“Think of what we could have accomplished with the billions and billions of dollars that have gone instead towards making up for years of skipped pension payments.”
– September 8, 2020 – New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio testifying to the Senate Budget Committee
COVID-19 HAS BROUGHT FEAR, SICKNESS, AND DEATH THROUGHOUT OUR STATE…AND QUIETLY THIS GLOBAL PANDEMIC HAS NOW MADE NEW JERSEY’S PENSION CRISIS EVEN MORE COSTLY FOR THE STATE
– Learn the Facts about the Pension Crisis in the First of Two Reports from the Sunlight Policy Center –
Let’s face it. New Jersey’s pension crisis has been long ignored.
Yes, Trenton has talked about our pension crisis for years. Numerous national studies have cited our situation as the worst in the country. We have all heard the warnings and read the op-eds – but few leaders, most of all Governor Murphy, have had the guts to try to fix the broken pension system. Meanwhile, the pension system deteriorates further.
Now in the middle of a global pandemic, we are seeing the costs of the pension crisis imposed on all of New Jersey.
LAST MONTH, Governor Phil Murphy outlined a $40 billion FY2021 budget – with 12 percent of his ENTIRE budget being allocated to New Jersey’s unreformed public pension system. But $4.2 BILLION OF THE $4.9 BILLION PAYMENT IS MAKING UP FOR PAST UNDERFUNDING.
Had needed and fair reforms been enacted in previous years we could have had $4.2 billion more right now going to our hospitals, schools and local municipalities…but unfortunately, that was not the case, and we are now paying the price.
JUST LAST WEEK, in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee, we heard Treasurer Muoio reveal the following:
“[H]ad the state been meeting our assumptions and making the full required payment for all those years, instead of repeatedly skipping or shorting the pension system, our annual contribution this year would not be an 80 percent ADC payment of $4.9 billion, but instead a 100 percent ADC payment of roughly $750 million. Think of what we could have accomplished with the billions and billions of dollars that have gone instead towards making up for years of skipped pension payments.”
The bottom line is that politicians made promises to powerful special interests that they didn’t fund – and now to fund these promises, billions upon billions more will be needed every year for the foreseeable future. So while we continue to take money away from other pressing needs to pay these pension bills, we continue to do nothing to actually fix this multi-billion dollar leak.
In Sunlight Policy Center’s latest report, “Ugly Truths and Hard Facts About New Jersey’s Pension Crisis, Part I” we present eight facts to answer these key questions – in hopes of building an honest dialog for our future.
- What Does the New Jersey Pension Crisis Even Mean?
- Why did we get into such a dire situation?
- Is the pension crisis the result of special interests becoming too powerful?
- How Does the Pension Crisis affect ALL of New Jersey?
When budgets are squeezed and there is not enough money for COVID relief, or education aid, or social services, or infrastructure, or any other priority, New Jersey citizens will need to know why. In the midst of this global pandemic, most citizens are unaware that billions of dollars of their taxes will go to paying off past pension debts rather than funding present services.
…AND THIS YEAR MORE THAN ANY OTHER – NEW JERSEY IS ABOUT TO FEEL THE CONSEQUENCES OF PAST INACTION AND TOO MUCH SPECIAL INTEREST INFLUENCE.
With this report, SPCNJ brings the facts to light.
New Jersey citizens need to understand what happened in the past – so that we can fix the problems now and not pass the costs on to future generations. Again.
We hope you will take a look. As always, every assertion is researched and footnoted. Step into the light with
SPCNJ. Read the full article.