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December 05, 2008
NJ Passes Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Act

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.

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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.

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