N.J. Pension Investments Sag After Years of Double-Digit Returns
Samantha Marcus/NJ.com/September 24, 2015
TRENTON - New Jersey's giant public worker pension system lost $2 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June as investment returns sagged to 4.16 percent, state investment officials said Wednesday.
And the volatile stock market this summer brought an even bigger hit to pensions.
The value of the fund was $79 billion at the end of the fiscal year in June, down from about $81 billion a year before. The value dropped to less than $76 billion by the end of August, the chairman of the State Investment Council said.
Last year, the investments returned 16.9 percent, and over the past five years the fund has yielded 10.81 percent.
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PSMA Retirees' Network Update
The Quarterly Breakfast Meeting was held on
September 30, 2015 at
Wegman's, Nassau Shopping Center,
Rt. 1, West Windsor, NJ
The Retiree Network has established a Coordinating Committee to increase membership recruitment and plan activities. At the meeting we appointed the following members to the Coordinating Committee:
Additional members are welcome to join us! If you are interested in serving on the Coordinating Committee please send an email to Barry Chalofsky at email@example.com.
PSMA Retirees' Network membership continues to grow and is now over 40 members! We added 4 new members in September. We need each member to get at least one new member to join. Don't think that because you are retired you are not affected by what's going on in Trenton. Our pensions and health benefits are on the line, and we need support from PSMA and IBEW Local 30 to fight for our rights. The Retiree Network is the only organization that can bring you that support - so help us grow our membership!
As many of you are aware a number of long-time PSMA members have retired from the State. While this has been a loss to PSMA we all understand that this is part of life - especially for State workers. We strongly encourage these recent retirees to join the PSMA Retirees' Network. If you know of a retired manager (or non-manager), please have him or her go to
http://www.psmanj.org/extras/RetiredManagers.pdf for more information.
Contribute to PSMA PAC
In order for an organization to be effective it has to have a well-funded Political Action Committee (PAC). PSMA is not allowed to use dues to given donations to candidates and political parties. All monies used for that purpose come from a separate PSMA PAC which gets its funding directly from contributions by members. This past year the PSMA PAC made some very critical donations to legislators who ended up supporting us in our quest for union legislation.
This effort requires a small contribution from everyone. Please consider donating $2.00 or more per paycheck to the PSMA PAC. You can get a special PAC dues deduction card by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or directly from your payroll clerk. You can also send a donation to:
212 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Welcome to the Public Sector Managers' Association
The Public Sector Managers' Association, Inc. (PSMA) has been recognized by the State of New Jersey as the Constitutional Representative of all non- aligned/non-union managers in New Jersey government as of November 13, 1993 pursuant to Article 1, Paragraph 19 of the New Jersey State Constitution. PSMA's responsibility under that provision is to serve as a vehicle for two-way communication between the State as an employer and its managerial employees. The representation, however, is limited to managers who are PSMA dues-paying members of the State government. PSMA is a partner with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 30 which represents certain managers in State government. PSMA works closely with IBEW Local 30 on issues related to managers who are represented by IBEW Local 30 and those that are not eligible for representation.
PSMA's mission is to serve managers in New Jersey government by achieving and maintaining superior and ethical management service; promoting a high regard for our managers by those outside and within the government; and restoring equity to the human resource policies and practices of New Jersey government as they relate to managers.
As you know, PSMA has been the voice for managers for well over 20 years. We delivered managers a union! This was not without the support of our members. Are we done fighting - Absolutely NOT! We will continue to fight for our members, but we need your help. Many felt they could sit on the sidelines and let the others fight for them. But, thankfully, for IBEW Local 30, a good number of great individuals stood up and fought together. We need your help by stepping up to continue this fight - This includes joining our Board of Directors. This is where we exchange ideas and information and strategize for our next mission - to expand collective bargaining rights to more managers.
We definitely encourage our current members to maintain their PSMA membership. IBEW Local 30 is moving ahead with the creation of a Labor Council that includes PSMA, Local 30 and Local 33 (the Deputy Attorneys General). The Council will assume many of the significant costs of PSMA and will allow us to work more closely with all represented and unrepresented managers. The Council will bring many voices to one table and there is always strength in numbers.
Keep in mind that IBEW essentially is PSMA - many of these managers were members of PSMA before the ratification of the Union's contract. And, their mission is not complete. There are many managers that cannot be represented at this time and IBEW will continue to fight until they are. As you know, the organizing efforts for Local 30 took a lot of time and preparation. We imagine the same will hold true for the remaining managers. We may need to wait for a "friendly" administration to change some of the dynamics that bar your membership from Local 30.
We truly appreciate your support and your affiliation with PSMA as we continue to be the voice for all State managers. Please let Lisa Ginther, PSMA Executive Director, know if you have any questions, or if you're interested in joining our Board. You can also get involved with the IBEW process of organizing Y, V & W employees by emailing her at Execdir@PSMANJ.org.
We ask that you speak to other managers, especially managers that supervise other managers, to get them to join PSMA - please have them visit the PSMA Website!
Thank you for your support and loyalty to the only professional organization for NJ State Managers - formed by State Managers.
All the best,
Stanley V. Cach, President
Public Sector Managers' Association
Christie Vetoes Two Proposals to Inject Some Funds into Pension Plans
John Reitmeyer/NJ Spotlight/August 11, 2015
Democrats called using unexpected revenues for one-time cash infusion and making quarterly payments that could boost return on state's investments
Gov. Chris Christie yesterday rejected two public-employee pension-funding bills that Democrats who control the Legislature had advanced in response to the state's practice of underfunding or not funding employer contributions to those retirement plans.
Christie vetoed a measure that would have required the state to make quarterly contributions to the pension system, and he also vetoed a bill that called for a special $300 million infusion of funds this year.
The vetoes, announced yesterday afternoon, were not unexpected, since Christie and legislative leaders have been feuding for more than a year over what to do about the pension system and its $40 billion unfunded liability.
While the Republican Christie wants to follow up a series of benefits changes enacted in 2011 with more reforms, Democrats have maintained the state should instead find ways to increase employer contributions into the pension system, which covers an estimated 770,000 current and retired workers.
Traditionally, governors make the state's annual pension contribution in late June, coinciding with the end of the fiscal year. But that practice has effectively made the pension contribution a de facto rainy day fund for the budget, which the state constitution requires to be balanced each year.
For example, when Christie faced a $1 billion budget deficit last year after tax collections failed to live up to his lofty forecasts, he cut nearly $900 million from the budgeted state pension payment to help keep spending in line with revenues.
And that was just the latest underfunding by Christie and his predecessors over the last two decades. Democrats, with the backing of public-worker union leaders, pitched making quarterly payments as a way to ensure at least some funds get into the $80 billion pension system during the course of the fiscal year. Since the pension system is professionally managed, they argued, the quarterly payments would also translate into increased investment earnings.
But Christie's veto message for the quarterly payment bill called the proposal "an improper and unwarranted intrusion upon the longstanding executive prerogative."
"Enacting new laws to compel specific payments on specific dates does nothing at all to repair or reform the fundamentally unsustainable pension and health benefits systems currently in place," Christie said.
The Democrats sought the $300 million state pension payment after it became clear that tax collections during the fiscal year that ended June 30 were going to outpace forecasts. But Christie, in his veto message, called that idea "accounting gimmickry."
"The legislative majority should embrace reality and join with my Administration in a realistic discussion of necessary reforms to the pension and health benefits systems," he said.
Democratic legislative leaders criticized Christie's actions.
"Every dollar we put in now saves three dollars in the future. Making this payment upfront would generate millions in additional investment income at the same time it helps to reduce debt and protect against another downgrade in the state's credit rating," said Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester).
"Ignoring ready-to-enact solutions to New Jersey's pension and fiscal woes is an insult to the hardworking New Jerseyans whose jobs keep this state running, educate our children and help to fuel the state economy," said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Passaic).
Public-worker union leaders also lined up to criticize Christie's vetoes.
"Gov. Christie owes New Jersey's taxpayers an explanation for why he refuses to take even the smallest steps to stabilize the system and lower the long-term cost of fixing the problem the state has created for itself," said Wendell Steinhauer, president of the New Jersey Education Association.
"Even when the State has the money -- or when it wouldn't cost a penny -- Governor Christie acts to deliberately harm the pension systems that 1 in 10 New Jerseyan's depend upon," said Hetty Rosenstein, state director of the Communications Workers of America.