S5 Set For Vote

The vote in the New Jersey Senate on transferring management of the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) from the Division of Pensions and Benefits in the Department of the Treasury to the Board of Trustees of the PFRS is set for Monday:

    Monday, February 26, 2018 – 2:00 PM
    Senate Chambers
Voting Session:  

Bill Abstract   Current Status LDOA  

AJR55 Bleeding Disorders Awareness mo-March 2RS 2/22/2018
S5 PFRS-transfers mgmt. to Bd. of Trustees 2RS 2/5/2018

The Office of Legislative Services has their thoughts:

The bill provides the board of trustees with authority to modify the system’s member contribution rate; cap on creditable compensation; formula for calculation of final compensation; and standards for special retirement and disability retirement. The bill allows the board to reinstate cost of living adjustments for retirees. Under the bill, the board may alter any benefit set forth in statute forthe PFRS. (page 2)

The bill does not diminish the non-forfeitable right PFRS members have to receive the benefits provided under State law or affirmed by the State’s courts. Nothing in the bill relieves the State or local government employers of any past, present, or future obligations to the PFRS or its members. (page 3)

Whether this impact will result in increased or decreased investment management costs depends on future decisions that cannot be foreseen by the OLS. (page 3)

S5 Sca (1R) Transfers management of PFRS to Board of Trustees of PFRS.
2nd Reading in the Senate

Last Session Bill Number: S3040   (1R) A99 Sweeney, Stephen M.   as Primary Sponsor
Kean, Thomas H., Jr.   as Primary Sponsor
Bucco, Anthony R.   as Co-Sponsor
Oroho, Steven V.   as Co-Sponsor
1/9/2018 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
2/1/2018 Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading
2/1/2018 Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee
2/5/2018 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd ReadingIntroduced – – 51 pages PDF Format    HTML Format
Statement – SSG 2/1/18 – 4 pages PDF Format    HTML Format
Reprint – – 50 pages PDF Format    HTML Format
Statement – SBA 2/5/18 1R – 3 pages PDF Format    HTML Format
Fiscal Estimate – 2/22/18; 1R – 5 pages PDF Format    HTML Format
Committee Voting:
SSG  2/1/2018  –  r/Sca  –  Yes {5}  No {0}  Not Voting {0}  Abstains {0}  –  Roll Call
SBA  2/5/2018  –  r/favorably  –  Yes {11}  No {1}  Not Voting {1}  Abstains {0}  –  Roll Call

27 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    S5 is an astonishing betrayal of NJ’s Taxpayers by NJ’s in-the-Union’s-pocket Legislature.


    • Posted by Retired police on February 23, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      No it is not. They will do a better job investing than the politicians have, and as a result
      lower the taxes. Don’t be so quick to judge.


      • Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2018 at 8:35 pm

        The panel would be able to change contribution rates, adjust benefits and approve cost of living adjustments for retirees despite pension reforms Christie signed into law in 2011 restricting such changes. Seven of 12 trustees would be union representatives with the rest appointed by the governor to represent government employers.

        This is a very bad idea. I didn’t much like Chris Christie, but he was right on this score. This would not fix a damn thing, and would actually make things much worse.


      • Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2018 at 8:36 pm

        Who are you kidding, investment results are the least of our concerns. I, and anyone with a brain, should be concerned that the Unions/Police, guided by greed and self-interest will CHOOSE to reinstate COLAs, increase benefits, and decrease employee contributions (with NOTHING in the Bill to stop them) ….. with the Taxpayers again being the sucker in the room to whom the bill for the increased costs will be handed.

        There isn’t a Corporation in the world whose OWNERS (it’s shareholders) hand over the decision for such matters to it WORKERS ……… it’s financial insanity/suicide …… take your pick.


    • Posted by geo8rge on February 24, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Let’s just say you buy into the whole constitution/rule of law thing. The Police/Fire decide to give each other more benefits and they deplete the pension assets. What is the constitutional/legal obligation of the taxpayers to bail them out?


      • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm

        I don’t believe Plan participants in NJ will get all that was “promised” once Plan assets run out, but you can be assured that the taxpayers will (UNJUSTLY, do to the ludicrously excessive level of those promises) pay dearly while the reform/reduction process works itself out.


  2. Posted by boscoe on February 23, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Passage of this bill is a foregone conclusion, as is signing by the Governor. Sweeney, who just formed a “blue ribbon” economic panel to advise him on fiscal policy, clearly didn’t want to wait to hear what they might say about this lemon. Hypocrisy at its most egregious. It is a major error.


    • Posted by PS Drone on February 25, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Yet another piece of evidence that confirms what I have thought for decades. New Jersey is run solely for the benefit of the public sector. The private sector taxpayer merely exists to pay for whatever largesse the government (and all of its foul appendages) decides to give itself.


      • Posted by Tough Love on February 25, 2018 at 9:26 pm

        The lack of involvement (i.e VOTING) and apathy of the vast majority of NJ’s Private Sector will assuredly hit them in the pocketbook after S5 is passed and the Police/Fire Unions slowly but steadily enhance all aspects of their pensions, and reduce employee contributions.

        And the desperately needed REDUCTION in these now ludicrously excessive Police/Fire pensions, will be far more difficult to accomplish.


  3. Posted by Tough Love on February 23, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    I wonder if there exists a high threshold of abrogation of fiscal responsibility and fiduciary duty to the Taxpayers, that a State’s Legislative actions can be challenged and reversed in the Federal Courts.


    • Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      This whole bill was designed to give COLA back to the members. It is why any other enhancements require 8 votes. Cola only a majority of 7 votes. Unions have 7 spots on a 12 member board. Cola will return for Pfrs only. Other systems then will not. And no other enhancement will be forthcoming. A whole lot of work for essentially one enhancement. The cola should not return u less a minimum age to collect pension is enacted.


      • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2018 at 7:06 am

        Lmao reversed or challenged by federal court, you better hope not or you may be paying full pension contribution as well as COLA!


        • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2018 at 8:35 am

          Uhh…I’m not sure who you are directing that comment at. I am in Pfrs. 23 yrs in. I want cola back quickly and think we will get it with this new board. I just feel that we won’t get much else due to the way the bill was structured. I’m fine with that. I just want the cola back. And I stand by my statement that there should be a minimum age to receive Pfrs pension. 57 for new hires. And 50-55(I would do 55) for actives. That alone would allow for cola without missing a beat. Btw. I’m 46. That would effect me. If we are greedy with this, the next Christie type gov (4 yrs 8 yrs 20 yrs down road) will reverse it.


          • Posted by Anonymous on February 24, 2018 at 8:44 am

            Most taxpayers probably do not begrudge cola raises for folks who don’t get SS. (TL I know you do so save your breath). What annoys them much more I think is healthy 47 yr old cops retiring and collecting for longer than they worked. Btw in my dept the average retirement age is in the early fifities. I hit 25 in 2020 and will send out applications to insurance companies. I have a heavy accident investigation background. If I get a good offer I’ll retire. If not, I’ll stay 30 yrs. then I’ll leave no matter what and look for any old job. Home Depot, lol. That will be 2025. Last one out of college in 2026. Mortgage paid off in 2027.


          • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2018 at 12:02 pm

            Anyone who supports what you see as appropriate …… knowing that a similarly situated Private Sector worker would get a pension with no more than 1/3 the value, yet be responsible to pay 80% to 90% of the total cost of YOUR pension ……….. is a “moocher”.


          • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2018 at 12:07 pm

            Anon, Public Sector workers (who do not participate in SS) should get COLAs, but ONLY on the portion of their pensions up to the SS maximum. Now about $32K annually.


      • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2018 at 11:58 am

        No, COLAs shouldn’t return until the PFRS funding ratio reaches 80% when valued using the SAME assumptions and methodology commonly used in the valuation of Private Sector Plans…….. and using the absurdly liberal assumptions & methodology now used by NJ’s Public Sector Plans, the funding ratio would need to rise to just about 110% to be EQUAL to (yes, EQUAL TO) an 80% funding ratio under the Private Sector Valuation basis.

        Taxpayers are going to be ROBBED …AGAIN !


  4. […] and Benefits in the Department of the Treasury to the Board of Trustees of the PFRS, which is scheduled to be approved by the state Senate on Monday is primarily about restoring cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for […]


  5. Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Here’s the bottom line on S5………….. and the extraordinary betrayal of NJ’s Taxpayers by Legislators who affirmatively vote for it:

    Per the NJ 7/11/2017 Actuarial Reports, the Local PFRS “official” funding ratio is 69%. If the “actuarial” value of assets were replaced with the “market” value of assets, that 69% would drop to 66.7%.

    Not a big deal from THAT change, but if instead of valuing the Local PFRS Plan using the very liberal assumptions (e.g., higher interest rates and lower life expectancy etc.) and methodology (longer periods for amortization of unfunded liabilities, etc.) used by PUBLIC Sector Plans, it was valued using the SAME assumptions and methodology commonly used (and mostly REQUIRED) in the valuation of Private Sector Plans, that 66.7% would drop into the mid-40s%. Yes, a mid-40s% funding ratio on the SAME based as that used in the valuation of Private Sector Plans.

    Yet when the funding ratio of PRIVATE Sector Plans drops below 60%, by US Treasury/IRS Regulations, the Plan is barred from granting any further accruals. This is done to alert Plan Participants, to encourage the Corporation to increase contributions (to get back over the 60% cutoff), and to protect Taxpayers who (through the PBGC) may have to bailout (up to an annual maximum per Plan participant) a failing Plan.

    So here we are, where the Local NJ PFRS Plan is (when valued on the SAME basis as PRIVATE sector Plans) about 1/3 BELOW (yes BELOW) the Gov’t cutoff barring any further Plan accruals, Bill S5 would be giving to conflicted parties (the Police Union/workers) the ability to reinstate COLAs, Increase benefits, and decrease employee contributions.

    How does one define “theft” ?


    • Posted by Tough Love on February 24, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      WHY, when the US Gov’t looks to “protect” Taxpayers from ADDITIONAL exposure and risk (by freezing accruals) when the Plan funding ratio drops below 60%, is ……. when NJ’s Local PFRS has a mid-40s % funding ratio when calculated on the SAME basis as that 60% cutoff …….. NJ’s Legislature seem determined to INCREASE the Taxpayer’s exposure and risk ?


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