Thomson: Legislature should reject Murphy plan deferring pension payments

Thomson: Legislature should reject Murphy plan deferring pension payments

WALL, N.J. – Assemblyman Edward Thomson is calling for legislative leaders to reject Gov. Murphy’s proposal to defer this fiscal year’s payment into the state’s massively underfunded pension plan.

Thomson, an actuary who manages pension plans, said failing to follow the payment schedule recommended by the state’s actuaries would undo recent progress and jeopardize the fund that provides retirement benefits for public employees.

“The state’s failure to make the necessary payments is what led to the pension crisis that we have been trying to dig out of for more than a decade,” said Thomson. “Skipping this payment undoes the progress we have made and threatens the retirement of hundreds of thousands of public workers.”

According to recent reports, the Murphy administration has proposed a $7.6 billion budget for the next three months that defers nearly $1 billion in pension payments into the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

“We are facing unprecedented fiscal realities that need to be addressed with responsible cuts to our spending, not kicking the can further down the road,” said Thomson. “Skipping our pension payments will only make our financial situation even worse when the bills come due.”

Reports released in May indicate the state pension fund is $72 billion short of what it would need to pay retirement benefits to the state’s public employees.