(Bloomberg) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will seek to roll back pension-fund contributions in his next budget, a day after a judge said he broke state law by withholding $1.6 billion from the retirement system this year.

The 52-year-old Republican will present a spending plan Tuesday that seeks to contribute $1.3 billion to New Jersey's government-employee pensions for the year starting July 1, according to a figure released by his office. That's less than half the $2.9 billion it was scheduled to pay.

For the governor, the pension decision comes at a pivotal moment as he considers a run for the White House next year. After being dogged by a scandal over deliberate traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge and a struggling economy, Christie has sought to boost his national profile with trips across the U.S. and abroad. Now, he's refocusing on New Jersey, where his approval rating has fallen to record lows, with his latest plan to manage revenue shortfalls and rising pension costs.

"The longer we push off the inevitable because it's easier to let it be someone else's problem, the harder it will be to solve the problem," according to prepared remarks for Christie's budget address.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.