The Asbury Park Press published an article in today’s Sunday edition addressing the ability of The State of New Jersey to honor its pension obligations to those public employees that have been paying into the retirement system since the start of their public employment . The article, entitled "Can New Jersey Keep its Pension Promises?"
New Jersey Public Safety Officer Retiree Benefits
STATE’S AUTHORITY TO REVOKE A RETIRED POLICE OFFICER’S PERMIT TO CARRY A HANDGUN IS NOT PREEMPTED BY FEDERAL LAW
In the case of In re Carry Permit of Andros, A-4077-06T4, the Appellate Division held that the State of New Jersey’s authority to revoke a retired police officer’s permit to carry a handgun is not preempted by federal law.
James Andros was an Atlantic City police officer from 1968 to 2003. Prior to his …
Extension of Effective Date for New IRS Regulations
After much concern regarding the new Treasury Regulations promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and their potential impact on members of government pension plans, the IRS and the Treasury intend to extend the date by which a governmental plan must comply with final regulations on distributions from a pension plan upon attainment of …
New IRS Regulations and Impact on PFRS Retirement System
Recently, there has been much concern over new Department of Treasury regulations promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and their effect upon State legislated pension systems for public employees. This entry summarizes the new regulations and their potential impact on the members of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (“PFRS”). After conducting research and for the reasons set forth in detail below, it our belief the new Treasury Regulations will not alter the ability of a PFRS member to retire under any existing PFRS law, including the special retirement provision allowing retirement prior to attaining the age of 50.
By way of background, the New Jersey State PBA reported that the IRS adopted regulations that would prohibit any public safety officer in a state legislated pension system from retiring before the age of 50. As most public safety officers are aware, there is currently no minimum retirement age for a member of PFRS to qualify for a pension. In fact, all that is needed to qualify for a PFRS pension is twenty-five (25) years of service and retirement credits paid into the system. Specifically, N.J.S.A. 43:16A-11.1, entitled “Special Retirement; resignation with 25 years of creditable service; allowance; death benefit”, provides in pertinent part:
Should a member resign after having established 25 years of creditable service, he may elect “special 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…
Treasury Regulation §1.401(a)-1 was recently modified. The modifications require qualified pension plans to revise the definition of normal retirement age to an age that is not earlier than the earliest age that is reasonably representative of the typical retirement age for the industry in which the covered workforce is employed. In addition, the regulations provide that a normal retirement age of at least 62 is deemed to be not earlier than the typical retirement age for the industry in which the covered workforce is employed. Thus, a plan satisfies this provision if its normal retirement age is age 62, or if its normal retirement age is the later than age 62 or another specified date, such as the later of age 62 or the fifth anniversary of plan participation. This is known as the “safe harbor” provision. …
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The Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Act of 2008 and Its Affect on New Jersey Public Employees
Most recently New Jersey GovernorJon S. Corzine signed the Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Act of 2008. While this bill does not affect the members of the Police and Firemen’s retirement System (PFRS), it does affect members of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF). Certain …