Governor Jon Corzine has signed S. 1962, a bill that imposes
new eligibility guidelines on public employees receiving retirement benefits.
The law, effective November 1, was passed by large margins in both the Assembly
and the House.
The new law raises the minimum retirement age for new hires
in the public employment system from 60 to 62. It also requires new hires to
earn at least $7,500 a year in order to be eligible for pension credit in the
Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) or the Teachers Pension and Annuity
Fund (TPAF), up from $1,500 a year for PERS and $500 a year for TPAF. From now
on, any employee who works less than 35 hours per week will be ineligible to
become a member of TPAF or PERS. The state hopes that this measure will ward
off a financial collapse of the public employee benefit system. Raising the
retirement age should save the state some $600,000 a year starting in 2011.