Top NJ Lawmaker Seeks Higher Pension Payments from State

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New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has developed a proposal that would force the state to make higher annual pension contributions; he unveiled the proposal in a closed-door meeting with union leaders, according to NJ.com.

Currently, the state’s next contribution totals $1.3 billion – a big number, but still far short of the actuarially required contribution of $4.3 billion.

Christie has proposed slowly working up to making the state’s full actuarially required contribution by 2023; Prieto’s plan would speed up that timeline.

More details on the payment plan, from NJ.com:

The plan, which Prieto (D-Hudson) unveiled to labor leaders in a private meeting Thursday in Secaucus, would give the state five years to phase in the full contribution recommended by actuaries to keep the public-sector retirement system solvent, according to several sources familiar with the proposal who requested anonymity because it has not been made public.

Unlike Republican Christie’s pitch for a complete redesign of health and retirement benefits that stands little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled state Legislature, the unions appear more open to hearing out Prieto, whose proposal wouldn’t alter benefits.

In a meeting lasting less than an hour, Prieto briefed union leaders on the blueprint, which would build on this year’s $1.3 billion planned payment, sources said.

State Senate leadership has not yet seen the plan, a Senate aide said. Prieto did not respond to a request for comment.

[…]

The state is in the fifth year of this seven-year phase in but is billions behind schedule. After keeping pace with the promised payments for two years, Christie drastically cut them after lagging tax collections threw the state finances off course.

The proposal hasn’t been released yet, so further specifics are unavailable.

 

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

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