Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Linden Retirees

According to news reports, Unions and public workers will hold a  rally/protest in Trenton this coming Friday for the purpose of supporting their counterparts in Wisconsin.  

NJ Pension funds are going broke, not only because of underfunding, but because of lavish and lengthy benefits.  NJ pension funds are reported to be underfunded by $54 billion.  John Bury puts that number closer to $160 billion.  See here for his explanation.  I believe Bury.  Reports further indicate that the retiree health benefit fund is underfunded by nearly $67 billion.

I think the public has become so inured to these incredible numbers being tossed around that it seems they have become meaningless.  For a better sense of what public pensions cost overtaxed taxpayers, take a look at just our local pension rolls.  

To view pensions of retired City workers, including police and fire, click here.

To view pensions of retired City teachers and administrators, click here.

To view pensions of retired City library workers, click here.

To view pensions of retired City Housing Authority workers, click here.

To view pensions of retired Linden-Roselle Sewerage Authority workers, click here.

Not to single out police or firemen, but according to the Data Universe site, recent Linden retirees are receiving more in pension benefits than the median income of  Linden residents ($57,283).  For instance, a retired high ranking police official, as well as a retired high ranking fire official, are receiving nearly $100,000 in annual pension payments.  It is not hard to imagine that both, during their retirements, will easily receive well over a $1 million.  That high ranking police official's successor has also recently retired.  While his annual pension is not available on the Data Universe site, I would imagine his pension benefits mirror those of his predecessor. 

Reviewing the B.O.E. pensions, there too are high ranking former employees receiving considerable pensions, with former Linden school superintendent topping the list at an annual pension of nearly $150,000.

Even modest pensions, considering longer life expectancies, are alarming when taken in totality.  Add to this the pensions of State and County retirees, along with various Commissions and Authorities and the numbers are staggering. 

Recently, the County Watchers reported that the County, in its "anything goes" style of governing, recently agreed to free, life-time health benefits for approximately 650 non-Union employees without the benefit of even knowing what that will cost taxpayers in the long run.  See here and here.

It appears that our lawmakers and elected officials have done exactly the same thing when it comes to public pensions by making promises without knowing or caring about the true costs or, most importantly, whether taxpayers can afford it.  


Anonymous said...

Wow, look at all those lucky people getting all that pocket change!

Public "service" -- a great gig if you can get it. "The gift WE (tax payers) keep on giving..."

NFS said...

Who needs Unions when the freeholders will step right in and play the part? As if it isn't bad enough with Union demands, we have our very own elected goon squad. Dumb voters? You bet.