NJ to Use Pension Money to Boost the State's Economy

September 4, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - New Jersey officials have decided to use $100 million in cash from the public employee pension fund to invest in companies doing business within the state, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

Lehman Brothers will help The New Jersey Directed Investment Fund – which includes the pension fund money – to pick investments in firms with their headquarters in the state or those considering bringing their business there.

The thought behind the decision to use retirement funds is to give residents a double benefit, by earning healthy returns for the fund and by boosting the state’s economy, according to the news report.

“If ultimately we can identify investments that create jobs for New Jersey residents and ensure a competitive return on the investment, that’s something we want to do,” Orin Kramer, chairman of the State Investment Council, the panel set up to oversee the pension fund, told the Star-Ledger.

The news report said that the pension fund now has a $25 billion shortfall and has been looking to less traditional ways to boost returns, including one of its most current decisions to place $6 billion into alternative investments (See   NJ Turns to Hedge Funds to Overcome Pension Deficit ).