State Retiree Benefits Fact Sheet – New Jersey

  • December 18, 2007
New Jersey has done an abysmal job of keeping up with annual funding requirements for its pension system. And when it comes to retiree health benefits, the state faces bills coming due of nearly $22 billion just for state employees, and another $36.5 billion for teachers. (Only some states have calculated the latter; in many, the liability for teachers will appear at the local school district level.) Although New Jersey's pensions, in the aggregate, are only slightly less well funded than the 50-state mean, the system has suffered from a number of problems. The state recently passed several reforms designed to improve its performance and provide better and clearer public disclosure of the inner workings of the pension systems. On the non-pension side, retiree health benefit costs are substantial and growing far faster than the rest of the state budget.