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Pension fund may soon be turned over to police, firefighters

Village Council Meeting

By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for
on March 15, 2017 at 8:10 AM, updated March 15, 2017 at 4:46 PM

TRENTON — The state Senate has passed legislation that would give police and firefighters the right to manage their pension fund and its investment portfolio.

Under the bill, passed 37-0 on Monday, a newly expanded board of trustees would assume management of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, which has more than 85,000 members who are working or retired. The police and fire unions would also obtain broad discretion over both the size of members retirement benefits and the contributions needed to support them.

The State Investment Council currently directs the investments of the nearly $72 billion in assets belonging to seven pension funds, and the Division of Pensions and Benefits manages the system itself.

“Giving management to the pension beneficiaries removes political interest from the investments and places greater responsibility with the employees who will benefit from the pensions,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who sponsored the bill. “It’s a matter of enlightened self-interest for people who have skin in the game.”