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N.J. Switch to 401(k)-Type Pension May Cost $42 Billion

Switching future New Jersey public workers to a 401(k)-type retirement plan, a move Governor Chris Christie is considering, would worsen the pension system’s unfunded liability, according to advocates for the poor.

Closing the existing defined-benefit plan to new enrollees would involve $42 billion in transition costs, according to a report by New Jersey Policy Perspective. Later hires, who would make their own investment decisions rather than leave them to professional managers, would risk retiring with less money, the Trenton-based group said today.