N.J. pension funds sue Gov. Christie over reduced contributions

The three pension funds for New Jersey public-sector workers are suing the Christie administration over the governor’s decision to reduce the state’s contributions.

 

Tom Bruno, chairman of the New Jersey Public Employees Retirement System, says the lawsuit demands money that was supposed to go into the pension fund but was cut by Governor Christie earlier this year.

“Without the money we can not derive interest from money that we don’t have and it exacerbates our credit rating for the state which in turn creates additional liability to the taxpayers,” he said.

He said confidence in the fund is important for retirees who are counting on promises made to them years ago.

“As the fund becomes less and less stable because of the unfunded liability we have fewer funds to pay retirees and with the current projections there’s a genuine concern of the funds being able to sustain the retirees benefits,” he said.

Public workers unions filed their own suit earlier this year, but a judge ruled reductions for the fiscal year that ended this summer were acceptable because of a surprise revenue shortfall.  There is a similar suit pending about the contributions in the current fiscal year.

Christie’s spokesman Kevin Roberts said Christie has contributed more to pension funds than any other governor in New Jersey history and that he expects the courts to allow the governor and legislature to make budget plans “that protect essential social services like our schools and hospitals.”

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