Archive for the ‘New Jersesy Pension’ Category

Truth on NJ Financial State 2020

Truth in Accounting (TIA) today released its eleventh annual Financial State of the States with New Jersey still at the bottom:

New Jersey’s elected officials have made repeated financial decisions that left the state with a debt burden of $189.6 billion. That burden equates to $57,900 for every state taxpayer. New Jersey’s financial problems stem mostly from unfunded retirement obligations that have accumulated over the years. Of the $225.6 billion in retirement benefits promised, the state did not fund $95.7 billion in pension and $76.8 billion in retiree health care benefits.

New Jersey did not have enough money set aside to weather the current pandemic and fluctuations in the market. According to rough estimates by Truth in Accounting, New Jersey is projected to lose $14 billion in revenue as a result of this crisis. The uncertainty surrounding this crisis makes it impossible to determine how much will be needed to maintain government services and benefits, but New Jersey’s overall
debt will most likely increase.

It was primarily the Cheiron gimmicks that brought that liability number down from last year:

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“Incredibly Dumb” Murphy Move On Pension Payment

The New Jersey Legislature website has posted Fiscal Year End 6/30/21 budget documents including a scoresheet. For now, let’s see how good Murphy’s word is:

According to

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NJBIA on NJ Public Pensions

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) puts on this show:

where this week they looked at the upcoming FY21 budget with some suggestions as to public pensions.

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Borrowing To Fund Pensions

Richard Keevey in njspotlight is against it, arguing:

Do not issue bonds to balance the New Jersey state budget. It is bad public policy and it will create much deeper budget problems in the future. And, it is not necessary.


The state sold bonds to fund the pension system almost 24 years ago. We are still paying debt service on these bonds. In the budget for fiscal year 2020, the debt service payment is $472 million for those bonds and we have four more years to go at $507 million per year. Such actions were wrong then and they are wrong now.


Defer $2 billion of the $4.9 billion proposed to be paid into the pension systems. This option would have little or no adverse short-term budget implication and it can be corrected in future years when the state’s economy recovers.

Two problems with that strategy:

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Cost of a New Jersey Public Pension (2)

This week’s New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations hearing had senators looking to jew down the already ridiculously low payment into the New Jersey Retirement System for FY21 and in the process revealing their ignorance of how those payments are established.
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Cost of a New Jersey Public Pension

According to State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio at this week’s Senate Budget and Appropriations hearing:

You might also think about the black hole of political payback that those missed tens of billions of dollars in contributions went into but let’s focus on that $750 million number placed on one year of benefit accruals for participants in the system for which the state is responsible.

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Shills Mislead; Media Follow

At lest on New Jersey public television you get an acknowledgement (if not a full “OK here comes the propaganda”):

But when a think-tank getting similar NJEA money puts out worse propaganda it gets accepted by other media outlets that choose to disseminate it as factual. That is the case with New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) which put out several reports arguing that New Jersey’s teacher pensions are “modest” and that the pension reform proposals supported by Steve Sweeney, Chris Christie, and other politicians are inappropriate because NJ’s teacher pensions are already among the “least-generous” in the United States.

A New Jersey Education Aid post calls out the NJPP reports as highly misleading because pensions are just one part of a big enchilada of benefits and privileges that retired teachers get, noting:

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“Cut the fiscal year 2021 public employee pension contribution”

That is the recommendation of Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association and Tom Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, in an njspolight op-ed blasting the Murphy budget.

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Off Targum on NJ Pension Crisis Solution

The Daily Targum of Rutgers University is a student-written, student-managed, non-profit, incorporated newspaper that bings some youthful perspicacity to recognizing a problem but also some youthful naivete to a solution.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) has appealed to the federal government for more grants and loans for the state. He’s right — New Jersey does need to borrow more from Washington, but it must eliminate its pension program first.

Forcing New Jersey to terminate its failing pension program (while grandfathering in those already collecting or on pace to collect pensions) would be a necessary stipulation by a lender Congress, which has provided conditional loans before — such as in 2008, when it bailed out Wall Street.

The 2008 bailout was rife with conditions and regulation, with lawmakers writing in clauses which would firm up the housing market and prevent executives from receiving cushy “golden parachute” packages.

Many of the 2008 provisions were written to assure the health of the financial sector, which were key to the survival of the economy. By assuring the health of the financial sector, Congress was able to up the chances that big banks would be able to pay back their federal bailout.

The federal government bailed out Wall Street due to its failing financial situation and because its collapse would harm millions of people. Now it must bailout New Jersey, as it endures a failing financial situation due to public pension funds. Much like Wall Street, New Jersey’s collapse would harm millions of people.

With the termination of the pension program, New Jersey would be free to use a federal loan to take adequate measures against the coronavirus pandemic, such as providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers and teachers. The state would also be able to provide public work to those unemployed due to the lockdown.

Here is what is likely to happen.

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Protecting Crooked Politician Pensions

Even (or especially) in times of crisis you can count on New Jersey politicians to find the time to fulfill their purpose: self-benefiting themselves and their colleagues – even (or especially) the criminals among them.

This week A4586 was introduced and referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee. Last month, identical bill S2741 was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

According the its Statement (emphasis added) this bill:

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