Atlantic County freeholders are asking the state to return money counties and municipalities pay into the pension system if the employees’ pensions are forfeited.

A resolution, sponsored by Freeholder Colin Bell, was unanimously passed at Tuesday’s meeting asking the state to change its system.

Local agencies are required to pay into the state pension system for all of its employees, under the current system. But if an employee’s pension is forfeited by the employee being convicted of certain crimes, the state keeps all of the defaulted money.

"This is a fundamentally unfair situation," Bell said. "When a pension is forfeited, the local tax dollars contributed on behalf of that employee should be returned to the local taxpayers."

Bell noted sometimes the criminal act committed by the public official costs the local agency money as well.

The Atlantic County League of Municipalities recently unanimously adopted a similar resolution, Bell said.

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Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.