Bill could spark NJ teacher retirements

(AP) - Proposed legislation could generate a wave of retirements among public employees in New Jersey, particularly among teachers.

The Christie administration is preparing a bill that would require state employees and new retirees to begin paying a portion of their benefits beginning August 1.

Education Commissioner Bret Schundler says state employees who retire before that date would retain free lifetime medical benefits.

Schundler says teacher retirements could help avert planned layoffs.

The Legislature passed bills earlier this year that eventually will require new state employees to contribute 1.5 percent of their salary toward benefits. The amounts of new employees pensions would be based on their last five years of service rather than the last three.

Schundler says the new proposal would require a greater contribution to health care and extend the five-year rule to existing employees.

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