Archive for the ‘New Jersesy Pension’ Category

Who’s Stealing From Whom Within NJ Pension?

Millenial Moola thinks it’s teachers from the police but the reality is a lot more complicated – and it may even be the other way around.

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Half-Truth on New Jersey Fiscal State

Truth in Accounting released a report today on the Financial State of the States based on data provided by the states.

New Jersey came in last based on the numbers but we have two, if not entirely unique at least exaggerated, burdens to bear here that put us in a much worse fiscal position:

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Pension Bank of NJ

Phil Murphy, the only declared 2017 Democratic candidate for governor of New Jersey, in 2005 chaired a task force that looked for solutions to the state’s, at the time, $12.1 billion pension problem.  It came up with a report urging less gaming of the system and these major fixes:

  • No More Pension Holidays— State and local government must meet their full obligation to make annual payments to the pension plans.
  • No More Actuarial and Valuation Gimmicks— State government must use consistent and generally accepted actuarial standards.
Outside of a few tweaks that might have upset some crossing guards nothing was done of any significance and the pension deficit increased fourfold officially and twenty-fold in real life. But, rather than revisit the recommendations of 2005 with some seriousness, Phil Murphy has taken on the New Jersey politician’s approach to problem solving in recent years:
Present an idea that sounds good to anyone who won’t think about it in any depth to people who are not going to think about it in any depth.

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5 PEW States

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ raw data is taken from the CAFRs of over 230 public pension plans comparing liabilities and assets (in thousands) by state. Five of those states happen to have liability amounts in the $190 billion range but when you look at the assets each has accumulated to pay those benefits a stark trichotomy emerges:

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Bribing Politicians To Fund Pensions

New Jersey politicians failed to follow orders from their public-sector union paymasters who got so mad that they threatened to hold back bribe money to which the New Jersey Senate president (and lead bribe-taker) threatened legal action.

A rare situation (since most politicians do follow through on what they have been paid for) but this could be a valuable lesson for the unions who would help most New Jerseyans if they changed tactics.

For example….

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“Dreadful” NJEA

Chris Christie let off a little steam today, primarily directed against the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).  According to

Christie unleashed against the NJEA in his first public comments to reporters after Sweeney asked prosecutors to investigate threats by that union and the Fraternal Order of Police to withhold all campaign contributions over a feud about a voter referendum on public worker pensions.

“This is a dreadful group of leaders and for the Senate president and others in the Democratic caucus to join that chorus, I welcome them — very late — to the amen chorus about the fact that the NJEA is the single most destructive political force in this building,” Christie said, referring to the New Jersey Statehouse.

“It’s not even close. There’s not even a close second to these people,” he said. “(They’re) the most selfish, destructive people in this building — and everybody in both parties knows it.”

No details but the practice of purchasing politicians and abetting a system of legalized bribery is certainly deplorable though for Christie (the sellout king) only when others do it.

However, where Christie has a point (though I’m sure he does not yet realize it) is that the NJEA (like several other unions) has done a terrible job in getting benefits for their members funded properly but when it comes to their own Defined Benefit plan:

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New Jersey Pension Data

A story on njspotlight about New Jersey Senate President Stephen abandoning the idea of having a ballot question that would ‘guarantee’ funding of the state retirement system ends thusly:

“I’ve got to face reality with what we’re dealing with,” Sweeney told reporters yesterday. “It’s not sound fiscal policy to not know what a major cost is.”

But, due to the politician/actuary cabal that has been developing ridiculously understated liability and contribution amounts, that ‘major cost’ has been willfully unknown which has led us to….

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