New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on Tuesday a $46.4 billion budget appropriations for the fiscal year starting July 1, which includes a $6.9 billion contribution to the state pension system.
The state General Assembly and Senate approved the legislation June 24.
The state contribution — a combination of general revenue funds and proceeds from the state lottery — was $505 million more than the $6.4 billion the governor had requested in his initial budget request in February.
The $46.4 billion budget appropriations signed into law was greater than the governor's initial budget proposal of $44.8 billion. Legislators attributed the higher final amounts to greater-than-expected tax receipts and federal aid for COVID-19 relief.
In recent years, the state has been making annual payments to the pension system through increasing increments of 10 percentage points to eventually meet the goal of 100% annual actuarially determined contributions.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, the anticipated $4.7 billion contribution represents 80% of the actuarially determined contribution.
For the upcoming fiscal year, Mr. Murphy said in February that he wanted to accelerate the state's contribution to 100% rather than the expected 90% of actuarially determined contribution.
For several years, the state's contribution has relied on state lottery receipts, with the state counting on approximately $1 billion annually.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, lottery receipts were $937 million, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. However, for the 10 months ended April 30, lottery proceeds were $905.6 million, up 17.8% for the same period in the previous fiscal year.
The New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, had assets of $90.7 billion as of April 30, according to the latest available data.