Speaking to the annual convention of New Jersey firefighters in Atlantic City earlier this week, Senate President Steve Sweeney told the crowd that he will push to move legislation allowing them to manage their own pension funds.
The bill, S3040, was vetoed by the governor earlier this year. Senator Sweeney said he would move the legislation again when a new governor takes office. Sweeney also spoke about the benefit of making increased payments to state’s pension funds for public employees on a quarterly basis.
The legislation would transfer management of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System from the Division of Pensions and Benefits in the Department of the Treasury to the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. The legislation would give more management responsibilities for the investments made under the PFRS to employees and union members and include members of county and municipal government that currently don’t a role on the council. The board would act exclusively on behalf of the contributing employers, active members of the retirement system, and retired members. The primary obligation of the board would be to direct policies and investments to achieve and maintain the full funding and continuation of the retirement system for the exclusive benefit of its members.
Benefits of Quarterly Payments
Senator Sweeney also talked about the significant progress in making the state-funded public pension funds financially secure with required quarterly payments and increased state contributions. The state increased its payment to the PFRS system by close to $600 million this year, helping to improve the financial stability of the fund and of state finances, Senator Sweeney said, referring to the $2.5 billion payment in the FY2018 budget.