Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)
   

 

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Police and Firemen's Retirement System
Retirement Processing

Eligibility Requirements and Pension Calculations



  Request a Retirement Estimate
  Document Requirements for Retirement
  Membership Tiers
  Service Retirement
  Over Age 55
  Twenty or More Years of Service
  Mandatory Retirement at 65
    Forty or More Years of Service
  Special Retirement
  Deferred Retirement
  Disability Retirements
  Ordinary Disability
  Accidental Disability
  Involuntary Disability
    Special Disability
  Pension Benefits for Survivors
  Death While in Service — Not Job Related
  Accidental Death — In Line of Service
  Death in Retirement
  Making Changes to the Retirement Application
  Waivers of Retirement Allowance
  Death in the Course of Volunteer Service (Volunteer Emergency Workers)
  Return to Employment after Retirement from the PFRS


PFRS Membership Tiers

Please note that effective May 21, 2011, PFRS members are now classified by enrollment date, as eligibility requirements for PFRS enrollment and retirement are now different for three distinct enrollment periods, according to the law. The “membership tiers” by enrollment date are:

  • Tier 1 Membership, for members who were enrolled on or before May 21, 2010.
  • Tier 2 Membership, for members who were eligible to enroll between May 21, 2010 and June 28, 2011.
  • Tier 3 Membership, for members who are eligible to enroll after June 28, 2011.

For a PFRS Tier 1 member enrolled on or before May 21, 2010,
Final Compensation means the salary upon which pension contributions were based in the last 12 months of creditable service preceding retirement.

For a PFRS Tier 2 or Tier 3 member enrolled after May 21, 2010, Final Compensation means the average salary upon which pension contributions were based for any three fiscal years (July-June) of membership preceding retirement that provides the largest possible benefit.

Retirement allowance calculations for PFRS Service and Deferred Retirements are the same for Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 members, but Final Compensation calculations are different, according to the above definitions.

However, the Tier 3 PFRS retirement formula for Special Retirements has been changed under Chapter 78, P.L. 2011. Please see Special Retirements below to learn more.

PFRS Retirement Eligibility and
Formulas for Retirement Allowance Calculations

SERVICE RETIREMENTS (FOUR TYPES)

Type 1Eligibility

Age 55 or older

Benefit

Years of Service X 2% X Final Compensation* = Annual Maximum Pension

Up to 30 years, plus 1% for each year over 30 years.

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members versus Tier 2 and Tier 3 members:

Type 2 Eligibility

Age 55 or older, with at least 20 years of service (but less than 25 years of service), or;
 
Twenty or more years of service at any age, but less than 25 years of service, if enrolled prior to 1/18/00.

Benefit

50% X Final Compensation* = Annual Maximum Pension

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members versus Tier 2 and Tier 3 members:

Type 3 Eligibility

Mandatory Retirement at 65, with 20 or more years of service but less than 25 years of service.**

Benefit

50% X Final Compensation*, plus
three percent X Final Compensation* for each year of service over 20, up to 25 years.

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members versus Tier 2 and Tier 3 members:

Type 4
Eligibility

Forty or more years of service credit.

Benefit

70 percent X Final Compensation*, plus an additional one percent X Final Compensation* for each year of service credit over 40 years

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members versus Tier 2 and Tier 3 members:

Member Responsibilities

Complete a PFRS Application for Retirement Allowance online through MBOS 3-4 months in advance.

Mail photocopies of the documentation listed below at the time the online retirement application is submitted to:

Retirement Bureau,
Division of Pensions and Benefits
PO Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

Supply proof of age document for member.

Supply proof of age document for spouse, civil union partner, or eligible same sex domestic partner*

Supply photocopy of: Marriage Certificate; OR Civil Union Certificate from NJ or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex civil unions; OR New Jersey Certificate of Domestic Partnership dated prior to February 19, 2007 or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex domestic partners.*

* Required for Survivor's Pension to be paid upon retiree's death.

Employer Responsibilities

Complete Certification of Service and Final Salary as soon as possible upon learning of member's retirement.

Instructions on completing the certification.

Notes: **Mandatory retirement is at age 65, except for elected officials. In addition, members of the PFRS hired before January 1, 1987 may serve in the PFRS until they reach age 68 or 25 years of creditable service, whichever comes first (effective January 12, 2006).

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SPECIAL RETIREMENT

Eligibility

Any age with 25 or more years of service credit in the PFRS.

Benefit, Tier 1 and Tier 2

65% X Final Compensation* plus 1% per year over 25 years (up to 30 years)= Annual Maximum Pension

Maximum Benefit = 70% of Final Compensation

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members and for Tier 2 members:

Benefit, Tier 3

60% X Final Compensation* plus 1% per year over 25 years (up to 30 years)= Annual Maximum Pension

Maximum Benefit = 65% of Final Compensation

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members versus Tier 2 and Tier 3 members:

 
Member Responsibilities

Complete a PFRS Application for Retirement Allowance online through MBOS 3-4 months in advance.

Mail photocopies of the documentation listed below at the time the online retirement application is submitted to:

Retirement Bureau,
Division of Pensions and Benefits
PO Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

Supply proof of age document for member

Supply proof of age document for spouse, civil union partner, or eligible same-sex domestic partner*

Supply photocopy of: Marriage Certificate; OR Civil Union Certificate from NJ or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex civil unions; OR New Jersey Certificate of Domestic Partnership dated prior to February 19, 2007 or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex domestic partners.*

*Required for Survivor's Pension to be paid upon retiree's death

Employer Responsibilities

Complete Certification of Service and Final Salary as soon as possible upon learning of member's retirement.
Instructions on completing the Certification.

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DEFERRED RETIREMENT
Eligibility

Ten (10) or more years of service credit.

Effective Date

First of month after member turns 55.

Benefit

Years of Service X 2% X Final Compensation* = Annual Maximum Pension

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members versus Tier 2 and Tier 3 members:

Member Responsibilities

Complete a PFRS Application for Retirement Allowance online through MBOS 3 - 4 months in advance

Mail photocopies of the documentation listed below at the time the online retirement application is submitted to:

Retirement Bureau,
Division of Pensions and Benefits
PO Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

Supply proof of age document for member

Supply proof of age document for spouse, civil union partner, or eligible same-sex domestic partner*

Supply photocopy of: Marriage Certificate; OR Civil Union Certificate from NJ or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex civil unions; OR New Jersey Certificate of Domestic Partnership dated prior to February 19, 2007 or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex domestic partners.*

* Required for Survivor's Pension to be paid upon retiree's death

Employer Responsibilities

Complete Certification of Service and Final Salary as soon as possible upon learning of member's retirement.
Instructions on completing the Certification.



DISABILITY RETIREMENTS

No age requirement for Accidental or Ordinary Disability

Ordinary Disability Retirement
Eligibility
  1. Member must be determined to be Totally and Permanently disabled from doing normal job duties.

  2. Application must normally be made while still on payroll or on an approved paid or unpaid leave of absence with the employer. The member must be considered "in service" with the employer (please see information below regarding what is regarded as "in service").

  3. Member must have a minimum of 4 years of New Jersey service credit (out-of-state, U.S. Government and Military purchases cannot be used to attain the four years).

Please Note: A "member in service" means that the member or the employer was making pension contributions to the retirement system at the time of filing the application for a disability retirement allowance. It may also mean that the member was on an approved leave of absence, paid or unpaid, or suspension, paid or unpaid, at the time of filing the application for a disability retirement allowance, and it has not been more than the time frames permitted by N.J.S.A. 43:16A-9(5)a for active membership since the member's last contribution to the retirement system. If the member had pending litigation for wrongful termination filed against the employer, the member has 30 days from the date the litigation is resolved to file for disability retirement in order to be considered a "member in service".

Benefit

40% X Final Compensation* = Annual Maximum

OR

1.5% of Final Compensation* for each yr. of service credit

WHICHEVER IS HIGHER

*Final Compensaton is defined differently for Tier 1 members versus Tier 2 and Tier 3 members:


Member Responsibilities
  1. Complete a PFRS Application for Disability Retirement Allowance online through MBOS.
    .
  2. ail photocopies of the documentation listed below at the time the online retirement application is submitted to:

    Retirement Bureau,
    Division of Pensions and Benefits
    PO Box 295
    Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

  3. Supply proof of age document for member.

  4. Supply proof of age document for spouse, civil union partner, or eligible same-sex domestic partner.*

  5. Supply photocopy of: Marriage Certificate; OR Civil Union Certificate from NJ or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex civil unions; OR New Jersey Certificate of Domestic Partnership dated prior to February 19, 2007 or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex domestic partners.*

  6. Have medical providers complete Medical Examination by Personal or Treating Physician forms (as many as necessary, but 2 at least are recommended).

  7. Secure medical records through Authorization for Release of Medical Records.

* Required for Survivor's Pension to be paid upon retiree's death

Please note: Once the PFRS Board of Trustees grants approval for a disability retirement, the member may only cancel the retirement by submitting a letter requesting to do so to the Board of Trustees, with a written statement from his/her physician expressing that the member can return to work. The Disability Review Section would then send the member for an IME, and all medical information would be again submitted to the Medical Review Board. Once all of the above information is received, the Board of Trustees would make a determination of whether member is able to return to work or not.


Employer Responsibilities
  1. Complete Employer Certification for Disability Retirement as soon as possible upon learning of member's retirement.

    Instructions on completing the Disability Retirement Certification.
Accidental Disability Retirement 
Eligibility 
  1. Member must be determined to be Totally and Permanently disabled

  2. as a Direct Result of

  3. a Traumatic Event while doing his or her normal job duties.
Process
  1. Must be processed through Disability Review Procedure.

  2. Application must normally be made within 5 years of accident date, and;

  3. Member must still be on payroll or on an approved leave of absence with the employer. The member must be considered "in service" with the employer (please see information below regarding what is regarded as "in service").

Please Note: A "member in service" means that the member or the employer was making pension contributions to the retirement system at the time of filing the application for a disability retirement allowance. It may also mean that the member was on an approved leave of absence, paid or unpaid, or suspension, paid or unpaid, at the time of filing the application for a disability retirement allowance, and it has not been more than the time frames permitted by N.J.S.A. 43:16A-9(5)a for active membership since the member's last contribution to the retirement system. If the member had pending litigation for wrongful termination filed against the employer, the member has 30 days from the date the litigation is resolved to file for disability retirement in order to be considered a "member in service".

Member Responsibilities
  1. Complete a PFRS Application for Disability Retirement Allowance online through MBOS.

    Mail photocopies of the documentation listed below at the time the online retirement application is submitted to:

    Retirement Bureau,
    Division of Pensions and Benefits
    PO Box 295
    Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

  2. Supply proof of age document for member.

  3. Supply proof of age document for spouse, civil union partner, or eligible same-sex domestic partner. *

  4. Supply photocopy of: Marriage Certificate; OR Civil Union Certificate from NJ or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex civil unions; OR New Jersey Certificate of Domestic Partnership dated prior to February 19, 2007 or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex domestic partners.*

  5. Have medical providers complete Medical Examination by Personal or Treating Physician forms (as many as necessary but 2 at least are recommended).

  6. Secure medical records through Authorization for Release of Medical Records.

* Required for Survivor's Pension to be paid upon retiree's death.

Please note: Once the PFRS Board of Trustees grants approval for a disability retirement, the member may not cancel the retirement.

Employer Responsibilities
  1. Complete Employer Certification for Disability Retirement as soon as possible upon learning of member's retirement, including accident reports, medical notes, witness reports, etc.

    Instructions on completing the Disability Retirement Certification.

  2. Submit accident reports that apply.

  3. Submit incident and witness reports that apply.
Benefit

2/3 X Final Salary at Time of Accident (traumatic event) = Annual Maximum,
or
2/3 X Final Salary (At time of retirement) = Annual Maximum, whichever is greater.


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Involuntary Disability Retirement
Eligibility
  1. Four or more years of New Jersey service credit (out-of-state, U.S. Government and Military purchases cannot be used to attain the four years)*, and

  2. Subject to Involuntary Ordinary Disability Retirement

* The Involuntary Disability Retirement Allowance calculation for members with four or more years of service credit but less than twenty years of service credit is different from that used for members with twenty but not over twenty-five years of service credit. Please see Benefit below.

Member Responsibilities

Mail photocopies of the documentation listed below at the time the online retirement application is submitted to:

Retirement Bureau,
Division of Pensions and Benefits
PO Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

Supply proof of age document for member.

Supply proof of age document for spouse, civil union partner, or eligible same-sex domestic partner. *

Supply photocopy of: Marriage Certificate; OR Civil Union Certificate from NJ or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex civil unions; OR New Jersey Certificate of Domestic Partnership dated prior to February 19, 2007 or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex domestic partners.*

Have medical providers complete Medical Examination by Personal or Treating Physician forms (as many as necessary)

Secure medical records through Authorization for Release of Medical Records

*Required for Survivor's Pension to be paid upon retiree's death.

Please note: Once the PFRS Board of Trustees grants approval for a disability retirement, the member may only cancel the retirement by submitting a letter requesting to do so to the Board of Trustees, with a written statement from his/her physician expressing that the member can return to work. The Disability Review Section would then send the member for an IME, and all medical information would be again submitted to the Medical Review Board. Once all of the above information is received, the Board of Trustees would make a determination of whether member is able to return to work or not.

Also, when an employer submits a PFRS Application for Disability Retirement Allowance for a member's Involuntary Disability Retirement, the member may not change the date of retirement indicated by the employer.

Employer Responsibilities
  1. Complete a PFRS Application for Disability Retirement Allowance online on behalf of the member.

    Do not sign or designate beneficiaries for the member—the member will have opportunity to do that later. In place of the member's signature, write, "Involuntary Disability Retirement" and have the Certifying Officer sign.

  2. Complete Employer Certification for Disability Retirement. Write "Involuntary" on the top of the application.

    Instructions on completing the Disability Retirement Certification.

  3. State employers must enclose a letter addressed to the Division of Pensions and Benefits stating that, in the employing authority's opinion, the member is "totally and permanently disabled" from fulfilling his or her job duties, and enclose pertinent medical records. Sample Letter

    Local employers must also submit a resolution, authorizing the employing location to process an Involuntary Disability Retirement Application and enclose any pertinent medical records.
    Sample Resolution
Benefit

For members having four or more but less than twenty years of service credit, the calculation is the same as the regular Ordinary Disability Retirement calculation:*

40% X Final Compensation = Annual Maximum Pension (if approved).

For members with 20 but less than 25years of service credit, the special "Involuntary Disability Retirement" calculation is:*

50% X Final Compensation = Annual Maximum Pension, plus
3% for each year over 20 - up to a maximum of 65%
(if approved).

*Out-of-state, U.S. government, and military service purchases may not be used to qualify for an Involuntary Disability retirement or to qualify for the higher benefit for members with 20 but less than 25 years of service.

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Special Disability Retirement
Eligibility
  1. Member must be determined to be Totally and Permanently disabled from doing normal job duties.
  2. Application must normally be made while still on payroll or on an approved leave of absence with the employer. The member must be considered "in service" with the employer.
  3. Member must have a minimum of 5 years New Jersey service credit.

Special Disability Retirement

To qualify for Special Disability you must:

  • be a member in service at the time the application is filed with the Division of Pensions and Benefits (an official leave of absence is considered in service);

  • have five or more years of New Jersey service credit; and

  • receive a heart transplant.

The annual benefit calculation for a Special Disability Retirement is equal to 50 percent of Final Compensation.

Benefit
50% X Final Compensation = Annual Maximum.
Member Responsibilities
  1. Complete a PFRS Application for Disability Retirement Allowance online through MBOS.

    Mail photocopies of the documentation listed below at the time the online retirement application is submitted to:

    Retirement Bureau,
    Division of Pensions and Benefits
    PO Box 295
    Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

  2. Supply proof of age document for member.
  3. Supply proof of age document for spouse. *
  4. Supply photocopy of: Marriage Certificate; OR Civil Union Certificate from NJ or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex civil unions; OR New Jersey Certificate of Domestic Partnership dated prior to February 19, 2007 or a valid certification from another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex domestic partners.*
  5. Have medical providers complete Medical Examination by Personal or Treating Physician forms (as many as necessary, but 2 at least are recommended).
  6. Secure medical records through Authorization for Release of Medical Records.

* Required for Survivor's Pension to be paid upon retiree's death

Please note: Once the PFRS Board of Trustees grants approval for a disability retirement, the member may not cancel the retirement.


Employer Responsibilities
  1. Complete Employer Certification for Disability Retirement as soon as possible upon learning of member's retirement.

    Instructions on completing the Disability Retirement Certification.

 


Retirement Benefits for Survivors

See "Reporting a Death"

PFRS Member Dies "While Active"
 
For non-job-related deaths of an active member, the survivor benefits are as follows:
Surviving Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same Sex Domestic Partner Benefit* 50% X Final Compensation = Annual Maximum
If there is no Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same Sex Domestic Partner 20% for one child, 35% for two, 50% for three or more children, until age 18
If no Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same Sex Domestic Partner or Children 25% if one surviving parent; 40% if two surviving parents

*Marriage/civil union/same-sex domestic partnership must be in effect as of the date of the death in order for the surviving spouse/civil union partner/same sex domestic partner to qualify for the survivor benefits.


See "Reporting a Death"

PFRS "Accidental Death"
For job-related deaths of an active member, the survivor benefits are as follows:
Surviving Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same-sex Domestic Partner Benefit* 70% X Final Compensation = Annual Maximum
If there is no Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same-sex Domestic Partner 20% for one child, 35% for two, 50% for three or more children, until age 18 if in high school; until age 24 if pursuing higher education.
If no Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same-sex Domestic Partner or Children 25% if one surviving parent; 40% if two surviving parents.

Member must have been responsible for support of the parents.

*Marriage/civil union/same-sex domestic partnership must be in effect as of the date of the death in order for the surviving spouse/civil union partner/same sex domestic partner to qualify for the survivor benefits.

Benefit will continue even if the surviving spouse/civil union partner/same-sex domestic partner subsequently remarries** or enters into a civil union after the member's death.

**For subsequent remarriages occurring on or after September 12, 2003 only.

See "Reporting a Death"

PFRS "Death After Retirement"
For Retirees after 1/1/68
Surviving Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same-sex Domestic Partner Benefit* 50% X Final Compensation = Annual Maximum, plus:15% for one child or 25% for two or more children, until age 18
If no Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same-sex Domestic Partner 20% for one child, 35% for two, 50% for three or more children, until age 18
If no Spouse/Civil Union Partner/Same-sex Domestic Partner or Children 25% if one surviving parent; 40% if two surviving parents.

Member must have been responsible for support of the parents.

*Marriage/civil union/same-sex domestic partnership must be in effect as of the date of the death in order for the surviving spouse/civil union partner/same sex domestic partner to qualify for the survivor benefits.

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Last Updated: July 15, 2014