New Study Contradicts Christie’s Claim That Pension Payouts Are Excessive

By Colleen O’Dea for NJ Spotlight

New Jersey’s public employee pensions are not “exorbitant,” as Gov. Chris Christie has proclaimed, at least not compared with other plans across the country, asserts a new report by a progressive policy organization.

The report released yesterday by New Jersey Policy Perspective does not compare average payments to retirees. It instead compares three other indicators — cost-of-living increases, the “multiplier” that calculates pensions per year of service, and employee contributions.

According to NJPP’s methodology, which drew on data from the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, New Jersey’s pension plans rank 95th out of the 100 largest pension plans in the nation. In other words, based on those criteria, 94 of those 100 pension plans are more generous than New Jersey’s.

NJPP’s release of the report comes a week after the trustees of the state’s largest pension funds went to court to try to force Christie to live up to his promise to make full payments to the system.

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