Walt Kane takes a look at pension reform

TRENTON - News 12 New Jersey's Walt Kane is separating the fact from fiction as the current legislation regarding pension and benefits reform going through the Statehouse is generating a lot of he-said, she-said.

According to state workers, the pension-reform bill is all about broken promises. According to Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) the bill is all about sacrifice.

Workers will receive less under the new law, and most will have to work 30 years instead of 25. The retirement age will rise from 60 to 65. Annual "cost-of-living" adjustments will go away until the pension fund is "stable," something not predicted to happen for another 30 years. Health benefits will also change, as state workers will pay two to three times as much as they do now.

The governor has been saying for months that it's because benefits are too generous and the state can't afford to pay. Most analysts agree that pensions aren't too expensive, but unions say the governor doesn't always tell the whole story.

One of the main reasons that the pension system is $54 billion in debt is because New Jersey's governors have been skipping annual payments for the past 15 years.

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