Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)

 

 

Table of Contents

Search

EPBAM Home Page 

 

 

Shortcuts

Information by Pension System

Background

Pension System Funding

PERS
LRS
Workers' Compensation Judges Part
Prosecutors Part
LEOs

TPAF

PFRS

SPRS

JRS

ABP

Other Funds

Help Page

Recent Developments

Accessing Division Services

Employee Benefits Statements

 

Information by Employer Task

Enrollments

Purchases

Loans

Retirements

Group Life Insurance

Death Claims

Withdrawals

 

Defined Contribution Plans

ACTS

NJSEDC

SACT

ABP

 

State Health Benefits Program

COBRA

HIPAA

 

Related Government Programs

Tax$ave (Sect 125)
POP
UMSA
DCSA

SSA Agreement

UI/TDI

Long Term Care

 

Employer Financial Services

Reporting Contributions

Employee Contributions

Employer Payments

ABP Administration

TEPS

Workers' Compensation

 

Supporting Documents

Certifying Officer Memos

Member Handbooks

Fact Sheets

SHBP Manuals

Annual Reports

Forms Index
(Forms & Applications)

 

Enrolling in the
Judicial Retirement System (JRS)


 

   
  Required Employer Training, Enrollment Procedures - NEW!
  Eligibility
  Required Form: JRS Enrollment Application
  Rate of Contribution
  The JRS Is a "Qualified" Pension Plan
  JRS Contributions Are Tax Deferred
  Consequences of Membership in Other State-administered Pension Systems
  Eligibility for State Paid Coverage under the State Health Benefits Program at Retirement
  "Non-Judicial" Service Credit
  JRS Optional Contributory Group Life Insurance Enrollment
  Enrollment Issues for Those Receiving Retirement Allowances
   

Employer Training - NEW!

Effective June 19, 2011, all employers, including Certifying Officers and their immediate supervisors, are expected to complete board approved training on proper Enrollment procedures. This training will be made available over the State Web site. Additional information about this required training is available in the Certifying Officer Letter of May 26, 2011, Enrollment Certification and Training Requirements under Chapter 52, P.L. 2011.

Eligibility

The Judicial Retirement System covers the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the State Supreme Court, and all judges of the Superior Court and Tax Court of New Jersey. If an employee is a member of the State Judiciary in any of these capacities, membership in the Judicial Retirement System is required as a condition of employment.

Please note that J-1 and F-1 visa holders are not eligible for membership in the JRS; nor are M-1 or Q-1 visa holders.

Required Form

A JRS Enrollment Application is required. Both the employer and the employee must complete the JRS Enrollment Application.

On the JRS Enrollment Application, the member is asked to designate a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for the return of pension contributions and life insurance benefits. If the member does not complete the "Designation of Beneficiary" portion of the application, the Division will still accept the enrollment application so that the enrollment can be processed in a timely manner, because delayed and forced enrollments can be costly to the employer.

When a member does not complete the "Designation of Beneficiary" portion of the application, the enrollment application will be processed with the member's estate listed as both group life insurance and pension beneficiaries.

In such cases, an insurance packet and policy rider confirming the estate as beneficiary will be mailed to the member.

In order to change the beneficiary information in effect once enrollment has occurred, the member must submit a separate Designation of Beneficiary form.

Rate of Contribution

Chapter 78, P.L. 2011, the Pension and Health Benefit Reform Law, increased the JRS member contribution rate by an additional 9% — to be phased-in over a seven-year period. This increase is calculated in one of two different ways depending upon when a member was enrolled in the JRS.

  • If you enrolled in the JRS on or after January 1, 1996, your original contribution rate to the retirement system is 3% of your total base salary. Under Chapter 78, this rate increases to 4.28% of total base salary beginning in October 2011. The rate will then increase by 1.28% with the first payroll of July 2012 and each July thereafter until a total rate of 12% is reached in July 2017.
  • If you enrolled in the JRS prior to January 1, 1996, your original contribution rate to the retirement system is 3% of the difference between your current salary and the salary for your judicial position as of January 18, 1982. Under Chapter 78, the additional 9% contribution is applied to all compensation. In calculating the increase, only the phased-in 9% rate will be applied to the salary as of January 18, 1982, and a separate rate of 3% plus the phased-in 9% rate will be applied to the balance of salary in excess of the salary as of January 18, 1982. Therefore, beginning in October 2011, the phased-in rate will be 1.28% for the salary as of January 18, 1982, and 4.28% on all additional salary. This split rate will then increase by 1.28% with the first payroll of July 2012 and each July thereafter until the total additional increase of 9% is reached in July 2017.

Note: Each annual increase in the JRS contribution rate will also increase the minimum repayment amount for pension loans or for the cost of a purchase of service credit if certified after the effective date of the rate change.

Back Deductions

Back deductions are mandatory pension contributions subject to IRC Section 414(h). They are the pension obligations owed from the date of enrollment or transfer to the date deductions are certified to begin.

Back deductions are calculated on the member's current annual salary, regardless of when the member is enrolled. If back deductions are owed for a time period exceeding 12 months, 8.25% interest is added.

JRS is a "Qualified" Pension Plan

The JRS is a "qualified" pension plan under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 401(a)(17); therefore, the current federal ceiling on pensionable salary ($250,000 in 2012) applies to base salaries of JRS members. Salary earned by a member in excess of this amount is not pensionable; that is, it may not be used in determining member contributions and benefits. For more information about this topic, please see "History of Pensionable Salary Limits."

JRS Contributions are Tax Deferred

Since January 1, 1987, mandatory pensions contributions have been federally tax deferred under IRC 414(h). This reduces a member's gross wages subject to federal income tax.

Contributions are taxable for State tax purposes.

Purchases of service credit are voluntary pension contributions and ordinarily are not tax deferred.

For a fuller discussion of purchasing Service Credit, click here.



Consequences of Membership in Other State-administered Pension Systems

If an employee is a member of another State-administered retirement system at the time of becoming a judge, the following options are available:

  • The member may elect to withdraw and receive a refund of all contributions made to the prior retirement system;
  • The member may elect to transfer membership, provided the non-JRS account has not expired;
  • If eligible, the enrolled JRS member may elect to immediately receive or defer retirement benefits in the first system.

It is important for JRS members to know that they may, while serving as judges, receive a portion of the benefits earned under another retirement system. However, upon retirement from JRS, all rights to retirement benefits from a prior system must be forfeited. (Members are always entitled to a refund of contributions to a prior system, less any benefits already received.)

Eligibility for State-paid Coverage under the State Health Benefits Program at Retirement

To be eligible for State-paid health benefits upon retirement, a minimum of 25 years of service credit under the same pension system must be attained. This may have an impact on a JRS member's decisions to purchase service credit, transfer service credit, etc. A member desiring to learn more about this should contact the Division of Pensions and Benefits in writing.

"Non-Judicial" Service Credit

A member's service credit will be counted separately for "Judicial" time and "non-Judicial" time.

Non-Judicial credit will be given for any service that the member was able to transfer from another State-administered retirement system into the JRS at the time of enrollment. Members will receive non-judicial credit for any eligible service they were allowed to purchase in the JRS (other than prior judicial service).

Enrollment Issues for Those Receiving Retirement Allowances

Working for private industry or the federal government will not affect JRS retirement benefits. For those individuals who return to public employment after retirement, there are several areas of concern:

  • No member receiving a JRS pension or retirement allowance may engage in the practice of law before any of the courts of this State.

  • Any retired justice of the Supreme Court or any retired judge of the Superior Court may be recalled by the Supreme Court for temporary service in the Supreme Court or elsewhere within the judicial system. If the member accepts the call to reemployment, the justice or judge will be paid on a "per diem" basis in an amount established by the Supreme Court. In no event shall a retired JRS member receive a salary, which, when combined with a pension or retirement allowance, exceeds the current salary of a justice or judge of the court from which he or she retired. In addition, reimbursement will be made by the State for reasonable expenses incurred by the justice or judge in connection with his/her assignments. Reimbursements for expenses are not considered salary for pension purposes.

  • Returning to work in a position covered by any other State-administered retirement system is allowed. The member's retirement allowance will continue and the member may receive a salary; however, a JRS retiree who is receiving a retirement allowance may not become a member of another NJ State-administered retirement system. If a JRS member has filed for a Deferred Retirement, there are certain rare circumstances where enrollment may be allowed. In such situations, please contact the Division of Pensions and Benefits for more information.

  • Returning to public employment in New Jersey may affect a member's eligibility to continue coverage under the State Health Benefits Program. The retiree should contact the Division of Pensions and Benefits for more information.

BACK TO TOP

BACK TO HOME PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


division (internet use only): p&b home | SHBP home | forms and publications | seminars | contact the division
pension funds : PERS | TPAF | PFRS | SPRS | JRS | ABP | other funds | search
Last Updated: April 25, 2012