SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE, No. 2334
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
ADOPTED DECEMBER 15, 1997
Sponsored by Senators KYRILLOS and KENNY
An Act concerning health benefits coverage under the State Health Benefits Program of certain retired members of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey, the Public Employees' Retirement System of New Jersey and the Consolidated Police and Firemen's Pension Fund, amending P.L.1977, c.85 and supplementing P.L.1961, c.49 (C.52:14-17.25 et seq.).
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. (New section) a. A qualified retiree from the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey (C.43:16A-1 et seq.), hereinafter referred to as PFRS, the Consolidated Police and Firemen's Pension Fund (C.43:16-1 et seq.), hereinafter referred to as CPFPF, or the Public Employees' Retirement System of New Jersey (C.43:15A-1 et seq.), hereinafter referred to as PERS, and dependents, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1961, c.49 (C.52:14-17.26), of a qualified retiree, are eligible to participate in the program, in accordance with the law and rules governing the program, except as otherwise provided by this act, regardless of whether the retiree's employer participated in the program.
A qualified retiree is a retiree who:
(1) retired on a benefit based on 25 or more years of service credit in PFRS or CPFPF, or in PERS as a law enforcement officer as defined in section 1 of P.L.1955, c.257 (C.43:15A-97) or in a position eligible for participation in PFRS as provided in section 9 of P.L.1989, c.204 (C.43:16A-1.2); or
(2) retired on a disability retirement under PFRS or CPFPF, or under PERS as a law enforcement officer or in a position eligible for participation in PFRS, based on fewer years of service credit; and
(3) was eligible to receive health benefits coverage at the expense of the employer of the person immediately preceding retirement.
The State shall pay the amount of the premium or periodic charges for the coverage for the qualified retiree and dependents, but not including survivors, equal to 80 percent of the premium or periodic charges for the category of coverage elected by the qualified retiree under the State managed care plan or a health maintenance organization participating in the program which provides services in the 21 counties in the State, whichever provides the lower premium or periodic charge. The qualified retiree shall pay the difference between the premium or periodic charge for the coverage and the amount paid by the State.
c. The State Health Benefits Commission shall annually certify to the State the cost for providing health benefits coverage to qualified retirees and their dependents under this section. The State shall annually remit to the commission the amount certified at a time specified by the State Treasurer.
d. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) a retired State employee whose premium or periodic charges for benefits under the program are paid by the State pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1961, c.49 (C.52:14-17.32) or section 6 of P.L.1996, c.8 (C.52:14-17.28b); and (2) a retiree of an employer other than the State which pays the premium or periodic charges for health care benefits for eligible retirees pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1964, c.125 (C.52:14-17.38) or N.J.S.40A:10-23 on the effective date of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill).
2. (New section) A qualified retiree shall be eligible for the benefits provided by P.L. , c. (C. )(now pending before the Legislature as this bill) at the time of retirement, or at the time the qualified retiree becomes eligible for Medicare. A qualified retiree receiving health benefits coverage from an employer after retirement shall be ineligible for the benefits under this act.
3. (New section) No provision of this act shall be deemed to replace, supersede or modify retiree health care benefits provided by an employer by negotiated agreement, ordinance or resolution.
4. Section 5 of P.L.1977, c.85 (C.34:13A-18) is amended to read as follows:
5. The arbitrator shall not issue any finding, opinion or order regarding the issue of whether or not a public employer shall remain as a participant in the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program or any governmental retirement system or pension fund, or statutory retirement or pension plan; nor, in the case of a participating public employer, shall the arbitrator issue any finding, opinion or order regarding any aspect of the rights, duties, obligations in or associated with the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program or any governmental retirement system or pension fund, or statutory retirement or pension plan; nor shall the arbitrator issue any finding, opinion or order reducing, eliminating or otherwise modifying retiree benefits which exist as a result of a negotiated agreement, ordinance or resolution because of the enactment of legislation providing such benefits for those who do not already receive them.
(cf: P.L.1977, c.85, s.5)
5. (New section) Any qualified retiree who retired prior to the effective date of this act, P.L. , c. (C. )(now pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall be eligible for the coverage provided by section 1 of the act if the employee applies to the program for it within one year after the effective date of this act.
6. This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month following enactment.
Provides certain contributory SHBP benefits to certain PFRS, CPFPF and PERS retirees.