NJ Dems, GOP offer competing pension reform plans

TRENTON - (AP) - There are now competing plans to bolsterNew Jersey's depleted pension funds.

Republicans in the Legislature introduced bills on Monday thatmirror Governor Chris Christie's proposal requiring publicemployees to work longer and contribute more to their retirementfunds.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the most powerful Democrat inthe state Legislature, has put forth his own pension proposal. Hisbill creates labor-management boards to set workers' annual pensioncontributions based on the solvency of the system. His changesaffect prospective and non-vested employees.

Sweeney, who controls the legislative agenda, says the GOPproposal is probably illegal and would be subject to years oflitigation by vested workers and retirees.

Christie also wants to roll back a 9 percent pension increase.Sweeney wants workers to pay more for the enhanced benefit.

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