New Jersey will make its quarterly contribution of $684 million to the state pension on time and in full, effective June 30.
The payment commitment was a rare bright spot in a grim revenue and budget forecast for the current and succeeding fiscal years issued May 22 by State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muio.
"Managing the unprecedented fiscal crisis will require extremely difficult decisions in the weeks and months ahead," she said May 22 in a news conference describing the actual and projected economic impact of the coronavirus.
To cope with the virus-caused financial problems, the state must count on "a combination of budget and appropriations adjustments, critically needed borrowing and more robust federal assistance," she said.
The pension system didn't escape unscathed in a budget and revenue report that the treasurer released.
If the state lottery, the proceeds of which are part of the contribution to the pension system, fall short of expectations for the 12 months ending June 30, the state won't make up the difference, the report said.
The lottery has been expected to provide about $1 billion a year. For the 10 months ended April 30, lottery proceeds of $768.7 million trailed the $887 million for a corresponding period last year. The lottery plus general revenues were expected to cover the $3.75 billion contribution for the 12 months ending June 30.
In addition, the state won't make a supplemental payment of $279 million to the pension system during the current fiscal year.
When Gov. Phil Murphy announced his proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year on Feb. 25, he also said the state would contribute the extra $279 million during the current fiscal year. However, the coronavirus outbreak has obliterated that economic forecast.
The treasurer's report said the state will push to October from Sept. 30 a planned $950.9 million contribution for the pension system, which will be the first quarterly installment for the 2021 fiscal year.
Mr. Murphy has called for a state payment — including lottery proceeds — of $4.6 billion in the 2021 fiscal year. A recently enacted law moved the closing day of the current fiscal year to Sept. 30 from June 30, meaning the next fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, had assets of $74.2 billion as of Feb. 29, according to the latest available data.