News


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.”

I know I speak for every law enforcement officer in New Jersey and the vast majority of its residents when I say the recent Signe Wilkinson editorial cartoon called "KKK Defense" was not only insulting but it serves to do nothing more than continue the Asbury Park Press false narrative that policing in New Jersey is violent and biased.

The cartoon depicting a black teen in a KKK hood so he can avoid being harassed by the police says more about Gannett's anti-police bias than it does about reality. Law enforcement officers interact peacefully with the public every day performing hundreds of thousands of acts of kindness and service to those in trouble, in danger or in need. Instead of reinforcing stereotypes, Garnett should be using its paper to bring people together. Garnett owes every law enforcement officer in NJ an apology for suggesting that racism motivates our actions.

Perhaps Signe Wilkinson would benefit from spending less time drawing and more time with the people who serve every member of our communities to learn how inaccurate his depiction is. Or perhaps this is just more of the same from the Asbury Park Press hoping to further tear down the law enforcement in our State.

Pat Colligan
State President
NJ State PBA

View Official Letter Here

Last Friday, May 11, 2018 a NJ Court of Appeals invalidated the contract awarded to OptimRx as the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) for the New Jersey State Health Benefit Plan as well as the SEHBP. This was done as a result of a suit filed by Express Scripts International, the former PBM for the SHBP/SEHBP. The court ruled that the submissions by OptimRx were not acceptable (see article below).

I spoke to the Division today who has assured me that there will be no changes until at least 1/1/2019. That is to say that your prescription plan, if enrolled in the State Health Benefits Plan, will remain status quo with no interruptions in service.

As the matter develops, we will keep you informed through all of our communication outlets.

NJ.com article
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/05/nj_court_kills_67b_contract_prescription_drug_cont.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured

Appellate Court Decision
https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/attorneys/assets/opinions/appellate/published/a4751-16.pdf?cacheID=Ob6HBRu

“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.”

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.

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