If you hadn’t already suspected it, another new report has proven it: New Jersey has the worst pension system in the country.
This report came from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ latest analysis of the country’s pension debts. Nationwide, the unfunded liability for pensions could reach $1.3 trillion once all the data for the 230 public sector retirement plans is available and compiled.
Meanwhile, pension plans in all 50 states added $157 billion in new unfunded liabilities from 2014 to 2015. However, the blame for much of that increase goes to New Jersey and four other states: Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. In that time frame, New Jersey alone was responsible for a pension debt increase of $22.6 billion—from $113.1 billion up to $135.7 billion—and had only enough to cover 37.5 percent of its liabilities.
Despite Gov. Christie’s valiant efforts to shore up the pension fund, New Jersey is still falling behind. This year’s proposal of a $2.5 billion contribution—a record high—is just half of what actuaries recommend to right the financial ship. The way things are going, it will be another 30 years before New Jersey’s pension system is even 80 percent funded.