If an employee or surviving beneficiary
is having difficulty with the Division of Pensions and Benefits
regarding a pension issue, he/she should contact the Division,
preferably in writing, identify the problem and state what should
be done to resolve it. The Division's Office of Client Services
will try to resolve simple disputes caused by missing information
or miscommunication. If the Office of Client Services cannot resolve
the pension dispute, it will refer the matter to the Section Supervisor/Bureau
Chief of the particular pension operational unit for consideration.
If the Section Supervisor/Bureau Chief does not administratively
resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of the member, the claimant,
or appropriate legal representative, may file a written appeal
of the Division's administrative decision to the retirement system
Board of Trustees. The appeal should be addressed to the Division
of Pensions and Benefits, Attention: Secretary of the [NAME OF
RETIREMENT SYSTEM] Board of Trustees, PO Box 295, Trenton, New
Jersey 08625-0295. The written appeal must include any documentation
pertinent to the claimant's dispute that the Board of Trustee
must examine to render its decision.
The Board will address the matter
at the earliest possible, regularly scheduled, monthly meeting.
The Board Secretary will issue written notice of the Board's determination
to the claimant or legal representative after the Board meeting.
If the Board of Trustees' decision does not satisfy the claimant,
then the claimant or legal representative may file a written appeal
with the Board Secretary within 45 days of the Board's action
stating the specific reasons for disagreement with the Board's
determination. If no written appeal is filed with the Board Secretary
within 45 days of the Board's decisional letter, then that decision
is considered final and cannot, by law, be appealed further.
If an appeal is filed, the Board
of Trustees will decide if the matter should be handled through
an administrative hearing with the Office of Administrative Law
or by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.
The Board normally approves a hearing before an Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of Administrative Law if the matter
involves questions of fact. The claimant may represent himself
or may obtain legal counsel as representation for the ALJ hearing.
The Board of Trustees may accept, reject or modify the ALJ's decision
and will notify the claimant or legal representative of its final
administrative determination. If the matter solely involves questions
of law, the Board will issue its final administrative determination
without a hearing before an ALJ. Once the Board issues its final
administrative determination, the claimant or legal representative
has 45 days to file an appeal with the Appellate Division of Superior
Court of New Jersey. If no written appeal is filed with the Appellate
Division within 45 days of the Board's decisional letter, then
that decision is considered final and cannot, by law, be further
Note: all legal expenses incurred
by a member in an appeal are the responsibility of the member.
you are the claimant's employer,
you should assist the employee with the resolution of the problem
by working with the Division before an administrative decision
is made. Once the Division makes an administrative decision,
you cannot file an appeal on behalf of, or represent your employee,
before the Board since employers have no legal standing to do
so. However, you may advise the claimant that he may obtain
legal counsel at his own expense or may represent himself in a
contested case. You may also submit evidence or documentation
supportive of the claimant's case. When necessary, the Board of
Trustees will submit written requests to your office to provide
documents or information pertinent to the claimant's appeal. If
this should occur, please promptly provide the information or
mail the requested documents to the Board Secretary so the employee's
claim can be settled quickly.