User-agent: * Allow: / Trenton Butcher Block: New Jersey Senate Votes to Take Cost of Living Raises Away From All Retirees

"Our Liberties We Prize, Our Rights We Will Defend."

Commentary on national and local events from the standpoint of a Trenton city resident and state worker.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Jersey Senate Votes to Take Cost of Living Raises Away From All Retirees

Many seniors have unwittingly let thieves steal food from their mouths  by following the advice of Jersey 101.5, the Trentonian and other Republican media outlets and calling their legislators to urge them to pass the so-called pension and health care reform package for public employees.  No doubt, some of those that called were retired public employees that thought their benefits would be "grandfathered in"  Little did they know the bill that passed the Senate today calls for ending cost of living raises for all public retirees (including cops, state police, judges and teachers) for the next 30 years.  Nobody gets grandfathered in.  It is important to call your assemblyman NOW and let them know that you will "remember in November" if they vote to steal food out of the mouths of existing retirees.

You would not knowingly let a thief into your home to steal from you.  And most likely you would not encourage a politician to steal money from your own retirement check, but that's just what many seniors did when they called their state legislators and told them to vote for the so-called pension reform package.

Most of the major media outlets have come straight out with Governor Christie's promise to increase homestead rebates if the bill passes, but have not said anything about how it will affect existing retirees, regardless of when they retired.

There is a provision in the bill that says that there will be no cost of living increase for any retirees (regardless of when they retired) for the next 30 years.  That's right, urge your legislator to pass the bill so you can get a bigger homestead rebate and you will be cutting your own throat because inflation will eventually destroy the value of your pension.

Right now public retirees get annual cost of living increases based on the Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers.  This is the same CPI that is used to provide for annual increases in Social Security and veteran's benefits.  Most retirees of governmental entities went to work on their jobs and stayed there for their whole careers on the assumption that they will receive a good pension when they retire and the pension would retain its value because it would go up with inflation.

Well the thieves under the golden dome want to take that away from you.  Now, your pension will be worth half what it is now in 20 years assuming the present low levels of inflation.  If we get a dose of 20 percent Jimmy Carter inflation during that time, your pension will be eaten up a lot faster.

It is still not too late to preserve your pension.  Call the following number, which is a call routing line operated by CWA 1038.  Your call will be routed to your state assemblyman's office.

To Save The Pension Cost Of Living Allowance Tell Your Assemblyman to Vote No on Pension Reform.


Your Call Will Be Routed to Your Assemblyman's Office

1 comment:

  1. The phone number posted is for a florist in MA.

    I am not a teacher or member of any type of union; I am a proud product of the NJ public school system, graduating summa cum laude with a BS in Math and CS and continuing to earn an MS IE. I am a senior network administrator and work my 60 to 80 hr week for my 40 hr pay. I agree with your post.

    I watched the evening rerun of the senate committee discussion and am scared. It was pointed out that the public workers faithfully paid into the system while the government rerouted the money. This new proposal is disgusting. The people who earn less and will only get 50% of their salary already pay 5.5% into the pension. The people who earn more and will get 75% of their salary pay 3%. If each group pays an additional 1% as proposed, it will further increase the gap between the working middle class and the upper middle to wealthy class. They talked about needing to fix the problem - what about the tax on the wealthy that Christie refused to extend, essentially giving all of them a tax break? If we want to start to cut the waste in Trenton, why not start with the money spent on personal use of the private jet; time jetsetting around the country to campaign for people in other states? Corzine only took $1 annual salary, why not Christie and some of his staff who are in their positions to "help the state"?

    We cannot let the government take away our right to collective bargaining. We cannot let them continue on thier current path for public education. NJ is still one of the top states for public education - we need to keep it that way. This cannot be accomplished by cutting funds, mainstreaming all, promiting children due to "no child left behind", or giving tax breaks to people who chose to send their children to religious or other private institutions. The concept of paying teachers based on the children's test scores is equally flawed. As a manager in a company, I have input on who I hire, can implement a personal improvement plan (PIP) if the employee is lacking, and can terminate them if it is a mismatched position. A teacher cannot do any of this. A teacher is assigned a class who might be bright or in need of extra assistance. Unlike a manager, they have no say and cannot terminate the children.

    I am also confused that if this bill has not yet passed, why have some retirees received a negative cost of living increase? I spoke with one woman last week who received $500 less in her pension due to the negative cost of living increase.

    The general public needs to be educated and armed with the truth.

    Thank you.