Archive for the ‘New Jersesy Pension’ Category

Truth Behind NJ Lottery Gimmick

New Jersey Treasurer Ford Scudder appeared before lawmakers yesterday to make a pitch for the administration’s proposal to use the revenue-generating state Lottery to help prop up New Jersey’s beleaguered public-employee pension system. As njspotlight reported:

The bill was only put up for discussion yesterday, and several lawmakers praised the proposal, including the bipartisan sponsors of the legislation. But Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) suggested she’s hoping to hear from Wall Street rating agencies before making a final decision on the measure, which the Christie administration is looking to enact by July 1.

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“I don’t really see there being a risk to this. It’s going to improve our funded ratios tremendously, such as our investors are going to see us having improved our fiscal situation,” Scudder said. “At the same time, we’re not impacting programs funded by the Lottery, so I don’t really see negatives to this.”

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Beck, the GOP senator, said she would like one of the major Wall Street rating agencies to weigh in before any final votes on the bill are cast. Scudder said Treasury has been updating the rating agencies on the proposed transfer, but has yet to provide them with a formal presentation.

“I certainly would feel more confident if I knew that those that are doing this on a regular basis, and those that do this kind of analysis for a living, embrace this,” Beck said. “It would be nice to know now, if possible.”

That analysis was done here but I fear:
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If not, here it is:

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Pension Byrne

I submitted a letter to the Star Ledger which is what led me to pick up today’s paper (since letters are no longer online at nj.com). I did not find my letter* but there was a letter from Thomas J. Healey, co-chair with Tom Byrne of the  Pension and Health Benefits Commission that objected to an op-ed written by Charles Wowkanech blaming the chairman of the State Investment Council (also Tom Byrne) for the public  pension funding crisis.

There were conflicting numbers about how New Jersey fared with their investment returns as compared to other unidentified plans over varying periods but what struck me was an accusation of Wowkanech’s that I disagree with:

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New Low In NJ Pension Issue

After months of mindless politicking we get to the weekend before a primary election in New Jersey and it’s all about who will win with only token (and obviously misinformed) references to real issues:
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Yes that is a state senator speaking and among the inconvenient facts he appears to be completely ignorant of:

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Illinois Down; New Jersey Out

According to Bloomberg:

Illinois had its bond rating downgraded to one step above junk by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, the lowest ranking on record for a U.S. state, as the long-running political stalemate over the budget shows no signs of ending. S&P warned that Illinois will likely lose its investment-grade status, an unprecedented step for a state, around July 1 if leaders haven’t agreed on a budget that chips away at the government’s chronic deficits. Moody’s followed S&P’s downgrade Thursday, citing Illinois’s underfunded pensions and the record backlog of bills that are equivalent to about 40 percent of its operating budget. Illinois hasn’t had a full year budget in place for the past two years amid a clash between the Democrat-run legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. That’s left the fifth most-populous state with a record $14.5 billion of unpaid bills…

Illinois could have gotten the money to pay those $14.5 billion in bills had they followed New Jersey’s lead.

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Census Data Depletion Date Anomalies

The four worst funded public pension systems, according to recently released US Census data, are in the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey (which is in line with the Pew rankings).  All have funded ratios below 50% even using liability calculations from their own actuarial valuations (and not GASB numbers). Yet when doing a cash flow analysis two of the states (New Jersey-1 and Kentucky-2) do run out of money fairly soon (in 2030 and 2031 respectively) as you would expect but the two others (Illinois-35 and Connecticut-42) are back in the pack (in 2058 and 2076 respectively). What gives?

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Worst Funded State Retirement System

Kentucky just released a report claiming that dubious distinction:
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Not so fast….
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Pension Black Magic

What you get out of this discussion on Reporters Roundtable this morning about the scheme to move the New Jersey lottery into the pension system is confusion about how this will save any money:
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  • black magic
  • counterintuitive
  • found money

Not really. Here’s the deal…..

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