

            “Yup ………… you aced that light-bulb-changer test, didn’t you.

            I can hear the call home …………. honey, honey, I DID it, will start my dream job soon !”

            Yes Stephen, that WAS cathartic. It helps in dealing with your limitless distortions, distractions, misstatements, omission of material fact, BS, lies, unwaverable support of everything “Union” ……. and all with a to-hell-with-the-Taxpayers attitude.

            Reply

        • Posted by A on March 29, 2021 at 3:05 am

          But not yet. It’s after midnight in California. Get some healthful rest. Plenty of time to release later.

          Reply

  17. […] Posted on March 28, 2021March 28, 2021 by Mary Pat Campbell NJ Local Pension Bills […]

    Reply

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