By Salvador Rizzo • 04/10/17 4:50pm

Gov. Chris Christie. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is holding meetings with New Jersey public-worker unions on a plan to merge the state lottery with the ailing pension system, and legislation could be introduced early next month, Christie said Monday.

The merger would be complex, since it would involve converting the nearly $1 billion a year state lottery into an asset of the $71 billion pension system.

And the effect would be dramatic. By Christie’s estimates, in one fell swoop, the retirement system would go from a funded ratio of 49 percent to a much healthier 65 percent, providing more stability for the nearly 800,000 workers and retirees who are beneficiaries.