Sad State of NJ Pension Coverage

Their second program aired today and, to their credit, the pension question was put to the two gubernatorial candidates who guested. However, all we got as an answer was the disquieting conclusion that both are clueless as to the real breadth and depth of the problem, a primary component of which includes the willful naiveté of those debating for solutions. For example, this absurdly inane comment:
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Perhaps Wisniewski means that most actuaries in the employ of New Jersey would sign off on defining 70% as full funding so that mini-contributions can continue but, per the American Academy of Actuaries, that there is even one actuary who will back up Wisniewski’s canard without substantial remuneration is a myth.
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NJ Police and Firemen Splitting

Per nj.com:

Under S3040, passed 37-0 on Monday, a newly expanded board of trustees would assume management of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, which has more than 85,000 members who are working or retired. The police and fire unions would also obtain broad discretion over both the size of members retirement benefits and the contributions needed to support them.

Here is what is in the law and what  the unions would get:

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NJ Debt Bomb Exploded Under Christie

Taking official numbers from the annual Treasury Department debt report as of June 30, 2016 has the state’s total Bonded and Non-Bonded Obligations at $171,560,258.  What was that number on June 30, 2009 before the governor who balanced every budget came aboard?

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NJ Pension Debt – Pick Your Number

nj101.5 reported on New Jersey’s long-term debt based on the annual Treasury Department debt report as of June 30, 2016 made public Friday with some telling observations:

The pension liability isn’t the number the state uses to decide how much to contribute – or rather, should contribute – to its pension funds.

The “unfunded actuarial accrued liability” for the state-administered pension funds is $49 billion. To help repay that, plus make the current payment, the state should put in a little over $5 billion in the upcoming fiscal year. Instead it plans to put in $2.5 billion.

The numbers look even more daunting if alternate accounting and actuarial methods are used.

The debt report discloses those in supplemental information at the back of the publication, because they’re not required in official financial disclosures and don’t impact state budget decisions.

Those analyses peg the liabilities as high as $136 billion for pensions and $68 billion for health benefits.

Just one problem here.
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Breaking News: Eleventh Union Plan Files

The Western States Office and Professional Employees Pension Fund out of Portland, OR just became the eleventh multiemployer (union) plan to file for benefit cuts under MPRA in an attempt to avoid insolvency.

From their latest 5500 filing here is the plan’s relevant data:

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Same Sad State of Affairs in NJ

A ‘public affairs’ program premiered today on New Jersey TV as sponsored by:
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From the latest available 990 filing for Caucus Educational Foundation on officer compensation:

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With those factors in place it was no wonder that the first interview with our presumptive next governor offered nothing of substance on either pensions or school funding but, for the record, here are the prevarications we have come to expect, if not demand, from these guys:

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Leading With a Lie

Completely bankrupt of ideas on how to deal with the impending bankruptcy of the New Jersey Retirement System outgoing (finally) governor Chris Christie spit-balled an idea:
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Of course it’s a dumb idea since, theoretically, lottery revenue is being spent elsewhere and will need to replaced and, as a couple of members of the ignored pension committee mentioned, it would not be nearly enough. But note the lie that led to the spiel:

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