Learn More About: Retirement Security - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Learn More About: Retirement Security

NJ Public Pension System

New Jersey’s unfunded pension liabilities have resulted from the state’s persistent failure to make annual required contribution payments. According to a study conducted by New Jersey Policy Perspective and Keystone Research Center, New Jersey ranked last among the 50 states – by a large margin – for the share of required pension contributions made from 2003-12.[1] An April 2017 report found that New Jersey again in 2015 ranked last for contributions made as a percentage of Annual Required Contributions (ARC).[2] The same report released a year later found that New Jersey was one of four states with funding at less than 50 percent.[3]

Chronic underfunding is the primary reason New Jersey has a large unfunded pension liability. The Governor’s proposed $3.8 billion appropriation for the pension, an 18 percent increase over last year, is still only providing 70 percent of the Actuarial Determined Contribution. Solving New Jersey’s self-inflicted pension crisis requires the state to contribute its legally obligated share each year. New Jersey must dedicate funds to make up for past failures to make required contributions.

HPAE urges Governor Murphy and the NJ Legislature to pursue increasing taxes on NJ’s millionaires and large wealthy corporations must increase to generate additional revenue, ensuring New Jersey public workers will have the retirement security they deserve after dedicating their careers as public servants.


[1] Stephen Herzenberg, “New Jersey Has Modest Public Pension Benefits,” December 2014

[2] Pew Charitable Trusts, “The State Pension Funding Gap: 2015.” April 2017; http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2017/04/the-state-pensionfunding-gap-2015

[3] Pew Charitable Trusts, “The State Pension Funding Gap: 2016.” April 2018, https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2018/04/the-state-pension-funding-gap-2016