Cumberland County
New Jersey


Resolution Opposing Senate Bill No. 5 Which Would Transfer Management Of The Police And Fire Retirement System (PFRS) To A Board Of Trustees Of PFRS


Department:AdministrationSponsors:Deputy Director Darlene Barber, Freeholder Joseph V. Sparacio


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WHEREAS, this legislation would disproportionately shift control of the Police and Fire retirement System (PFRS) from balanced labor-management control to a union-dominated decision making structure; and

WHEREAS, PFRS is not like a 401K; it is a defined benefit program; and

WHEREAS, funded entirely by property taxpayer dollars, property taxpayers will finance over 73.0% of PFRS in 2018, while PFRS member will pay 27.0%; and

WHEREAS, in its current form, this bill will allow public safety union members and retires to enhance their own benefits while forcing their public employers and New Jersey taxpayers to assume a disproportionate amount of the risk; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Association of Counties proposed changes to the legislation to provide critical taxpayer protection in the form of the below listed safeguards/benchmarks:

(1)              Create a 15-member PFRS Board of Trustees comprised of an equal number of labor and management representatives with 1 independent member;


(2)              Authorize NJAC and NJLM to make direct management appointments to the new Board of Trustees as is the case with the labor representatives;


(3)              Prohibit the new Board of Trustees from enhancing member benefits until the system achieves a target funded ratio of 80% in 2019 as required under current law;


(4)              Require a vote of ¾ of the new Board of Trustees to enhance members benefits and only after the system achieves a target funded ratio of 80%; and


(5)              Establish a mandatory retirement age that models the one used by the federal government where law enforcement employees may retire with 20 years of service at 50 years of age or with 25 years of service at any age.

; and

WHEREAS, said Senate Bill No. 5 was advanced without any such amendments; and

WHEREAS, enacting this legislation without any recommended safeguards, municipal and county leaders will be facing a perfect storm of uncontrollable property tax growth and substantial service cuts.


1.              That this Board hereby strongly opposes Senate Bill No. 5 for the reasons set forth in the preamble hereto and ask that the amendments advanced by the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Association of Counties be incorporated.

2.              That certified copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to Governor Phil Murphy, the President of the New Jersey State Senate, the  Speaker of the General Assembly, representatives of the First and Third Legislative Districts and the New Jersey Association of Counties.

Passed and adopted at a regular meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders held at the Cumberland County Administration Building, 164 West Broad Street, Bridgeton, New Jersey on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. prevailing time.



Meeting History

Feb 27, 2018 6:00 PM Video Board of Chosen Freeholders Regular Board Meeting
draft Draft
MOVER:Darlene Barber, Deputy Director
SECONDER:Joseph V. Sparacio, Freeholder
AYES:George Castellini, Carol Musso, James F. Quinn, Joseph V. Sparacio, Jack Surrency, Darlene Barber, Joseph Derella