NJ’s Division of Investment provided an update on pension assets. As of April 30, the assets had dropped to $75 billion from $81 billion, or -8.1%, due to the decrease in the market value of the investments. With the system’s liabilities at $212 billion, this means that the funded ratio dropped from 38.4 % to 35.3%.
If the troubled teachers’ pension fund (TPAF) dropped by a similar amount, the assets fall from $22 billion to $20 billion, and the funded ratio from 27% to 25%.
Now it remains to be seen how much the state contributes into the fund. Reports are that lottery proceeds are down 12%. Will Governor Murphy use some of the $9.9 billion he intends to borrow to fund the pensions? If so, he is essentially repeating the 1997 Pension Obligation Bond debacle.
The news is likely to get worse for NJ’s public pensions.