New Jersey PERS Chairman Requests Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investments After Weak Return; Some Lawmakers Back Request

Graph With Stacks Of Coins

The New Jersey State Investment Council, the panel that oversees the state’s pension investment portfolio, announced on Wednesday that the portfolio had returned 4.58 percent through 11 months of FY 14-15.

The return comes in below expectations, and short of the system’s assumed return rate of 7.9 percent.

During the meeting, New Jersey PERS chairman Tom Bruno requested a cost-benefit analysis and a forensic audit of the system’s investment portfolio.

From NJ Spotlight:

Tom Bruno, chairman of the board for the Public Employees Retirement System, one of the individual retirement funds that make up the overall pension system, asked Byrne and the other council members during the meeting yesterday to authorize a forensic audit and cost-benefit analysis of the alternative investments to address all of the questions that have been raised.

“I think it’s time for an independent look at this,” Bruno said.

And two members of the Senate oversight panel, Sens. Robert Gordon and Loretta Weinberg, (both D-Bergen), issued a statement yesterday echoing Bruno’s call for the review.

Byrne said during the meeting that the issue would go before the council’s audit committee and Bruno’s request would be put up for a discussion during the next meeting, which right now is scheduled for September.

“I certainly want to do everything possible to assure that people feel like they are getting good value for their money,” Byrne said. “If the work of the audit committee isn’t satisfactory then we can talk about the next steps.”

But Byrne also didn’t commit outright to allowing the independent review, something that drew an immediate response from Bruno.

“I think we just keep kicking this can down the road,” Bruno said.

New Jersey’s pension system is valued at around $78 billion.


Photo by www.SeniorLiving.Org

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