Fix Pension And Health Benefits

The pension crisis has become a ticking time bomb and threatens to force draconian spending cuts, massive tax hikes or collapse the retirement system if New Jersey ignores the problem. At the same time, Kim understands that we won’t solve the problem by shouting, passing blame and calling people names because at the end of the day, it is in everyone’s interest to fix it. This problem will only be resolved by all sides sitting down at the negotiating table and hammering out a solution.

Kim believes that the recent Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission set forth sound principles and ideas for tackling New Jersey’s pension crisis that should serve as the starting point for negotiating a solution. As governor, she will lead good faith negotiations with stakeholders to secure the pension system and strike the best possible deal for all sides. Solutions may include:

  • Honoring pension commitment to current retirees: Kim recognizes that we must protect current retirees who have responsibly planned for retirement. As governor, she will prioritize solutions that allow New Jersey to honor our commitments to current retirees.

  • Bringing public health insurance plans in line with private sector offerings: The Pension and Health Benefit Commission found that by reducing ‘Cadillac’ health insurance plans for public workers and bringing healthcare in line with private sector plans, New Jersey can save up to $2.5 billion and cut property taxes by 8% while still delivering high quality care.

  • Ending all pension abuse like imposing strict ‘1 public paycheck’ rule to stop double dipping: According to the Star-Ledger, hundreds of public employees still collect high salaries and retirement pay at the same time. A Guadagno administration would end this practice.

  • Cutting Wall Street management fees: New Jersey currently pays hundreds of millions of dollars to Wall Street banks to manage pension funds, with mediocre returns on our investment. A Guadagno administration will work to strike new agreements to cut payments and incentivize better returns for pensioners.

  • Transferring the management of the Police and Firemen’s pension system to a risk-bearing entity: As Monmouth County’s former sheriff, Kim Guadagno knows that we must do everything we can to save pensions for our brave police officers and firefighters. A Guadagno administration would support a proposal to allow police and firefighters to manage their own pension system while transferring the risk of those investment decisions.

  • Moving more public employees into cash balance plans. The Pension Commission outlined a cash balance plan that would dramatically improve New Jersey’s ability to fund our current obligations. These plans provide for a generous retirement benefit to workers going forward while not reneging on benefits already earned by our current, dedicated public workers.