New Jersey pensions sue Christie for $4 billion in missed payments

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New Jersey’s three largest public pension plans are taking Gov. Chris Christie to court in a renewed effort to force the state to pay more than $4 billion in missed payments to retirement funds.

The papers were filed in Mercer County Superior Court Friday by the Public Employees Retirement System, Teachers’ Pension Annuity Fund and Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. Combined, the three state plans represent roughly 290,000 retirees and 475,000 active members.

“We’re looking to get a judgment out of this,” said Tom Bruno, chair of the PERS board of trustees, told New Jersey Watchdog.

Public employees unions lost a similar suit last month in State Supreme Court, but Bruno said this case is different because the state pension boards have statutory authority as fiduciaries for the funds.

“If anything, we think the Supreme Court decision strengthens our case,” said Bruno. “It declares Chapter 78 (a 2011 pension reform) is a binding legal contract.”

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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