Statements on New Jersey Supreme Court pension ruling

Governor Chris Christie issued the following statement on the New Jersey Supreme Court pension ruling:

aThis decision is an important victory not only for our taxpayers who simply cannot afford these unsustainably high costs, but for limited, constitutional government that recognizes the proper role of the executive and legislative branches of government. The Court's position is clear, as is mine, it is time to move forward and work together to find a tangible, long-term solution to make our pension system and public employee health benefit costs affordable and sustainable for generations to come. In light of today's decision, I urge all interested parties to come back to the table and partner with me to finally solve this problem once and for all.a

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) released the following statement Tuesday on the Supreme Courtas pension funding ruling:

"The ruling changes nothing. Weave always intended to fully fund our obligations, just as we did last year. Democrats will choose the path of responsibility. The governor chose last year to be fiscally irresponsible and to further weaken our economy. For the sake of New Jerseyas taxpayers and its economy, I hope he chooses a different course this year."

New Jersey State PBA Statement On New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling On Pension Funding:

"New Jersey State Policemenas Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan released the statement below following the Supreme Courtas decision in the lawsuit between Governor Christie and public worker unions over billions in pension funding. Colligan expressed disappointment in the Court's ruling and called upon the Legislature to immediately repeal Chapter 78 in its entirety.

aOur law enforcement officers are out there every day working for our communities and continuing to make the payments required to make sure members and their families have a stable pension fund for their retirement.  Todayas Supreme Court ruling is disappointing because it fails to make Governor Christie keep his promise to hard working law enforcement officers.  

The fact is that our members agreed to pay an additional 1.5% directly from their paychecks to fund our pensions as a result of the Governoras own highly touted pension law.  While the Governor promised to use these funds to help secure our pension fund, he is now hiding behind the courts in an effort to continue syphoning these funds for his own political gain.  This is not leadership.  This is paramount to stealing from hard working law enforcement officers.

The New Jersey pension system is not one monolithic fund that is losing money daily.  In fact, the State manages five pension plans for State and local employees.  Of those five, PFRS is financed mainly by local governments, law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been making their required pension payments, even with the additional 1.5% required from Governor Christieas own Chapter 78 legislation of 2011.

The PFRS system is stable at almost 77% and the only thing holding it back from operating at an almost 90% funding level is the governoras broken promise.

Chapter 78 mandated both employer and employee sacrifices to provide funding to support the pension system. If it is only the employees who are required to make those sacrifices now under the Court's ruling, then I am hereby calling on the Legislature to immediately repeal Chapter 78 in its entirety.  It is only fair that this broken bargain be taken off our backs if the Administration refuses to do what it promised so clearly in 2011."


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