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Cut Benefits, See Retirement Go Up

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By Allan Holmes October 1, 2010

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For years, government officials have predicted a wave of federal retirements, but it has yet to materialize. New Jersey may have found a way to make it a reality.

Gov. Chris Christie has proposed reforming the public pension system, and state workers believe he is serious, so much so that an increased number are planning to retire.

From WHHY in Delaware:

So far this year more than 19,000 state employees and teachers have filed applications for retirement. That's a 55 percent increase from last year.

Rutgers University public policy professor Carl Van Horn says Gov. Christie's call to change pension and health care benefits is one reason why workers who want to preserve their current benefits are leaving. But, he says there are other factors.

"With budgets being reduced and personnel being reduced the pressures on the remaining workers increase and so the environment for working in government in general has declined. The satisfaction that people get from the job and the pressures they feel have increased."

Considering the current unemployment rate, Van Horn says the government should not have trouble attracting new workers in the short term. But he says it could be more difficult once the economy improves.

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