Christie says New Jersey fire fighters’ pensions are due for some changes

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thinks the state pension shortfall of $46 billion is a signal to start making changes to firefighters’ benefits. He wants to raise the retirement age for firefighters and get them to pay for portions of their health care bills.

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is backing away from his campaign promise not to alter fire fighters’ pensions.

    Christie told fire fighters last year that he would not alter their pensions. After discovering that the state pension system is under-funded by $46 billion and could be $85 billion light, Christie now says changes are needed. He wants to raise the retirement age and require workers to pay more for their health care coverage.

    “Promises were made in the past in terms of the level of these benefits and when they could be received that simply can not be kept,” Christie says. “That is the fact. It’s a mathematical fact. And so when you discover that you got to step up and take responsibility for it.”

    Christie says his proposals will get the pension system solvent with the least amount of disruption, but he is willing to listen to other ideas from the Legislature.

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