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News & Press: Pension

Nearly 2,000 retired N.J. public workers collecting $100,000-plus pensions, report says

Thursday, February 19, 2015   (0 Comments)
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The number of public officials receiving $100,000-plus pensions has more than doubled since 2010, according to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis. The list, culled from state Treasury Department data, included 1,988 retired public workers at the close of 2014. In 2010, there were 971 retirees collecting more than $100,000 a year, according to New Jersey Watchdog. Last year, there were 1,731 names on the list.

Twenty-nine retirees collect more than $150,000 a year, and most of them are former school administrators, according to New Jersey Watchdog, but police and fire retirees comprise 47 percent of the entire list. Watchdog says Paterson has the highest concentration of pension wealth, and Bergen County isn't far behind. The average public pension in New Jersey is $31,145, according to the Treasury Department. Retirees drawing pensions from the Judicial Retirement System, on average, receive $100,789, compared with $60,874 in the State Police Retirement System, $57,503 in the Police and Fireman's Retirement System, $40,104 in the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund, $16,150 from the local portion of the Public Employees' Retirement System and $25,822 from the state portion of that fund.

New Jersey's pension fund is underfunded by $37 billion. That figure doubles to $83 billion when measured under new accounting rules. With roughly 770,000 active and retired workers, the funds dole out $650 million to $700 million a month in pensions and benefits.

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