NJ Troopers Battle to Stay on the Job

January 4, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may be trying to raise the retirement age for many government workers, but he wants to keep the retirement cutoff for state police at 55.

An Asbury Park Press news story said the state is fighting a legal effort by some 200 State Police troopers to overturn the current mandatory retirement age, arguing they remain physically fit to do the job. Christie has contended younger troopers are better able to deal with the rigors of the job. 

Ironically, the state’s opposition to the troopers’ court efforts come as Christie has proposed raising to 65 years old the retirement age for teachers and most municipal and state employees, the newspaper said (see NJ’s Christie Proposes Sweeping Pension Changes).  

The  lawsuit, filed in 2009, was brought by troopers who joined the force too late to work 25 years to qualify for an annual pension of 65% of their salary, the news account indicated. Instead, they will get a pension of half their salary, just as they would if they retired at 20 years. 

The union that represents state troopers opposes the effort to raise the retirement age. The union also contends that the extra pension some troopers will earn within seven years or so, will outstrip the money initially saved if the age were increased.