NJ Gov. Christie to cut pension payments to balance budget

TRENTON, N.J. Tue May 20, 2014 3:08pm EDT

TRENTON, N.J. May 20 (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Tuesday he will slash the state's contributions to its public pensions by nearly 60 percent, or $2.3 billion, for this and next fiscal year combined in order to close a large, unexpected revenue shortfall.

The move could lead to lawsuits from public sector unions and is likely to meet resistance from the Democratic-led legislature, which has already said it is opposed to additional pension changes after cooperating with Christie on bi-partisan reforms in 2011.

The state's retirement system for public employees had nearly $59 billion of unfunded liabilities as of fiscal 2012, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday. (Reporting By Hilary Russ; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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