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What's next for N.J. public worker pensions?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share | 06/15/16

With two major government worker pension court battles concluded, the next front in public workers' fight for retirement benefits is a ballot question considering a constitutional amendment forcing the state to make annual contributions in the pension system. Christie on Monday urged the Morris County Chamber of Commerce to marshal its resources to combat the amendment, which he has called a $3 billion tax increase on the people of New Jersey.

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-Monmouth), who earlier this month introduced legislation overhauling employee health benefits, has said the constitutional amendment should be regarded as leverage for additional reforms. Rolling back benefits would save the state $2.2 billion a year, including $1.42 billion through lower-cost benefits and $810 million by shifting the cost of retired teachers' benefits to their employers (this assumes that will be offset by benefit changes at the local level).

Active employees would be moved onto health care plans equivalent to gold plans under the Affordable Care Act, and retirees would be given retiree reimbursement accounts to cover the cost of purchasing coverage through a private exchange. Active employees would pay lower annual premiums, because the total cost of the plan is lower, but higher out-of-pocket expenses.



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