TRENTON - (AP) - The number of public employees who retired in New Jersey in 2010 was up 60 percent over 2009.

More than 20,000 police, firefighters, teachers and other public employees submitted retirement papers last year.

Retirements among police and firefighters swelled by 45 percent. The Statehouse Bureau of The Star-Ledger of Newark and TheRecord newspaper found nearly double the number of teachers whoretired in 2009 left in 2010.

New Jersey Education Association communications director SteveWollmer says teachers have been criticized by Gov. Chris Christie.Wollmer also acknowledged the threat of pension and health benefitreform is also driving up the numbers.

Most reform proposals would require public employees to pay morefor pension and health benefits. They wouldn't pay additional costsif they retire before the reforms are enacted.