Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)



Information by Employer Task


The Alternate Benefit Program

The Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) is a tax-sheltered, defined contribution retirement program for higher education faculty and certain administrators. The ABP provides retirement benefits, life insurance, and disability coverage, which, when combined with Social Security and other tax-deferred plans, can provide security in retirement.

Full-time and adjunct faculty, officers, part-time instructors, visiting professors, and certain professional administrative staff required to possess a college degree or its equivalent participate in the ABP. “Full-time” has been defined to include anyone receiving 50% or more of base salary and may include anyone on sabbatical or paid leave of absence for a period not to exceed one year. Individuals not eligible for membership include: temporary employees (with the exception of visiting professors appointed for a school year, a semester, or a lesser period of time); faculty members temporarily in the US under an F or J visa; employees in a career service title as defined by the NJ State Department of Personnel; employees in clerical and other nonprofessional positions; and any employee receiving a retirement benefit from any NJ State retirement system including ABP.

Members annually contribute 5% of base or contractual salary matched by an 8% employer contribution to a tax-deferred investment account. This account may be established with any of the carriers that are currently authorized. Additional voluntary federal tax-deferred contributions under Internal Revenue Code, Section 403(b), may also be made, based on the actual base salary paid less the mandatory 5% member contribution. Before having any additional contributions deducted, members should contact the authorized carrier of their ABP account for a calculation on the exact amount available to them for a Section 403(b) contribution. These contributions cannot exceed the actual dollar limits eligible for tax-shelter in a given tax year.




Covered Locations


"Mandatory" and "Voluntary" Contributions


Approved Investment Providers

 Default Carriers



First Year Participants (Delayed Vesting)


Life Insurance Coverage



 Required Forms

Application Process

 Certification of Payroll Deductions
 Processing Employee Contributions
 ABP Investment Options
 Intrafund Transfers
 ABP and State Systems (Interfund Transfers)
 Pensions from Retirement Systems of Other States
 Fact Sheet #38, Alternate Benefit Program
ABP Publications
ABP Forms

Carrier Election Form


Enrollment Application

 Enrollment Application (Fill in and Print, Acrobat 4.0 or Higher Needed)

Frequently Asked Questions


Leave Of Absence (LOA) Form


Retirement Application

 Request for PERS and ABP Retirement Income Illustrations

Salary Reduction Agreement


Transfer Form (Intrafund)

  Enrollment/Transfer Application
(For transfers from PERS or TPAF)







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Last Updated: May 3, 2013