Pension System

New Jersey’s Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission has issued its final report on reforms it says are needed to prevent public employee benefits costs from overtaking other budget priorities.

Commission member Tom Healey says despite unprecedented levels of funding and the dedication of the state lottery to the pension plans, the state’s estimated unfunded liability is now $90 billion, $10 billion more than in 2014.

The Christie administration is providing more details about a plan to turn over New Jersey's lottery to the public employee retirement system.

State Treasurer Ford Scudder says a steady stream of revenue from the lottery would generate about $37 billion in pension funding over the next 30 years and reduce the general fund obligation to the system.

Governor Christie is not providing details on additional pension changes he'd like to see before leaving office.

Senate Budget Committee chairman Paul Sarlo says lawmakers would like to hear more about the governor's idea of moving the state lottery into the pension system to reduce its unfunded liability.

He says that has to happen before there's any consideration of talking with public employee unions about more pension changes.

State Treasurer Ford Scudder gives lawmakers some details of the plan.
Phil Gregory

In February, Governor Christie proposed using revenues from the New Jersey lottery to shore up the state's pension system. An administration official is now providing some details.

State Treasurer Ford Scudder says the lottery enterprise would be placed into the public employee pension system.

"You would still be buying the same lottery tickets. The retailer would still be getting their commission for sales. It would still be a division within Treasury. It would still be directed by the state Lottery Commission. It would just be owned by the pension system."

The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey opposes the measure.
Phil Gregory

A measure advanced by a New Jersey Senate committee would shift the management of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System from the state to the fund's board of trustees.

Senate President Steve Sweeney is the primary sponsor of the legislation.

"I don't think there's anything more important than what we can do right now but to give the people that are putting their money into the pension fund the ability to basically manage their money

The two unions representing police in that pension system support the measure, but firefighter unions are split.