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July 22, 2011

Re:       Pensions and Health Benefits Update

Dear Mayor:

Earlier today we held our first “Understanding the New Pensions and Health Benefits Law” seminar.  Florence Sheppard, Acting Director of the Division of Pension, and Marc Pfeiffer, Deputy Director of the Division of Local Government Services provided the sold out crowd a wealth of information regarding the implementation of the new Pensions and Health Benefits Update.

Florence J. Sheppard Florence J.Sheppard, Acting Director, NJ Department of Treasury, Division of Pensions and Benefits speaks to attendees at the July 22 “Understanding the New Pensions and Health Benefits Law” at the Robert Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel.
Marc Pfeiffer Marc H. Pfeiffer, Deputy Director, NJ Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services, explains the New Health Benefits law at the “Understanding the New Pensions and Health Benefits Law” seminar at the Robert Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel.
Mayor Wilda Diaz Mayor Wilda Diaz of Perth Amboy presided over and moderated the “Understanding the New Pensions and Health Benefits Law” seminar at the Robert Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel in July 22.

Some highlights of the seminar include:

  • Contracts must have been ratified on or before June 28, 2011 to be considered an existing contract
  • A new hire must begin contributing towards health benefits at year 4 unless they are covered by an existing collective negotiate agreement. 
  • An employee status for health benefit purposes is based on the employer not membership in the pension system.  For example, an employee who transfers from Town A to Town B is considered a new hire for health benefit purposes. 
  • Health Benefit Year 2 phase-in is effective July 1, 2012.  However, for employees covered under an existing collective negotiate agreement Year 2 phase-in will be the anniversary date.  For example, the contract expires October 31, 2013.  Year 1 will begin on November 1, 2013 and year 2 of the phase in will begin November 1, 2014.
  • For health care contributions, retroactive salary increases are treated the same as retroactive pension payments.

The Division of Local Government Services will be issuing a Local Finance Notice shortly.  In addition, to assist municipalities they will be posting on their website, www.nj.gov/dca/lgs, an abridge version of the law with the key elements of the law for local officials.

As a reminder, we add an additional seminar on August 16, 2011 at Crown Plaza Monroe.  To register for the seminar click here.

If you have any questions or need additional information please do not hesitate to contact Lori Buckelew at lbuckelew@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x112.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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