Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law a new benefits package for state employees that raised the retirement age from 60 to 62 and increased the minimum salary workers must earn before being eligible for pension benefits.
Now state government employees must earn at least $7,500 per year to qualify for a pension. The previous minimum was $500.
State employees will have to work a minimum of 20 hours per week to qualify for health benefits under the new plan. The state may also offer incentives for employees to opt out of health insurance.
Corzine administration officials say they expect the cutbacks to save more than $150 million through fiscal year 2022.
The law also axed Lincoln’s Birthday, Feb. 12, from the state’s paid holidays, thereby dropping the number of holidays to 12.