A summary of what a few states around the country are doing to reduce the cost of employee benefits:

New Jersey: A new law suspends cost-of-living increases on pensions, raises retirement age to 65 for new hires, requires the state to start making its annual payment to the pension system, requires public workers to pay a portion of their health care premiums based on income, allows collective bargaining over health care to resume in four years.

California: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, succeeded last year in starting to roll back higher state employee pension benefits, negotiating with unions for higher pension contributions and raising the retirement age. But he had limited success in getting labor unions to contribute more to their retiree health care. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown continued to work out similar agreements with remaining unions without contracts, but negotiations for further changes have stalled so far this year.

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