As reported by, New Jersey’s top fiscal officer says the State will make a half-billion dollar payment to the pension fund when the law requires. Governor Chris Christie has proposed paying the $506 million early, but only if the Legislature agrees to raise the retirement age and require workers to pay more toward their pensions. 

Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told a Senate budget panel the administration intends to make the payment required in the 2012 fiscal year even if reforms are not enacted. He says the payment will be made by June 30 if changes are approved.

The pension system is $54 billion underfunded. Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney both have proposed changes. Sweeney’s plan would not raise the retirement age and bases employee contributions on the health of the system.