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The Prosecutors' Part of the
Public Employees' Retirement System


Chapter 366, P.L. 2001, established a special Prosecutors Part within the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), effective January 7, 2002.

Chapter 1, P.L. 2010, closed the Prosecutors Part of the PERS to new members as of May 21, 2010.

Prosecutors who were enrolled on or before May 21, 2010, remain members of the Prosecutors Part of the PERS, provided that they continue in eligible prosecutor service.

Prosecutors taking office after May 21, 2010, will be enrolled as “regular” Tier 4 members of the PERS — except that a County Prosecutor who is appointed by
the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate will be enrolled in the Defined Contributions Retirement Program (DCRP) — or regular PERS if a Tier 1 PERS member continuously since July 1, 2007.

This special Prosecutors Part within the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) was established for PERS members working in titles that are defined by the law to be prosecutors between January 7, 2002 and May 21, 2010. Those PERS members who became members of of the Prosecutors Part of the PERS during this window will receive enhanced benefits.

For additional information about the pension and benefits associated with a Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) membership, members may consult the PERS Member Handbook. In addition, the PERS Prosecutors Part Addendum provides information about membership and benefits specific for PERS Prosecutors Part members.

Topics and Tasks

The outline below provides specific topics or tasks related to the Prosecutors Part of the Public Employees' Retirement System. Click on the topic of interest to access the information you require quickly. Other topics are covered under the Public Employees' Retirement System, since Prosecutors Part members are a special group of the PERS, as described above.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
  General Information  
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Member Contribution Rate  
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Changing Positions, Prosecutors Part—County  
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Changing Positions, Prosecutors Part—State  
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Service Credit for Prosecutors Part Members  
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Purchasing Service Credit  
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Combining Service to Become Vested  
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Combining Service for State-paid Retired Group SHBP Coverage  
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Retirements  
  Publications for Prosecutors Part Members  
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PERS Member Handbook  
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PERS Prosecutors Part Addendum  
  Forms for Prosecutors Part Members  
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PERS - Prosecutors Part Change of Position Form, County Prosecutors
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PERS - Prosecutors Part Change of Position Form, State Prosecutors
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PERS - Change Form - Government Employee Interchange Act
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PERS - Prosecutors Part Request for Retirement Estimate
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PERS - Prosecutors Part Application for Retirement Allowance

Eligibility for the Prosecutors Part of the PERS

Eligible prosecutor titles under the legislation in effect are given below.

At the county level:

  • County Prosecutor;
  • First Assistant Prosecutor;
  • Assistant Prosecutor.

At the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety:

  • Director
  • Assistant Director
  • Deputy Director
  • Assistant Attorney General
  • Deputy Attorney General, and;
  • Any Criminal Investigator in the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety who is not eligible for enrollment in the Police and Firemen's Retirement System.

An individual must have been serving in a prosecutor title on or after January 7, 2002 and on or before May 21, 2010, in order to qualify as a member of the Prosecutors Part of the Public Employees' Retirement System.

Member Contribution Rate for PERS Prosecutors Part Members

The PERS Prosecutors Part member contribution rate is set at 8.5%, effective July 1, 2008. (The rate from January 7, 2002, until June 30, 2008 was 7.5% of salary.) This is different from the 5% member contribution rate for regular PERS members.

For public service by the member before, during, or after service as a prosecutor, the member will make member contributions at the rate established for the retirement system governing the position held.

Transferring out of a Prosecutor Title at the County Level—Prosecutors Part Change of Position Form

Whenever a county employee transfers out of the Prosecutors Part (Bureau 9) of the Public Employees' Retirement System on the Quarterly Report of Contributions, the Certifying Officer of the county employing location must fill out the PERS Prosecutors Part Change of Postion Form, County Prosecutors. New transfers into the Prosecutors Part are not permitted, as the PERS Prosecutors Part is closed to new membership, effective May 21, 2010.

The completed form must then be submitted to the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, P0 Box 295, Trenton, NJ 08625-0295.

A member who transferred into a prosecutor title between January 7, 2002 and May 21, 2010 had to satisfy any loans, purchases, arrears, or other obligations previously scheduled for payment while the prosecutor was in the regular PERS (or any other State-administered pension fund).

Transferring out of a Prosecutor Title at the State Level—Prosecutors Part Change of Position Form

At the State level, when a member transfers out of a position that was eligible for PERS Prosecutors Part membership (Quarterly Report of Contributions), the PERS Prosecutors Part Change of Position Form, State Prosecutors, must be completed by the Certifying Officer of the employing location. New transfers into the Prosecutors Part are not permitted, as the PERS Prosecutors Part is closed to new membership, effective May 21, 2010.

The completed form must then be submitted to the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, P0 Box 295, Trenton, NJ 08625-0295.

A member who transferred into a prosecutor title prior to closure of the Prosecutors Part had to satisfy any loans, purchases, arrears, or other obligations previously scheduled for payment while the prosecutor was in the "regular" PERS (or any other State-administered pension fund).

Change Form under the Government Employee Interchange Act

Use the form, PERS - Change Form - Government Employee Interchange Act, for temporary assignments under the Government Employee Interchange Act (N.J.S.A. 52:14-6.10, et seq).

Service Credit—Regular PERS Service vs. PERS Prosecutors Part Service

  • For all members of the Prosecutors Part of the PERS serving in a prosecutor title on January 7, 2002, the effective date of the law:
    Any service credit earned in the PERS prior to the establishment of the Prosecutors Part of the PERS (January 7, 2002) has been credited to the Prosecutors Part of the PERS without cost to the member.

  • For members of the Prosecutors Part of the PERS who have been appointed to a prosecutor title after January 7, 2002:
    Individuals appointed to a prosecutor title after January 7, 2002 will have their PERS service earned prior to their Prosecutors Part appointment credited as regular PERS service; only service rendered in the prosecutor title will be credited as Prosecutors Part service.

  • There is one exception, for members of the Prosecutors Part of the PERS employed at the county level who have been appointed to the title of "County Prosecutor" after January 7, 2002:
    Chapter 140, P.L. 2003, approved on August 1, 2003 and effective as of that date, allows an individual nominated and appointed to the title of "County Prosecutor" after January 7, 2002 to receive full credit in the Prosecutors Part of the PERS for non-Prosecutors Part PERS service rendered prior to the date of appointment to the position of "County Prosecutor", without cost to the member. This new law applies only to individuals serving in the title of "County Prosecutor."

Each prosecutor will have a separate pension fund account for member contributions to the Prosecutors Part of the PERS. The member contribution rate is currently set at 8.5%.

For public service by the member before, during, or after service as a prosecutor, the member will make member contributions at the rate established for the retirement system governing the position held.

Purchasing Service Credit—Prosecutors Part Members

PERS Prosecutors Part members may purchase previous service just as other PERS members can; however, whether that service may be purchased (and will be credited) as PERS service or Prosecutors Part service depends on whether the member was serving in a Prosecutor title on the January 7, 2002 effective date of the law, and whether or not the Application to Purchase Service Credit was submitted prior to the January 7, 2003 effective date, or after.

The rates used to determine the cost of the purchase of regular PERS service will be different from the rates used to determine the cost of a Prosecutors Part service purchase.

For Service Earned on or after January 7, 2002

Prosecutors Part members may purchase regular PERS service earned on or after January 7, 2002 (and subsequently withdrawn), as regular PERS service.

Prosecutors Part members may purchase Prosecutors Part service earned on or after January 7, 2002 (and subsequently withdrawn), as Prosecutors Part service.

For Service Earned Prior to January 7, 2002

Any Prosecutors Part member submitting an Application to Purchase Service Credit on or after the January 7, 2002 effective date of the law, for service earned prior to this effective date (and subsequently withdrawn), will pay for a regular PERS purchase and receive regular PERS service credit.

Members serving in prosecutor titles on the effective date of the law, January 7, 2002, have had all service credit earned in the PERS prior to the establishment of the Prosecutors Part of the PERS (January 7, 2002) credited as Prosecutors Part service, including PERS service purchased prior to January 7, 2002.

If the member's Application to Purchase Service Credit was submitted to the Division prior to the January 7, 2002 effective date, and the corresponding purchase subsequently occurred before the expiration of the purchase quote, the service was credited as Prosecutors Part service.

Combining Service to Become Vested

A member can combine Prosecutors Part service and regular PERS service for the purpose of becoming vested—having ten years of service credit. With ten years of service credit, the member has vested rights. The member is eligible to:

  • Carry retired group life insurance coverage into retirement;
  • Take a Deferred Retirement when reaching age 60 (Application for Retirement Allowance must be submitted);
  • Keep the pension account open indefinitely if the member leaves NJ public employment.

Health Benefits

In the case of a member who has both Prosecutors Part service and regular PERS service, service time can be combined to obtain the 25 years of service required for State-paid retired group SHBP coverage, even if the member is not eligible to collect a retirement benefit on the regular PERS service earned.

A Prosecutors Part member who is ineligible to collect a retirement benefit on the regular PERS service earned, will not get a return of his or her PERS member contributions if he or she receives State-paid retired group SHBP coverage by combining PERS and Prosecutors Part service.

For additional Information regarding the PERS Prosecutors Part, please see PERS Prosecutors Part Addendum


 

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Last Updated: November 18, 2010