A story on njspotlight about New Jersey Senate President Stephen abandoning the idea of having a ballot question that would ‘guarantee’ funding of the state retirement system ends thusly:
“I’ve got to face reality with what we’re dealing with,” Sweeney told reporters yesterday. “It’s not sound fiscal policy to not know what a major cost is.”
But, due to the politician/actuary cabal that has been developing ridiculously understated liability and contribution amounts, that ‘major cost’ has been willfully unknown which has led us to….
Paring down our Depletion Ratio spreadsheet to only New Jersey’s plans as of July 1, 2015 shows $9.6 billion being paid out of a fund that is supposed to have $84 billion (though the NJDOI website puts the asset figure are $72 billion lately) with $4.1 billion coming in.
At this pace all the money is gone in 15 years (much sooner for some plans like the judges who have 5 years). This includes all member contributions that would be lost leaving a deficit in the range of a quarter trillion dollars. That is our reality and something Sweeney (and his co-conspirators) have failed to face for decades.