Schaer & Singleton Bill to Encourage Pension Fund Investments in In-State Infrastructure Projects Clears Assembly Committee

Legislation Would Require Preference for In-State Projects Over Similar Out-of-State Projects

Legislation Assemblymen Gary S. Schaer and Troy Singleton sponsored to promote investment in in-state infrastructure projects and strengthen the state's pension funds recently was advanced by an Assembly committee.

The bill (A-1671) would require the director of the Division of Investment in the Department of Treasury, one of the nation's largest pension fund managers, to prioritize the investment or reinvestment of the assets of any pension or annuity fund under the jurisdiction of the division in an in-state infrastructure project rather than a comparable out-of-state project. 

"By investing pension assets in in-state infrastructure, New Jersey can achieve two goals simultaneously," said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). "First, using Bergen pension assets to build and enhance infrastructure will improve public safety and make our state more attractive to businesses and families looking to relocate. Secondly, infrastructure can provide a high and reliable rate of return to help strengthen New Jersey's pension funds." 

"Prioritizing investments in in-state projects can help our state bridge the infrastructure gap without compromising the obligation to maximize returns for current and future pension recipients," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "There's no reason New Jersey should miss out on opportunities to invest in projects right here at home."

The state's $73 billion pension fund supports the retirement plans of more than 750,000 active and retired employees in seven public pension systems: the Consolidated Police & Firemen's Pension Fund, the Judicial Retirement System, the Police & Firemen's Retirement System, the Prison Officers Pension Fund, the Public Employees' Retirement System, the State Police Retirement System and the Teachers' Pension & Annuity Fund.

The measure was advanced Thursday by the Assembly Budget Committee, of which Schaer is chair.

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