By David Madden

By KYW’s David Madden

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (CBS) — Freeholders in Burlington County have adopted a new policy that prohibits anyone collecting a taxpayer-funded pension from taking a county job.

It’s thought to be the first county ban on so called “double dipping” in New Jersey.

Although there are exceptions.

Eighteen current county employees are exempted from the new rule, and veterans collecting a federal pension could take a county job. Anyone now taking a government pension could apply with the county, if they opt to freeze those pension payments.

“Public retirement pensions were never intended to change a person’s lifestyle or to double their income while they were still working,” Burlington County spokesman Eric Arpert told KYW Newsradio.

The issue of double dipping has come up in the campaign for county sheriff, where Republican incumbent Jean Stanfield does not collect a public pension. Her Democratic opponent, retired police lieutenant James Kostoplis, is collecting one. Sixteen of New Jersey’s 21 elected county sheriffs now receive a government-funded pension.

Arpert insists freeholders unanimously adopted the new policy to save Burlington County taxpayers money.

“What we cannot do is continue to ask them to go into their pockets to send two checks to one individual for a single job,” he said.

The policy does not affect government workers not directly employed by Burlington County.