The New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits today said the state's pension system's estimated unfunded liabilities rose to $46 billion for the year ended June 30, up $12 billion from a year earlier.
The market value of the seven pension funds' combined assets fell to $66 billion, down $17 billion, during the same period.
“These figures illustrate the erosion of retirement security resulting from years of underfunding and political unwillingness to say ‘no' to requests for ever-more generous benefits,” Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, state treasurer, said in a news release. The division of pensions and benefits is part of the state Treasury Department.
“The only way to safeguard future worker pensions is to ensure that liabilities are equaled by contributions and proceeds from investment returns,” Mr. Sidamon-Eristoff said in the news release. “We are going in the wrong direction if we want to meet that goal.”
According to a recent report by the New Jersey Division of Investment, Trenton, which oversees state pension fund investments, the market value of the seven pension plans was $67.4 billion as of Jan. 31, down from $68.1 billion at the end of 2009.