Christie pushes for raising retirement age

    The New Jersey Governor also wants state employees to pay far more for their health insurance and pensions.

    New Jersey Governor Christie traveled to the Gloucester Township Senior Center Tuesday to propose pension and health benefit changes for state employees.

    The Governor wants to roll back the nine percent pension increase the Legislature approved in 2001. He’s also proposing teachers and state workers contribute 8.5 percent of their salaries toward retirement and that the retirement age be raised to 65.

    Christie wants to transition over the next four years to a system in which all state employees would pay 30 percent of the cost of their health care premiums.

    “In New Jersey the average public worker pays on average eight percent of the cost of their health care. We can not sustain this.”

    Christie anticipates opposition to his proposals from state employee unions.

    He says he’s willing to negotiate changes with the Democratic controlled Legislature, but not if it slows down restoring the pension system’s solvency.

    Senate President Steven Sweeney says he won’t let the proposal go through the legislature until Christie pays the state’s annual obligation to the pension fund.

    Christie calls that “posturing” and says he’s confident his reforms will be enacted.

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