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2000
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Chapter 166, P.L. 2000 Membership in the PFRS of certain public safety administrators and supervisors
Chapter 127, P.L. 2000 Determining "veteran" or "disabled veteran" status
Chatper 126, P.L. 2000 Revises certain mandates, requirements, and procedures for counties, municipalities, and school districts
Chapter 39, P.L. 2000 PFRS service credit to New Jersey Transit police officers
Chapter 8, P.L. 2000 Funding for enhanced benefits provided to members of the PFRS

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Chapter 166, P.L. 2000

Date Approved: December 15, 2000.

Effective Date: This act takes effect December 15, 2000 and applies to any person appointed on or after July 1, 1998.

Description:

This law broadens the scope of a rule providing for continuation or resumption of membership in the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) of certain public safety administrators and supervisors.

Previously, only a PFRS covered employee of a municipal police or fire department who, either immediately after or within six months of serving as a member of a municipal police or fire department, was appointed to a position with administrative or supervisory duties over police and firemen with that or any other PFRS-covered municipal police or fire department, was required to remain, or reenroll, as a member of PFRS, even though the new position was covered by a different retirement system. This law extends the requirement of continued PFRS membership to cover an employee of any law enforcement or firefighting unit who, within the sixth-month limitation period, is appointed to a position with administrative or supervisory duties over police officers or firefighters. The requirement would apply regardless of the governmental entity (State, county or municipality) that makes the appointment or that employed the person prior to the appointment.

The law is retroactive to any person appointed on or after July 1, 1998.

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Chapter 127, P.L. 2000

Date Approved: September 21, 2000.

Effective Date: March 1, 2001.

Description:

This law gives the Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs the responsibility for determining whether an individual meets the criteria to be considered a "veteran" or "disabled veteran." This determination is used for the purpose of: - receiving a civil service preference; - for the purpose of eligibility for a Veteran's Retirement allowance from the Public Employees' Retirement System or Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund; and - for the purpose of purchasing military service credit in the Police and Firemen's Retirement System. The Adjutant General would also be responsible for all appeals of the above determinations. The law also provides that the Adjutant General adjudicate appeals from any person disputing a decision of the assessor of a taxing district as to whether the person is considered a "veteran" for the purpose of receiving a property tax deduction or as having a "service-connected disability" for the purpose of receiving a property tax exemption. The law requires the Adjutant General to promptly notify the public entity responsible for administering the relevant law of each determination. The determination will be binding on the public entity responsible for administering the law.

Procedures to implement this law will be announced within six months. Until that is done, requests for veteran's status for pension purposes will continue to be submitted to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

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Chapter 126, P.L. 2000

Date Approved: September 21, 2000.

Effective Date: September 21, 2000.

Description:

This law revises certain mandates, requirements, and procedures for counties, municipalities, and school districts. It also clarifies certain administrative ambiguities and encourages more business-like practices on the part of local employers. The sections of the law impacting on pension coverage are as follows: Pension Appropriation - PERS to PFRS Section 42: Provides that - notwithstanding the provisions to the contrary in Chapter 312, P.L. 1983, (N.J.S.A. 40A:4-45.19) - any municipality that failed to state the amount of the cost increase for a PERS to PFRS transfer for police officers on a referendum ballot could request to include the 1999 budget year amount of the pension appropriation, representing the increase due to the switch, as an increase in the cap base upon which final appropriations are based. Application for permission to add these amounts should be made to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs. County ERI Section 44: Permits a county governing body to adopt and implement an early retirement incentive (ERI) program, upon the approval of the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs. The County must abide by the provisions of Chapter 59, PL 1999, except for entering into an interlocal services contract or joint services agreement with another local employer.

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Chapter 39, P.L. 2000

Date Approved: June 30, 2000.

Effective Date: June 30, 2000.

Description:

This law grants full prior service credit in the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) to New Jersey Transit police officers that were covered under the federal Railroad Retirement Act.


Chapter 8, P.L. 2000

Date Approved: March 29, 2000.

Effective Date: March 29, 2000.

Description:

This law was enacted to provide funding for the enhanced benefits provided to members of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) by Chapter 428, P.L. 1999. Additionally, it eliminates the unfunded accrued pension liability for local employers participating in the PFRS and decreases their pension contributions due in fiscal years 2000 and 2001.

It provides for the recognition of a portion of the surplus assets of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) as of the valuation period ending June 30, 1998 (the valuation report applicable to Fiscal Year 2001). This one-time change will recognize for the State 100 percent, and for other employers 57 percent, of the difference between the expected value of assets in the system and the full-market value of the assets. For valuation periods ending on June 30, 1999 and thereafter, the actuarial value of assets will revert to market-related value of assets (annual recognition of 20 percent of the difference between the expected value of assets in the system and the full-market value of the assets).

This law repeals section 9 of Chapter 428, P.L. 1999, (C.43:16A-15.8) that established a State-paid funding formula for the increased pension liabilities and contribution costs attributable to the increase in benefits provided by Chapter 428, P.L. 1999. The increased liabilities will be funded by the enhanced valuation assets. If valuation assets in future valuation periods are insufficient to cover the additional pension liabilities resulting from Chapter 428, the State will be responsible for any normal and accrued liability costs due. Therefore, this bill guarantees that local employers will not be required to make payments in this, or any other year, towards the benefit enhancements provided by Chapter 428, P.L. 1999.

The recognition of the surplus market assets under this law eliminated the unfunded accrued pension liability for local employers participating in the PFRS. As a result, this law provides relief to local governments by eliminating the unfunded accrued liability payment due by them to the PFRS for fiscal years 2000 and 2001, saving them an aggregate $45 million and $22 million in each fiscal year respectively.

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