NJEA warns Christie about altering pension, benefit rules

Teacher retirements could spike to as many as 30,000 if pension rules and benefits are altered, according to the New Jersey Education Association.

The NJEA made the prediction after the Christie administration proposed a change requiring state employees and new retirees to begin paying a portion of their benefits beginning August 1. Education Commissioner Bret Schundler said state employees who retire before that date would retain free lifetime medical benefits. Schundler said salary and benefits for new hires cost 83 percent less than those for veteran teachers.

"Whether the governor realizes it or not, his legislation would be an all-out assault on the very future of public education in New Jersey," said NJEA president Barbara Keshishian.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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