TRENTON — The hole in the state’s pension fund grew again this year, by more than $8 billion, a trend that continues after a decade of skipped payments and increased benefits.The unfunded piece of the state’s pension liability — the estimated total amount needed to pay current and future state, county and municipal employees — grew by $8.05 billion between June 2009 and June 2010, according to a report released today by the Department of Treasury which indicted the state has a $53.9 billion unfunded promise.Additionally, the state has a $66.8 billion unfunded promise to future and current employees for lifetime health benefits, the report found.Gov. Chris Christie has said reforming the pension and health system is a priority for the new year and leaders in the Legislature have agreed to discuss reforms."If all the required contributions to the pension funds had been made over the last decade, New Jersey would still not have enough money to pay all the benefits state and local governments have promised to public employees," Treasury Spokesman Andy Pratt said in an e-mail.
I've been gaining weight because I eat half a dozen doughnuts every day. But I'm not going to stop eating those doughnuts because I'm already overweight. And there's really no point in exercising if I keep eating those doughnuts.[...]This year, Christie skipped a $3.1 billion pension payment — continuing a decade of gubernatorial administrations shortchanging the system. Christie has said he will not contribute funds until the system is changed.
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