New Jersey state pension system’s unfunded liabilities rose 17.5%, or $8.05 billion, to $53.86 billion in the 12 months ended June 30, Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, state treasurer, announced Thursday.
During this period, the system’s funded ratio dropped to 62% from 66%.
The market value of the pension system’s assets as of June 30 were $70.52 billion, according to a Treasury Department news release. The department’s website shows the pension system had assets of $71 billion as of Oct. 31.
Mr. Sidamon-Eristoff said in the release that the latest numbers reinforce the need for the state to adopt a series of proposals made by Gov. Chris Christie in September.
The recommendations include raising the retirement age for state workers and eliminating cost-of-living increases in benefits paid to current and future employees, the news release said.
“Immediate reform is needed to restrain exponential cost increases and provide long term stability to the system.” Mr. Sidamon-Eristoff said in the news release.
“Even if New Jersey had made all of the required pension contributions over the last 10 years, New Jersey would still not have the money to pay for all of the retirement benefits it has promised state and local employees,” Andrew Pratt, a spokesman for Mr. Sidamon-Eristoff, said in an interview.
Mr. Pratt added that New Jersey hasn’t made any contributions to the state pension system in 13 out of the last 17 years. “In only one year has the state met or exceeded the requirement,” he added.