ASSEMBLY, No. 232

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2008 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman JON M. BRAMNICK

District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Eliminates membership in the legislative part of PERS for future members of the Legislature.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning membership in the Public Employees’ Retirement System of New Jersey by certain members of the Legislature and amending P.L.1954, c.84, P.L.1972, c.167, and P.L.1987, c.311.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 7 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-7) is amended to read as follows: 

     7.    There is hereby established the Public Employees' Retirement System of New Jersey in the Division of Pensions and Benefits of the Department of the Treasury. The membership of the retirement system shall include:

     a.     The members of the former "State Employees' Retirement System of New Jersey" enrolled as such as of December 30, 1954, who shall not have claimed for refund their accumulated deductions in said system as provided in this section;

     b.    Any person becoming an employee of the State or other employer after January 2, 1955 and every veteran, other than a retired member who returns to service pursuant to subsection b. of section 27 of P.L.1966, c.217 (C.43:15A-57.2) and other than those whose appointments are seasonal, becoming an employee of the State or other employer after such date, including a temporary employee with at least one year's continuous service; and

     c.     Every employee veteran in the employ of the State or other employer on January 2, 1955, who is not a member of any retirement system supported wholly or partly by the State.

     d.    Membership in the retirement system shall be optional for elected officials other than veterans, [and] except that after the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (pending before the Legislature as this bill), members of the Legislature shall not be eligible for enrollment in the retirement system based on service in their legislative public office.  Members of the Legislature enrolled in the retirement system as of the effective date of P.L.   , c.   (pending before the Legislature as this bill) who continue to serve in their legislative public office without a break in service shall be eligible to continue their membership in the retirement system under the terms and conditions of their enrollment.  Membership in the retirement system shall be optional for school crossing guards, who having become eligible for benefits under other pension systems are so employed on a part-time basis.  Any such part-time school crossing guard who is eligible for benefits under any other pension system and who was hired as a part-time school crossing guard prior to March 4, 1976, may at any time terminate his membership in the retirement system by making an application in writing to the board of trustees of the retirement system.  Upon receiving such application, the board of trustees shall terminate his enrollment in the system and direct the employer to cease accepting contributions from the member or deducting from the compensation paid to the member. State employees who become members of any other retirement system supported wholly or partly by the State as a condition of employment shall not be eligible for membership in this retirement system.  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, all other persons accepting employment in the service of the State shall be required to enroll in the retirement system as a condition of their employment, regardless of age.  No person in employment, office or position, for which the annual salary or remuneration is fixed at less than $1,500.00, shall be eligible to become a member of the retirement system.

     e.     Membership of any person in the retirement system shall cease if he shall discontinue his service for more than two consecutive years.

     f.     The accumulated deductions of the members of the former "State Employees' Retirement System" which have been set aside in a trust fund designated as Fund A as provided in section 5 of this act and which have not been claimed for refund prior to February 1, 1955 shall be transferred from said Fund A to the Annuity Savings Fund of the Retirement System, provided for in section 25 of this act.  Each member whose accumulated deductions are so transferred shall receive the same prior service credit, pension credit, and membership credit in the retirement system as he previously had in the former "State Employees' Retirement System" and shall have such accumulated deductions credited to his individual account in the Annuity Savings Fund.  Any outstanding obligations of such member shall be continued.

     g.     Any school crossing guard electing to terminate his membership in the retirement system pursuant to subsection d. of this section shall, upon his request, receive a refund of his accumulated deductions as of the date of his appointment to the position of school crossing guard.  Such refund of contributions shall serve as a waiver of all benefits payable to the employee, to his dependent or dependents, or to any of his beneficiaries under the retirement system.

     h.     A temporary employee who is employed under the federal Job Training Partnership Act, Pub.L. 97-300 (29 U.S.C. s.1501) shall not be eligible for membership in the system.  Membership for temporary employees employed under the federal Job Training Partnership Act, Pub.L. 97-300 (29 U.S.C. s.1501) who are in the system on September 19, 1986 shall be terminated, and affected employees shall receive a refund of their accumulated deductions as of the date of commencement of employment in a federal Job Training Partnership Act program.  Such refund of contributions shall serve as a waiver of all benefits payable to the employee, to his dependent or dependents, or to any of his beneficiaries under the retirement system.

     i.      Membership in the retirement system shall be optional for a special service employee who is employed under the federal Older American Community Service Employment Act, Pub.L.94-135 (42 U.S.C. s.3056).  Any special service employee employed under the federal Older American Community Service Employment Act, Pub.L.94-135 (42 U.S.C. s.3056), who is in the retirement system on the effective date of P.L.1996, c.139 may terminate membership in the retirement system by making an application in writing to the board of trustees of the retirement system.  Upon receiving the application, the board shall terminate enrollment in the system and the member shall receive a refund of accumulated deductions as of the date of commencement of employment in a federal Older American Community Service Employment Act program.  This refund of contributions shall serve as a waiver of all benefits payable to the employee, to any dependent or dependents, or to any beneficiary under the retirement system.

     j.     An employee of the South Jersey Port Corporation who was employed by the South Jersey Port Corporation as of the effective date of P.L.1997, c.150 (C.34:1B-144 et al.) and who shall be re-employed within 365 days of such effective date by a subsidiary corporation or other corporation, which has been established by the Delaware River Port Authority pursuant to subdivision (m) of Article I of the compact creating the Delaware River Port Authority (R.S.32:3-2), as defined in section 3 of P.L.1997, c.150 (C.34:1B-146), shall be eligible to continue membership while an employee of such subsidiary or other corporation.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.150, s.23)

 

     2.    Section 1 of P.L.1972, c.167 (C.43:15A-135) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    [Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1954, c. 84, s. 7d (C. 43:15A-7d), all] All members of the Legislature shall become members of the retirement system, subject to all benefits and requirements of membership, except that after the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (pending before the Legislature as this bill), members of the Legislature shall not be eligible for enrollment in the retirement system based on service in their elective office.  Members of the Legislature enrolled in the retirement system as of the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (pending before the Legislature as this bill) who continue to hold their elective office without a break in service shall be eligible to continue their membership in the retirement system under the terms and conditions of their enrollment.

(cf: P.L.1972, c.167, s.1)

     3.    Section 2 of P.L.1972, c.167 (C.43:15A-136) is amended to read as follows: 

     2.    Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1954, c. 84, s. 25 (C. 43:15A-25), (a)  a separate account shall be established in the annuity savings fund for each  member of the Legislature eligible for enrollment in the retirement system pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1972, c.167 (C.43:15A-135), and all contributions based on legislative salaries  shall be credited to this account as distinguished from any other account that  the legislator may have as a result of other public service covered by the  retirement system;  and (b) the member of the Legislature shall contribute at a  rate equal to 5% of his legislative salary, which contribution shall be  deducted from his salary at the time or times it is paid, and which shall be  exclusive of any other contribution required of the member for Social Security,  contributory death benefits or deductions for any other purpose.

     A member of the Legislature who is enrolled on the basis of other public service before, during, or after his service as a member of the Legislature shall contribute for such other service at the rate of contribution required of  other members as provided by section 25.

(cf: P.L.1972, c.167, s.2)

 

     4.    Section 3 of P.L.1972, c.167 (C.43:15A-137) is amended to read as follows: 

     3.    Notwithstanding any other law regarding the purchase of service credit in the retirement system, a member of the Legislature eligible for enrollment in the retirement system pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1972, c.167 (C.43:15A-135), may purchase credit for all previous legislative service by paying into the annuity savings fund 5% of the salaries he received in such prior periods, in which event he shall agree to make such purchase within 1 year after the effective date of this supplementary  act or during the first year of membership as a member of the Legislature;  if  the request for the purchase is received beyond the 1-year period, interest  shall be added to the amount of the arrearage obligation at the regular  interest rate.  The purchase of such credit may be by lump sum or in regular  installments over a maximum period of 10 years.

     In the case of any member of the Legislature coming under the provisions of  this section, full pension credit for the period of service for which arrears  are being paid by the member shall be given upon the payment of at least    1/2   of the total arrearage obligation and the completion of 1 year of  membership and the making of such arrears payments, except that in the case of  retirement pursuant to P.L.1954, c. 84, sections 38, 41(b), 48 and 61 and to  the provisions of this supplementary act, the total membership credit for such  service shall be in direct proportion as the amount paid bears to the total  amount of the arrearage obligation of the member.

     The contributions of all members of the Legislature related to their legislative service shall be adjusted for all years prior to the effective date  of this supplementary act to determine either an overpayment or shortage in the  separate account, requiring the payment of contributions at the percentage of  salary provided for in this section.  Overpayments shall be refunded and  shortages shall be established as arrearage obligations to be satisfied in the  same manner as any other arrearage obligation established pursuant to this  section.

     No member shall receive credit for any legislative service for which he has  not contributed as required by this section.

(cf: P.L.1972, c.167, s.3)

 

     5.    Section 1 of P.L.1987, c.311 (C.43:15A-141) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    A member of the Legislature eligible for enrollment in the retirement system pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1972, c.167 (C.43:15A-135), shall be entitled to the noncontributory and contributory death benefits under the retirement system without proof of insurability.  If contributory death benefits become payable with respect to the member, required contributions for any period of service as a legislator which have not been paid shall be deducted from the benefit.

(cf: P.L.1987, c.311, s.1)

 

     6.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill eliminates the eligibility for membership in the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) for future members of the Legislature.  Under existing law, PERS membership is mandatory for members of the Legislature.  Under the bill, members of the Legislature who are enrolled in the PERS as of the effective date of the bill and who continue to hold that elective public office without a break in service, would remain eligible to continue their membership under the terms and conditions of their enrollment.  Legislators beginning service after the effective date of the bill would not be eligible for membership in the PERS on the basis of their legislative service.