The Retirement Process
When a Member Wishes to Retire
A member who is planning to retire
should contact you, the employer, and the authorized carrier for
information regarding benefits and options. The carriers regularly
provide informational seminars on retirement; employers can contact
any of the carriers to arrange such informational seminars on-site.
(See "Approved Investment Providers"
below for carrier contact information.)
Employees who are within four to
six months of retirement must complete the Application
for Retirement, Alternate Benefits Program.
Part One of the application,
"Member Information", should be completed by the member.
The member must provide his or her name, home address, daytime
phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, investment
carrier, and date of retirement for immediate disbursement or
date of deferred retirement.
Part Two of the application,
"Certification of Employing Agency", should be completed
by the employer. The employing ageny must provide the name of
employing location, employer location number, the employee's membership
number, the last day the employee worked, and the employee's union
code at retirement. The date and the signature of the Certifying
Officer of the employing location must be included.
Minimum Retirement Age
There is no minimum retirement
age under the ABP. A member may take a cash distribution,
or begin collecting an annuity, from the investment carrier to
which contributions have been remitted, at any time after termination
However, once a member takes
a distribution, including a rollover of any amount to an IRA,
the member is automatically considered retired, regardless of
age, and cannot participate in any State-administered retirement
Please take note of the age
limits that apply to lump sum cash distributions below.
Distribution: Lump Sum, Fixed
Term Annuity, or Life Annuity
At retirement, a member may elect
to receive all or a portion of his/her account in a lump-sum distribution,
or as a fixed term or life annuity. The types of payout plans
vary from carrier to carrier and should be a major consideration
when the member selects a carrier at the time of enrollment or
All returns of contributions and
earnings are considered taxable in the year they are received.
Age Limits, Distributions
Lump-sum cash distributions to members
under the age of 55 are limited to the members contributions
and earnings. The remaining employer contributions and earnings
are available only when a member reaches age 55 or thereafter.
A member may delay collecting a benefit
from his or her 401(a) contracts following termination of employment.
The employer should make the member aware, however, that if the
member terminates ABP employment and then delays taking a distribution
(retirement) for a period of time greater than twelve months,
the member is no longer eligible for retired group life insurance
benefits under the ABP, even if the other eligibility
requirements for ABP retired group life insurance coverage
Member Group Life Insurance Coverage
ABP members in active service are
covered by employer-paid group life insurance, payable to their
designated beneficiaries in the amount of three and one-half times
the employees annual base salary in the last 12 months of
service. Active group life insurance coverage ceases 31 days after
termination of employment. (See Conversion of
Group Life Insurance below.)
Upon retirement, life insurance reduces
to one-half of the annual base salary. To be eligible for this
life insurance coverage in retirement, a member must be age 60
or older and must have completed 10 years of participation in
the ABP at an eligible New Jersey institution of higher education.
In addition, the member must have been an active employee within
the twelve months immediately preceding the initial receipt of
a retirement annuity payment, in order to receive retired group
life insurance coverage. (See "Delaying
Conversion of Group Life Insurance
As mentioned above, active group
life insurance coverage ceases 31 days after termination of employment.
During the 31-day period following termination of employment,
the member may convert existing group life insurance coverage
(less any amount of coverage carried over into retirement) into
an individual whole life policy, without medical examination.
For more information, please refer to Fact Sheet #13, Conversion
of Group Life Insurance.