N.J. public workers rush toward retirement

    New Jersey public workers are retiring in record numbers.

    About 20,000 public employees retired last year and nearly 15,000 are expected to depart this year as lawmakers consider changing pension and health-care benefits.

    Bob Master, political director of the Communications Workers of America which represents state employees, said he’s concerned about the impact of all those retirements.

    “I think the state is getting to a breaking point in terms of its ability to deliver the services that the public depends on,” said Master. “You have a lot of experienced talented people going out the door because they’re subject to so many attacks and there’s so much uncertainty that they are accelerating their timetable for getting out.”

    Gov. Chris Christie said the state will add more workers only if they’re needed to provide services. Otherwise, he said, his administration will continue with a planned reduction in the size of government.

    He said the retirements should not have a significant impact on the state pension system.

    “Eventually all those people will retire anyway,” said Christie Monday. “So whether they retire sooner rather than later in the grand scheme of how stressed our pension system is it is a relatively minor blip.”

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