Progress and projections

PFRS Report 

At our March meeting, Jonathan Scarpa of Segal presented the summary for the fund’s Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 67 and 68 Reports. These are the governmental accounting standards that set the accounting rules with public retirement systems and employers that sponsor or contribute to them.

Statement 67 sets the rules for the system, and 68 sets the rules for the employers that sponsor or contribute to the public retirement system. The actuarial valuation in the report is as of June 30, 2022.

While some categories did not achieve the desired results, one would have expected this in our current economic climate. Nevertheless, we must remember that this is a small snapshot of a longer projection. We view things on a three- and five-year average, and there is optimism that the market will see some recovery in the latter part of the year. Just like in 2008, recovery was slow but steady, and it did recover. The board continues to lead the way in comprehensive oversight to ensure that stabilizing and growing the fund remains a priority.

Our current HMFA for February 2023 has us showing 5,642 outstanding loans for a balance of $1,669,346,978. This is consistent on the percentages expected with the overall fund. Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests continue to be accepted regularly. Due to the volume and statutory requirements under NJSA:47 for response times, we will continue to have staff monitor and expedite them. While they are cumbersome at times, transparency has been and will continue to be a priority of this board.

This month, the board processed and heard 129 special, 18 service and 15 deferred pensions. The board also reviewed and voted on four ordinary and 18 accidental disability applications.

The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) working group will be conversing in the near future to follow up on this very important issue. As you are aware, this working group was developed to draw from empirical data and best practices on developing strategies for COLA.

During the governor’s budget address, Governor Murphy referenced that he will make a full pension payment in this cycle. The projected $7.1 billion payment will mark the first time in over a quarter of a century that they made a full payment three years in a row. We applaud the governor for this responsible action and encourage the state to continue this tradition.

We are currently tracking 31 bills in the legislature. Some of these bills have received committee hearings, and we will update everyone as they move.