Pension Question in NJ Gubernatorial Debates

About all we found out from tonight’s two debates was that none of these six people understands the scope of the problem.
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NJ Pension Payout Update With Cap Study

New Jersey has updated their listing of people in the state pension system for both active participants as of 12/31/16 and retired participants as of 3/31/17 and you may be interested in seeing the payout numbers.

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Drain the Swamp

In this age of Amazon where you can order any book ever written there is still a place for library visits and browsing selected Dewey Decimal classes (in this case 320.973) for books that some library director  (in this case Scotch Plains) thought worthwhile. I found this one on Sunday and just finished reading it. Excerpts follow:

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Puerto Rico: Pay-As-You-Exit

Actuarial reports, especially for public plans where they are available online, wind up being similar not only as to funding gimmicks but also appearance. When an actuary comes up with an idea that reduces contributions or imbues the presentation of a hopeless situation with a sense of normalcy others pick up on it.

The June 30, 2015 actuarial report for the Puerto Rico Government Employees Retirement System (PRGERS) presented such a challenge for Milliman and here is how they stepped up:

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UPIC (10) 2015 Update

Late last year we ran a series of blogs on Union Plans In Crisis based on Schedule MB actuarial information for 2014 concentrating on (at the time) ten plans that sought to cut benefits under MPRA. There are now five more plans and the 2015 MB data is out so it is time for an update:

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Pew Ranks

Last month the Pew Charitable Trusts released their annual funding gap study based on data from the CAFRs of over 230 public pension plans.  There are data glitches that make the results suspect:

But if all the plans have similar data issues then there is something to be gained from looking over and sorting some of Pew’s raw data (in 1,000s).

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United Mine Workers Update

22,000 retired union coal miners in seven states, members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), whose former companies went bankrupt over the past few years are counting on Congress to keep their health benefits through the week.  According to the the UMWA website:

Current status of legislation to protect health care benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

APRIL 27, 2017

Current status of legislation to protect health care benefits

“Congress will pass a temporary, stop-gap funding bill today that will fund the government through May 5, 2017. It includes language that will extend your benefits through that date.

We expect that the full government funding bill Congress passes will include funding for your benefits. Language doing that is in both the House and the Senate version of the legislation. We believe that your benefits will be extended unless, for some reason, Congress shuts the government down.”

But as for the UMWA Pension Plan, the outlook is even darker.

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