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Do you support Gov. Christie’s pension ‘reforms?’

Governor Christie hosts a town hall in Belmar (Townsquare Media)
Governor Christie hosts a town hall in Belmar (Townsquare Media)

It’s’ got to be a kick in the stomach to learn that, if you’re in the state retirement system and banking on a certain amount of money upon retirement – it may not be there.

Borrowing from the fund, not paying it back in past administrations makes the guy in charge have to, in his words, “clean up this mess!”

Which means you may not be getting the sum you’re banking on.

Compounding the problem is the agreement you made some years back to agree to pay more into the fund.
Simply stated, you want someone to pay – whether it be the current administration, members of past administrations, taxpayers, whomever.

And despite the possibility that the pension fund could be depleted – like that of the Detroit public workers – you’re still not convinced that that the agreement made back then should not be honored.

“No Pain – No Gain” – that’s what you’re hearing, but you’re alone dealing with the pain.

However no pain now means plenty more pain in the not too distant future.

Back in 2011, the basic agreement was:

The deal calls for almost all employees to pay 1 to 1.5 percentage points more of their salary toward their pensions and pay up to 30 percent of their health care premium within four years, the source said.

The deal will also ensure that the state will ramp up pension contributions to full amounts within seven years and provide additional legal protections to workers.

The deal will make state pension contributions a “contractual right,” so that if the state fails to make it’s necessary contributions under the law, pension system members can sue.

So here we are, 3 years down the road, and the governor is backtracking from the aforementioned deal.

“I can’t make assurances to every person that is currently in the system that they are going to get the benefits they were promised. There’s plenty of money that you’re going to paid what you were promised from now until the end,” he said to Toher. “But the fact is that for people in the system now, if I were tell them that they were guaranteed to get the payments they were promised I would be lying.”

Or as we say in old country: Ooooofaaaa!

Which all leaves us at an impasse. How to keep solvent a pension and retirement fund without the “pain” the governor is asking for. Do you feel he went back on his word?

Do you support Gov. Christie’s pension reforms?

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