July 25, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to require sitting judges to pay more of their salary toward their retirement benefits.
In a 3-2 majority ruling, the court said judges’ “salaries…should not be diminished” during their term, according to a report in the Asbury Park Press.
New Jersey Judges currently receive 75% of their salary during retirement and pay 3% of their salary to retirement benefits. The reform law would have increased the judges’ contributions to 12% of salary – an increase of 9% (see "N.J. Supreme Court Begins Retirement Contribution Case").
Judges who are currently serving are not subject to the contribution increases. However, those who began after last June – with the exception of 400 new judges who were exempted – will be subject to the increases.
The state required all public workers to pay more toward their retirement benefits, following legislation enacted last June.