NJ panel calls for overhauling pensions, schools and more

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) ā€” A bipartisan task force formed by New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney is recommending government overhauls including of the state’s pensions and school systems to save money.

The Democratic lawmaker and the New Jersey Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup unveiled their report Thursday at the statehouse. Among the recommendations are shifting new state and local workers from a defined-benefit pension to a 401k-style plan as well as cutting benefits for retirees. The panel is also calling for merging school districts into regional systems that would go from kindergarten to 12th grade. Under the current system roughly 300 of the state’s 600-plus districts range from kindergarten to fourth grade up to ninth grade. The report doesn’t specify how much the changes would save taxpayers.