Legislation to Extend PFRS Retirement Eligibility, Regardless of Age, Passes Senate


Trenton – A bill sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Joe Lagana, which would extend the annual retirement benefit of 50 percent of final compensation after 20 or more years of service to all members of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) who retire within two years, regardless of enrollment date and regardless of age at time of retirement, passed the full Senate.

Under the bill, S-1017, a member of the PFRS who is enrolled before or after the effective date of this bill would be able to retire after the effective date for a period of up to two years. The bill expands the retirement option now available under current law, where a member of PFRS must be 55 years of age or older to retire on a service retirement allowance of 50 percent of final compensation upon attaining 20 years or more of service credit.

“We ask our first responders to be first on the scene when a traumatic event occurs. We ask them to risk their lives, day and night,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “It is only right and fair that we give more of them this window of opportunity to retire after 20 years, regardless of their age, if they so desire.”

The bill, as amended, provides an additional category of service retirement for a member of PFRS for a period of two years. A member who enrolled before the effective date of the bill and is still a member on the effective date of the bill may retire after that date, but would only be eligible for the benefit for a period of up to two years.

“Every day, we call on our police and firefighters to absorb the physical and mental stress of a difficult job,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen). “This legislation will give them the chance to leave the service when they feel the time is right for themselves and their families.”

This bill would take effect immediately upon enactment. The Senate approved the bill by a vote 38-0.

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