New Jersey State Treasurer Andrew Eristoff is testifying before the Assembly Budget Committee today in Trenton. Members are asking a wide range of questions including how the state’s pension system for public employees is doing. The system is still vastly under-funded, but Eristoff is still upbeat.The last time records were available for the system was June of last year. At that time the funded ratio was 56.7 percent and the funded ratio for local governments was 76.1 percent.

“That represents a continuing challenge, but as you know we are ramping up over seven years to a full actuarially recommended contribution level,” says Eristoff. “So far this year, investment returns have been a positive and have been I think trending above some of our benchmarks….We’re fairly optimistic that the markets are doing well at this point.”