It isn’t only a moral imperative for the state to make payments into the public pension system, it is also a legal one. We must obey the law and fully fund the pension.
Governor Chris Christie has skipped more pension payments than any governor in New Jersey history – even as he repeatedly claimed he “fixed” the pension system. In fact, Christie omitted $14.9 billion in required payments – more than the five previous governors combined. Christie’s preferred course of action puts the system on a road to bankruptcy in 10-12 years.
Wall Street has downgraded New Jersey’s credit-rating a record nine times on Christie’s watch. They’ve done so, in large part, due to Christie’s continued refusal to fund the pension. So, funding the pension would help put New Jersey on the path to fiscal responsibility, which has been sorely lacking.
Honoring pensions for public workers is good for the whole state by protecting the middle-class and ensuring that the public sector can attract talented staff. A pension isn’t a giveaway to a giant corporation, it’s deferred compensation that workers have earned. Public workers have made their payments, it is only the state that has not held up its end of the bargain. We must stop putting millionaires and corporations ahead of the working people of our state and make the pension payment.
NJCAEF’s partner organization, New Jersey Citizen Action, filed an amicus curiae legal brief in April in support of public worker unions suing Governor Chris Christie for breaking the law and refusing to fully fund the pension system.