Gusciora Calls on Christie to Provide Greater Transparency on Pension Investments

Deputy Majority Leader Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) called on Governor Christie and his administration to provide an open, transparent dialogue on the State’s pension investments after the Governor called for bipartisan conversations regarding the pension system during his annual budget address Tuesday.

“The Governor criticized lawmakers today on a proposed constitutional amendment to provide directed pension payments. However, nothing was said on how the State continues to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars on fees for private investment managers to manage the pension fund.

“How can the Governor claim that Democrats are pandering to special interest groups with legislative ‘giveaways,'” Gusciora said, referring to the Governor’s comment during his budget address this afternoon, “while more than $600 million of New Jersey tax dollars are forwarded to a Wall Street welfare fund? Moreover, there has been no transparency in providing a comparison of investments made by public sector managers and the private managers, who have made millions on the very pension fund they’re charged with investing for the State.

“Put simply, New Jersey pays the highest rates of almost any state for pension management and, yet, is still seeing pension investment returns fall short of national averages. It certainly begs the question as to whether these investments are really paying off for the taxpayers or not?

“The Governor was right about one overarching point: Democrats and Republicans need to be bipartisan for the sake of New Jersey’s future, but it’s disingenuous to say that while pointing fingers under the table.”