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Public Safety Officers Law Blog

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Tag Archives: benefit reform

NJ Public Employee Pension Fund Investments Yield a Higher Return than Originally Predicted

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
According to an article published in NJ Spotlight, New Jersey’s public-employee pension fund investments generated returns totaling 9.06% for fiscal year 2018. Some of the investments that were credited for lifting the fund’s overall performance included U.S. equities and real-estate holdings. The NJ pension system covers the retirements of approximately 800,000 current and retired public workers… Continue Reading

Major NJ City Poised to Make Change from Self Insured Healthcare to the NJ State Health Benefits Plan

Posted in Uncategorized
The City of Paterson is looking at the possibility of ending its longstanding practice of using self-insurance for employee medical coverage and switching to New Jersey’s State Health Benefits program, as reported in Northjersey.com. By doing so, Paterson believes that it would save approximately 20 million dollars given that its cost for employee medical coverage… Continue Reading

Murphy and NJ Public Employee Unions Negotiate Changes to Healthcare Plans That Will Save NJ Taxpayers Millions of Dollars

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law
As reported in Northjersey.com, the Murphy Administration has reached a health care deal with the state’s public workers’ unions that is expected to yield approximately $500 million in savings over the next two years. The pact directs union members and retirees to utilize “in-network doctors” and “generic prescription drugs”, according to a report by the Record. These… Continue Reading

NJ’s Public Employee Donated Sick Leave Policy May Soon Become Law

Posted in Uncategorized
In New Jersey under an existing employment regulation, state employees can donate unused time off to a co-worker who has exhausted his/her own allotted leave bank due to a catastrophic illness or injury that has kept them from returning to work. As reported on the website, NJSpotlight.com, State lawmakers want to see this longstanding policy become… Continue Reading

NJ 2019 Fiscal Year Budget Funds The Public Employee Pension System at a Greater Level Than Ever Before

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported in multiple news sources, the current New Jersey State budget signed into law by Governor Philip Murphy increased state spending by more than one billion dollars and a large portion of that increase is going to the state’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system. The new budget adds $700 million to what the state will be… Continue Reading

Senate President Sweeney Wants To Put Public Employee Benefits and Pensions On the Chopping Block Again

Posted in Contract Negotiations
As reported in NorthJersey.com, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney has plans to wring savings out of government which could fall hard on public employee unions.  Supposedly Sweeny wants to enlist Governor Philip Murphy as his “partner”, but Murphy wants no part of it. Sweeney’s post-budget focus on cost cutting poses a dilemma for Murphy. Will… Continue Reading

Data Shows that NJ’s Most Violent Cities Have Lost The Most Police Officers Since 2010

Posted in Uncategorized
As reported by NJ.com, retaining police officers has been a challenge for many New Jersey municipal police departments.  Shortfalls in city and municipal budgets can, and have lead to layoffs and demotions. When Senior police officers retire their positions never get refilled and the data shows that this occurs more often than not in New Jersey… Continue Reading

State Correction Officers Win Fight Over Sick Leave Pay as Christie Signs New Bill into Law

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Sick Leave Injury Benefits
As reported by Trentonian.com, following the publicity of numerous corrections officers beaten at work, Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to provide sick leave pay to prison workers assaulted by inmates. Christie signed a bill into law on Monday that will make corrections, juvenile, parole and probation officers whole — albeit on a limited basis —… Continue Reading

Sweeney Introduces Bill Seeking to Wrest Control of PFRS Away from State Treasury

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by N.J.com, furious after watching pension investment fees triple over the last three years even as their funds lost value, police and firefighter union leaders are seeking to wrest control of their underfunded pensions from the state. As Gov. Chris Christie is set to deliver his final budget address, state Senate President Sweeney (D-Gloucester) on… Continue Reading

Another Pension Bill Sits on Christie’s Desk–What Will He Do This Time?

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported by JT Aregood from the New Jersey Observer, just months after Senate President Steve Sweeney declined to post a bill that would have effected the change with a voter-approved constitutional amendment, Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey passed a plan to require the state to make payments into its underfunded public pension system on… Continue Reading

NJ Republican Seeks to Reduce Government Health Care Costs in Exchange for Constitutional Amendment “Obligating” State Pension Payment

Posted in Uncategorized
While Chapter 78 increased the average healthcare contributions required of public employees based upon a sliding percentage of the cost of coverage, if Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon’s proposal is implemented, public workers can expect to pay higher out-of-pocket costs toward coverage provided under a lower-level plan. In exchange, the Assemblyman’s plan provides for a constitutional amendment obligating the… Continue Reading

The Costs of Chapter 78, P.L., 2011 on New Jersey Retirees’ Healthcare Contributions

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits, Uncategorized
Chapter 78, P.L., 2011 (hereinafter referred to as “Chapter 78”) went into effect on June 28, 2011, and has increased the average healthcare contributions required of public employees substantially. However, not all employees and retirees are equally effected. This article will briefly outline the effect Chapter 78 will have on newly and prospective retirees. Chapter… Continue Reading

Christie Tells State Pension Fund Trustee’s That They Have No Authority to Request an Audit

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Public Employment Pension Crisis, Retiree Benefits
As reported by Samantha Marcus of NJ.Com, The Trustees of one of New Jersey’s largest government employee pension funds say they have been told by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration that they have no authority to request an audit of their fund’s investments, valued at about $80 billion. Tom Bruno, chairman of the board of trustees… Continue Reading

New Jersey’s Credit Rating May Fall Yet Again Based on the Outcome of The COLA Pension Suit

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Public Employment Pension Crisis, Retiree Benefits
In accordance with an article published on NJ.Com this past week, New Jersey’s low-end credit rating could fall again if the state Supreme Court rules that retired public workers are entitled to yearly increases (COLA) in their pensions, according to Moody’s Investors Service. A lawsuit challenging one of Governor Christie’s pension-reform laws is pending at… Continue Reading

NJ Pension Funds to Investigate the Payment of Exorbitant Management Fees

Posted in Public Employment Pension Crisis
As reported in NJ.Com, The Boards of Trustees of New Jersey’s largest pension funds plan to launch a probe into how the state awards fees incurred in managing pension fund investments.  The Public Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees voted to conduct a forensic audit of the fund’s expenses, following a similar vote by the… Continue Reading

Senator Sweeney is Correct–Christie Should Concentrate on Growing the State’s Economy as NJ’s Tax Revenue Recovery is One of The Poorest in The Nation

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law
On March 11, 2015, we posted a blog wherein Senator Sweeney stated that Governor Christie needed to change his tactics at the bargaining table regarding pension reform and if he instead concentrated on “growing” New Jersey’s economy, additional tax revenue would be created that would result in more money to fund the Public Employees’ Pension System. … Continue Reading

Memphis’s Pension Crisis is Now a Public Safety Crisis–Will New Jersey Repeat the River City’s Mistakes?

Posted in Public Employment Labor Law, Public Employment Pension Crisis, Retiree Benefits
Yesterday, I received an email from one of our readers, Ed Mecka, from Hoboken, New Jersey, who turned me on to an article regarding the pension crisis that is taking place in Memphis, Tennessee.  The crisis in Memphis has caught the national media’s attention, and an article was printed in the Wall Street Journal a… Continue Reading

NJ League of Municipalities Warns that Christie’s Proposed Pension Reform Could Disenfranchise Workers and Trigger a Mass Exodus of Local Employees

Posted in Contract Interpretation, Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported in NJ.Com, the New Jersey League of Municipalities stopped short of taking an official position on Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed pension reforms but stated the proposed changes could disenfranchise workers and trigger a mass exodus of local workers.  Executive Director Bill Dressel shared the league’s concerns in a letter to the governor late last… Continue Reading

Moody’s Downgrades New Jersey’s Credit Rating as a Result of Christie’s Illegal Pension Blunder

Posted in Contract Negotiations, Interest Arbitration, Public Employment Labor Law, Retiree Benefits
As reported in NJ.Com, Judge Jacobson’s ruling this week that public worker pension contributions are contractually protected will constrict the state’s ability to balance its budget in the future, Moody’s, a Wall Street rating agency, said today.  The flexibility of the state’s pension payment has been “a tool essential” to balancing the budget, Moody’s Investors Service… Continue Reading

Did Governor Christie Ever Have Any Intention of Keeping His Promise to Fully Fund the Pension System?

Posted in Contract Interpretation, Public Employment Labor Law
As reported on NJ.Com, The State of New Jersey argued before a State Superior Court Judge today that Governor Chris Christie cannot be forced to make full pension payments because the 2011 law committing him to fully fund the state system in exchange for union concessions was unconstitutional. Interrupting the assistant attorney general, Superior Court Judge Mary… Continue Reading

Democrats Pledge to Fund Pension System

Posted in Uncategorized
Today, February 25, 2014, Governor Chris Christie is set to propose a new state budget. In a press release yesterday, State Democrats warned the Governor that he shouldn’t expect support for a proposed tax cut. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) also repeated that the spending plan… Continue Reading

NJ Pension Woes Worsen, Report Shows

Posted in Uncategorized
  As reported by nj.com, a new report shows the retirement funds for New Jersey State Troopers, local police, and firefighters and public workers lost ground in the first year workers were required to pay more toward their pensions. The State paid one-seventh of its contribution to the system in the fiscal year that ended… Continue Reading
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