Gov. Christie looks to get tough on pension and disability rules for police and firefighters | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com -- Your State. Your News.

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Gov. Christie looks to get tough on pension and disability rules for police and firefighters

christie033011_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Reports are saying disability pension applications for police and firefighters have greatly increased since the state Supreme Court loosened standards in 2007 and 2008.

Governor Christie told the Statehouse Bureau, “This is something we need to tighten up with the Legislature. Nobody wants that stuff going on, especially the police and firefighters who want their pension.”

He said tougher disability requirements would protect the already underfunded pension system. Under June’s reform measures, annual cost-of-living increases for retirees will be eliminated until pension funds have enough funding to cover 80 percent of their long-term costs.

The Asbury Park Press reports that many recent disability applications came from relatively routine situations. A 48-year-old police sergeant, filed and won disability last year from hurting his back while moving a park bench.

Another application was just approved last year when a 51-year-old officer filed in 2008 from a 1997 slip-and-fall accident. Other applications were approved from falls on a screw from a computer, falling on black ice, or something as simple as getting up from a desk.

According to NJ.com, John Sierchio, head of the pension board overseeing the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, 19 percent of New Jersey’s law enforcement officers were out on disability in 2010, and he expects the number to rise. Sierchio says the average disability pension is paid at age 40, coming to about $50,000 per year.

A 2007 decision said that a worker receiving a pension must be permanently disabled from any event that was identifiable and unexpected that occurred on duty. A year later, psychological injuries were added to that.

The Press says Police and Fire Retirement System paid $91.5 million in accidental disability in 2010, up 35 percent since 2007, when they paid out $68 million.

 
Comments (4)
4 Tuesday, 06 March 2012 17:50
Nothappy
The other evening I was watching 1 on 1. In a reply to a caller about costs, Christi replied that the state had to honor contracts made by previous governers. So why weren't the proper amount of funds deposited in the Police & Firemens Pension funds as per agreements, by Florio ,Whitman,Corzine or Christi ? I was in the Navy when Christi was born ,protecting his rights , and now he sells us down the river. It's not bad enough my investments are earning zip ,he wants to take away my pension too.....Hope he finds himself in the same boat when he gets old.
3 Tuesday, 27 September 2011 10:40
Reality Check
Instead of insulting ones who post, perhaps you should read the article:
"The Asbury Park Press reports that many recent disability applications came from relatively routine situations. A 48-year-old police sergeant, filed and won disability last year from hurting his back while moving a park bench.

Another application was just approved last year when a 51-year-old officer filed in 2008 from a 1997 slip-and-fall accident. Other applications were approved from falls on a screw from a computer, falling on black ice, or something as simple as getting up from a desk."

Doesn't make all cops and firefighters greedy or bad - every profession has a few of thier own bad apples - it's the system that needs to be fixed.
2 Saturday, 24 September 2011 09:27
MarieB
Dear "grunt,"

Which cops and firefighters are milking it? Name names? Where are your facts to prove your point? It sounds to me like you're a tad jealous. Perhaps you should have tried out for the job, or perhaps you were never qualified to begin with.
1 Friday, 23 September 2011 07:24
grunt
TOO MANY COPS AND FIREFIGHTERS ARE MILKING THE SYSTEM,, GUYS WHO DONT WANT TO BE WORKING ANYMORE ARE DOING IT! THEN THEY RUN MARATHONS WORK OUT ,,THEY CAN GO GET ANOTHER JOB , CUT THE DISABILITY IN HALF AND TAX THEM!!!! WATCH HOW MANY WANT TO COME BACK!

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