Pension Case Study: If It's Broke, Don't Fix It
$80 billion – that was the size of the hole in New Jersey’s state pension just 5 years ago when they empowered a commission to investigate its underfunding problems. Since then, the hole has ballooned to almost $130 billion. Thomas Healey, former Goldman Sachs executive and Assistant Secretary to the Treasury under Reagan, chaired a commission that found that politicians incentivized to provide new services and disincentivized to raise taxes were using the pension system as a piggy bank – perpetually kicking the can down the road and leaving pensions serially underfunded. Fortunately for New Jersey, there was light at the end of the tunnel and the commission was able to find a golden goose in the form of its generous health care benefits… Unfortunately, the same problems which led to the underfunding reared their ugly heads again, and the state failed to act on the findings of the commission. Healey reveals the reasons why New Jersey is still underfunding its pension today, and the $130 billion number is only set to grow. Filmed on January 28, 2020 in New York.