When Gov. Chris Christie put together the state’s pension commission in the summer of 2014, it’s original purpose was to produce a series of pension reform proposals.
Now, the commission’s mandate has been expanded; according to NJ.com, commission members found out this month that they are tasked with figuring out how to specifically design and implement their proposals.
The commission, which worked in secret for months on the proposal to reinvent those benefits, now has a new job: putting together all the nitty-gritty details of how Christie’s pension reform would play out for hundreds of thousands of public employees.
Rather than handing the report off to another task force as originally envisioned, the commission’s mission was recast. Tom Healey, the chairman of the pension commission and a former Goldman Sachs executive, said the governor turned down his resignation.
Christie’s commission has split into subgroups tasked with designing those pension and health insurance plans and wading through the legal issues around a drafting a constitutional amendment and transferring pension fund assets to unions, Healey said.
For instance, the commission will choose new levels of health care coverage and set rates for employer and employee contributions and guaranteed minimum investment returns into the cash balance pension plan. In states that have adopted cash balance plans, those figures vary considerably.
The reforms are expected to “debut” in 2016.
Photo credit: “New Jersey State House” by Marion Touvel. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_Jersey_State_House.jpg#mediaviewer/File:New_Jersey_State_House.jpg