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Pension Fund

NEWS
June 24, 2015
ISSUE | SCHOOL FUNDING All fall down on job Although I share the view that it's City Council's responsibility to provide adequate and consistent funding for Philadelphia schools, more attention should be given to the state legislature's role in creating the problems the School District faces ("Indecent proposal," June 17). Since the late 1990s, the legislature has ducked its responsibility for adequately funding the pension fund it created and manages. To correct this oversight, the legislature has passed the responsibility for addressing pension fund obligations to local districts - which in turn have had to dramatically increase taxes and/or reduce operating costs and programs.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats on Monday unveiled the broad contours of the budget they will submit to Gov. Christie, saying they would make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system by raising taxes on businesses and the state's highest earners. Christie, a Republican who says he will announce whether he is running for president by the end of the month, has vowed not to raise taxes. The state constitution requires the Legislature to pass, and the governor to sign, a balanced budget by next Tuesday.
NEWS
May 14, 2015 | Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Rendell administration created the Philadelphia pension perk known as DROP in 1999, it was out of a simple notion - that some employees who were about to retire were so essential that the city had to find a way to keep them working while a replacement was found. Almost right away, however, the Deferred Retirement Option Plan became a way for city workers with at least 10 years on the job to get a nice little pay bump (sometimes not so little) upon retiring. That send-off check has cost the beleaguered pension fund millions it cannot afford.
NEWS
May 8, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The Christie administration on Wednesday told the New Jersey Supreme Court that granting public workers a contractual right to pension funding would violate the state constitution and place a "fiscal stranglehold on the state in perpetuity. " Hearing oral arguments in Gov. Christie's appeal of a ruling that he violated his own pension law, the justices wrestled with questions over the separation of powers and budget priorities. The case revolves around how to interpret a 2011 law that Christie and others said was designed to shore up New Jersey's chronically underfunded pension system by requiring both the state and public workers to contribute more money.
NEWS
April 27, 2015 | Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
With less than a month before the May 19 primary, the six Democrats running for mayor have yet to talk about the $5.7 billion dark cloud that threatens to snuff out their campaign promises of universal prekindergarten, cuts in the wage tax, and other costly pledges. That cloud looming over the candidates' plans, the city's unfunded pension liability, has been there for decades, and it grows with every passing year. "The municipal pension crisis - and it is a crisis - is the No. 1 issue for the future of the city," said Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen, who served as chief of staff to Ed Rendell when Rendell was mayor.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Philadelphia's ravenous pension fund will be the next mayor's greatest financial challenge. It eats an increasing portion of the city budget, leaving less money for police, parks, libraries, and other services. The troubled pension fund is expected to consume 15.5 percent of the budget this year. The government's contribution has grown more than 160 percent since 2004, according to the city's financial plan, even as the share of obligations covered has dropped below 50 percent. Mayor Nutter offered a partial solution when he proposed selling the Philadelphia Gas Works, which would have yielded a substantial infusion of cash and significantly reduced the burden of contributions.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Gov. Christie is pushing back against the Legislature's Democratic leadership in a dispute over funding of the pension system, arguing that their support of unions seeking bigger pension contributions amounts to an endorsement of raising taxes. In response to a decision by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D., Hudson) to file an amicus brief in support of the unions' lawsuit, Christie's office on Tuesday accused the Democrats of using "fairy tale rhetoric" in calling for bigger payments.
NEWS
April 18, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. - After spending two days telling New Hampshire voters about a need to reform federal entitlement programs and bashing President Obama's foreign policy, Gov. Christie resumed the town-hall circuit at home Thursday by returning to his bread-and-butter state issues: public worker benefits and education. The governor, a prospective candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, wants public workers to contribute more toward their health benefits to align New Jersey's plans with those in the private sector.
NEWS
April 8, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
New Jersey's highest court will hear the Christie administration's appeal in a case over funding of the state's pension system. The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday issued an order that set oral arguments in the case for May 6. The order comes as Gov. Christie seeks to reverse a judge's February decision that said the governor broke the law in June when he slashed the state's payment to the pension system for public employees by $1.6 billion for...
NEWS
March 27, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The new chairman of the board that oversees New Jersey's $77 billion pension fund for public employees warned Wednesday against a bill passed by the Legislature that would expand pay-to-play restrictions on the state's investments, saying it would force New Jersey to sell top-performing assets at "disadvantageous prices. " Those remarks came as the state moved ahead with a $100 million investment in a fund controlled by a private-equity firm whose cofounder donated $2.5 million in the last two years to a Republican committee with close ties to Gov. Christie.
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