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Please review the nomination process for NJSPBA and PBA Local 600 endorsed Candidate Bruce A. Polkowitz for the position of Retiree Representative to the PFRS Board of Trustees.

View Full Nomination Process Here

Go vote at https://vote.election-america.com/PFRS/

Governor Murphy this morning has signed Senate Bill 5 into law marking an historic change in the management of the PFRS and the beginning of a new focus on prioritizing the full funding of the pension system for our retired members and every current and future member of the law enforcement community in New Jersey.  The law dramatically restructures the PFRS Board of Trustees and grants them broad powers over the policy making and investment strategy for PFRS.  Under the new law, PFRS will be managed on a day to day basis by an Executive Director and money managers who will report to the Board of Trustees.  The law removes the control of the pension system from the State and provides the PFRS Board with the exclusive power to select the investments for PFRS assets and make decisions about how PFRS pension policies will be governed.  Amongst the PFRS Board’s new powers are the ability to adjust COLA, modify the procedure for approving disability pensions and make changes to benefits limited by Chapter 78.  All benefit changes require actuarial certifications and a “super majority vote” of the Board.
 
The new PFRS Board of Trustees will take office on the first day of the seventh month from today and will begin the process of selecting a staff including an Executive Director, Chief Investment Officer, attorney’s, auditors and other staff.  The new Board and their staff will take complete control of the PFRS on or about July 4, 2019. 
 
 
Statement of State PBA President Pat Colligan on the signing of S5

“Today marks an historic day for the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS).  The signing of Senate Bill 5 into law will have a profound impact on the future of our retirement system and it places in the hands of PFRS members and their employers the tools to do what the State has failed to do for too long: focus on fully funding the system.   I am grateful to Governor Murphy for his support in our efforts to restore the health and independence of the PFRS.
When the State PBA began researching this concept and the best practices of healthy pension systems around the nation more than 4 years ago, we were convinced that making PFRS independent from the State was our only option. 
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. This law 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 pathway for the future funding of our pensions. 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. This law ensures 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 law and for his passionate leadership in advocating for this concept to protect our pensions. A new era in pension management begins today 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 law is clear: PFRS members and their employers want to fully fund the PFRS and we now finally have the vehicle to make that a reality.”

The Senate and Assembly today have passed historic legislation to provide independence, policy making and investment powers to the PFRS Board of Trustees. The bill was a major priority for the State PBA and it's passage culminates several years of research and outreach to once and for all protect the PFRS from abuse and political interference. The bill provides the PFRS Board of Trustees with powers to invest PFRS funds, make policy decisions over pension benefits and provides powers for the board to ensure employer contributions.

The State PBA leadership specifically wishes to thank Senate President Sweeney for his passion and leadership in ensuring passage of this proposal and we are grateful for the efforts of Assembly Speaker Coughlin to further strengthen the protections offered by this bill to PFRS members. The quick movement this session of the bill is in recognition of their support but it signifies the hard work and focus State PBA members placed in urging their representatives to support this bill.

Today's vote came during PBA Day in Trenton. More than 500 PBA members rallied inside the State House to show their support for the bill and for the State PBA's leadership in the State House.

The bill now goes to Governor Murphy for his approval.

It was a hectic day for over 300 NJSPBA members who crowded the NJ Assembly hallways in support of legislation that allows the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System to be managed by a board comprised of law enforcement, firefighters and government officials.  I want to publicly thank all our members who made it to Trenton to gather support for this effort on less than 24-hour notice.  Our membership always comes through when it matters—Thank you.

After years of underperforming investment gains and increasing hedge fund consultant fees, if the governor approves this legislation, this legislation will provide an opportunity for us, along with our brothers and sisters from the FMBA and the FOP, to protect our retirement funds.

I want to also thank the majority of Assembly members and State Senators who supported us in this effort.  I encourage all of you to know your legislators and find out if they supported the NJSPBA today.  Please contact me if you want information on the actual vote.

The recent hysteria from local government officials about PBA endorsed legislation to restructure the management of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System is a massive stretch of the facts that ignores the reality of the clear language of the bill, the success of the labor-management pension funds around the nation and the League of Municipalities role in crafting much of the bill as it appears today.

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