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Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt speaks at the Bergen County Republican headquarters on April 11, 2019.

Steinhardt attacks Dems on pension

Governors of both parties ignored pension payments

By Nikita Biryukov, September 09 2019 5:52 pm

State Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt called on voters to elect more Republicans to blunt the state’s rising pension costs Monday.

“While Governor Murphy is out to dinner on the State’s pension crisis, the check is coming due and we can’t pay for it,” Steinhardt said. “The State’s Democrats are politically incapable of constructing a solution.  That’s why we need more Republicans at the table.  Ideological diversity isn’t a prerogative, it’s an imperative.”

Over the weekend, NJ Advanced Media reported that Gov. Phil Murphy’s opting to phase down anticipated returns from its pension fund to 7% instead of going there in a simple leap, as Gov. Christie did shortly before Murphy took office would result in a $1.2 billion year-over-year increase to the state’s pension contributions in 2022.

For years under Christie, the state assumed the pension fund would bring in more revenues than was realistic. The 7% Christie chose was praised by actuaries, but it was, in relative terms, a massive jump.

The .65% reduction made in a single year was larger than the two previous reductions combined, and those occurred five years apart.

Murphy reversed Christie’s last reduction and is moving to the 7% figure in intervals. It won’t be reached until 2022, the same year the state pays its full pension obligations for the first in more than two decades.

“2019 is a chance for New Jersey voters to reject Phil Murphy’s failed fiscal policies and send common sense Republicans to Trenton. Don’t waste it. We need representatives at the State government table who are willing to work on structural reforms to the pension system and economic policies that will inspire growth and prosperity,” Steinhardt said. “Democrats keep resorting to their broken-down playbook of short-cuts, one-shot deals and rigging of the system. Don’t let them. We need honest answers to the State’s real problems. We have them. Give the NJGOP a chance to do better. We can’t do worse.”

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