Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)
   

 

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Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund  
Enrollment Application Instructions


In order to enroll a newly hired employee in the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), an employer must log on to EPIC and complete the online TPAF Enrollment Application.

Employers requiring help in completing the online TPAF Enrollment Application through EPIC should refer to the EPIC User's Information Guide. Employers wishing to sign up for EPIC at this time can refer to the EPIC Registration Information page.

If the newly hired employee is transferring into the TPAF from another State-administered retirement system, such as the PERS or PFRS, the printed version of the PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application and the Interfund Transfer Form must be submitted.

The instructions below are provided to assist employers wishing to complete the printed PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application in order to enroll a new employee who is transferring membership into the TPAF from another State-administered retirement system.

Click here to view the fill-in and print PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application.
(Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or higher required to use this form.
If you do not have Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or higher, click here.)

The PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application will open in a separate window, enabling you to follow the item-by-item Enrollment Application form instructions below to guide you while you complete the application.*

The PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application above is in a fill-in and print format:

  • Use your keyboard to type in the information requested for each item.
  • Use your tab button to advance to the next item.
  • Then, print the completed form from your printer.
  • Sign the "Employer Certification" portion of the form.
  • Mail the form to: New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, PO Box 295, Trenton, NJ 08625-0295.

In addition, the employer should strongly encourage new employees to designate a beneficiary(ies) for pension and group benefits by signing up for the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS), which will enable them to designate beneficiaries online by using the MBOS "Designation of Beneficiary" application.

If the member does not complete the online beneficiary form, the enrollment will be processed with the member's estate listed as both group life insurance and pension beneficiary. 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, the member must use the online MBOS Designation of Beneficiary application.

It is important for employers to submit the Enrollment Application in a timely manner, so that enrollment can occur. The employer should not delay in submitting the Enrollment Application, because late and forced enrollments can be costly to the employer. .

For Employing Locations that do not have Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or higher

If your location does not have Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or higher (required in order to use the fill-in and print form provided through the link above), you may print the plain version of the PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application (click here) Then:

Both the employing location's Certifying Officer and Certifying Officer's supervisor must sign the form.

  • Mail the form to: New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, PO Box 295, Trenton, NJ 08625-0295.

Please note: It is important for employers to submit the Enrollment Application in a timely manner, so that enrollment can occur. Delayed and forced enrollments can be costly to the employer.

Back to TPAF Enrollment Guide


PERS/ TPAF Enrollment Application Instructions

Location Number and Membership Number

The location number and the membership number spaces in the box at the top of the application are to be completed by the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Pension Fund

Check the box indicating that the employee is to become a member of the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund, or TPAF.

Part I: Applicant Information

Item 1: Name

Enter the employee's full legal name (last, first, and middle initial). Nicknames should not be used. If applicable, please indicate the member's maiden name or surname used during a previous membership in the space provided.

Item 2: Address

Enter the employee's current mailing address.

Item 3: Social Security Number

Enter the employee's Social Security number (fill-in and print — numbers only).

Item 4: Gender

Please check the appropriate box indicating the employee's gender.

Item 5: Date of Birth

Enter the employee's month, day, and year of birth, using the format mm/dd/yyyy. Since the employee's proof of age is required at the time of retirement, a copy of the employee's birth certificate, baptismal certificate, or any other acceptable form of proof of age should be submitted at the same time this application is filed. (Please do not send the original.)

Do not delay filing the Enrollment Application if the proof of age is not available.

Item 6: Daytime Phone Number

Provide the applicant's daytime phone number, with area code (and extension, if applicable).

Item 7: Is member receiving retirement benefits from a New Jersey State-administered or local New Jersey retirement system?

Check "Yes" or "No". When checking "Yes", enter also the name of the New Jersey State-administered retirement system or a local New Jersey retirement system from which applicant is receiving retirement benefit.

There are many rules and laws governing the return to public employment and reenrollment following retirement from a NJ State-administered retirement system. For further information, please see the "Employment after Retirement" section provided in the Manual.

Part II: Employer Information

Item 8: Name of the Employer

Please list the complete name of the employing location.

For Boards of Education
Most school teachers and staff are employees of the presiding board of education, not the school in which they work. The board of education would then be the "employing agency" and must be listed as the employer on record, on the Enrollment Application, rather than the name of the school.

Item 9: County

Please list the county in which the employer is located.

Item 10: Location Number, Bureau Number, and Payroll Number

Location Number: This is the number assigned to your employing location by the Division of Pensions and Benefits. The number you include on this line is specific to the retirement system into which the employee will be enrolled. It is very important that the Location Number be included.

Bureau Number: Please include the Bureau Number if one has been assigned to your location.

Payroll Number: The Payroll Number is required for State agencies paid through Centralized Payroll only.

The Location Number, Bureau Number (if applicable), and Payroll Number (State locations paid through Centralized Payroll only) should be entered as appearing on your location's quarterly Report of Contributions (ROC).

Item 11: Title/Position of Applicant

Please indicate the title/position under which the employee was hired.

Item 12: Is applicant employed by more than one public employer?

Check "Yes" or "No". If "Yes" is checked, please enter the full name of each employing location.

Items 13a-d: Item 13 information is to be completed for TPAF applicants only.

Item 13a: Date Employment Began

Enter the date on which applicant started employment. Do not include temporary or substitute service.

Item 13b: New Jersey Certificate Required

Indicate whether the employee's title/position requires that the employee have New Jersey State Certification issued by the State Board of Examiners within the NJ Department of Education.

Item 13c: Applicant Has New Jersey Certificate

Indicate whether the applicant holds a New Jersey Certificate issued by the State Board of Examiners within the NJ Department of Education.

Item 13d: Unclassified Professional

For positions with the NJ Department of Education, indicate if the position is
"Unclassified Professional".

Item 14-17 information is to be completed for PERS applicants only. Skip if applicant is enrolling in the TPAF.

Items 14a-b: Enter date employment began and date of regular or permanent appointment.

Item 14c: Indicate if the applicant is considered temporary or provisional.

Item 15: Indicate if the applicant is considered temporary or provisional.

Item 16: Current Base Annual Salary

Be sure to use the current annual base salary only. Do not insert hourly or per diem rates. For hourly employees, use the best estimate of current annual base salary.

Base salary is the contractual salary of the employee. Base salary should not include bonuses, overtime pay, stipends or longevity pay, or sick or vacation time paid as a lump sum.

The Division of Pensions and Benefits cannot enter hourly or per diem rates. Base salary must be entered as an annual figure.

Item 17: Ten-month or Twelve-month Position

Indicate if the employee is employed on a ten- or twelve-month per year basis.

Part III: Employer Certification

Item 18: Name of Human Resources Representative Completing Application

Please list the name of the human resources representative completing the application.

Item 19: Phone Number and Extension of HR Representative

Please enter the phone number (with area code) and extension of the human resources representative entered in Item 18 who is completing the application.

Item 20: Certifying Officer's Name, Signature and Date

Please enter the Certifying Officer's name and today's date, using the format mm/dd/yyyy. After printing the completed form, the Certifying Officer must also sign the Enrollment Application in the space provided.

Before the Certifying Officer signs the Enrollment Application, it is suggested that the application be reviewed for missing, erroneous or inconsistent information. A little effort at this juncture can prevent lengthy delays and more work later.

The signature by the Certifying Officer must be an original signature, not a stamped copy.

Obtaining Veteran Status for PENSION PURPOSES:

Please direct all PERS and TPAF members who wish to obtain veteran status for PENSION PURPOSES, to submit a copy of their military discharge (DD-214) to the NJ Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, as outlined below.

Effective March 1, 2001, State law (Chapter 127, P.L. 2000) made the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) responsible for determining veteran status for both pension purposes and for Civil Service preference. Therefore, a copy of the military discharge, or DD-214, should no longer be sent to the Division of Pensions and Benefits. It should be sent, instead, to the NJDMAVA at the following address:

NJ Department of Military and Veteran Affairs
ATTN.: DVP-VBB
PO Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

Since people apply for veteran status for both pension purposes and for Civil Service preference, a note should be attached to the discharge, giving the employee's address and indicating that the discharge is being sent to obtain veteran status in the retirement system.

If you or the employee have questions about veteran status, you can call the NJDMAVA at 1-800-624-0508, or check their Web site at http://www.state.nj.us/military/veterans/status.html

Form DD-214 may be submitted at any time during a member's career. Please do not delay in submitting the Enrollment Application if the DD-214 is not available. However, waiting until the time of retirement to establish veteran status for pension purposes could delay the retirement process for the member.

In order to process a veteran enrollment, both the front and reverse sides of the discharge, establishing induction and discharge dates, must be furnished. If the member does not have a copy of Form DD-214, a copy can be obtained through written request to:

Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63132

If an employee does not qualify for veteran status for pension purposes, a letter will be sent notifying the member of the decision. The member will be enrolled as a non-veteran.

Designation of Beneficiary Form

There is no longer a section for beneficiary designation on the PERS/TPAF Enrollment Application. The member must first register with the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS) to nominate a beneficiary or beneficiaries for his or her group life insurance and/or pension benefit.use the online "Designation of Beneficiary" application, available through MBOS, or the printed version of the Designation of Beneficiary form to nominate a beneficiary, or beneficiaries, for his or her group life insurance and/or pension benefit.

Employers should strongly recommend that new employees complete the online "Designation of Beneficiary" application through MBOS in a timely manner (see below).

To designate or update beneficiary information using the online "Designation of Beneficiary" application, members must first register with the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS).

Fact Sheet #68, Designating a Beneficiary, is available to provide information to members requiring help in making their beneficiary selections for pension and/or group life insurance. Some information about selecting beneficiaries is also provided below.

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

If a member does not designate a beneficiary, the member's estate will be listed as both the group life insurance and pension beneficiary. In such cases, an insurance packet and policy rider confirming the estate as beneficiary will be mailed to the member.

To change the beneficiary information in effect once enrollment has occurred, the member must update his or her beneficiary information online using the MBOS Designation of Beneficiary application.

Benefits for Which a Beneficiary Is Named

Group Life Insurance: All employees enrolled in the TPAF will be be entitled to group life insurance coverage. Members who are age 60 or older at the time enrollment must prove insurability through a medical examination administered by the Prudential Insurance Company.

Return of Member Contributions: The pension benefit is the return of the member's contributions to the TPAF, paid in a lump sum to the member's designated beneficiary(ies) upon the member's death.

Additional information regarding group life insurance for employees enrolled in the TPAF is available through this link.

Group Life Insurance and Pension Benefit — Choosing Beneficiaries

Primary Beneficiaries

A primary beneficiary is the person (or persons) who will receive benefits at the time of an employee's death.

The member should provide each primary beneficiary's full name, current address, relationship to member, and birth date.

Contingent Beneficiaries

A contingent beneficiary is the person (or persons) who will receive the benefits at the time of the employee's death only if all of the primary beneficiaries have predeceased the employee.

The member should provide each contingent beneficiary's full name, current address, relationship to member, and birth date. Providing each beneficiary's Social Security number is not mandatory, but can expedite processing of the death claim.

Rules for Designation of Beneficiaries

  • A member may nominate any person, persons, institution, charity, corporation, trust, your estate, etc., as primary or contingent beneficiary.

  • If more than one person is named as primary beneficiary, the following shall apply: "Share and Share Alike, Survivor or Survivors."  If multiple beneficiaries are named, it is to be understood that the beneficiaries living at the member's death will share equally in the distribution of the death benefits.  The same applies to multiple contingent beneficiaries.

  • Nicknames are not acceptable--use the beneficiary's full name. When naming a married female as beneficiary, be certain the proper name is given, e.g., Mary J. Jones, not Mrs. John R. Jones. 
  • The member may change the beneficiary designation for the group life insurance, accumulated pension deductions or last check benefit (retired members) at any time.

  • If no beneficiary designation is in effect at the time of death, or the designation section is incomplete or blank, payment will be made to the member's estate.
  • If the member has special provisions when nominating a beneficiary (i.e., names a trust), a paper version of the Active Member Designation of Beneficiary form must be completed. To obtain a copy of the form, contact the Division for more information.

When a Beneficiary is a Minor

If a member wishes to name a minor as a beneficiary for pension death and/or group life insurance benefits, the manner of the designation can make a huge difference in how benefits are paid.

  1. If a member dies leaving pension death and/or group life insurance benefits to a minor, the Division of Pensions and Benefits will withhold payment of the benefit until one of the following occurs:
    • A court ordered guardian of the minor's property is appointed by the courts and proof is forwarded to the Division, in which case the benefits will be paid to the guardian on the minor's behalf, or;
    • The minor attains age 18.
  2. The member may choose to leave pension death benefits and/or group life insurance benefits to a trust established on behalf of a minor beneficiary. There are two types of trusts, "formal" and "informal".
    • A "formal trust" is established by formal, legal documents filed with a NJ county court that establishes a person or persons or corporation as "Trustee". When designating a formal trust on behalf of a minor beneficiary, the member must clearly state "Formal Trust" on behalf of the minor, include the date of trust incorporation, and supply the name and address of a trustee to contact upon the member's death. All specified death benefits would then be paid to the trust.
    • An "informal trust" is one that has not been filed with the courts and need not be a formal agreement. In this case, the member designates a person or persons to act as "informal trustee(s)" on behalf of the minor. The informal trustee(s) would be paid the specified benefits on behalf of the minor beneficiary.

Do's and Don'ts of Beneficiary Designation

Based on frequent experience at the Division, the following "Do's and Don'ts" are suggested as a means to reduce the number of errors on beneficiary designation forms and ensure that members are well-served in this important area.

Do choose both primary and contingent beneficiaries with care.

Don't leave the address for any beneficiary blank. This will require the Division of Pensions and Benefits to generate a letter requesting the required information.

Don't neglect the birth date of each beneficiary. This will require the Division of Pensions and Benefits to generate a letter to request the required information.

Don't forget to list the relationship of each beneficiary to the member. This will require the Division of Pensions and Benefits to generate a letter to request the required information.

Updating Beneficiary Designation Information

It is very important for members to review beneficiary information periodically, especially when major life events occur, and update this information when necessary. Members wishing to change their named beneficiary(ies) must use the online MBOS "Designation of Beneficiary" application.

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Last Updated: March 21, 2013