NJ Court Dismisses Union Pension Challenges

January 24, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A New Jersey state court judge has turned aside a public employee union effort to throw out new employee pension changes the state enacted in 2010.

A news story by the New Jersey Press Media service said the 2010 law required new employees to pay 1.5% of their salaries toward current health benefits and 1.5% of their pensions after they retire. The laws also limited pensions to full-time employees and capped payments of unused sick time to $15,000.

Suing the state over the changes were the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; all challenged the laws as vague and unconstitutional. The state’s largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, the Teamsters Union, and the Fraternal Order of police, also argued the Legislature overstepped its authority and that it amounted to an unlawful “taking” by a government, according to the news report.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg dismissed the charges.