Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)
   

 

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Enrollment Procedures



Contents
  Required Employer Training, Enrollment Procedures
 Chapter 1: General Enrollment Information
 
 PERS Enrollments — Public Employees' Retirement System
  TPAF Enrollments — Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund
  PFRS Enrollments — Police and Firemen's Retirement System
  SPRS Enrollments — State Police Retirement System
 

JRS Enrollments — Judicial Retirement System

 

ABP Enrollments — Alternate Benefits Program

  DCRP EnrollmentsDefined Contribution Ret. Program
  Employment after Retirement: General Information
 

 


General Information That Applies to All Funds

Employer Training

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.

Online Enrollment Application

With certain exceptions, all new enrollment applications are to be processed online through EPIC. (See links to the specific Enrollment section above for the for the fund you are enrolling a member in for more information.)

Paper enrollment applications will be accepted only for certain exceptions or as directed by the Enrollment Section.

Forced Enrollment

The employer has the statutory responsibility for enrolling employees on a timely basis.

It is the employer's responsibility to complete online enrollment applications for members through EPIC, in a timely manner. For help with the online EPIC Enrollment applications, please click here.

However, in the case where a paper application must be submitted, according to N.J.S.A. 43:15A-7, if an employee refuses to complete the employee section of the enrollment application, the employer should complete the employee section and indicate, "Employee refused to sign" at the top. Once the application is received, the employee is considered to be a "forced" enrollment.

Unless the member is required to prove insurability, the member's estate will be designated as his/her beneficiary until such time that an online MBOS "Designation of Beneficiary" or printed Designation of Beneficiary form is completed and received by the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Late Enrollment

The employer has a statutory responsibility to enroll and transfer employees on a timely basis. (NJSA 43:15A-7).

If more than one year has elapsed from the time that contributions would have been required from such persons, one-half of the employees' cost will be required of the employer plus any additional employer costs, as appropriate.

For PERS, see New Jersey Statutes Annotated (NJSA) 43:15A-7.1; for TPAF, see N.J.S.A. 18A:66-6.1; for PFRS, see N.J.S.A. 43:16A-15.1.

In order to ensure the timely enrollment of eligible employees, employers are encouraged to maintain adequate systems and procedures for the periodic review of employees who are working but not enrolled. Employers are further encouraged to ascertain if an individual already has an existing active membership which would require immediate enrollment at the time of hire, if all other eligibility criteria are met.

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Self-employment Issues

Some persons you engage to work at your location may claim to be "self-employed," "consultants," or "independent contractors," who would be ineligible for enrollment in any of the State-administered retirement systems. The distinction, however, between an employee and an independent contractor is sometimes hard to make, and many persons are incorrectly classified.

As a rule, the Division of Pensions and Benefits accepts the tests and standards used by the Internal Revenue Service to determine the employer-employee relationship. Since penalties levied by the IRS can be severe, both the worker and the employer should give careful consideration before classifying a worker as an independent contractor. In addition to IRS penalties and any penalties imposed by the NJ Department of Labor in the event that an employee has been incorrectly classified as an independent contractor, there are penalties relating to the pension system as well.

  • The employer will be assessed delinquent enrollment charges for failing to enroll an employee in the retirement system in a timely manner. The employee will be required to refund all retirement benefits received after the date enrollment should have occurred.
  • The employee must also pay any retroactive pension contributions due on the new pension account.

The Division uses the IRS test to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor. All of the factors listed below must be evaluated to render a determination.

They are:

A) Behavioral Control – Included in this test are instructions and training.

(1) Instructions – if the individual receives extensive instructions on how work is to be done, this suggests that an employer-employee relationship exists. Ask how, when, or where the person is asked to do the work; what and who owns the tools or equipment used; what assistants are hired to help with the work and where and by whom supplies and services are purchased. If one receives less extensive instructions about what should be done, but not how it should be
done, the person may be an independent contractor. Each of these factors
will vary dependent upon the actual position.

(2) Training – If the business provides training about required procedures and
methods, this indicates that the business wants the work done in a certain
way, and that suggests that the individual may be an employee.


B) Financial Control – Included in this test are facts which would reveal whether there is a right to direct or control the business part of the work.

Examples are:

(1) If the individual has made a significant investment in a position, this may
qualify as an independent contractor.

(2) If the individual is not reimbursed for some or all business expenses, then he
or she may qualify as an independent contractor, especially if unreimbursed
business expenses are high.

(3) If the individual can realize a profit or incur a loss, this suggests that the
person is in business for themselves and may be an independent contractor.

C) Relationship to Parties – These are facts that illustrate how the business and the worker perceive their relationship. For example:

(1) Does the person receive benefits such as paid leave or insurance? This may
indicate employee status.

(2) Written contracts – A written contract may show what both the individual and the employer intend.

Not one of these factors is controlling and the response to all factors must be weighed together, under the common law definition of "employment."

However, one of the most important factors for consideration is whether the employer has the right to instruct and control the employee with respect to the details of the work that is performed by the employee.

Since the Division of Pensions and Benefits uses the established IRS Employee Test (commonly known as Revenue Ruling 87-41) as the basis for determining employee or independent contractor status, local employers have a standard assessment tool and the opportunity for formal guidance. There are several IRS documents that discuss how to evaluate the individual circumstance. These are:

• IRS Publication 1779, a two-page brochure that summarizes the IRS Employee Test. It is available from the IRS at: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1779.pdf

• IRS Publication 15a, about employees and the employer-employee
relationship which includes examples of employees and contractors. It also
discusses employee tax liability issues. It is available from the IRS at:
www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15a.pdf

• IRS Publication 963, the “Federal-State Reference Guide”, a comprehensive
reference source for Social Security and Medicare coverage and Federal
Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax withholding issues. Chapter 4 of this
document provides details on determining worker status. It is available from
the IRS at: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p963.pdf

As part of its services to employers, the IRS will also look at individual circumstances and provide a determination for the purposes of federal employment taxes and income tax withholding. Because these two issues are at the heart of the IRS assessment, local employers can contact the IRS to obtain a definitive answer if local analysis is inconclusive.

IRS Form SS-8 can be used to request a determination. The form is
available online at: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss8.pdf

The IRS test factors listed above replace the 20 factor test set previously used by the IRS to determine independent contractor or employee status. The 20 factors included: degree of control; right to discharge; right to delegate work; right to hire and fire assistants; payment by the hour; furnishing of training; skill; duration of relationship; control over hours of work; independent trade; furnishing tools; place of work; profit and loss; intent of the parties; principal in business; sequence of work; reports required; same work as others classified as employees; integration; and industry custom.

For additional clarification on this issue, contact the NJ Department of Labor, Division of Employer Accounts, at (609) 292-2321; or see

Proof of Age

All members of the State-administered retirement systems must provide proof of age prior to retirement. It is recommended that this be submitted along with the completed Enrollment Application. Acceptable proof of age documents include a copy of any of the following:
  • Birth Certificate (with visible seal)
  • Passport
  • U.S. Passport Card
  • Current New Jersey digital drivers license or New Jersey Digital Non-driver identification card
  • Naturalization or Immigration Papers
  • Military records
Unacceptable documentation includes expired documentation, out-of-state driver licenses, affidavits from older family members, census records, baptismal records, marriage certificates, or hospital birth certificates.

Proof of Insurability (PERS and TPAF)

  • Any PERS or TPAF employee who is age 60 or older at the time the Division of Pensions and Benefits receives his or her enrollment application will be required to prove insurability in order to obtain group life insurance coverage (see below for more information). In addition, if a member's date of birth is not given on the Enrollment Application, he or she will be required to prove insurability through a medical examination.Optional enrollees must prove insurability if the Enrollment Application is received more than one year after their date of compulsory enrollment.
  • Disability retirees who return to active employment, and those who converted their group life insurance to private coverage upon termination of employment, must also prove insurability. The Division of Pensions and Benefits will notify the member in writing regarding this process.

Group Life Insurance for Members Age 60 or Older (PERS and TPAF)

Employees who are age 60 or older at the time of enrollment are ineligible for both Noncontributory and Contributory Group Life Insurance coverage until they prove insurability by taking and passing a physical examination.The date of birth information on the Enrollment Application, submitted by the employer, is used to determine whether or not an enrolling member must prove insurability for group life insurance coverage due to age. When a member is found to be age 60 or older at enrollment, the following procedure is set in motion:

  • The Division of Pensions and Benefits notifies the member in writing of his or her ineligibility for group life insurance coverage until insurability is proven through a physical examination.*
  • The Division informs Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, Inc., (the present group life insurance underwriter), about the enrolling member's ineligibility for group life insurance coverage due to age.
  • Prudential then provides the new member with information about completing the process of obtaining a physical examination to prove insurability. Prudential authorizes a third party to administer the physical examination.

*The member has 12 months from the date of the Division's written notification to take and pass the required physical examination. Failure to pass the physical examination within the prescribed time frame will render the member ineligible for group life insurance coverage.

Prudential notifies the Division when the member becomes eligible for group life insurance coverage as a result of proving insurability through a physical exam. At that time, the Division provides certification to both the member and employer. The certification indicates the date on which salary deductions for group life insurance coverage will begin.

Members who fail to prove insurability have 45 days to submit an appeal of the decision to Prudential.

Taxability of Employer-paid Group Life Insurance Premiums

The Internal Revenue Service classifies all employer-paid group life insurance coverage over $50,000 as a fringe benefit subject to taxation. The amount of the life insurance coverage is not taxable, but the premium required to pay for the life insurance coverage is taxable. Members may elect to waive Non-contributory Group Life Insurance coverage over $50,000 at any time.

For further information on this topic, contact the Division of Pensions and Benefits, or see Fact Sheet #22, provided in this manual.

PLEASE NOTE: TPAF members are not required to pay Contributory Group Life Insurance premiums after attaining age 70.

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Payroll Deductions

When the Division of Pensions and Benefits receives an application requiring payroll deductions (enrollment, loan, purchase), the Division will send a Certification of Payroll Deductions to the employer, specifying the amount of the deductions and when the deductions should begin.

For Newly Enrolled or Transferred Members

Two copies of the Certification of Payroll Deductions are mailed to the employer: one is for the member and one is for the employer's records. Employers are not authorized to take pension contributions, Contributory Group Life Insurance, back deductions, arrears, or loan payments in anticipation of receiving a Certification of Payroll Deductions from the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

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.

Lump Sum Back Deduction Payments Made by Members

Members have the option of paying a back deduction obligation through a lump sum payment, rather than having this obligation deducted from their monthly or biweekly paycheck.To make a lump sum payment, the member remits the full amount of back deductions owed to their employer.

The Division of Pensions and Benefits will not accept member checks for lump sum back deductions, due to applicable IRS rules.

The Certification of Payroll Deductions issued at the time of enrollment indicates the member's payroll deduction schedule for member pension contributions, as well as for any back deductions owed. It also provides the cash discount value for the back deduction balance—the lump sum amount, with any interest, payable by the member for total back deductions owed. (Back deductions owed for a time period exceeding 12 months may accrue interest, as explained above.)

The member must pay the cash discount value to his or her employer prior to the date on which payroll deductions are scheduled to begin, in order for the cash discount value quoted on the Certification of Payroll Deductions to be in effect.

For more information about how to report member lump-sum back deduction payments on the Quarterly Report of Contributions, please click here.

Written Requests for the Cash Discount Value of an Arrears Obligation

When a member wishes to pay a back deduction obligation after payroll deductions have begun, the member must make a request, in writing, for an "arrears payoff quotation" letter for the cash discount value of the remaining back deductions owed. The amount quoted will include any interest owed.

This written request should be made to the Adjustment Section, Division of Pensions and Benefits, PO Box 295, Trenton, NJ, 08625-0295.

According to New Jersey Administrative Code [N.J.A.C. 17:1-4.1(b)], members may make only one request for the cash discount value of outstanding arrears, such as back deductions, (or a purchase quotation for previous service) in a calendar year.For more information about how to report member lump-sum back deduction payments on the Quarterly Report of Contributions, please click here.

Enrollment Application

As stated above, all new enrollment applications are to be processed online through EPIC, although certain exceptions apply. The member's biographical information (i.e.: name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, etc.) is required from the member on every enrollment application, regardless of the retirement system the employee is joining. Additional member information is also required, according to pension system.

At the time of enrollment, the employee's estate will automatically be designated as beneficiary for any death benefits payable. If an employee wishes to change that designation, he or she may either register with the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS), which will allow the member to use the online "Designation of Beneficiary" application to designate beneficiaries or subsequently update their beneficiary information online.

Employers should submit the enrollment application, completed in its entirety, as soon as possible; delayed and forced enrollments can be costly to the employer.

When a member does not subsequently complete the online MBOS "Designation of Beneficiary" or the Designation of Beneficiary form after enrollment, the enrollment 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 online MBOS "Designation of Beneficiary".

The Division also requires the employer to certify the member's date of hire, salary, and location. This information must be verified with the Certifying Officer's signature.

Enrollments Resources and Forms
For the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF):
Guide to Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) Enrollment
PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application

For the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS):
Guide to Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Enrollment
PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application

For the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PERS):
Guide to Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) Enrollment PFRS Enrollment Application

  • For the State Police Retirement System (SPRS):
    Guide to State Police Retirement System (SPRS) Enrollment
    SPRS Enrollment Application

    For the Judicial Retirement System (JRS):
    Guide to Judicial Retirement System (JRS) Enrollment

    For the Alternate Benefits Program (ABP):
    Guide to Alternate Benefits Program (ABP) Enrollment
    ABP Enrollment Application

    For the Defined Contribution Retirement Program (DCRP):
    DCRP Enrollments

    For the Additional Contributions Tax-Sheltered (ACTS) Program:
    Guide to Additional Contributions Tax-Sheltered (ACTS) Enrollment

    For the New Jersey State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan*:
    Guide to NJ State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan (NJSEDCP) Enrollment NJSEDCP
    Enrollment Application

    *Changes in the Administration of the New Jersey State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan: Prudential Retirement, a business of New Jersey-based Prudential Financial, has been the third party administrator for the New Jersey State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan (NJSEDCP) since January 1, 2006.

    For the Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust (SACT) Program:
    Guide to Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust - Regular (SACT-SA) Enrollment
    Guide to Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust - Tax Sheltered (SACT-TS) Enrollment

  • Enrollment Date

    For New Employees in a Regular Appointment (Civil Service) or Regularly Budgeted Position (non-Civil Service)

    Employers Who Report Pensions on a Monthly Basis

    For employers who report on a monthly basis, the compulsory enrollment date shall be fixed as the first of the month for an employee whose regular Civil Service appointment or date of hire into a non-Civil Service position falls between the first through the 16th of the month.

    The compulsory enrollment date shall be fixed as the first of the following month for an employee whose appointment date falls between the 17th and the end of the month. (See N.J.A.C. 17:2-2.4(a)1 and (c)2)

    Employers Who Report Pensions on a Biweekly Basis

    For employers who report on a biweekly basis, the compulsory enrollment date shall be fixed as the first day of the pay period for an employee whose appointment date falls on the first through seventh day of the biweekly pay period.

    The compulsory enrollment date shall be fixed as the first day of the following biweekly pay period for an employee whose appointment date falls on any subsequent date within that pay period. (See N.J.A.C. 17:2-2.4(a)2 and (c)3)

    For Optional Enrollees

    An employee who is an optional enrollee shall be enrolled as of the first of the month if the employer reports on a monthly basis, or the first day of the next biweekly pay period if the employer reports on a biweekly basis following the receipt of the enrollment application. (See N.J.A.C. 17:2-2(b))

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    Change of Beneficiary Designation

    The online MBOS "Designation of Beneficiary" application or Designation of Beneficiary form should be completed again any time there is a change in family status affecting the designation on file. The employer should advise the member of the possible need to make beneficiary designation changes when they learn of changes in an employee's family status (e.g., marriage, civil union partnership, divorce, death of a spouse, eligible same-sex domestic partner or civil union partner, birth of a child, etc.)

    Members wishing to sign up for MBOS at the time of enrollment should be directed to the "MBOS Registration Information" page, at: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/mbosregister.shtml

    Link to instructions for the MBOS online "Designation of Beneficiary" application

     

    Multiple and Dual Memberships

    Multiple Memberships (PERS and TPAF only) Prior to May 21, 2010

    A PERS multiple member is someone who is employed by more than one PERS participating employer and enrolled in the PERS through more than one employer— that is, more than one employer reports to the PERS for that employee concurrently.

    In the past, an employee already holding PERS membership through one PERS-covered position, could become a "multiple member" when taking (an) additional PERS-covered postion(s). That employee had to enroll in the PERS for the new position(s) immediately, as of the date of hire, regardless of the member's employment status, as long as salary and Social Security eligibility requirements for the PERS were met.

    However, Chapter 1, P.L. 2010, now requires that an employee enrolled after May 21, 2010, be eligible for PERS or TPAF membership based upon only one position. It also requires the retirement system to designate the position providing the higher or highest compensation for the member from among any concurrently held positions.  This position will be used as the basis for eligibility for membership, service credit, the compensation base for pension contributions, and for other pension calculations.

    Under the provisions of Chapter 1, P.L. 2010, multiple membership is only available to Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 members; only for PERS eligible positions when enrolled on or before May 21, 2010; and provided that there has not been a “break in service” in any concurrently held PERS eligible position.

    Thus, for all tiers, any new, concurrently held PERS eligible position begun after May 21, 2010, will not qualify for service credit or the compensation base for pension contributions and calculation of retirement for any PERS member.

    Dual Memberships

    Any employee who is enrolled and active in a covered position under one State administered pension system and accepts an additional position covered under a different State administered pension system, must be enrolled in the second system.

    The "dual" member's contributions and benefits are established on the basis of statutes pertaining to each system independently and are not related in any way to each other.If an employee is an enrolled member of a State-administered retirement system and has applied for Deferred Retirement, has terminated employment from the first employer and accepts employment in a position covered under a second retirement system, the member may have the option to make an interfund transfer.

    To qualify for an interfund transfer, the member can have no more than two years concurrent service credit while covered under both funds.

    Required Form

    An Enrollment Application is required for membership in the second pension system, and the employee will be a member of both funds.

    Click one of these links to go to the Enrollment Application for the appropriate fund: TPAF, PERS, PFRS, SPRS.

    Interfund and Intrafund Transfers

    Transfers are of two types: Interfund and Intrafund.

    Interfund Transfers

    For employees who change jobs and accept positions that require enrollment in another retirement system. This applies even if the employer remains the same.

    Statutes permit any member of a State-administered retirement system the option to transfer membership to another State-administered retirement system if there is a change in employment or title that would make the member ineligible to continue contributing to their original retirement system.

    For example, if a teacher's aide (PERS) accepts a position in a neighboring school district as a regularly appointed classroom teacher (TPAF), and ceases to work as an aide, this member would be eligible to transfer membership from the PERS to the TPAF.

    Historical Note

    • Prior to the passage of Chapter 6, P.L. 2001, a member who had any concurrent service in two retirement systems could not transfer service credit from one pension fund to another. Effective January 16, 2001, however, those PERS or TPAF members with two years or less of concurrent service were permitted, under certain conditions, to transfer all service credit from one fund to another, less any concurrent service credit.
    • With the passage of Chapter 341, P.L. 2001, effective January 5, 2002, those PERS or TPAF members with three years or less of concurrent service are now permitted, under certain conditions, to transfer all service credit from one fund to another, less any concurrent service credit.

    Interfund transfers are limited to pension systems administered by the State of New Jersey. Members who are actively contributing simultaneously to two separate State administered retirement systems are not eligible for an interfund transfer because service is being accrued concurrently in both funds: They would be considered "dual" members for pension purposes.

    PERS and TPAF Only

    An interfund transfer may be processed if a period of three years of service or less is concurrent and the member is no longer actively contributing to the second account. In such a case, only the non-concurrent service—that is, service not credited under both accounts, may be transferred. Interfund transfers can be done at any time prior to an account expiring or being withdrawn. Vested accounts are also eligible to be transferred provided they do not have more than three years of concurrent service.

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    Required Forms

    1. An Enrollment Application (TPAF, PERS, PFRS, SPRS) for the system to which the employee is transferring, and

    2. An Interfund Transfer Form, which must be completed by the employee (Part 1) and the former employer (Part 2). Generally, the Application for Interfund Transfer Form must be first filled out by the member, then sent to the former employer who is required to return it to the member. The Interfund Transfer Form should then be submitted along with the completed Enrollment Application to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

    In situations when the employer remains the same but the member is transferring to a different retirement system due to a title change, the employer should stop remitting contributions under the former system once the employee becomes eligible for membership in the second system, and wait for a Certification of Payroll Deductions for the new retirement system.

    NOTE: Interfund transfers are optional. The Division often receives a new Enrollment Application but does not receive an Application for Interfund Transfer form. If the Interfund Transfer form is not received within a reasonable time frame, the Division establishes the new enrollment without the interfund transfer and the member becomes a "dual member". An interfund transfer can occur at a later date so long as an Application for Interfund Transfer has been received prior to the expiration or withdrawal of an account.

    Intrafund Transfers ("Reports of Transfer")

    For employees who change employer and remain in positions covered by the same retirement system.

    All active members of a State-administered retirement system who change employers, but continue employment in positions covered by the same pension fund, are immediately eligible to continue membership regardless of temporary or permanent status in the new position, so long as salary and Social Security requirements are met.The employee's membership should be in good standing and the account cannot be withdrawn or expired. If the account has been withdrawn or has expired, a new enrollment application must be completed.The Division of Pensions and Benefits will process the Report of Transfer and will send a Certification of Payroll Deductions to the new employer indicating the date pension deductions must begin for the transferring employee.

    The new employer must wait for a Certification of Payroll Deductions from the Division of Pensions and Benefits before commencing pension deductions. Back deductions will be certified for the member to make up for any delay in normal pension contributions.

    Required Form

    A Report of Transfer form must be completed by the new employer.Report of Transfer form available for download and printingReport of Transfer forms instructions are available here: PERS, TPAF, PFRS


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    Veteran Status (Applies only to the PERS and the TPAF)

    The definition for those who qualify for Veteran status used here is based upon NJ Statutes for NJ State pension purposes only.

    A veteran is a person who holds an honorable discharge from the military services of the United States who served the required amount of active duty service during the following periods (It is important that those who qualify for Veteran status for pension purposes establish Veteran status well in advance of retirement with the NJ Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs—see below to find out how to do so).:

    WAR ERA
    SERVICE DATES
    World War II September 16, 1940 to December 31, 1946
    Korean Conflict

    June 23, 1950 to January 31, 1955

    Lebanon CrisisJuly 1, 1958 to November 1, 1958
    Vietnam ConflictDecember 31, 1960 to May 7, 1975
    Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission September 26, 1982 to December 1, 1987
    Grenada Peacekeeping Mission October 23, 1983 to November 21, 1983
    Panama Peacekeeping MissionDecember 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
    Operation Desert Shield/Storm August 2, 1990 to February 28, 1991
    Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch August 27, 1992 to May 1, 2003
    Operation Restore Hope in SomaliaDecember 5, 1992 to March 31, 1994
    Operations Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard - Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina November 20, 1995 to June 20, 1998
    Operation Enduring Freedom September 11, 2001 to present
    Operation Iraqi Freedom March 19, 2003 to present

    Veteran status for World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam Conflict can be granted as long as the member had at least 90 days of continuous active military service, of which at least one day falls within the dates listed above. Any honorably discharged member of the American Merchant Marine who served at least 90 days during World War II also qualifies for veteran status.

    More Recent Conflicts To qualify for veteran status for the Lebanon Crisis, Lebanon Conflict, the Grenada Conflict, the Panama Peacekeeping Mission, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, OPeration Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch, Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, Operations Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Operation Enduring Freedom (including but not limited to service in Afghanistan), or Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, the member must have served at least 14 days in the country or region, or on ships patrolling in the territorial waters of these nations.

    If the members military service began after the starting date of conflict, only one of the 14 days in the areas of hostilities must have fallen within the service dates specified. If the member's service started prior to the beginning of the period of hostilities, then the member must have served at least 14 days within the dates specified.The 90- or 14-day requirement for service is waived if the veteran was discharged because of a service-incurred disability. Absent Without Leave (AWOL) periods must be deducted from active service and if this reduces the active service to less than the 90- or 14-day service requirement, veteran status will be denied. Service with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and Women's Army Corps (WAC) qualifies for veteran status.

    Exclusions

    Veteran status cannot be granted if an individual received a dishonorable discharge, a discharge from the draft, disenrollment from the Coast Guard Reserve, or a discharge from the reserve with no evidence of active service in time of war.Active Duty Training, Reserve, or National Guard Service do not qualify as active duty service.Additional information is available for download on Fact Sheet 17, Veteran Status (PERS and TPAF).

    Required Forms for Establishing Veteran Status 

    The final arbiter of Veteran Status is the Adjutant General of the NJ Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs who will inform the Division of Pensions and Benefits of the determination of Veteran Status (Chapter 127, PL 2000).

    If a member qualifies for Veteran Status for pension purposes, it is important that you establish Veteran status well in advance of your retirement.Individuals wishing to establish veteran status with the retirement system should submit an Application for Veteran Designation for Pension (10kb PDF) and copies of their discharge papers (DD214) to:

    NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs 
    ATTN: <DVS-VBB> 
    PO Box 340 
    Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0340

    The application and discharge papers will be reviewed to determine eligibility for veteran's status for pension purposes.

    To obtain a copy of his or her Form DD-214 (discharge papers), a member should write to:

    National Personnel Records Center
    Military Personnel Records
    9700 Page Boulevard
    St. Louis MO 63132-5100

    Or, a member may visit: http://vetrecs.archives.gov

    To obtain copies of discharge papers for the Merchant Marines, the member should write to:

    Maritime Administration (MAR-250)
    400 7th Street S.W., Room 7302
    Washington, DC 20590

    For additional information about Veterans status and pension benefits, see "Purchase of Service Credit" and “Retirement” sections of this manual.

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    Last Updated: August 12, 2013