TRENTON – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Employee Benefits Reform, issued the following statement today after the panel’s hearing on the public employee pension system.
“There is a clear need to tighten employment requirements for participation in public retirement systems.
“Pension benefits should be reserved for career employees. The current $1,500 a year threshold is outdated and serves to undermine the system’s legitimate purpose of attracting and retaining skilled public workers.
“It’s clear that there are still substantial savings that can be realized through pension reform. By eliminating abusive practices and ensuring that employee and employer contributions are dedicated solely to funding retirement benefits, we can reduce our liabilities and stabilize the system’s finances.
“We need to push pension reform, while taking into consideration not only how our system compares to public retirement systems in other jurisdictions, but what is fair and affordable for New Jersey taxpayers. Our financial situation is much different that those of New York or Pennsylvania, and this process must reflect that.”