New Jersey’s pension system is the worst funded in the nation, according to new research from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 2016, the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available, New Jersey had only $75 billion in assets to cover nearly $244 billion liabilities, resulting in a $168 billion shortfall. This is an almost $33 billion increase over 2015, when the state reported a $136 billion funding gap.
New Jersey contributed just 33 percent of the $9.6 billion necessary to pay down its debt in 2016, causing its individual funding gap to continue expanding.
Nationwide, state pension funds cumulatively reported a $1.4 trillion deficit in 2016. This represents a $295 billion jump from 2015 and the 15th annual increase in pension debt since 2000. Overall, state plans disclosed assets of just $2.6 trillion to cover total pension liabilities of $4 trillion.