Earlier this year, New Jersey did something that hasn’t been done in over two decades: the state actually made a full payment to its public workers’ pension fund, for a total of almost $ 7 billion.
Governor Phil Murphy paid an additional $ 505 million on top of what would have been a full payment of $ 6.4 billion. But in the coming years, pension contributions will rise as the Garden State’s long-term pension obligation stands at $ 90 billion.
Many current and former politicians have argued that the state will never be able to fully fund the state pension system because the issue has been put aside for so long. But Dan Cassino, executive director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll, said a new poll conducted in partnership with the AARP found that “73% of New Jersey voters over the age of 50 say the state should continue to make those full pension payments despite the amount of money it ends up costing.
He said if people are backing Phil Murphy or Jack Ciattarelli, a majority is in favor of full payouts: should too.
Cassino said Ciattarelli had been going back and forth on this issue, first stating that the plan should be changed for new workers to a 401k-style plan, but then tweeted that he would make sure to protect the pensions of workers. police and firefighters before deleting this tweet.
Cassino said the poll also asked respondents about the state’s new retirement savings program, New Jersey Secure Choice. He said the program, which hasn’t received much attention, allows workers at companies without a 401k plan to withhold payroll that goes into retirement savings.
Among voters over 50, 82% are in favor of this plan. Of those who are in favor, 90% say it should be rolled out quickly.
Cassino said the high level of support for public programs that help secure retirement is not surprising, as only a third of New Jerseyans aged 50 and over who are still working say they are very confident they have enough money. to retire when the time comes.
The survey reveals that 38% of respondents indicate that they are very confident that they have enough savings and income to maintain a comfortable retirement.
The survey also found that most Garden State voters aged 50 and over report low or moderate levels of stress, while 25% fall in the high category.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]