ASSEMBLY, No. 3506

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

209th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 7, 2001

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman NICHOLAS ASSELTA

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

Assemblyman JOSEPH AZZOLINA

District 13 (Middlesex and Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Geist, Corodemus, DiGaetano, Assemblywoman Farragher, Assemblymen Felice, Gibson, Assemblywoman Heck, Assemblymen Holzapfel, T.Smith, Thompson, Wolfe, Zecker, Assemblywoman Greenstein, Assemblymen Guear, Kean, R.Smith, Assemblywoman Vandervalk, Assemblyman Arnone, Assemblywoman Weinberg, Assemblymen Barnes, Kelly, Zisa, Conaway, Conners, Assemblywoman Buono, Assemblymen Cottrell, Gusciora, Assemblywoman Watson Coleman, Assemblymen Garcia, Malone, Sires and Wisniewski

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Increases TPAF and PERS retirement benefits for active members and retirees; revises calculation of assets and establishes benefit enhancement fund.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 6/29/2001)


An Act concerning retirement benefits and the funding of benefits under the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund and the Public Employees' Retirement System of New Jersey, and amending and supplementing N.J.S.18A:66-1 et seq. and P.L.1954, c.84.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. N.J.S.18A:66-16 is amended to read as follows:

    18A:66-16. There shall be in the retirement system the contingent reserve fund, annuity savings fund, retirement reserve fund, pension fund, special reserve fund, interest fund, benefit enhancement fund and the members' death benefit fund.

(cf: N.J.S.18A:66-16)

 

    2. N.J.S.18A:66-18 is amended to read as follows:

    18A:66-18. The contingent reserve fund shall be the fund in which shall be credited contributions made by the State and other employers.

    a. Upon the basis of the tables recommended by the actuary which the board of trustees adopts and regular interest, the actuary of the board shall compute annually, beginning as of March 31, 1992, the amount of contribution which shall be the normal cost as computed under the projected unit credit method attributable to service rendered under the retirement system for the year beginning on July 1 immediately succeeding the date of the computation. This shall be known as the "normal contribution."

    b. Upon the basis of the tables recommended by the actuary which the board of trustees adopts and regular interest, the actuary of the board shall annually determine if there is an amount of the accrued liability of the retirement system, computed under the projected unit credit method, including the liability for pension adjustment benefits for active employees funded pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1987, c.385 (C.18A:66-18.1), which is not already covered by the assets of the retirement system, valued in accordance with the asset valuation method established in this section. This shall be known as the "unfunded accrued liability." If there was no unfunded accrued liability for the valuation period immediately preceding the current valuation period, the actuary, using the total amount of this unfunded accrued liability, shall compute the initial amount of contribution which, if the contribution is increased at a specific rate and paid annually for a specific period of time, will amortize this liability. The State Treasurer shall determine, upon the advice of the Director of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, the board of trustees and the actuary, the rate of increase for the contribution and the time period for full funding of this liability, which shall not exceed 30 years. This shall be known as the "accrued liability contribution." Thereafter, any increase or decrease in the unfunded accrued liability as a result of actuarial losses or gains for subsequent valuation years shall serve to increase or decrease, respectively, the amortization period for the unfunded accrued liability, unless an increase in the amortization period will cause it to exceed 30 years. If an increase in the amortization period as a result of actuarial losses for a valuation year would exceed 30 years, the accrued liability contribution shall be computed for the valuation year in the same manner provided for the computation of the initial accrued liability contribution under this section. The State may pay all or any portion of its unfunded accrued liability under the retirement system from any source of funds legally available for the purpose, including, without limitation, the proceeds of bonds authorized by law for this purpose.

    The value of the assets to be used in the computation of the contributions provided for under this section for valuation periods shall be the value of the assets for the preceding valuation period increased by the regular interest rate, plus the net cash flow for the valuation period (the difference between the benefits and expenses paid by the system and the contributions to the system) increased by one half of the regular interest rate, plus 20% of the difference between this expected value and the full market value of the assets as of the end of the valuation period. This shall be known as the "valuation assets." Notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph, the valuation assets for the valuation period ending March 31, 1996 shall be the full market value of the assets as of that date and shall include the proceeds from the bonds issued pursuant to the Pension Bond Financing Act of 1997, P.L.1997, c.114 (C.34:1B-7.45 et seq.), paid to the system by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to fund the unfunded accrued liability of the system. Notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph, the valuation assets for the valuation period ending June 30, 1999 shall be the full market value of the assets as of that date.

    "Excess valuation assets" for a valuation period means:

    (1) the valuation assets; less

    (2) the actuarial accrued liability for basic benefits and pension adjustment benefits, excluding the unfunded accrued liability for early retirement incentive benefits pursuant to P.L.1991, c.231 and P.L.1993, c.163 for employers other than the State; less

    (3) the contributory group insurance premium fund created by N.J.S.18A:66-77; less

    (4) the post-retirement medical premium fund created pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1987, c.385 (C.18A:66-18.1), as amended by section 3 of P.L.1994, c.62; less

    (5) the present value of the projected total normal cost for pension adjustment benefits in excess of the projected total phased-in normal cost for pension adjustment benefits as originally authorized by section 2 of P.L.1987, c.385 (C.18A:66-18.1) over the full phase-in period, determined in the manner prescribed for the determination and amortization of the unfunded accrued liability of the system, if the sum of the foregoing items is greater than zero.

    If there are excess valuation assets for the valuation period ending March 31, 1996, the normal contributions for the valuation periods ending March 31, 1996 and March 31, 1997 which have not yet been paid to the retirement system shall be reduced to the extent possible by the excess valuation assets, provided that the General Fund balances that would have been paid to the retirement system except for this provision shall first be allocated as State aid to public schools to the extent that additional sums are required to comply with the May 14, 1997 decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court in Abbott v. Burke, and provided further that the normal contribution for the valuation period ending March 31, 1996 shall not be less than $54,000,000. If there are excess valuation assets for a valuation period ending after March 31, 1996, the State Treasurer may reduce the normal contribution payable for the next valuation period as follows:

    (1) for valuation periods ending March 31, 1997 through March 31, 2001, to the extent possible by up to 100% of the excess valuation assets;

    (2) for the valuation period ending March 31, 2002, to the extent possible by up to 84% of the excess valuation assets;

    (3) for the valuation period ending March 31, 2003, to the extent possible by up to 68% of the excess valuation assets; and

    (4) for valuation periods ending on or after March 31, 2004, to the extent possible by up to 50% of the excess valuation assets.

    For calendar years 1998 and 1999, the rate of contribution of members of the retirement system under N.J.S.18A:66-29 shall be reduced by 1/2 of 1% from excess valuation assets. For calendar years 2000 and 2001, the rate of contribution of members of the retirement system shall be reduced equally with normal contributions to the extent possible, but not more than 1/2 of 1%, from excess valuation assets. Thereafter, the rate of contribution of members of the retirement system under that section for a calendar year shall be reduced equally with normal contributions to the extent possible, but not by more than [1/2 of 1%] 2%, from excess valuation assets if the State Treasurer determines that excess valuation assets shall be used to reduce normal contributions by the State for the fiscal year beginning immediately prior to the calendar year, and excess valuation assets above the amount necessary to fund the reduction for that calendar year in the member contribution rate plus an equal reduction in the normal contribution shall be available for the further reduction of normal contributions, subject to the limitations prescribed by this subsection.

    If there are excess valuation assets after reductions in normal contributions and member contributions as authorized in the preceding paragraphs for a valuation period beginning with the valuation period ending June 30,1999, an amount of excess valuation assets not to exceed the amount of the member contributions for the fiscal year in which the normal contributions are payable shall be credited to the benefit enhancement fund. The amount of excess valuation assets credited to the benefit enhancement fund shall not exceed the present value of the expected additional normal contributions attributable to the provisions of P.L. , c. (now pending before the Legislature as this bill) payable on behalf of the active members over the expected working lives of the active members in accordance with the tables of actuarial assumptions for the valuation period. No additional excess valuation assets shall be credited to the benefit enhancement fund after the maximum amount is attained. Interest shall be credited to the benefit enhancement fund as provided under N.J.S.18A:66-25.

    The normal contribution for the increased benefits for active members under P.L. , c. (now pending before Legislature as this bill) shall be paid from the benefit enhancement fund. If assets in the benefit enhancement fund are insufficient to pay the normal contribution for the increased benefits for a valuation period, the State shall pay the amount of normal contribution for the increased benefits not covered by assets from the benefit enhancement fund.

    c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1992, c.125.)

    d. The retirement system shall certify annually the aggregate amount payable to the contingent reserve fund in the ensuing year, which amount shall be equal to the sum of the amounts described in this section, and which shall be paid into the contingent reserve fund in the manner provided by section 18A:66-33.

    e. Except as provided in sections 18A:66-26 and 18A:66-53, the death benefits payable under the provisions of this article upon the death of an active or retired member shall be paid from the contingent reserve fund.

    f. The disbursements for benefits not covered by reserves in the system on account of veterans shall be met by direct contribution of the State.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.115, s.1)

 

    3. N.J.S.18A:66-25 is amended to read as follows:

    18A:66-25. The board of trustees at the end of each fiscal year shall allow interest on the balance of the contingent reserve fund, the annuity savings fund, the retirement reserve fund, pension fund, benefit enhancement fund and the members' death benefit fund as of the beginning of said fiscal year at the regular interest rate applicable thereto to cover the interest creditable to the respective funds for the year. The amount so allowed shall be due and payable to said funds and shall be credited annually thereto by the board.

(cf: N.J.S.18A:66-25)

 

    4. N.J.S.18A:66-36 is amended to read as follows:

    18A:66-36. Should a member of the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund, after having completed 10 years of service, be separated voluntarily or involuntarily from the service, before reaching service retirement age, and not by removal for conduct unbecoming a teacher or other just cause under the provisions of sections 18A:28-4 to 18A:28-5 and 18A:28-9 to 18A:28-13 inclusive, such person may elect to receive, in lieu of the payment provided in section 18A:66-34:

    a. The payments provided for in section 18A:66-37, if he so qualified under said section; or

    b. A deferred retirement allowance beginning at age 60, which shall be made up of an annuity derived from the member's accumulated deductions at the time of his severance from the service, and a pension in the amount which, when added to the member's annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of [1/70] 1/64 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as Class A service and [1/60] 1/55 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as class B service, calculated in accordance with section 18A:66-44, with optional privileges provided for in section 18A:66-47 if he exercises such optional privilege at least 30 days before his attainment of the normal retirement age; provided, that such election is communicated by such member to the retirement system in writing stating at what time subsequent to the execution and filing thereof he desires to be retired; and provided, further, that such member may later elect: (1) to receive the payments provided for in section 18A:66-37, if he had qualified under that section at the time of leaving service, except that in order to avail himself of the optional privileges pursuant to section 18A:66-47, he must exercise such optional privilege at least 30 days before the effective date of his retirement; or (2) to withdraw his accumulated deductions with interest as provided in section 18A:66-34. If such member shall die before attaining service retirement age, then his accumulated deductions, plus regular interest after January 1, 1956, shall be paid in accordance with section 18A:66-38, and, in addition if such member shall die after attaining service retirement age and has not withdrawn his accumulated deductions, an amount equal to 3/16 of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service shall be paid to such member's beneficiary.

    Any member who, having elected to receive a deferred retirement allowance, again becomes an employee covered by the retirement system while under the age of 60, shall thereupon be reenrolled. If he had discontinued his service for more than 2 consecutive years, subsequent contributions shall be at a rate applicable to the age resulting from the subtraction of his years of creditable service at the time of his last discontinuance of contributing membership from his age at the time of his return to service. He shall be credited with all service as a member standing to his credit at the time of his election to receive a deferred retirement allowance.

(cf: P.L.1981, c.177, s.1)

 

    5. N.J.S.18A:66-37 is amended to read as follows:

    18A:66-37. Should a member resign after having established 25 years of creditable service before reaching age 60, he may elect "early retirement," provided, that such election is communicated by such member to the retirement system by filing a written application, duly attested, stating at what time subsequent to the execution and filing thereof he desires to be retired. He shall receive, in lieu of the payment provided in N.J.S.18A:66-34, an annuity which is the actuarial equivalent of his accumulated deductions and a pension in the amount which, when added to the member's annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of [1/70] 1/64 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as class A service and [1/60] 1/55 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as class B service, calculated in accordance with N.J.S.18A:66-44, reduced by 1/4 of 1% for each month that the member lacks of being age 55; provided, however, that upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of such a member there shall be paid to his beneficiary an amount equal to 3/16 of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service or in the year of the member's highest contractual salary, whichever is higher.

    The board of trustees shall retire him at the time specified or at such other time within one month after the date so specified as the board finds advisable.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.410, s.1)

 

    6. N.J.S.18A:66-44 is amended to read as follows:

    18A:66-44. A member, upon retirement for service, shall receive a retirement allowance consisting of:

    (a)  an annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of his accumulated deductions, together with interest after January 1, 1956, less any excess contributions as provided in N.J.S.18A:66-20; and

    (b) a pension in the amount which, when added to the member's annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of [1/70] 1/64 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as class A service and [1/60] 1/55 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as class B service.

    Upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of a member who has retired on a service retirement allowance, there shall be paid to the member's beneficiary, an amount equal to 3/16 of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service or in the year of the member's highest contractual salary, whichever is higher.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.410, s.4)

 

    7. N.J.S.18A:66-71 is amended to read as follows:

    18A:66-71. a. Any public employee veteran member in office, position or employment of this State or of a county, municipality, or school district, board of education or other employer who (1) has or shall have attained the age of 60 years and has or shall have been for 20 years continuously or in the aggregate in office, position or employment of this State or of a county, municipality or school district, board of education or other employer, or (2) has or shall have attained the age of 55 years and has or shall have been for 25 years continuously or in the aggregate in that office, position or employment, shall have the privilege of retiring for service and of receiving, instead of the retirement allowance provided under N.J.S.18A:66-44, a retirement allowance of one-half of the compensation for which contributions are made during the 12-month period of membership providing the largest possible benefit to the member or the member's beneficiary.

    b. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.69.)

    c. Any public employee veteran member who has been for 20 years in the aggregate in office, position or employment of this State or of a county, municipality or school district, board of education or other employer as of January 1, 1955, shall have the privilege of retiring for ordinary disability and of receiving, instead of the retirement allowance provided under N.J.S.18A:66-41, a retirement allowance of one-half of the compensation received during the last year of employment upon which contributions to the annuity savings fund or contingent reserve fund are made. Such retirement shall be subject to the provisions governing ordinary disability retirement in N.J.S.18A:66-39 and N.J.S.18A:66-40.

    d. Any public employee veteran member who shall be in office, position or employment of this State or of a county, municipality, school district, board of education or other employer and who shall have attained [60] 55 years of age and who has at least 35 years of aggregate service credit in such office, position or employment, shall have the privilege of retiring for service and receiving a retirement allowance of [one-sixtieth] 1/55 of the compensation he received during the last year of employment upon which contributions to the annuity savings fund or contingent reserve fund are made for each year of creditable service.

    e. The death benefit provided in N.J.S.18A:66-44 shall apply in the case of any member retiring under the provisions of subsections a. and d. of this section and in the case of any member who has previously retired under the provisions of subsection b. of this section before said subsection was amended by this act. The death benefit provided in N.J.S.18A:66-41 shall apply in the case of any member retiring under the provisions of subsection c. of this section.

    f. A member who purchases service credit pursuant to any provision of the "Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund Law" (N.J.S.18A:66-1 et seq.) is entitled to apply the credit for the purpose of satisfying any of the service requirements of that act.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.332, s.1)

 

    8. Section 22 of P.L. 1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-22) is amended to read as follows:

    22. Under this act there shall be the contingent reserve fund, annuity savings fund, retirement reserve fund, benefit enhancement fund and the special reserve fund.

(cf: P.L.1963, c.51, s.1)

 

    9. Section 24 of P.L. 1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-24) is amended to read as follows:

    24. The contingent reserve fund shall be the fund in which shall be credited contributions made by the State and other employers.

    a. Upon the basis of the tables recommended by the actuary which the board adopts and regular interest, the actuary shall compute annually, beginning as of March 31, 1992, the amount of contribution which shall be the normal cost as computed under the projected unit credit method attributable to service rendered under the retirement system for the year beginning on July 1 immediately succeeding the date of the computation. This shall be known as the "normal contribution."

    b. With respect to employers other than the State, upon the basis of the tables recommended by the actuary which the board adopts and regular interest, the actuary shall compute the amount of the accrued liability of the retirement system as of March 31, 1992 under the projected unit credit method, excluding the liability for pension adjustment benefits for active employees funded pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1990, c.6 (C.43:15A-24.1), which is not already covered by the assets of the retirement system, valued in accordance with the asset valuation method established in this section. Using the total amount of this unfunded accrued liability, the actuary shall compute the initial amount of contribution which, if the contribution is increased at a specific rate and paid annually for a specific period of time, will amortize this liability. The State Treasurer shall determine, upon the advice of the Director of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, the board of trustees and the actuary, the rate of increase for the contribution and the time period for full funding of this liability, which shall not exceed 40 years on initial application of this section as amended by this act, P.L.1994, c.62. This shall be known as the "accrued liability contribution." Any increase or decrease in the unfunded accrued liability as a result of actuarial losses or gains for the 10 valuation years following valuation year 1992 shall serve to increase or decrease, respectively, the unfunded accrued liability contribution. Thereafter, any increase or decrease in the unfunded accrued liability as a result of actuarial losses or gains for subsequent valuation years shall serve to increase or decrease, respectively, the amortization period for the unfunded accrued liability, unless an increase in the amortization period will cause it to exceed 30 years. If an increase in the amortization period as a result of actuarial losses for a valuation year would exceed 30 years, the accrued liability contribution shall be computed for the valuation year in the same manner provided for the computation of the initial accrued liability contribution under this section.

    With respect to the State, upon the basis of the tables recommended by the actuary which the commission adopts and regular interest, the actuary shall annually determine if there is an amount of the accrued liability of the retirement system, computed under the projected unit credit method, which is not already covered by the assets of the retirement system, valued in accordance with the asset valuation method established in this section. This shall be known as the "unfunded accrued liability." If there was no unfunded accrued liability for the valuation period immediately preceding the current valuation period, the actuary, using the total amount of this unfunded accrued liability, shall compute the initial amount of contribution which, if the contribution is increased at a specific rate and paid annually for a specific period of time, will amortize this liability. The State Treasurer shall determine, upon the advice of the Director of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, the commission and the actuary, the rate of increase for the contribution and the time period for full funding of this liability, which shall not exceed 30 years. This shall be known as the "accrued liability contribution." Thereafter, any increase or decrease in the unfunded accrued liability as a result of actuarial losses or gains for subsequent valuation years shall serve to increase or decrease, respectively, the amortization period for the unfunded accrued liability, unless an increase in the amortization period will cause it to exceed 30 years. If an increase in the amortization period as a result of actuarial losses for a valuation year would exceed 30 years, the accrued liability contribution shall be computed for the valuation year in the same manner provided for the computation of the initial accrued liability contribution under this section. The State may pay all or any portion of its unfunded accrued liability under the retirement system from any source of funds legally available for the purpose. including, without limitation, the proceeds of bonds authorized by law for this purpose.

    The value of the assets to be used in the computation of the contributions provided for under this section for valuation periods shall be the value of the assets for the preceding valuation period increased by the regular interest rate, plus the net cash flow for the valuation period (the difference between the benefits and expenses paid by the system and the contributions to the system) increased by one half of the regular interest rate, plus 20% of the difference between this expected value and the full market value of the assets as of the end of the valuation period. This shall be known as the "valuation assets." Notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph, the valuation assets for the valuation period ending March 31, 1996 shall be the full market value of the assets as of that date and, with respect to the valuation assets allocated to the State, shall include the proceeds from the bonds issued pursuant to the "Pension Bond Financing Act of 1997," P.L.1997, c.114 (C.34:1B-7.45 et seq.), paid to the system by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to fund the unfunded accrued liability of the system. [Notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph, the amount of the difference between the expected value and the full market value of the assets to be added to the expected value of the assets for the valuation period ending June 30, 1999 shall include an additional amount of the market value of the assets sufficient to fund the unfunded accrued liability for the supplementary "special" retirement allowances provided under section 4 of P.L.2001, c.4 (C.43:15A-100.1).] Notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph, the valuation assets for the valuation period ending June 30, 1999 shall be the full market value of the assets as of that date.

    "Excess valuation assets" for a valuation period means, with respect to the valuation assets allocated to the State:

    (1) the valuation assets allocated to the State; less

    (2) the actuarial accrued liability of the State for basic benefits and pension adjustment benefits under the retirement system; less

    (3) the contributory group insurance premium fund, created by section 4 of P.L.1955, c.214 (C.43:15A-91), as amended by section 4 of P.L.1960, c.79; less

    (4) the post retirement medical premium fund, created pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1990, c.6 (C.43:15A-24.1), as amended by section 8 of P.L.1994, c.62; less

    (5) the present value of the projected total normal cost for pension adjustment benefits in excess of the projected total phased-in normal cost for pension adjustment benefits for the State authorized by section 2 of P.L.1990, c.6 (C.43:15A-24.1) over the full phase-in period, determined in the manner prescribed for the determination and amortization of the unfunded accrued liability of the system, if the sum of the foregoing items is greater than zero.

    "Excess valuation assets" for a valuation period means, with respect to the valuation assets allocated to other employers:

    (1) the valuation assets allocated to the other employers; less

    (2) the actuarial accrued liability of the other employers for basic benefits and pension adjustment benefits under the retirement system, excluding the unfunded accrued liability for early retirement incentive benefits pursuant to P.L.1991, c.229, P.L.1991, c.230, P.L.1993, c.138, and P.L.1993, c.181, for employers other than the State; less

    (3) the contributory group insurance premium fund, created by section 4 of P.L.1955, c.214 (C.43:15A-91), as amended by section 4 of P.L.1960, c.79; less

    (4) the present value of the projected total normal cost for pension adjustment benefits in excess of the projected total phased-in normal cost for pension adjustment benefits for the other employers authorized by section 2 of P.L.1990, c.6 (C.43:15A-24.1) over the full phase-in period, determined in the manner prescribed for the determination and amortization of the unfunded accrued liability of the system, if the sum of the foregoing items is greater than zero.

    If there are excess valuation assets allocated to the State or to the other employers for the valuation period ending March 31, 1996, the normal contributions payable by the State or by the other employers for the valuation periods ending March 31, 1996 and March 31, 1997 which have not yet been paid to the retirement system shall be reduced to the extent possible by the excess valuation assets allocated to the State or to the other employers, respectively, provided that with respect to the excess valuation assets allocated to the State, the General Fund balances that would have been paid to the retirement system except for this provision shall first be allocated as State aid to public schools to the extent that additional sums are required to comply with the May 14, 1997 decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court in Abbott v. Burke. If there are excess valuation assets allocated to the State or to the other employers for a valuation period ending after March 31, 1996, the State Treasurer may reduce the normal contribution payable by the State or by the other employers for the next valuation period as follows:

    (1) for valuation periods ending March 31, 1997 through March 31, 2001, to the extent possible by up to 100% of the excess valuation assets allocated to the State or to the other employers, respectively;

    (2) for the valuation period ending March 31, 2002, to the extent possible by up to 84% of the excess valuation assets allocated to the State or to the other employers, respectively;

    (3) for the valuation period ending March 31, 2003, to the extent possible by up to 68% of the excess valuation assets allocated to the State or to the other employers, respectively; and

    (4) for valuation periods ending on or after March 31, 2004, to the extent possible by up to 50% of the excess valuation assets allocated to the State or to the other employers, respectively.

    For calendar years 1998 and 1999, the rate of contribution of members of the retirement system under section 25 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-25) shall be reduced by 1/2 of 1% from excess valuation assets and for calendar years 2000 and 2001, the rate of contribution shall be reduced by 2% from excess valuation assets. Thereafter, the rate of contribution of members of the retirement system under that section for a calendar year shall be reduced equally with normal contributions to the extent possible, but not by more than 2%, from excess valuation assets if the State Treasurer determines that excess valuation assets shall be used to reduce normal contributions by the State and local employers for the fiscal year beginning immediately prior to the calendar year, or for the calendar year for local employers whose fiscal year is the calendar year, and excess valuation assets above the amount necessary to fund the reduction for that calendar year in the member contribution rate plus an equal reduction in the normal contribution shall be available for the further reduction of normal contributions, subject to the limitations prescribed by this subsection.

    If there are excess valuation assets after reductions in normal contributions and member contributions as authorized in the preceding paragraphs for a valuation period beginning with the valuation period ending June 30, 1999, an amount of excess valuation assets not to exceed the amount of the member contributions for the fiscal year in which the normal contributions are payable shall be credited to the benefit enhancement fund. The amount of excess valuation assets credited to the benefit enhancement fund shall not exceed the present value of the expected additional normal contributions attributable to the provisions of P.L. , c. (now pending before the Legislature as this bill) payable on behalf of the active members over the expected working lives of the active members in accordance with the tables of actuarial assumptions for the valuation period. No additional excess valuation assets shall be credited to the benefit enhancement fund after the maximum amount is attained. Interest shall be credited to the benefit enhancement fund as provided under section 33 of P.L. 1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-33).

    The normal contribution for the increased benefits for active employees under P.L. , c. (now pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be paid from the benefit enhancement fund. If assets in the benefit enhancement fund are insufficient to pay the normal contribution for the increased benefits for a valuation period, the State shall pay the amount of normal contribution for the increased benefits not covered by assets from the benefit enhancement fund.

    c. The retirement system shall certify annually the aggregate amount payable to the contingent reserve fund in the ensuing year, which amount shall be equal to the sum of the amounts described in this section. The State shall pay into the contingent reserve fund during the ensuing year the amount so determined. The death benefits, payable as a result of contribution by the State under the provisions of this chapter upon the death of an active or retired member, shall be paid from the contingent reserve fund.

    d. The disbursements for benefits not covered by reserves in the system on account of veterans shall be met by direct contributions of the State and other employers.

(cf: P.L.2001, c.4, s.5)

 

    10. Section 33 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-33) is amended to read as follows:

    33. The board of trustees at the end of each fiscal year shall allow interest on the balance of the annuity savings fund, contingent reserve fund, the retirement reserve fund, benefit enhancement fund and the members' death benefit fund as of the beginning of said fiscal year at the regular interest rate applicable thereto to cover the interest creditable to the respective funds for the year. The amount so allowed shall be due and payable to said funds and shall be credited annually thereto by the board.

(cf: P.L.1954, c.244, s.5)

 

    11. Section 38 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-38) is amended to read as follows:

    38. Should a member of the Public Employees' Retirement System, after having completed 10 years of service, be separated voluntarily or involuntarily from the service, before reaching service retirement age, and not by removal for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency, such person may elect to receive:

    (a) The payments provided for in section 41b. of this act, if he so qualifies under said section, or;

    (b) A deferred retirement allowance, beginning at the retirement age, which shall be made up of an annuity derived from the accumulated deductions standing to the credit of the individual member's account in the annuity savings fund at the time of his severance from the service together with regular interest, and a pension which when added to the annuity will produce a total retirement allowance of [1/70] 1/64 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as Class A service and [1/60] 1/55 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as Class B service, calculated in accordance with section 48 of this act, with optional privileges provided for in section 50 of this act if he exercises such optional privilege at least 30 days before his attainment of the normal retirement age; provided, that such election is communicated by such member to the retirement system in writing stating at what time subsequent to the execution and filing thereof he desires to be retired; and provided further, that such member, as referred to in this subsection may later elect: (1) to receive the payments provided for in section 41b. of this act, if he had qualified under that section at the time of leaving service, except that in order to avail himself of the optional privileges pursuant to section 50, he must exercise such optional privilege at least 30 days before the effective date of his retirement; or (2) to withdraw his accumulated deductions with interest as provided in section 41a. If such member shall die before attaining service retirement age then his accumulated deductions, plus regular interest, shall be paid in accordance with section 41c.; or if such member shall die after attaining service retirement age and has not withdrawn his accumulated deductions, an amount equal to 3/16 of the compensation received by the member in the last year of creditable service shall be paid to such person, if living, as he shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the retirement system; otherwise to the executor or administrator of the member's estate.

(cf: P.L.1981, c.177, s.4)

 

    12. Section 41 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-41) is amended to read as follows:

    41. a. A member who withdraws from service or ceases to be an employee for any cause other than death or retirement shall, upon the filing of an application therefor, receive all of his accumulated deductions standing to the credit of his individual account in the annuity savings fund, plus regular interest, less any outstanding loan, except that for any period after June 30, 1944, the interest payable shall be such proportion of the interest determined at the regular rate of 2% per annum bears to the regular rate of interest, and except that no interest shall be payable in the case of a member who has less than three years of membership credit for which he has made contributions. He shall cease to be a member two years from the date he discontinued service as an eligible employee, or, if prior thereto, upon payment to him of his accumulated deductions. If any such person or member shall die before withdrawing or before endorsing the check constituting the return of his accumulated deductions, such deductions shall be paid to the member's beneficiary. No member shall be entitled to withdraw the amounts contributed by his employer covering his military leave unless he shall have returned to the payroll and contributed to the retirement system for a period of 90 days.

    b. Should a member resign after having established 25 years of creditable service before reaching age 60, he may elect "early retirement," provided, that such election is communicated by such member to the retirement system by filing a written application, duly attested, stating at what time subsequent to the execution and filing thereof he desires to be retired. He shall receive, in lieu of the payment provided in subsection a. of this section, an annuity which is the actuarial equivalent of his accumulated deductions together with regular interest, and a pension in the amount which, when added to the member's annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of [one-seventieth] 1/64 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as Class A service and [one-sixtieth] 1/55 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as Class B service, calculated in accordance with section 48 (C. 43:15A-48) of this act, reduced by 1/4 of 1% for each month that the member lacks of being age 55; provided, however, that upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of such a member there shall be paid to his beneficiary an amount equal to three-sixteenths of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service.

    The board of trustees shall retire him at the time specified or at such other time within one month after the date so specified as the board finds advisable.

    c. Upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of a member in service on account of which no accidental death benefit is payable under section 49 there shall be paid to such member's beneficiary:

    (1) The member's accumulated deductions at the time of death together with regular interest; and

    (2) An amount equal to one and one-half times the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service.

(cf: P.L.1987, c.1, s.1)

 

    13. Section 48 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-48) is amended to read as follows:

    48. A member, upon retirement for service, shall receive a retirement allowance consisting of:

    a. An annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of his accumulated deductions together with regular interest; and

    b. A pension in the amount which, when added to the member's annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of [1/70] 1/64 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as Class A service and [1/60] 1/55 of his final compensation for each year of service credited as Class B service.

    c. Upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of a member who has retired on a service retirement allowance, there shall be paid to the member's beneficiary, an amount equal to 3/16 of the compensation


upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service.

(cf: P.L.1971, c.213, s.22)

 

    14. Section 61 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-61) is amended to read as follows:

    61. a. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.332.)

    b. Any public employee veteran member in office, position or employment of this State or of a county, municipality, public agency, school district or board of education and who shall have attained 62 years of age and who has 20 years of aggregate service credit in such office, position or employment, shall have the privilege of retiring for service and receiving, instead of the retirement allowance provided under section 48 of this act, a retirement allowance of one-half of the compensation for which contributions are made during the 12-month period of membership providing the largest possible benefit to the member or the member's beneficiary.

    c. Any public employee veteran member who has been for 20 years in the aggregate in office, position or employment of this State or of a county, municipality, public agency, school district or board of education as of January 2, 1955, shall have the privilege of retiring for ordinary disability and of receiving, instead of the retirement allowance provided under section 45 of this act, a retirement allowance of one-half of the compensation received during the last year of employment upon which contributions to the annuity savings fund or contingent reserve fund are made. Such retirement shall be subject to the provisions governing ordinary disability retirement in sections 42 and 44 of this act.

    d. Any public employee veteran member who shall be in office, position or employment of this State or of a county, municipality, public agency, school district or board of education and who shall have attained [60] 55 years of age and who has at least 35 years of aggregate service credit in such office, position or employment, shall have the privilege of retiring for service and receiving a retirement allowance of [one-sixtieth] 1/55 of the compensation he received during the last year of employment upon which contributions to the annuity savings fund or contingent reserve fund are made for each year of creditable service.

    e. The death benefit provided in section 48 shall apply in the case of any member retiring under the provisions of subsections a., b. and d. of this section. The death benefit provided in section 45 shall apply in the case of any member retiring under the provisions of subsection c. of this section.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.332, s.2)


    15. (New section) The retirement allowance of each retiree under N.J.S.18A:66-36, N.J.S.18A:66-37, N.J.S.18A:66-44, and N.J.S.18A:66-71d., or the retiree's beneficiary pursuant to N.J.S.18A:66-47, on the effective date of this act, P.L. , c. (now pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall be increased by a percentage equivalent to the percentage increase in the fraction of final compensation for each year of credited service for the total retirement allowance under these sections made by this act, P.L. , c. . The provisions of section 7 of P.L.1969, c.169 (C.43:3B-8) shall not be applicable to the increases in retirement allowances provided by this section.

 

    16. (New section) The retirement allowance of each retiree under section 38, subsection b. of section 41, section 48, and subsection d. of section 61 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-38, C.43:15A-41b., C.43:15A-48, and C.43:15A-61d.), or the retiree's beneficiary pursuant to section 50 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-50), on the effective date of this act, P.L. , c. (now pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall be increased by a percentage equivalent to the percentage increase in the fraction of final compensation for each year of credited service for the total retirement allowance under these sections made by this act, P.L. , c. . The provisions of section 7 of P.L.1969, c.169 (C.43:3B-8) shall not be applicable to the increases in retirement allowances provided by this section.

 

    17. This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month after the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill increases the retirement benefits under the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) and the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) for service, deferred and early retirement by changing the formula from 1/70 to 1/64 of final compensation for each year of Class A service and from 1/60 to 1/55 of final compensation for each year of Class B service. Class B service has been the type of membership for TPAF and PERS members since the mid-1950s. The bill also increases the retirement benefit for TPAF and PERS veteran members with 35 or more years of service and reduces the age qualification from 60 to 55. The bill further provides that existing retirees and beneficiaries would also receive a comparable percentage increase in their retirement allowances.

    The bill provides for a reduction in TPAF member contributions. At present, the TPAF member rate of contribution is 4.5%. This bill provides that after 2001, the rate of contribution will be reduced equally with employer normal contributions, but not by more than 2%, from excess valuation assets if the State Treasurer determines that excess valuation assets will be used to reduce normal contributions by the State. This change provides that future reductions in TPAF and PERS member contribution rates will be calculated in a similar fashion.

    To fund the additional accrued liability for the increased benefits, the bill provides that the actuarial value of assets for both TPAF and PERS, for the valuation period ending June 30, 1999, will be the full market value of the assets as of that date.

    To fund the additional annual employer normal contribution for the increased benefits, the bill establishes a benefit enhancement fund for both TPAF and PERS which would be funded by excess valuation assets beginning with the valuation period ending June 30, 1999. The amount of excess assets credited to the fund cannot exceed the amount of member contributions for the fiscal year in which the normal contributions are payable. To prevent over funding, the amount of excess valuation assets that can be credited to the benefit enhancement fund is limited to the present value of the expected additional normal contributions for the increased benefits over the expected working lives of the active members for the valuation period. No additional excess valuation assets will be credited to the benefit enhancement fund after the maximum amount is attained. If the assets in the benefit enhancement fund are insufficient to pay the normal contribution for the increased benefits for a valuation period, the State will pay the amount of the normal contribution not covered by assets from the benefit enhancement fund.

    According to the July 1, 1999 TPAF and PERS valuation reports, the market value of TPAF assets exceeded the actuarial value of those assets by over $5 billion and the market value of PERS assets exceeded the actuarial value of those assets by over $3.5 billion.