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Pensions and Benefits
CERTIFYING OFFICER LETTERS 2017

Also available: Archived E-Messages to Certifying Officers and EPIC Users

SUBJECT DATE
Plan Year 2018 School Employees’ Health Benefits Program Open Enrollment - Local Education Certifying Officers, Human Resource Directors, and Benefits Administrators participating in the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program September 27, 2017
Plan Year 2018 State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) Open Enrollment - Local Government Certifying Officers, Human Resource Directors, and Benefits Administrators September 27, 2017
Plan Year 2018 State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) Open Enrollment - State Biweekly and State Monthly Certifying Officers, Human Resource Directors, and Benefits Administrators September 27, 2017
Open Enrollment for the New Jersey State Employees Tax Savings Program (Tax$ave) - State University and College Certifying Officers, State University and College Benefits Administrators, State Monthly Certifying Officers, and State Monthly Benefits Administrators September 27, 2017
Open Enrollment for the New Jersey State Employees Tax Savings Program (Tax$ave) - State Department Certifying Officers, State Department Human Resource Directors, and State Biweekly Payroll Locations Benefits Administrators September 27, 2017
PERS Notice of Election - Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) September 22, 2017
PFRS Notice of Election - Certifying Officers of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) September 21, 2017
PFRS Notice of Election - Certifying Officers of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) September 21, 2017
Renewal of Annual Membership Certification Required under P.L. 2011, c. 52 - Certifying Officers and Supervisors of Certifying Officers September 1, 2017
Police Representative elected to the PFRS Board for Unexpired Term - Certifying Officers of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) August 23, 2017
Retired Group Health Benefits Coverage Automatic Enrollment - Participating Local Education SEHBP Certifying Officers August 14, 2017
ABP Annual Report of Covered Lives – 2017 - Certifying Officers of the Alternate Benefits Program (ABP) June 30, 2017
Retired Group Health Benefits Coverage Automatic Enrollment - Certifying Officers of Local Government participating in the SHBP June 29, 2017
Fiscal Year 2017 Alternate Benefit Program Default Designated Service Provider - Certifying Officers of the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) June 26, 2017
Pension and Health Benefit Contribution Rate Changes for the Judicial Retirement System (JRS) - Certifying Officers of the Judicial Retirement System June 8, 2017
Pension Contribution Rate Changes for the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) - Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System and the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund June 8, 2017
PFRS Notice of Election - Certifying Officers of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System June 6, 2017
County Representative Elected to the Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees - Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System March 6, 2017
Municipal Representative Elected to the Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees - Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System March 6, 2017
State Representative Elected to the Public Employees' Retirement System Board of Trustees - Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System March 6, 2017
Health Benefits Coverage Pending Disability Retirement - Certifying Officers, All Funds January 4, 2017

CERTIFYING OFFICER LETTERS FROM OTHER YEARS

2017 CO Letters 2016 CO Letters 2015 CO Letters 2014 CO Letters 2013 CO Letters
2012 CO Letters 2011 CO Letters 2010 CO Letters 2009 CO Letters 2008 CO Letters
2007 CO Letters 2006 CO Letters 2005 CO Letters 2004 CO Letters 2003 CO Letters
2002 CO Letters 2001 CO Letters 2000 CO Letters 1999 CO Letters 1998 CO Letters
    1997 CO Letters    

Also available Archived E-Messages to Certifying Officers and EPIC Users.


June 8, 2017

TO: Certifying Officers of the the Judicial Retirement System

FROM:

The New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits

SUBJECT: Pension and Health Benefit Contribution Rate Changes for the Judicial Retirement System (JRS)

Pursuant to Article VI, Section VI, Paragraph 6 of the New Jersey Constitution — as authorized under Chapter 78, P.L. 2011, Pension and Health Benefit Reform — employee pension contribution rates for members of the JRS will increase to the full contribution rate as of State Biweekly Pay Period #14 of 2017 (the July 14, 2017, paycheck).


Please notify your employees who are JRS members of the upcoming contribution rate changes.

PENSION CONTRIBUTION RATES

The increase in JRS pension contributions is calculated in one of two different ways depending upon when an individual was enrolled into the JRS.

  • For JRS members enrolled into the retirement system on or after January 1, 1996, the pension contribution rate will increase to the full rate of 12% for all compensation.

  • For JRS members enrolled into the retirement system before January 1, 1996, the pension contribution will increase to the full contribution amount and is calculated using two rates. First, an increased contribution rate of 9% will apply to the salary paid for the member’s current position as of January 18, 1982. Then, an increased contribution rate of 12% will apply to the difference in salary between what is currently paid and the salary as of January 18, 1982.

The change in the JRS contribution rates will also increase the minimum repayment amount for new pension loans or the cost for a purchase of service credit if certified after the increased contribution rates becomes effective.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you have questions regarding the information provided in this letter, contact the Division’s Employer Education Unit at (609) 292-7524, or e-mail the Division at:pensions.nj@treas.nj.gov

CO Letter in Printable Format Adobe PDF (33K)

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June 8, 2017

TO: Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System and the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund

FROM:

The New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits

SUBJECT: Pension Contribution Rate Changes for the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF)

Pursuant to Chapter 78, P.L. 2011, Pension and Health Benefit Reform, PERS and TPAF employee pension contribution rates will increase from 7.2% to 7.34% of salary with the first paycheck issued on or after July 1, 2017.

  • State employees paid through the Centralized Payroll Unit will receive check messages as notification of the contribution change which will begin as of the July 14, 2017, paycheck.

  • For all other employees, the increase to 7.34% is to be effective with the first paycheck to be paid on or after July 1, 2017 (which is reported to the Division of Pensions and Benefits as compensation during the 3rd calendar quarter of 2017).

The change in the employee’s contribution rate will also increase the minimum repayment amount for new pension loans or the cost for a purchase of service credit if certified after the increased contribution rate becomes effective.

Note: There is no additional increase for PERS Prosecutors Part members whose contribution rate increased to 10% in October 2011.

NOTIFICATION TO EMPLOYEES

State biweekly employees paid through the State Centralized Payroll Unit will receive check messages with Pay Periods #13 (June 23, 2017) and #14 (July 14, 2017) to announce the PERS/TPAF contribution change. Copies of the check messages are attached for reference. State biweekly employers are encouraged to provide their employees with additional reminders of the coming rate change.

State monthly, local government, and local education employers are asked to provide payroll messages or other notifications to inform their employees of the coming rate change.

FUTURE INCREASES

July 2017 marks the seventh rate increase under the provisions of Chapter 78, which requires the PERS and TPAF employee pension contribution rates to increase until the total pension contribution rate is 7.5% of salary effective in July 2018.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you have questions regarding the information provided in this letter, contact the Division’s Employer Education Unit at (609) 292-7524, or e-mail the Division at: pensions.nj@treas.nj.gov

Enclosure

Centralized Payroll Check Messages — Pension Rate Change

Centralized Payroll Check Messages — Pension Rate Change

Pay Period #13 (June 23, 2017)

Under Pension and Health Benefit Reform, employee pension contribution rates will increase to 7.34% effective with the July 14, 2017, paycheck for all PERS and TPAF members who were previously contributing 7.2% of salary.

Pay Period #14 (July 14, 2017)

Under Pension and Health Benefit Reform and effective with this paycheck, employee pension contribution rates increase to 7.34% for all PERS and TPAF members who were previously contributing 7.2% of salary.

CO Letter in Printable Format Adobe PDF (35K)

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June 6, 2017

TO: Certifying Officers of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System

FROM:

Mary Ellen Rathbun, Board Secretary, Police and Firemen's Retirement System

SUBJECT: PFRS Notice of Election

This certifying officer letter and the attached notice for the 2017 Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) “Police” election is being transmitted to you electronically and will require your electronic response.

We ask your assistance in servicing an election for the vacancy of a “Police” Representative on the PFRS Board of Trustees. A police representative will be elected for an unexpired term beginning December 1, 2017, and ending on June 30, 2018. Candidates for the position must qualify by electronic nomination.

We are requesting that you distribute the attached NOTICE OF PFRS ELECTION electronically to each PFRS law enforcement member employed at your location, as the information will explain the pre-election procedures. It is important that each individual active PFRS police member receive this notice. If you are the certifying officer for multiple locations, you will only receive one certifying officer letter and will be required to distribute the attached election notice to active PFRS police members at all locations. Your attention to this distribution is required under N.J.A.C. 17:4-1.4.

We ask that you distribute this notice electronically no later than June 16, 2017. In addition, if you maintain a Web site for your employees, you may post the notice there and in any other appropriate public place at your location.

It is important that you confirm distribution of this notice. To confirm distribution of the notice to your active PFRS police employees, please send an e-mail to NJBOT.ELECT@treas.nj.gov

Thank you for your prompt assistance in the timely response and distribution of this notice.

Attachment: Election Notice

BOARD OF TRUSTEES, POLICE AND FIREMEN’S RETIREMENT SYSTEM (PFRS)
DIVISION OF PENSIONS AND BENEFITS - NOTICE OF PFRS ELECTION
One State Street Square - 50 West State Street - P.O. BOX 295 - Trenton, NJ 08625-0295
or NJBOT.Nomination@treas.nj.gov

Nominations are being accepted for an election to fill the vacancy of a “Police” Representative on the PFRS Board of Trustees for the unexpired term beginning December 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2018. Candidates for the unexpired position must qualify by electronic nomination. If you wish to declare your interest in running for this position, please send a written request by July 7, 2017, to the PFRS Board Secretary at NJBOT.Nomination@treas.nj.gov or PO Box 295, Trenton, NJ 08625-0295.

The Board of Trustees has the general responsibility for the operation of the PFRS, under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 43:16A-13. The Board meets monthly at the Division of Pensions and Benefits in Trenton. The statute provides that no employee shall suffer loss of salary or wages as a result of serving on the Board. A member who wishes to be a candidate for the unexpired “Police” position must be an active PFRS police member and must receive at least 500 active PFRS police member nominations. Only active PFRS police members may nominate a candidate for the PFRS police position.

After the candidates have declared their interest in becoming a PFRS representative, nominations to support your choice for a candidate are made electronically through a secure web site. The process is easy, and it only takes a few minutes. You just need to have access to a computer and log on to HTTPS://VOTE.ELECTION-AMERICA.COM/PFRS-POLICE and follow the simple directions. You will need to provide the last four (4) digits of your Social Security number, the first four (4) letters of your last name, and your birthdate. You will then see a list of all the candidates, and you can make your selection. Please allow sufficient time after this notification for active police members to request candidacy and to have ample time for the vendor to enter the member’s name in the online system.

Nominations must be registered online on or before 4 p.m. Friday July 21, 2017. An election will be required if more than one candidate receives 500 or more nominations. Qualified candidates will be invited to attend the drawing by lot for position on the ballot, if necessary, on August 1, 2017. Election ballots will be mailed to PFRS employers for distribution to active members on or about August 25, 2017.

PRESENT MEMBERS – TERM

Police Representatives: Keith Bennett-11/30/2017 and Michael Kaniuk-8/31/19; Fire Representatives: Timothy Colacci-6/30/20 and Brady Middlesworth-6/30/18; Retired Representative: Marty Barrett-12/31/20; Gubernatorial Appointments: Laurel Brennan, Frank Leake, Richard Loccke, and two vacant positions; State Treasurer’s Representative: Susanne Culliton, Ex-Officio Member

PFRS BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Render determinations regarding disability retirement cases.
  • Review appeals pertaining to the disallowance of pension benefits.
  • Adopt rules and regulations to provide for the payment of benefits and collection of monies as required by statute.
  • Establish rules and regulations within the limitations of statutes and opinions of the Courts and the Attorney General, designed to prevent injustices and inequities that may arise in the operation of the Retirement System.
  • Resolve individual questions on the merits of each case in terms of statutes, opinions of the Attorney General, advice of the Actuary, and cases cited by counsel as deliberated by the Courts.

CO Letter in Printable Format Adobe PDF (37K)

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March 6, 2017

TO: Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System

FROM:

Jacquelyn Bussanich, Board Secretary, Public Employees' Retirement System

SUBJECT: County Representative Elected to the Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees

POST THIS PERS STATE MEMBER NOTICE
IN A PUBLIC AREA AT THE WORKPLACE

  • The Board of Trustees of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) during its meeting on February 15, 2017, deemed Tracy Smith elected to a three-year term as County Representative to the PERS Board, effective July 1, 2017.
  • Ms. Smith was the only candidate to obtain 500 or more eligible PERS County member nominations on-line or by paper petition.  Therefore, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 17:2-1.4, the PERS Board noted that Ms. Smith is elected to the County Representative position without balloting.
  • Ms. Smith is employed by the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders in a PERS-covered position.  Ms. Smith has served as a County Representative on the PERS Board since July 1, 2015.
  • Notices for the next election cycle will be distributed through employers in the fall of 2019, which will provide interested candidates with instructions for obtaining nominating information. You may periodically check the Division of Pensions and Benefits Web site at: www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions

CO Letter in Printable Format Adobe PDF (38K)

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March 6, 2017

TO: Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System

FROM:

Jacquelyn Bussanich, Board Secretary, Public Employees' Retirement System

SUBJECT: Municipal Representative Elected to the Public Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees

POST THIS PERS STATE MEMBER NOTICE
IN A PUBLIC AREA AT THE WORKPLACE

  • The Board of Trustees of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) during its meeting on January 18, 2017, deemed Brian Currie elected to a three-year term as Municipal Representative to the PERS Board, effective July 1, 2017.
  • Mr. Currie was the only candidate to obtain 500 or more eligible PERS Municipal member nominations on-line or by paper petition.  Therefore, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 17:2-1.4, the PERS Board noted that Mr. Currie is elected to the Municipal Representative position without balloting.
  • Mr. Currie is employed by the Buena Regional School District in a PERS-covered position.  Mr. Currie has served as a Municipal Representative on the PERS Board since July 1, 2014.
  • Notices for the next election cycle will be distributed through employers in the fall of 2018, which will provide interested candidates with instructions for obtaining nominating information. You may periodically check the Division of Pensions and Benefits Web site at: www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions

CO Letter in Printable Format Adobe PDF (38K)

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March 6, 2017

TO: Certifying Officers of the Public Employees' Retirement System

FROM:

Jacquelyn Bussanich, Board Secretary, Public Employees' Retirement System

SUBJECT: State Representative Elected to the Public Employees' Retirement System Board of Trustees

POST THIS PERS STATE MEMBER NOTICE
IN A PUBLIC AREA AT THE WORKPLACE

  • The Board of Trustees of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) during its meeting on January 18, 2017, deemed William O’Brien elected to a three-year term as State Representative to the PERS Board, effective July 1, 2017.
  • Mr. O’Brien was the only candidate to obtain 500 or more eligible PERS State member nominations on-line or by paper petition.  Therefore, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 17:2-1.4, the PERS Board noted that Mr. O’Brien is elected to the State Representative position without balloting.
  • Mr. O’Brien is employed by William Paterson University of New Jersey in a PERS-covered position.  Mr. O’Brien has served as a State Representative on the PERS Board since July 1, 2011.
  • Notices for the next election cycle will be distributed through employers in the fall of 2017, which will provide interested candidates with instructions for obtaining nominating information. You may periodically check the Division of Pensions and Benefits Web site at: www.nj.gov/treasury/pensions

CO Letter in Printable Format Adobe PDF (38K)

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January 4, 2017

TO: Certifying Officers, All Funds

FROM:

New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits

SUBJECT: Health Benefits Coverage Pending Disability Retirement

The Division of Pensions and Benefits is changing its procedure for how employees applying for a disability retirement receive health benefits during the application process. The modification is being made in order for the State to avoid paying claims for which it is ultimately not responsible.  The following information explains the new procedure.

Previously, the Division allowed eligible members applying for disability retirement to enroll in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) or School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) as retirees, pending the decision of the applicable Board of Trustees.  Members were often covered without paying premiums.  If retirees were denied the disability retirement at a later date, rendering them ineligible for health coverage as retirees, the Division would initiate procedures to have the cost of care repaid. 

It is important that you and your employees understand the coverage choices available to make the transition to disability retirement as smooth as possible.  Please be sure to review the policy, described below, appropriate to your type of employing entity and participation status with the SHBP/SEHBP.

STATE, PARTICIPATING LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
AND PARTICIPATING LOCAL EDUCATION EMPLOYERS

Eligible members of local government and education locations participating with the SHBP/ SEHBP, as well as eligible State members, will be offered a continuation of health benefits coverage through the provisions of COBRA while their disability retirement applications are pending.  If the retirement is approved, the Health Benefits Bureau will send the employee a letter offering continued coverage in retirement.  Members entitled to employer-paid or retirement system-paid health insurance will receive a refund of COBRA premiums paid to the SHBP/SEHBP for health benefits coverage after the effective date of retirement, less any premiums owed as a retiree.

If the member’s application for a disability retirement is denied, the member will not be offered retired health benefits coverage, unless otherwise eligible for a Service Retirement.  In such cases, a request for a retired health benefits coverage offering must be made to the Health Benefits Bureau. The offering will not be created automatically. 

NON-PARTICIPATING LOCAL EDUCATION EMPLOYERS

Members of non-participating local education employers will no longer be offered health benefits coverage while their disability retirement application is pending.  The local education employer should offer the member continued coverage through the provisions of COBRA.  If the disability retirement is subsequently approved, the member will be offered retired health benefits coverage through the SEHBP retroactively to the retirement date, up to a maximum of one year.  The SEHBP will not reimburse any COBRA premiums paid to the local employer.  If the disability retirement application is denied, the member will not be offered SEHBP retired health benefits coverage. A member age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B may be eligible for coverage at his or her own expense, per the provisions of Chapter 8, P.L. 1996.

OUTSIDE OPTIONS FOR MEMBERS

In addition to COBRA coverage, members have the following options:
 

  • Coverage through a spouse, civil union partner, or same-sex domestic partner.
  • Private coverage through the local employer under Chapter 386, P.L. 1987. The member continues coverage at his or her own cost.
  • Coverage through the Affordable Care Act health exchanges.
  • Out-of-pocket payment of medical expenses. If the disability retirement is approved, the member will be enrolled retroactively to the retirement date and may submit claims to the carrier.

Please note that none of these options is reimbursable by the State, even if the disability retirement is subsequently approved.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information, refer to Fact Sheet #25, Employer Responsibilities Under COBRA and Fact Sheet #33, The Employer’s Role in a Disability Retirement.

CO Letter in Printable Format Adobe PDF (53K)

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