Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)
   

 

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Workers' Compensation Judges Part
of the Public Employees' Retirement System
Retirements


In accordance with Chapter 92, P.L. 2007, the Workers' Compensation Judges (WCJ) Part of the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) was closed to new membership, effective June 8, 2007. Members who were enrolled in the WCJ Part of the PERS (those employed by the Division of Workers' Compensation of the Department of Labor as Workers' Compensation Judges, see titles listed ) prior to June 8, 2007 will continue to be offered the special retirement benefits outlined below.

The titles that were eligible for membership in the Workers' Compensation Judges Part of the PERS prior to June 8, 2007 include:

  • Chief Judge
  • Administrative Supervisory Judge
  • Supervisory Judge
  • Judge of Compensation.

Members holding any of the above titles at Division of Workers' Compensation of the Department of Labor prior to June 8, 2007 will remain in the WCJ Part of the PERS; they retain many PERS benefits, including those in the areas of retirement options, disability retirement qualifications and benefits, and contributory life insurance coverage; however, other benefits are similar to those of the Judicial Retirement System. Members of the Workers' Compensation Judges Part of the PERS must retire on the first of the calendar month after reaching the age of 70 (with one exception, see below), while other members of the PERS do not have a mandatory retirement age.

View the retirement types and group life insurance benefits that members of the Workers' Compensation Judges Part of the Public Employees' Retirement System are eligible to receive, if enrolled prior to June 8, 2007, through the links below.

   
 

Service Retirement

 

Early Retirement

 

Deferred Retirement

 

Ordinary Disability Retirement

 

Accidental Disability Retirement

 

Group Life Insurance Coverage

 

Waivers of Retirement Allowance

   

 

The table below lists the eligibility requirements and benefits for each of the retirement types offered to members of the Workers' Compensation Judges Part of the PERS.

Service Retirements

Eligibility

Benefit Calculation

Age 70 with 10 or more years of service as a Workers' Compensation Judge

75% of member's Final Salary
Age 65  with 15 or more years of service as a Workers' Compensation Judge 75% of member's Final Salary
Age 60 with 20 or more years of service as a Workers' Compensation Judge 75% of member's Final Salary
Age 65 with 5 or more years of consecutive service as a Workers' Compensation Judge, with aggregate of 15 years or more of public service 50% of member's Final Salary
Age 60 with 5 or more years of consecutive service as a Workers' Compensation Judge, with aggregate of 20 years or more of public service 50% of member's Final Salary
Age 60 with 5 or more years of consecutive service as a Workers' Compensation Judge, with aggregate of 15 years or more of public service

2% X Final Salary X Years of Service up to 25 years,
plus
1% X Final Salary for each year of creditable service over 25 years.

Age 60 2% X Final Salary X Years of Service as a Workers' Compensation Judge up to 25 years, plus
1% per year for each year of creditable service over 25 years.
Member Responsibilities
  • Submit proof of age for beneficiary, if Options A, B, C, D, 2, 3, or 4 selected.
Earliest retirement date is one full month after application is submitted to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.
Notes

Depending upon eligibility, a member may select the higher of either a PERS retirement benefit or a Workers' Compensation Judges Part retirement benefit.

Mandatory age of retirement is 70. The exception to this is a member beginning service as a Workers' Compensation Judge at the age of 60 or older. Such members may continue service over the age of 70 until ten years of service credit have been earned in the Workers' Compensation Judges Part of the PERS.

 

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Early Retirement

Eligibility Benefit Calculation
Under age 60 with 5 or more successive years as a Workers' Compensation Judge, with aggregate of 25 or more years of public service. 2% X Final Salary X Years of Service up to 25 years,
plus
1% X Final Salary X Number of Years of Service over 25, with actuarial reduction according to age.
Member should write to Division of Pensions and Benefits for retirement estimate to determine reduction.
Member Responsibilities:
  • Submit proof of age for beneficiary, if Options A, B, C, D, 2, 3, or 4 selected.
Earliest retirement date is one full month after application is submitted to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

 

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Deferred Retirement

Eligibility

Benefit Calculation

Under age 60, with 5 or more consecutive years of service as a Workers' Compensation Judge, with aggregate service credit of 10 years or more.

  • 2% X Final Salary X Years of Service up to 25 years,
    plus
    1% X Final Salary X Number of Years of Service over 25 years.

  • Payable at age 60.

  • May be actuarially reduced depending on age -- request an estimate from the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

  • If member dies prior to age 60, beneficiary is only entitled to a return of member's contributions plus interest.

 

Member Responsibilities

  • Submit proof of age for beneficiary, if Options A, B, C, D, 2, 3, or 4 selected.

Earliest retirement date is one full month after application is submitted to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

 

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Ordinary Disability Retirement
(Same as for "Regular" PERS Members)
Eligibility

Member must be Totally and Permanently disabled from performing normal job duties. Application must be made within 2 years of termination date.Member must have a minimum of 10 years of New Jersey service credit (out-of-state, military, and federal government purchases are not considered New Jersey service credit).

Process

Must be processed through Disability Review procedure.

Benefit

1.64% X Final Salary X Years of Service

OR

43.6% of Final Salary, whichever is higher.

Member Responsibilities
  • Access Instructions on completing the Application for Disability Retirement Allowance.
  • Submit proof of age for beneficiary, if Options A, B, C, D, 2, 3, or 4 selected.
  • View Instructions on completing the Medical Examination by Personal or Treating Physician.
  • Find Instructions on completing the "Authorization for Release of Medical Records".

Earliest retirement date is one full month after application is submitted to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Please note: Once the PERS 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:
  • Access Instructions on completing the Employer Certification for Disability Retirement.
  • Include a copy of Job Description - PERS members only, including Workers' Compensation Judges Part and Prosecutors Part members.
  • If you answered "Yes" to Question #6 on the Employer Certification for Disability Retirement, please include copies of indictments, convictions and/or preliminary and final notices of disciplinary action.
  • If an Involuntary Disability Retirement:
    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.
    A sample employer letter requesting an involuntary disability retirement for a member is provided. When an employer submits a PERS/TPAF 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.

Notes

Maximum monthly benefit is Annual Maximum divided by 12.

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Accidental Disability Retirement
Eligibility

Member must be determined to be Totally and Permanently disabled as a Direct Result of a Traumatic Event while performing normal job duties.Must be a member on or before accident date.

Process

Must be processed through Disability Review procedure.Application must normally be made within 5 years of accident date.

Benefit

Benefit: 72.7 % X Salary at time of Accident = Annual Maximum.

Member Responsibilities
  • Find Instructions on completing the Application for Disability Retirement Allowance.
  • Submit proof of age for beneficiary, if Options A, B, C, D, 2, 3, or 4 selected.
  • Find Instructions on completing the Authorization for Release of Medical Records.

Earliest retirement date is one full month after application is submitted to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Please note: Once the PERS 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
  • Find Instructions on completing the Employer Certification for Disability Retirement.
  • Include a copy of Job Description—PERS members only, including Workers' Compensation Judges Part and Prosecutors Part members.
  • If you answered "Yes" to Question #6 on the Employer Certification for Disability Retirement, please include copies of indictments, convictions and/or preliminary and final notices of disciplinary action.
  • Include copies of accident reports, incident reports, witness statements, medical records pertaining to the incident, and other related documents.
  • Include copies of Workers' Compensation awards.

Notes

Maximum monthly benefit is Annual Maximum Option Allowance divided by 12.

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Group Life Insurance Coverage

Noncontributory Group Life Insurance

Retired Noncontributory Group Life Insurance, if death occurs before the age of 60:

  • Disability Retirement: 1 1/2 times salary
  • Early Retirement: 1/4 times salary
  • Deferred Retirement: None
  • Service Retirement: Not applicable, since Service Retirement cannot be taken until a member reaches age 60.

Retired Noncontributory Group Life Insurance, if death occurs at age 60 or thereafter:

  • Disability Retirement: 1/4 times salary
  • Early Retirement: 1/4 times salary
  • Deferred Retirement: 1/4 times salary
  • Service Retirement: 1/4 times salary

(Active Noncontributory Group Life Insurance benefit amount is 1 1/2 times Final Salary)

No medical examination is required to establish Noncontributory Group Life Insurance coverage. Members who exercise the option to convert their life insurance upon leaving pensionable service, and then return to covered employment, must cancel their private contract upon reenrollment or prove insurability upon their return.

Contributory Group Life Insurance Insurance

Active Contributory Group Life Insurance benefit amount is 1 1/2 times Final Salary, if coverage is elected. (Member must have Contributory Group Life Insurance Coverage during first year of employment.) No Retired Contributory Group Life Insurance benefit is offered. For information about conversion of a member's active Contibutory Group Life Insurance benefit, see Fact Sheet #13, Conversion of Group Life Insurance.

 

 

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Last Updated: June 29, 2009