Statement of State PBA President
Pat Colligan On The Signing
of S5 Pension Legislation
(July 3, 2018) “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.”
STATE PBA President