New Jersey politicians rack up hefty retirement benefits

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April 30, 2012

New Jersey: New Jersey state legislators voted in 2010 to cap retirement benefits to new employees, but not to limit payouts to existing employees. Some legislators also are longtime public employees, and have garnered hefty retirement packages that were not restricted.[1]

The New Jersey Star-Ledger analyzed lawmakers' and other public employees' perks and found that 15 legislators and a county executive have accrued "about $850,000 worth of unused time that they could turn into cash." Most of them voted for the 2010 law that capped benefits for new employees but kept the old system in place for existing ones -- including the lawmakers themselves.[1]

For example, state Senator Nicholas Sacco holds down three public jobs, including one as a school assistant superintendent. In that role, he has amassed 445 unused sick days, which he could cash out for $331,970. Sacco says that he has earned that through a near-perfect attendance record for 43 years, and adds, "Is that fair to people? Maybe not, but that is the contract that existed."[1]

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