Judge Rules NJ Can Suspend COLAs For Retired Workers

STATE – A Superior Court judge ruled last week that New Jersey can suspend cost-of-living-adjustments for its retired public employees.

Judge Douglas Hurd upheld this key component of New Jersey’s new pension law, which is intended to help bring the under-funded system into balance.

In addition to suspending cost-of-living adjustments until the pension system reaches target funding levels, the changes backed by Gov. Chris Christie included raising the retirement age for newly-hired workers.

Earlier this year, a federal judge dismissed another lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds that challenged a provision requiring public workers to pay a greater share of the costs of their pensions and health benefits.

For years, administrations led by governors of both parties failed to fully fund the state’s obligations to the public workers’ pension system.

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