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N.J. unions seek control of own pension plan


Updated: MARCH 12, 2017 — 5:00 AM EDT

by Andrew Seidman, Trenton Bureau  @AndrewSeidman |

TRENTON — New Jersey lawmakers are considering relinquishing management of the pension plan for police and firefighters from the state to the unions that represent them. Public workers have been complaining for years that the state relies too heavily on investments in hedge funds and other so-called alternative investments.

Now, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) is effectively saying: Fine, you give it a try. And most of the unions are embracing the challenge.

“It’s my pension. I need to wake up and see it’s being cared for, that it’s being invested smartly,” Patrick Colligan, president of the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, said during a Senate Budget Committee hearing Thursday. “And we can’t, respectfully, count on the State of New Jersey to do that anymore.”

The committee advanced the legislation on a 10-1 vote, with two abstentions, and it is expected to head to the full Senate for a vote Monday. The bill has not been introduced in the Assembly.