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Christie creates special commission to study pension problems


Christie creates special commission to study pension problems

AUGUST 1, 2014, 1:38 PM    LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 2014, 12:36 AM

Governor Christie has become the latest governor to call for a commission to study New Jersey’s pension problems, creating a non-partisan panel to provide him with options as he continues a public campaign that focuses on cutting benefits for public workers.

Christie signed an executive order on Friday at an event in Parsippany. It calls for the creation of a panel he says will be non-partisan and include at least five members. Its task will be to review New Jersey’s public employee benefits, which he says have become difficult for the state to afford.

“The study commission’s charge is to think long term,” Christie said. “No idea is off the table.”

Christie said the call for a study commission will not cut short his No Pain, No Gain publicity campaign, in which his focus is on a need to cut benefits rather than raise taxes to make them more affordable.

“I’m going to continue to travel across the state and talk about the problem,” Christie said on Friday. “The problem doesn’t change.”

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3 thoughts on “Christie creates special commission to study pension problems

  1. Cut benefits 20%, move all new hires to 403(b) style defined contribution plans, and stop paying public safety officials more than the median household incomes in NJ. Problem solved.

  2. Even if NJ’s state pension plan was fully funded it would still be unsustainable, that’s what the unions don’t tell us. NJ has some of the most generous public pensions in the country. They’re risk-free defined benefit plans, and we have people getting full pensions for more years than they actually served. Effectively, these pensions will stay at 65% of average of final three years comp until 2016, so we’ll have a wall of municipal retirees by then. Why isn’t Christie using the conclusions from the Volcker/Ravitch state budget crisis report here and from our own recent studies in NJ here ? We need hybrid pension plans, with new hires being moved in to defined contribution plans, higher contribution rates for existing employees above the current 8-10%, and changes to the 25 year service exception for public safety officials. Raise the minimum retirement age back to at least 55, or 60 if demographic studies prove we’re living longer. Pensions are calculated off wages, so limit annual wage increases to CPI-linked inflation, and slow the step change growth in base wages, as well as longevity pay which can rise to as much as 10% of base wages. Why should average municipal employee wages be more than the median income of the taxpayers they’re serving ? The original social contract was lower wages in exchange for pension & healthcare benefits for life.

  3. what a fuckin mess.

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