Yesterday in Trenton, the General Assembly approved the following legislation, which would advance municipal interests and is supported by the League. The bill is a result of League Conference Resolution 2014-05. We thank Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and Assemblyman Anthony Bucco for sponsoring this initiative. Please urge your State Senator to support this bill.
A-1627 (There is no Senate companion to this bill.) permits a person, with a pre-existing volunteer relationship as a firefighter, rescue squad worker, or emergency medical technicians with their employer, to retire from service covered by PERS or PFRS and continue to serve that employer as a volunteer.
This bill responds to a 2014 Division of Pensions ruling, which requires retiring employees to terminate any relationship with a municipality–including service as a volunteer emergency responder–in order to collect pension benefits. This Division of Pensions ruling, if not changed, will impact every public employee who volunteers in the state and will not only drive up property taxes but would also reduce the quality and level of essential public services.
The Assembly’s 72-0 approval of this League priority sends the bill to the Senate. Please urge your State Senator to support this legislation, which will allow our highly valued volunteers to continue to serve their communities, without putting earned pension benefits in jeopardy.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x112.