Christie Rejects Lawmaker’s Plan to Increase Pension Contributions; Says Higher Payments “No Solution”

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this week publicly rejected a plan by a top lawmaker that would’ve increased the state’s pension contributions and expedited the timeline for the state to work up to making its full actuarially required payment.

[Pension360 covered the lawmaker’s plan here.]

Christie said he would not entertain the idea of increasing contributions unless lawmakers agreed to further reforms, which would likely be benefit cuts or benefit formula changes.

From NJ.com:

Gov. Chris Christie has a warning for state Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, who is working on a plan to increase state contributions to New Jersey’s public employee pensions: It’s not an option without more reforms.

“If all it does is to stretch out the time requirement to make the same payment for the same bloated system, then it’s no solution,” Christie told NJ Advance Media while in New Hampshire campaigning for president.

“It’s just like extending your mortgage another ten years. What we need to do is to reduce the size of the mortgage and that’s the only way we’re going to be able to fix the pension problem in the state.”

The Prieto plan is currently under review by union leaders to see if it’s something they could accept.

However, on Friday, Christie was adamant that stretching out the same payment over time was not an acceptable solution.

“We cannot afford this,” he said. “And the fact is that if the unions don’t get real about the fact that we can’t afford it, it’s going to go bankrupt.”

Prieto had already begun meeting with union leaders about his plan to increase state contributions, but they remained non-committal about supporting the deal.

 

Photo By Walter Burns [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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