Many in NJ dispute Christie claim of reforming public workers pension system

When he signed a pension overhaul law in 2011, Gov. Chris Christie called it one of his major accomplishments. A Monmouth University poll finds most New Jersey residents don’t see it that way.

“Just 11 percent say that Christie can claim major accomplishments in fixing the state’s pension system,” said poll director Patrick Murray. “Thirty-one percent say he has only minor accomplishments, and nearly half, 47 percent, say he has no real pension accomplishments that he can crow about.”

Christie’s decision not to make full pension payments this year has affected voter perceptions, Murray said.

“Just 12 percent of state residents approve of the governor’s decision to forgo putting those full pension payments into the system, and we find 42 percent disapprove and 46 have no opinion,” he said. “It’s hard for the governor to expect the public to see pension reform as his major accomplishment when he’s gone to court to try to overturn it.”

Just over 30 percent of those surveyed say state workers should get the pension benefits they earned no matter what the cost, while 46 percent say benefits may be too high, but employees should get what they were promised. And only 19 percent say the benefits are too expensive and should be cut.

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