employees and retirees pay a much lower share of their health care costs than their peers who work for other states, the federal government, or the private sector.
Trenton has repeatedly refused to keep pace with innovations and cost-sharing measures used in the private sector. Instead, taxpayers have been forced to pay for public worker benefits that greatly exceed what the average private sector or federal government worker can obtain. And the problem is only getting worse.
The State currently has a $56.8 billion obligation which includes $36.3 billion for teachers and other school board employees whose Post-Retirement Medical (PRM) benefit is part of the State’s retirement obligation.
Local municipalities are responsible for sharing the burden and face an additional obligation of $10 billion for employees who participate in the State Health Benefits Program.
If no action is taken, the cost to taxpayers will grow by more than 40% in four years.
While taxpayers will continue to pay for public employee benefits, without reform, the average cost to an active public employee will increase by less than 10% over the same period.
The cost of health benefits, as a percent of New Jersey’s annual Budget, has grown from 4.5% in
2001 to nearly 9% today.