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Pensions and Benefits
PENSION AND HEALTH BENEFITS
REVIEW COMMISSION 2014

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PENSION AND HEALTH BENEFITS REVIEW COMMISSION
2014 CALENDAR

The following meeting dates have been scheduled at 10:00 AM in the first floor board room at the
Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625:

  • February 14, 2014 - CANCELLED
  • April 11, 2014
  • June 6, 2014 - RESCHEDULED FROM 6/13/2014
  • August 15, 2014
  • October 31, 2014 RESCHEDULED FROM 10/10/2014
  • December 12, 2014

Meeting Agendas for 2014

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Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission Meeting Agendas from

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Vote Results for 2014

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Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission Vote Results from

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MEETING AGENDAS

Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda  
April 11, 2014

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

A-216 (Gusciora)
Requires spousal consent to election of certain pension payout options under TPAF, JRS and PERS.

A-1131 (O’Scanlon)
Prohibits certain public officers and employees from receiving dual health care benefit coverage.

A-2078 (Brown/Ciattarelli)
Requires person eligible for health care benefits from more than one public entity to choose coverage from only one.

A-2499 (McGuckin/Wolfe)
Limits upfront costs for oral anticancer medications for persons covered under certain health benefits plans.

A-2663 (Wolfe)
Allows TPAF retiree to be employed as certificated superintendent or administrator for limited time frame due to critical need without TPAF reenrollment.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda
June 6, 2014

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

S-1360 (Van Drew)
Reinstates sick leave injury program for State corrections officers and juvenile justice officers under certain circumstances.

S-1361 (Van Drew)
Reinstates State sick leave injury program for State employees who are members of PFRS or SPRS.

S-1374 (Rice)
Increases pension benefits for certain retirees in certain municipal retirement systems.

A-2499 (McGuckin/Wolfe)
Limits upfront costs for oral anticancer medications for persons covered under certain health benefits plans.

ACR-129 (Wolfe/Ciattarelli/Peterson)
Proposes constitutional amendment to increase mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 75.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda
August 15, 2014

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

S-1807 (Beck/Bucco)
Removes expiration of required payment by public employees of percentage of cost of health care coverage provided by public employers.

S-2133 (Smith)
Allows elected officials who retire based on other PERS service to remain in office; prohibits retirees newly elected to municipal office from receiving pension credit, health care or salary for that office.

A-3182 (McKeon/Cryan/Eustace)
Increases statutory mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices, Superior Court Judges, Tax Court Judges, Administrative Law Judges, Workers' Compensation Judges and county prosecutors from 70 to 72.

A-3199 (Wilson)
Increases from 50% to 60% of final compensation PFRS and SPRS active and retired death benefit for surviving spouses; makes any child up to age 22, now 18, eligible for death benefit.

A-3207 (Mainor/Wilson)
Reactivates annual cost-of-living adjustment for PFRS and SPRS retirees and beneficiaries who pension is $40,000 or less.

A-3288 (Eustace)
Terminates enrollment in PERS of certain elected public officials upon expiration of term of office.

A-3331 (Benson/Rodriguez-Gregg/Coughlin)
Requires health benefits coverage for synchronization of prescribed medications under certain circumstances.

ACR-150 (McKeon/Pinkin/Eustace)
Proposes constitutional amendment to increase mandatory retirement age for judges and justices for 70 to 72.

 


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda for October 31, 2014

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

S-2338 (Turner)/A-3675 (Lampitt)
Requires health insurance carriers, SHBP, and SEHBP to provide coverage for telemedicine.

A-1891 (Burzichelli)/S-76 (Stack)
Changes certain eligibility criteria for TPAF, JRS, PERS, PFRS and SPRS disability benefits; requires Attorney General to establish fraud unit; creates temporary committee to recommend accidental disability standard for systems.

A-3363 (Cryan/Wisniewski)
Requires State to make pension contribution payments quarterly; provides reduction in State employee contribution rate of 0.1% and penalty for State of 0.1% of payroll for each month State is in arrears for pension payment.

A-3400 (Mainor/Sumter/Pinkin/Johnson)/S-2157 (Barnes)
Requires certain health benefit plans to provide coverage for behavioral health care services when determined medically necessary by physician or psychologist.

A-3450 (Vainieri-Huttle/Pinkin/Sumter)/S-2180 (Gordon)
Requires certain health benefits plans to provide treatment for behavioral health care services when determined medically necessary.

A-3705/3542 Acs (ACS) (McKeon/Kean/Brown/Wolfe/Peterson)
Increases mandatory retirement age for Administrative Law Judges, Workers' Compensation Judges and county prosecutors from 70 to 75.

A-3706/528 Acs (ACS) (McKeon/Peterson/Cryan/Diegnan/Eustace)
Increases statutory mandatory retirement age for Superior Court and Tax Court judges from 70 to 75.

A-3762 (Kean)
Permits application for PERS accidental disability benefit for injury sustained after January 2003 while employed at State psychiatric institution or correctional facility immediately prior to PERS membership.



VOTE RESULTS

Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Vote Results
April 11, 2014

A-216 (Gusciora)
Requires spousal consent to election of certain pension payout options under TPAF, JRS and PERS.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.      

Discussion:  Spousal notification procedures when members elect a pension distribution which leaves nothing to a beneficiary upon the death of a retiree are already in place.  Instituting modifications to the current spousal notification requirement pursuant to this bill would needlessly deplete plan assets.  The written spousal consent required detracts from the administrative efficiencies currently experienced from filing for retirement electronically.  Finally, the bill provides no remedy for delayed retirement processing that will occur if spousal consent cannot be obtained, no response time by the spouse, no procedure to add the spouse, and no process for the state employee to appeal.

A-1131 (O’Scanlon)
Prohibits certain public officers and employees from receiving dual health care benefit coverage.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.      
                       
Discussion:  The Commission supports expanding the provision in P.L. 2010 c.2 prohibiting dual health care coverage for SHBP/SEHBP participants to all local government and local school board employees.  However, the bill does not prohibit a payment of a cash incentive to waive the dual coverage as found in A-2078, which was also considered by the Commission at the 4/11/14 meeting.  Additionally, the bill's effective date should be extended to the beginning of the next contract period.

A-2078 (Brown/Ciattarelli)
Requires person eligible for health care benefits from more than one public entity to choose coverage from only one.

Motion: Recommend to enact.                       

Discussion:  The Commission supports this bill because it will reduce public employer benefit costs.  The bill should be amended to extend its effective date to the beginning of the next contract period.
 
A-2499 (McGuckin/Wolfe)
Limits upfront costs for oral anticancer medications for persons covered under certain health benefits plans.

Motion:  Tabled.

Discussion:   To be discussed at the next Pension and Health Benefits Commission meeting on June 6, 2014.  Additional information has been requested regarding: 1) higher public employer costs, 2) the authority of the Plan Design committees created by P.L. 2011 c.78,
3) mandating new coverage, and 4) the expansion of P.L. 2011, c.188.

A-2663 (Wolfe)
Allows TPAF retiree to be employed as certificated superintendent or administrator for limited time frame due to critical need without TPAF reenrollment.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.      
    
Discussion:  This bill’s enactment would continue to allow the depletion of pension fund assets by allowing a certain class of plan participants to collect their pensions while working in a public position, but not contributing to the pension fund.  The bill promotes the practice of double dipping (collecting a public pension and public salary simultaneously).


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Vote Results
June 6, 2014

S-1360 (Van Drew)
Reinstates sick leave injury program for State corrections officers and juvenile justice officers under certain circumstances.

Motion: Recommend not to enact due to cost.

Discussion: Recommendation 38 of the 2006 Special Session of the Legislature endorsed elimination of the program, and P.L. 2010 c. 3 eliminated it in order to reduce the cost to the State in terms of salary expense and employee benefit expense. In addition, the Workers Compensation Program is organized to handle these costs and to provide about the same amount of money, as recipients do not pay taxes and other deductions.

S-1361 (VanDrew)
Reinstates State sick leave injury program for State employees who are members of PFRS or SPRS.

Motion:   Recommend not to enact due to cost.
                       
Discussion: Recommendation 38 of the 2006 Special Session of the Legislature endorsed elimination of the program, and P.L. 2010 c. 3 eliminated it in order to reduce the cost to the State in terms of salary expense and employee benefit expense. In addition, the Workers Compensation Program is organized to handle these costs and to provide about the same amount of money, as recipients do not pay taxes and other deductions.
 
S-1374 (Rice)
Increases pension benefits for certain retirees in certain municipal retirement systems.

Motion: Recommend not to enact due to uncertainty over cost and equity.

Discussion: A fiscal analysis by the City of Newark is needed due to the possibility of current underfunding, and dramatically increasing employer costs. In addition, this legislation nullifies decisions by members of the Newark Employee Retirement System to stay in NERS. Further, this legislation may lead PERS members to seek compensation as a matter of equity with NERS, as NERS participants with lower contributions would receive benefits such as COLA and Survivors equal to and in some cases greater than PERS participants.
 
A-2499 (McGuckin/Wolfe)
Limits upfront costs for oral anticancer medications for persons covered under certain health benefits plans.

Motion: Recommend not to enact due to possible higher costs, mandated coverage and usurping design committees that are to determine coverage.  This item had been tabled at the April 11, 2014 PHBRC meeting to allow this further review.
    
Discussion: This proposed legislation would alter existing law that limits costs and result in: 1) higher public employer costs except for SHBP/SEHBP; 2) usurping the authority of the Plan Design committees created by P.L. 2011 c.78, and; 3) mandating new coverage even though it is already provided by SHBP/SEHBP. It apparently would not expand P.L. 2011, c. 188.

ACR-129 (Wolfe/Ciattarelli/Peterson)
Proposes constitutional amendment to increase mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 75.

Motion: Recommend to enact.                      
    
Discussion: Retirement age increases are favored as a cost saving measure to reflect that people are living longer. However, there exists the issue of millions of dollars of increased employer costs if implementation were not prospective as there are currently six judges who, without adequate contributions and without the required 10 years of service, would receive pension increases to 75% of final pay, from perhaps 18% of final pay (two per cent annually for up to nine years).  


 

Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Vote Results
August 15, 2014

S-1807 (Beck/Bucco)
Removes expiration of required payment by public employees of percentage of cost of health care coverage provided by public employers.

Motion: Recommend to enact.

Discussion: This bill continues existing employee cost sharing that would otherwise no longer be required as early as June 28, 2015 pursuant to health care reforms in P.L. 2011, c.78. This bill may need to be revisited pending the Governor’s New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission outcomes and a suggested analysis of whether the financial goals of the current health care reforms’ cost sharing have met expectations.

S-2133 (Smith)
Allows elected officials who retire based on other PERS service to remain in office; prohibits retirees newly elected to municipal office from receiving pension credit, health care or salary for that office.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The Commission is concerned that the bill promotes double dipping by which a public official collects a pension and a salary. Also, it is not certain whether the language of Section 2 might discourage retirees from seeking public service, and whether the language of Section 2 impacts the benefits permitted in Section 1.

A-3182 (McKeon/Cryan/Eustace)
Increases statutory mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices, Superior Court Judges, Tax Court Judges, Administrative Law Judges, Workers' Compensation Judges and county prosecutors from 70 to 72.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion:  The Commission recommends that the Legislature consider deferring action on statutory changes such as proposed by this bill until the Constitution may be amended. 

A-3199 (Wilson)
Increases from 50% to 60% of final compensation PFRS and SPRS active and retired death benefit for surviving spouses; makes any child up to age 22, now 18, eligible for death benefit.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The Commission is concerned that this bill increases the unfunded liability of the pension plans, usurps the authority of the pension committees formed by P.L. 2011, c.78, increases State and local employer pension costs, and raises the issue of State Mandate State Pay obligations.

A-3207 (Mainor/Wilson)
Reactivates annual cost-of-living adjustment for PFRS and SPRS retirees and beneficiaries who pension is $40,000 or less.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The Commission is concerned that this bill reverses a pension reform that is to reduce costs, increases the unfunded liability of the PFRS and SPRS, may lead to requests for this benefit from the other pension plans, usurps the authority of the pension committees formed by P.L. 2011, c.78, relies on no clear methodology to choose $40,000 as the threshold that will lead to requests to apply it to those receiving just over $40,000, increases State and local employer pension costs, and raises the issue of State Mandate State Pay obligations.

A-3288 (Eustace)
Terminates enrollment in PERS of certain elected public officials upon expiration of term of office.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The Commission regards P.L. 2007, c.92 as leading to the termination of pension boosting. The prospective ending of pension boosting for those elected after enactment of P.L. 2007 c.92  is considered appropriate, rather than changing the pension benefit for those who took office prior to enactment.   

A-3331 (Benson/Rodriguez-Gregg/Coughlin)
Requires health benefits coverage for synchronization of prescribed medications under certain circumstances.

Motion: Recommend not to enact. 
    
Discussion: The Commission considers the subject of this bill to be an issue within the jurisdiction of the plan design committees created by P.L. 2011, c.78.

ACR-150 (McKeon/Pinkin/Eustace)
Proposes constitutional amendment to increase mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 72.

Motion: Recommend to enact.                      
    
Discussion: The Commission at its June 6, 2014 meeting recommended enactment of ACR-129 (Wolfe/Ciattarelli/Peterson) that proposes a constitutional amendment to increase mandatory retirement age for judges and justices from 70 to 75. The Commission reasoning includes that retirement age increases are favored as a cost saving measure to reflect that people are living longer; whether the retirement age is recommended for a constitutional amendment to age 72 years or age 75 years is believed best determined by the State Legislature.

 


 
 
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