If PERS is fixable, do a pension tier buy-in/other reforms

If PERS is fixable, do a pension tier buy-in/other reforms

What problem does it solve? We are the worst-funded pension system in the U.S., by far. PERS may be gone in our lifetimes. First, we need more information about whether this is mathematically possible to fix if we’re only 30% funded. If we think that we can fix it, I have the following ideas: What is your solution and who does it apply to? 1) Have a "buy-in," where all people in Tiers 4 and 5 can pay money to join Tier 3. They would be given all the privileges of Tier 3, as long as they pay their own way to buy into that tier. This initial investment from workers may prolong the life of the pension fund a little longer. 2) People should be drawing pension checks based upon their median salary of all years worked, not their top salary! If you were the $20K/year Clerk for 25 years, and in your last 5 years, you were promoted to the $100K/year Executive Assistant, you’re getting a pension based upon the Executive Assistant role when you primarily paid in as the Clerk. Adjusting the pension equations would actually make workers more conscientious, because “every year counts,” and the sooner they take promotions, the better. 3) Assess which jobs add value, and which are unneeded. Though it seems counter-intuitive, we need to combine jobs in order to only pay health care benefits for 1 worker instead of 2 or 3. What is the anticipated impact? 4) Take these old, abandoned factories in Trenton (which nobody is paying taxes on) and turn them into something that can produce revenue, such as Amazon.com warehouses, marijuana processing plants, affordable housing, museums, or nursing homes. We can kill two birds with one stone by revitalizing Trenton and recycling the proceeds back into the pension system. 5) Why are retirees who live in other states allowed to be the Chairperson of the Pension Bd. of Trustees? Get rid of that loophole. We need exclusively active members on the Board who live in NJ! 6) Keep using the lottery revenue for the pensions. Please note that the buy-in idea would help people who are nearing retirement just as much as those in lower tiers availing themselves of the buy-in. ANY member of tiers 4 or 5 should be allowed to buy into tier 3, as long as they don't take out a pension loan to do so. :-)


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