On Monday, a NJ Assembly committee advanced a Democrat-backed proposal that would amend the state constitutional to lock in iron-clad, full, quarterly pension payments from the state.
Now, Republicans have offered up their own proposal – or rather, revived a plan initially proposed last year.
Their version would also amend the constitution to require annual contributions from the state. But it would pay for the measure by requiring workers to pay more of their health care costs.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon’s legislation, introduced Monday, revives a dormant plan proposed by the governor’s special pension commission last year to overhaul public employees’ benefits and save their employers billions of dollars a year.
While it would require workers to pick up more of the cost for their heath care, they would be rewarded with a constitutional amendment obligating the state to contribute to the public pension system annually — unless tax collections are in trouble.
O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) unveiled the sweeping legislation Tuesday, just one day after an Assembly committee voted in favor of a Democratic plan to grant workers that constitutional protection.
Broadly, 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.