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Pension funding crisis caused by government mismanagement | Letter

Wednesday, July 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
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NJ.com 07/13/16

New Jersey's state pension fund is going broke. Apparently, in 10 years the fund will be empty and those belonging to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) will be out of luck. As a public employee, we have contributed every dime we were supposed to into the pension. Yet, for some reason our state government hasn't.

This started with Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. She took office in 1994 and decided that in order to achieve a balanced state budget, as required by law, she would reduce the amount of money contributed to the pension fund. In 1997, she decided the state should borrow $2.75 billion from the fund and use it elsewhere. As time went on, she contributed a mere fraction of what was necessary to replace those funds and meet the needs of the pension system.

If a CEO of a private company did this same thing, he would be answering to the IRS for violations. For the next half decade, the state as a whole contributed an average of $23 million per year. The state should have contributed an average of $600 million per year to keep up with the demand. This trend continued with each new governor that took office: Donald DiFrancesco, James McGreevey, Richard Codey, Jon Corzine, and our current governor, Chris Christie.  So to all, please be aware that this problem is not the fault of public employees as our governor would have you believe, but as with many current money problems of our stare, it is simply mismanagement.

It is a mystery to me why our current governor blames the hard working person for all the state's money problems. If you look at his record you will find he is at odds with all the working people of this state.  One of the first things he did when in office was to cancel the construction of the much needed train tunnel, which put hundreds of people out of work. Now he has stopped road repairs with no concern about the danger of bad road conditions or the thousands of people put out of work.

In fact Chris Christie has done very little to help our beloved state move ahead.


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