This isn’t new news but it’s also not good news. Pew Charitable Trusts updated its pension study to include 2018 data, and NJ comes in dead last among the 50 states. NJ only has 38 cents set aside for each dollar it owes. That means that 62 cents of every dollar owed is an unfunded liability – a debt that the state owes to retirees that will have to be paid off.
Even broke IL comes in better than NJ. The national funding average is 70.7%, so NJ is a huge outlier when it comes to fiscal irresponsibility. All of this shows why Gov. Murphy’s making a record $4.7 billion payment into NJ’s broken and unreformed pension system is throwing $4.7 billion of good money after bad. The governor is borrowing $4.5 billion to help him make this payment, which only increases NJ’s overall debt load, but $4.7 billion is still only 78% of the required payment, so NJ’s unfunded pension liabilities will also increase. What a waste of money that is much needed elsewhere during these COVID-stressed times!