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Friday, December 9, 2011

NJ Public Employee Pensions Headed for Major Changes

S3123 Replaces TPAF, PERS, PFRS and SPRS accidental disability benefits with reduced work-related disability benefit; modifies JRS disability benefit. 

12/1/2011 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee
12/9/2011 Reviewed by the Pension and Health Benefits Commission Recommend to enact with changes:

The Commission supports enactment of the bill with suggested modifications: 1) an increase in the work-related disability benefit of 40% should be considered for the most traumatic injuries that result in total disability; 2) a description of the level of medical coverage available in each system would be beneficial; 3) a monitoring of a potential shift to Workers Compensation awards would help identify any unintended costs that might result, and; 4) a change from the words “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” would appear to be consistent with P.L.2010, c.50.

Read The Pending Legislation: S-3123

"This bill replaces the accidental disability benefit available to members of the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS) with a new work-related disability benefit that is the same as the TPAF, PERS, PFRS and SPRS ordinary disability benefit of 1½% of compensation for each year of service but no less than 40% of compensation.

"In order to qualify for a work-related disability benefit, the member must receive a workers’ compensation award of permanent disability. The requirement for a medical examination may be waived when the Division of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has determined that the member is 100% totally and permanently disabled.