Judge Upholds NJ Pension-Revision Law

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 11:41 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A New Jersey judge has upheld a crucial part of Gov. Chris Christie’s pension-revision law that would deny some 800,000 retired state public employees cost-of-living adjustments for at least the next 27 years or thereabouts.
 
The ruling by Superior Court Judge Douglas Hurd affects all current and future retirees enrolled in state-funded pensions systems, including judges, teachers, police, and firefighters, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
 
Unions representing state workers served notice immediately they plan to appeal the decision, which backs the law enacted last June denying cost-of-living adjustments until pensions funds are stable again.
 
That’s not expected to be the case until at least 2040, the Star Ledger reported Wednesday.
 
In his ruling, Hurd said state employees do have statutory guarantee of no reductions in their benefits. But he added that the guarantee does not require the state to pay them cost-of- living adjustments.
 
David Fox, an attorney representing several state employee unions, said the decision hits older retirees a lot harder because they retired with less income than most workers make today and have depended on the adjustments to keep them afloat.
 
“The salaries they were making way back then were a lot lower,” he said.

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