Christie aims again at cost of public workers’ pensions

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie says the state’s pension system for public employees is an “insatiable beast” and he is pushing again for changes.

Christie said in his state of the state address Tuesday that the cost of pensions remains a major problem. He said that’s why he appointed a commission last year to look for long-term solutions, but he did not give any specifics.

Addressing the issue was one of the major accomplishments of his first term.

He struck deals with the Democrat-controlled Legislature in 2010 and 2011 for public workers to contribute more, and for retirees to temporarily give up cost-of-living increases. The state would restore money to the pension funds over seven years.

But amid a surprise budget shortfall last year, Christie pulled back on his pledge to catch up on pension funding.

Workers’ unions and three pension funds are suing him.
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