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Gov. Chris Christie’s budget to boost New Jersey pension contribution by $650 million

Chris Christie
Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will include a $650 million increase in state contributions to the $71.2 billion New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, in his budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The increase would boost the total pension contribution for the 2018 fiscal year to approximately $2.51 billion in keeping with the state's pension payment formula.

Mr. Christie disclosed his intention Monday night during a monthly radio show. He will deliver his budget address to state legislators on Feb. 28. The legislators and governor must agree on a 2018 fiscal appropriation law by June 30.

“It is a challenge” because the pension contribution “eats up so much of our revenue,” Mr. Christie said. “Until we fix the pension and health benefit issue, there is going to continuously be enormous pressure on the state budget.”

For the fiscal year ending June 30, the state's contribution of $1.86 billion to the pension fund will occur near the end of the fiscal year. Starting July 1, a bill passed by the state Legislature and signed by the governor in December requires the state to make quarterly payments.