After twice vetoing similar measures, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last Thursday signed a bill that will require the state to make quarterly pension contributions, as opposed to one annual lump-sum payment.
The bill cleared both state legislative chambers unanimously in November.
However, there’s skepticism around the new law because it still doesn’t require the state to make full payments — and New Jersey has historically shorted its contributions or skipped them entirely.
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The new law will require governor to make pension payments on a quarterly basis by Sept. 30, Dec. 31, March 31 and June 30 of each year, instead of at the end of the fiscal year in June. In exchange, the pension fund would reimburse state treasury for any losses incurred if the state has to borrow money to make a payment.
State lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last month to approve the measure. It cleared the state Senate by a 35-0 vote and the state Assembly 72-0.
Hetty Rosenstein, state director Communications Workers of America, praised the bill, but stressed she’s focused on demanding the state make full payments.
“CWA supports quarterly pension payments,” she said. “However, unless the full amount due to the plan is appropriated, quarterly payments are meaningless. History shows we simply cannot rely on the word of the governor or Legislature when it comes to the pension.”