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  #41  
Old 01-05-2017, 06:19 PM
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PATERSON, NEW JERSEY

http://www.northjersey.com/story/new...case/96167136/

Quote:
State to review pension for former Paterson cop

PATERSON – State officials next week plan to review the proposed pension of a former Paterson police officer who spent nine years on paid suspension after he was accused of forcing a woman in custody to have sex with him.

The former officer, Manuel Avila, may get a pension that would include as part of his service the nine years he spent on suspension as well as contractual pay raises that city police received during that time, according to public documents. He was making $79,241 a year when he was initially suspended.

A state board approved Avila’s retirement last September but did not disclose how much his pension would be. The case is now scheduled for the Jan. 9 meeting of the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System board.

City Council President William McKoy on Wednesday said that Avila should “absolutely not” get a full pension for the time he was suspended. “Why should he get a higher pension for staying home and doing nothing?” McKoy said. “That’s just an abuse of the system.”

.....
Paterson officials initially considered forcing Avila to retire in 2007 when a psychiatrist hired by the city deemed him unfit to carry a weapon in an evaluation done after he swallowed a large quantity of sleeping pills, according to court records.

But Avila was about six months short of having enough service time for a full pension, and the police department decided to place him on duty that would not require him to carry a gun so that he could reach the 20-year retirement threshold, court records show.

Just days after that decision, Avila in June 2007 was working in a prisoner-holding area at Paterson police headquarters when he encountered the woman who later filed the sexual charges against him, the records show. The woman alleged he twice forced her to perform oral sex in a room outside the scrutiny of surveillance cameras, according to court records.


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  #42  
Old 01-05-2017, 06:30 PM
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CALIFORNIA

http://www.marinij.com/opinion/20170...ut-pension-tax

Quote:
Marin IJ Editorial: At least one lawmaker is talking about ‘pension tax’

Credit Orange County lawmaker John Moorlach for shining a bright spotlight on a surprise tax increase that starting in April will be on car owners’ registration bills.

Moorlach, a Republican and a staunch critic of the way the state has handled workers’ pensions, says a $10 increase, buried in the state budget, will go toward covering the state’s rising tab for the California Highway Patrol officers’ retirement plan.

Moorlach says the state, with lawmakers’ and the governor’s blessing, is using the state car tax to raise the revenue needed to cover its growing cost — an estimated $415 million this year.

The governor’s office said in June the increase is needed to cover the rising cost of CHP pensions and to prevent “significant” cuts to CHP’s ranks and to Department of Motor Vehicle offices.

The increase was approved with little public attention, maybe because it’s only $10, at least to start, and because we don’t know how many other state fees are being quietly raised because of the state’s rising pension costs.

Our local representatives, Assemblyman Marc Levine and state Sen. Mike McGuire, did little to inform their constituents of the increase, both before and after the budget was voted for and signed.

It is an expense that the owners of 27.7 million vehicles in California now have to cover, keeping promises made to CHP officers, who play an important role in helping keep our state safe. But that doesn’t mean state taxpayers have to be happy about those promises made with little oversight and less foresight that are taking bigger and bigger bites out of the state budget.

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  #43  
Old 01-05-2017, 06:31 PM
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MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIFORNIA

http://www.easyreadernews.com/142850...ture-concerns/

Quote:
Audit of Manhattan Beach finances is positive, council eyes future concerns

Manhattan Beach runs its financial department about as well as a city can, but officials remain wary about key fiscal pressures. This was the message at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, when the city received the highest possible evaluation of its financial disclosures.

The audit examined the soundness of the city’s internal financial accounting, delivering an “unmodified opinion,” and finding no “material weaknesses” or “significant deficiencies” in the city’s reported figures, according to a report from independent auditor LSL CPAs.

The audit came as the city delivered its comprehensive financial report for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The report, prepared by Finance Director Bruce Moe, offered a variety of good news, including a surplus of more than $3 million in the city’s general fund, due mostly to higher-than-expected revenues. But while city council members appreciated the financial news from both internal and external sources, they prodded at aspects of the data. Their search for clearer presentation of certain information conveyed underlying concern about some long-term obligations to pension and enterprise funds.

“Most of our budget is really straightforward. But stormwater is a big issue. Street lighting is a big issue. And this pension thing is an even bigger issue,” said Mayor Tony D’Errico, referencing a recent story in the Los Angeles Times about large pensions owed to employees in the city of El Monte.
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  #44  
Old 01-05-2017, 06:34 PM
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CALIFORNIA

http://calwatchdog.com/2017/01/04/ca...osts-new-year/

Quote:
California cities facing growing pension costs in new year

SACRAMENTO – After two years of miniscule investment returns, the nation’s largest state pension fund – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System – has once again lowered its expected rates of return. Even some CalPERS officials and consultants argue the lowered financial expectations don’t go far enough to shore up the fund’s financial position, as it now only has 68 percent of the assets needed to pay all its future retirement promises.

This end-of-year board vote to reduce expected investment returns from 7.5 percent to 7 percent portends difficulties for local agencies that provide pensions to their public employees through the CalPERS system. Lowered earnings estimates mean these agencies will have to contribute significantly higher payments to the pension fund to defray the costs of these benefit packages. In 2012, CalPERS dropped its expectations from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent.

“The three-year reduction of the discount rate will result in average employer rate increases of about 1 percent to 3 percent of normal cost as a percent of payroll for most miscellaneous retirement plans, and a 2 percent to 5 percent increase for most safety plans,” according to a CalPERS statement following the vote. The “normal” cost doesn’t address the growing size of the fund’s unfunded liabilities (i.e., debt), so local governments will also have to boost their “unfunded accrued liability payments” by as much as 30 percent to 40 percent.

California local governments already have faced 50-percent hikes in their CalPERS payments over the past several years, which has led local officials and pension reformers to increasingly fear a continuing cycle of service cut-backs and tax increases. Indeed, there was some pressure at CalPERS to push the expected return rates down to the 6 percent range, but some officials expressed concern about what this would mean, cost wise, for member agencies.

.....
These debates over the “rates of return” are so significant because of the way CalPERS and other defined-benefit systems operate. In defined-contribution systems (401/k-style systems, for instance) typical in the private sector, employees contribute a portion of their income into their retirement fund. Employers often match a certain percentage of these contributions. The money is invested in, say, a mutual fund. If the returns are high, the employee gains more retirement income. If they are low, the employee receives less. There are no future liabilities.

By contrast, public employees receive a promised benefit level determined by a formula based on years worked and a percentage of salary. Pension funds invest the money and their investment returns help assure the system has enough cash to meet all the current and future promises. If investment returns sag (or benefits are increased), the funds incur large unfunded liabilities or debts. Ultimately, the state’s taxpayers are responsible for any shortfalls. So the expected rate of return carries enormous public-policy implications for the state and municipalities.

Critics complain that the CalPERS board is comprised largely of public employees, retirees and elected officials with close ties to public-employee unions, which provides a strong incentive to push funding problems further into the future. But even with that dynamic there’s only so much that can be done in a world of weak investment returns and stepped up accounting standards. Efforts by CalPERS’ investment staff and board members – and by the Brown administration – to deal more realistically with the issue is viewed by most Sacramento observers as an encouraging sign.
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  #45  
Old 01-05-2017, 06:36 PM
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http://www.theoaklandpress.com/busin...ssible-promise

Quote:
Ken Morris: Is your pension a mathematically impossible promise?

.....

One of the potential powder kegs is something that affects almost everyone who works: pensions. The numbers behind pensions in America cause me great concern.

In simple terms, pensions are financial promises to deliver retirees a reliable, predictable check throughout their lifetime. Over the years, pensions have been negotiated with employees of municipal and state agencies, unions and corporations. Although it’s difficult to lump them all together, they generally have one thing in common. They’re in poor financial shape.

From coast to coast, there have been plenty of warning signs, which for the most part, have been ignored. Underfunded pensions are a teapot sitting on a hot stove. Eventually it will come to a boil. I believe the burner is getting hotter and wouldn’t be surprised if 2017 is the year people across the nation will finally hear the warning whistle.

Chicago, New York and other cities have more retired police officers collecting pension checks than there are on patrol. In California, the Highway Patrol pension fund is near life support.

Residents of California will be seeing a ten dollar increase in their car registration fees to help cover the pension shortfall. Also in California, the pension fund manager Calpers is only sixty percent funded and has recently reduced their investment projections. Our neighbors in Illinois have similar underfunding problems.

On the local scene, the recent city of Detroit bankruptcy forced many retired city employees to take a haircut on their pensions. Throughout the country, many tradesmen whose pensions are through their union rather than their employer are anticipating a reduction in their pension checks. In other words, the promises are beginning to crumble throughout the country and I fear it’s only going to get worse.

In Lansing, legislation was recently proposed that would have eliminated pensions for new teachers. It was quickly suppressed, however, because it was politically unpopular. Reducing or eliminating pensions, of course, is never going to be a popular political position. But the mathematics of underfunded pensions needs to be addressed. And the sooner, the better.


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  #46  
Old 01-07-2017, 08:24 AM
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CONNECTICUT

http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives...evel_in_years/

Quote:
Connecticut’s Unfunded Pension Liability Increases To Worst Level In Years

State officials weren’t surprised Connecticut’s unfunded pension liability increased to its worst level in several years even after assuming the recent changes negotiated by Gov Dannel P. Malloy and the state labor unions.

In 2016, according to a report from Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting LLC, only 35.5 percent of the the State Employees Retirement System was funded. It’s the first time in three decades the funding level of state employee pensions has fallen below 40 percent.

In 2014, it was funded at 41.5 percent and in 2012 it was funded at 42.3 percent, which still made it one of the worst funded pension systems in the country. Most experts agree that a fiscally sustainable system should be at least 80 percent funded.


Ugh.
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  #47  
Old 01-07-2017, 08:35 AM
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NEW JERSEY

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...ensions-still/

Quote:
Part-Timers With Pensions – Still?
Posted January 6, 2017 by burypensions in New Jersesy Pension. 2 Comments
Tier 5 was supposed to exclude part-time employees hired on or after June 28, 2011 from the pension system. But a review of active employees in the New Jersey retirement system as of September 30, 2016, as taken from the state’s YourMoney website, lists 391,283 people of whom 75,485 are Tier 5. Removing recently hired employees for whom a full year’s salary does not seem to be reported we get 62,770 Tier 5 employees hired by 9/1/15 of whom 203 made under $10,000 and 56 made under $5,000.


Quote:
How did these people get 32 hours a week in a state with an $8.38 minimum hourly wage?
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:41 AM
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http://www.truthinaccounting.org/new...s-of-2007-2009

Quote:
Government pension reform since the financial crisis of 2007-2009
January 5, 2017

The Boston College Center for Retirement Research just tackled a valuable question.
In a January 2017 article titled “State and Local Pension Reform Since The Financial Crisis,” researchers Jean-Pierre Aubry and Caroline Crawford documented some significant changes, including benefit cuts and higher employee contribution requirements, particularly in plans with relatively high cost burdens. They also show a tendency for states with stronger legal protections for current workers to focus benefit reductions on new hires.

But the dog that didn’t bark may be the most interesting, and dangerous, dog of them all.
In a research effort looking at changes since the financial crisis, the word “investment” is nowhere to be found in the article. The study is focused only on benefits, not on the investments backing up those promises.

It’s like the financial crisis never happened!

Maybe that is how people are thinking these days, after the massive bailouts of 2009/2010. We don’t need to worry about investments or reform in portfolio management, the implication runs.

.....
A close and comprehensive look at ‘reform,’ if any, in public pension investment management since the financial crisis would be a good thing to undertake. And the work I’ve done so far suggests, if anything, that risk exposures in public pension plans have risen, not diminished, since 2007.
One doesn't have to dig too deeply to support that.

http://publicplansdata.org/quick-facts/national/



Check out that yellow line.
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  #49  
Old 01-07-2017, 08:52 AM
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OHIO

http://www.thenews-messenger.com/sto...fall/95866570/

Quote:
Agencies warn of massive Ohio public pension shortfall

A year that began with Gov. John Kasich telling national TV viewers Ohio public pensions are rock solid ends with another independent, outside analysis warning of an approaching calamity in the retirement system.

The conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University joins the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council in blaring crisis warnings on the true condition of Ohio’s public pensions. Where ALEC sees a $331.5 billion shortfall, amounting to 58 percent of Ohio’s total economic output, Mercatus sees a shortfall that consumes 51 percent of state GDP and gives all of the Ohio pension funds poor odds of actually paying retirees their full benefits.

The economics professors who ran 100,000 investment return simulations for the pensions conclude it would take at least $275 billion dumped into the funds now to keep them from running out of money before current members need it. “We gave Ohio the benefit of the doubt in every way, we used the best assumptions, there were no red herrings,” said Mercatus report co-author David Mitchell, PhD.

Dr. Mitchell says the actual earnings for Ohio pensions are likely to be much worse than his projections because of the large, high-risk, alternative investment portfolio Ohio has in hedge funds, private equity funds and derivatives. “Some of these investments that aren’t on a market and can’t be independently valued may actually have negative returns,” Mitchell said.

That would be why Kasich and the leadership of Ohio government go beyond denial of a pension problem that is universally shared after eight years of a zero interest rate policy set by the Federal Reserve into the stunning assertion of singular financial strength.

.....
My niece the teacher, paying 14 percent of her salary to the state retirement system, twice the rate collected from my aunt the teacher, is being victimized by Ohio. My nephew the fireman, paying 24 percent of his salary to the state retirement system, is forced inside one of the shakiest retirement programs in America. The 14 percent match from every school system and the 12.2 percent match for police and fire pensions aren’t enough to offset pathetic investment performance in Columbus.

Imagine paying 28 percent of your earnings, or 36.25 percent for the entire span of your career, and then getting a massive cut in benefits. Imagine making your life in a state and being hit with a huge tax hike to pay for someone else in retirement. How do you think the mood in Ohio would be after big benefit cuts combined with major tax hikes are promoted as the best solution for a terrible problem?
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  #50  
Old 01-07-2017, 08:53 AM
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CONNECTICUT

http://ctmirror.org/2017/01/05/futur...-pension-fund/

Quote:
Future payment scheme takes a heavy present toll on state pension fund

State officials were shown the stark consequences Thursday of a new plan to defer making billions of dollars in state pension contributions until after 2032.

The latest valuation of Connecticut’s state employee pension fund, which assumes the plan pending before the legislature would be ratified, shows it would push the fund into its worst fiscal shape in three decades.

The State Employees Retirement System would have enough assets to cover just 35.5 percent of its long-term liabilities, marking the first time it has dipped below the 40 percent mark since the late 1980s.

Two years ago the fund was dangerously low with a 41.5 percent funded ratio. Fund analysts typically cite 80 percent as a healthy ratio.

.....

The actuarial analysis prepared by Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting of Kennesaw, Ga., attributes the latest decline largely to a new plan to restructure the state employee pension system to limit spiking state contributions over the next 15 years. To do that, Connecticut would shift at least $13.8 billion in costs into future taxpayers, and possibly more.

The report also showed that despite Malloy’s efforts to shrink the state’s workforce, the number of pension fund participants has grown, both in number and in average pay, over the past four years.

The new report “validates the concerns we have been raising about the SERS system for some time and speaks to the necessity of the agreement we reached with SEBAC (State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition) last month,” Chris McClure, spokesman for Malloy’s budget office, said Thursday.

The administration, citing a study prepared by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, has warned that the annual pension contribution of nearly $1.6 billion could top $6.6 billion by 2032.
There's a reason this particular person is the top repeat offender for the 80% crap
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