JANUARY 27, 2016, 6:44 PM LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2016, 8:26 PM
BY SALVADOR RIZZO
STATE HOUSE BUREAU |
Investment gains for New Jersey’s $79 billion pension fund fell sharply in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and those pension investments are in negative territory so far this year, state officials reported Wednesday.
Christie administration officials and the State Investment Council had acknowledged in July that, with 11 months of data, the pension fund was likely to see a sharp drop in its rate of return for fiscal year 2015. Now, with all 12 months of data, the state announced that it achieved investment gains of 4.16 percent, a tumble from 16.87 percent in the previous year.
New Jersey’s pension fund is the 17th largest in the country and 33rd largest worldwide – investing in everything from real estate, private equity, commodities, stocks, hedge funds and more. Nearly 780,000 public workers and retirees are beneficiaries of the pension system, meaning they depend on the success of those investments.
The state Supreme Court has said that public workers are entitled to their pension checks “when due.” If the money does not come from investment gains, it would have to come from state taxpayers or public workers.
The fund’s performance is in negative territory so far this fiscal year, down 3 percent for the July-through-December period, officials added.