Verona Township will save $87,957 in 2013 as part of a series of pension reforms signed into law last year. Cedar Grove Township will save $74,833.
The cuts are thanks to the reforms agreed upon by the New Jersey legislative bodies and signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie in June 2011. The bill, aimed at increasing contributions to health benefits and pension payments for public employees, makes various changes to the manner in which the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), the Judicial Retirement System (JRS), the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS)
Cedar Grove employees will pay an additional $31,356 into their pension fund next year, while the township's police and firefighters will pay $43,477. In addition to the township's employees, Cedar Grove Board of Education employees will pay an extra $23,618.
In Verona, employees will pay an additional $47,007 into their pension fund next year and the township's police and firefighters will pay $40,950. Board of education employees will pay an extra $28,608.
“Our willingness to make the tough choices and achieve progress on meaningful reforms in a bipartisan way is continuing to deliver millions in long-term, sustainable property tax relief for Essex County middle-class families,” Christie said in a statement.
“Our commitment to taxpayers is to continue down the path of commonsense reforms that bring down the cost of government while providing tax relief," he added. "We have an obligation to ease our overburdened middle class by delivering direct tax relief, ending the practice of cash payouts for unused sick days, promoting shared services, and closing the loopholes in the 2 percent property tax cap. I urge the legislature to continue to work as a partner, rather than an impediment, and act on our middle-class reform agenda.”
According to a statement by the governor’s office, new lower bills will be provided to local governments showing savings of nearly $13 million for Essex County and statewide savings of $116 million because of the pension management reforms.
Pension contributions paid by local governments and funded by local property taxpayers are falling by $116 million statewide, with more than $43 million in local government savings coming from the PFRS and more than $72 million coming from the PERS.
The reforms are projected to save state and local taxpayers more than $120 billion in 30 years.
Last year, the first year of implementing pension reform, local taxpayers saved $267 million statewide.
For the current fiscal year 2013, pension costs for local governments are a projected $241 million less this year than they would have otherwise been without reform.