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 and 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 their employees, under the current system. But if an employee's pension is forfeited by an 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 that sometimes the criminal act committed by the public official costs the local agency money as well.

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

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