N.J. School Boards to Christie: Don't Slough off Pension Contributions on Local Districts

New Jersey School Boards President Larry Feinsod reacts to Gov. Christie's pension and health benefits reform plan, specifically the proposal to shift pension premium payments from the state to the backs of local school districts:
NJSBA believes that the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund and any new retirement program for certificated school district staff must be funded and administered by the state government. Transferring payment of the employer’s contributions to the teacher retirement plan from the state to local school districts will have a detrimental impact on educational programming.
This  transfer of payments is one of the six recommendations from the Study Commission's "Roadmap to Resolution," which represents a last-gasp attempt to rescue New Jersey's foundering pension system, currently $83 billion in the hole and in worse shape than any other state's pension system except Illinois. (See my commentary here.)

Another NJSBA suggestion is for the State Legislature to extend the 2011 pension and health benefits reform law, which sets school employee contributions to health benefits premiums on a graduated scale. Currently, this law sunsets on June 30th. Previously, school employees' contributions were set at 1.5% of health benefit premiums, well below private sector employee contributions.

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