NJ Spotlight Roundtable: Solving New Jersey’s Public-Pension Crisis

NJ Spotlight News | July 14, 2016 | Roundtables
How do you reform a system that’s at least $44 billion in debt and saddled with retiree healthcare costs that are spiraling out of sight?

Due to years of underfunding, New Jersey’s public-employee pension system is at least $44 billion in debt . The retiree healthcare system is an even bigger hot spot, as costs spiral out of control. With baby boomers retiring and the costs of the system threatening to strangle all discretionary spending, officials are searching for a way to solve these problems. Democrats are looking to bolster the system with guaranteed payments. Republicans are hoping to transform the system using 401(k)s. Both parties are looking at ways to create lower costs through efficiencies in the health system.

On July 8 NJ Spotlight and state and regional leaders gathered to discuss the problem and possible solutions. One of the goals: Evaluate how this issue can affect the retirement of public employees and impact taxpayers and services.

Keynote Address: William Glasgall

Happy New Fiscal Year. Now Get Ready for Troubles Ahead

William Glasgall, State and Local Program Director, The Volcker Alliance. William Glasgall joined the Volcker Alliance in 2014 as Director of the Alliance’s State and Local programs. Previously, he was Managing Editor at Bloomberg News, overseeing coverage of state and local government and financial news that won numerous awards from the National Press Club Foundation and other organizations.

Panel Discussion: Pensions and Possible Solutions

Tom Byrne, Chairman, State Investment Council
William Glasgall, Director, State and Local Programs, Volcker Alliance
Dominick Marino, President, Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey
Edward Richardson, Chief Executive, New Jersey Education Association
Hetty Rosenstein, State Director, Communications Workers of America

Panel Discussion: Retiree Healthcare Costs Spiraling Out of Control

Assemblyman Daniel Benson, New Jersey State Legislature

Dudley Burdge, Senior Staff Representative, Communications Workers of America Local 1032
Stephen Eide, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute
Thomas Healey, New Jersey Pension and Benefit Study Commission
Kevin Kelleher, Director of Research, New Jersey Education Association

Moderator: John Reitmeyer, public finance writer, NJ Spotlight

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