Thursday, April 05, 2007

And You Thought Only The Private Sector Screwed With Pensions

N.J. Pension Fund Endangered by Diverted Billions - New York Times:
The New Jersey Education Association has sued the state for failing to put enough money into the teachers’ pension fund. The lawsuit does not describe all the accounting maneuvers, but a State Superior Court judge has held that the case, now scheduled for trial in May, can proceed.
State law requires New Jersey’s seven pension plans, large and small, for various types of public employees, to be funded according to actuarial standards. Over the last decade, though, the Legislature has passed, and various governors have signed, a series of amendments to statutes that allow smaller contributions or none. These were justified by various maneuvers and approved with little scrutiny. In interviews, officials of the Treasury said the changes were made at the behest of the Legislature, while legislators faulted the Treasury.
This really sucks! As a state employed worker (not for New Jersey, thank you!), this is more than worrisome. I've been saying for a while that the trend by large corporations to take away or totally screw up pensions to the point they can't pay them was worse than most people thought. It sets a terrible precedent. It should never have been allowed to get this far, not in the private sector, and not in the public sector.
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