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“On behalf of the 33,000 members of the New Jersey State PBA, tens of thousands of retired officers and the future generations of officers to come I want to thank Governor Murphy for approving Senate Bill 5 and for working closely with us on the changes with his Conditional Veto today. I am grateful to Governor Murphy for his very personal commitment to the future of the PFRS.

Nearly 20 years ago PFRS was overfunded and amongst the healthiest pension systems in the United States. But after years of fiscal gimmicks and State ineptitude our pension fund has sunk to levels that we could no longer ignore. Senate Bill 5, along with the Governor’s recommendations, provides the PFRS Board of Trustees with exclusive powers over the investment, policy making and management of the pension system. Today's changes establish a solid future funding of our pensions and an eventual pathway for the return of COLA and the return of a single tier of employees. No longer will PFRS members be forced to suffer from the poor decision making and political expediency that marked the State’s stewardship of our pensions over the years.

With this bill competent professionals and a focused Board of Trustees will protect the fund from abuse and control investment decisions designed only to grow the value of the PFRS.

I want to especially thank Senate President Sweeney for sponsoring this bill and for his passionate leadership in advocating for this concept to protect our pensions. Final passage of this bill will begin a new era in pension management in New Jersey. The growth of PFRS protects the promise of a pension and security for their families made to our members when they became law enforcement officers.

The intent of this bill is clear: we want to fully fund the PFRS and we now finally have the vehicle to make that a reality.”

View Official Statement Here

EDISON – New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan today released the following statement on Governor Christie’s proposal in his Budget Address to dedicate lottery funds to help fund the state’s pension obligation:

“Governor Christie’s proposal today is a good first step for our members.  We recognize that the Budget Address is a launching point for negotiation between the Governor and the Legislature, but we believe the dedication of lottery funds to help meet the State’s pension funding obligation is a start.  We look forward to the state fulfilling its long-standing obligation to fund the PFRS and providing our 33,000 members the pensions they have earned.”

(Woodbridge, NJ - June 9, 2016)- Today the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Governor Chris Christie was within his authority to take away cost of living adjustments from retirees.   The pension adjustments based on inflation, commonly known as COLA, were stripped away from retirees by Governor Christie in 2011.

“NJSPBA members agree that state government needs to be concerned with fiscal responsibility, especially when dealing with unfunded pension liabilities.  But the reality is that retired law enforcement officers and fire fighters held up their end of the pension agreement.  These former officers didn’t skip pension contributions, while the state continues to skip or underfund their responsibility.  An actuarial analysis of PFRS found that the state’s actual contributions to PFRS have averaged only 60% of what the state was required to pay since 1998.
 
“New Jersey’s pension system is not one monolithic fund that is losing money daily.  In fact, the State manages five pension plans for State and local employees.  Of those five, the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) is financed mainly by local governments, law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been making their required pension payments.  The current funded level of the local portion of PFRS is near 80% and far ahead of the other pension systems.
 
“The NJSPBA believes that an honest discussion on pension funding and the health of the State’s pension system will show the pension system that police officers and fire fighters rely on for their retirement, PFRS, is financially stable and positioned to succeed if required payments are made moving forward.
 
Retired law enforcement officers were stripped of annual cost of living increases by Governor Christie in 2011.  These retired officers are living on fixed incomes and approximately 80% do not receive social security benefits.  The burden caused by the state skipping pension payments should not fall on the backs of our retirees.  We need a full-time governor moving forward to deal with the state’s growing problem with regard to unfunded pension liabilities.”

The Mayor of Atlantic City, the Governor and legislative leadership today agreed on compromise legislation to provide the city the time and tools it needs to avoid a state takeover.

The new deal will give the City 5 months to develop a plan to balance their budget for 2017 while ensuring State financial assistance. The compromise avoids a state takeover provided the City offers the State with a balanced budget plan in that time.

Following our recent meetings with the Mayor, including a discussion with him this afternoon, the State PBA is comfortable that the City can develop a balanced budget under the conditions set by the new bill language.

The bill also includes an early retirement incentive option for AC employees. This, coupled with ongoing negotiations between the City and PBA 24, should be adequate to further the goals of a balanced budget moving forward at least as it relates to the PD.

The bill is expected to pass the Legislature in the next few days. The PBA will remain a partner to the Mayor moving forward and we are grateful for his passionate defense of the men and women of the AC PD. This compromise also would not have been possible without the insistence of Speaker Prieto that collective bargaining and fairness be protected during this difficult time.

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