Governor Murphy has issued Executive Order 115
permitting retirees to return to public employment as part-time, full-time, or special law enforcement for the duration of the public health emergency.
The executive order permits retirees to return to employment by government agencies in any capacity without having to re-enroll in any retirement system, if the person retired before April 6, 2020, the retiree has been separated at least 30 days, and their return is needed because of COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that the 30 days separation is either from the date of retirement or pension board approval, whichever is later.
For purposes of the retirement systems, the retiree will continue to be considered a retiree. In addition, if the retiree is currently enrolled in the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) as a retiree, they maintain this coverage during their temporary return to employment.
If a retiree is returning, the employer must complete a Division of Pensions form substantiating that the retiree’s return to employment is needed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on that retiree’s skills and/or experience, and must detail the retiree’s general duties. This form must be completed for retirees that have been retired for less than six months and are returning to the same employer in any capacity, or for retirees returning to work full-time with their most recent employers.
The order does suspend certain statutory provisions of the retirement system during the emergency to permit the temporary hiring of a retiree, but not the statutes or regulations regarding job qualifications and age limits.
The order also waives the 60-day waiting period to enroll a person in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) for any person hired after April 6, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the order permits municipalities to employ the number of Special Law Enforcement Officer (SLEO) II necessary to address public health and safety. The order suspends N.J.S.A. 40A:14-146.17, which limits SLEO II in communities other than resort municipalities, to 25% of the total number of regular officers.
The Executive Order took effect on April 6, 2020.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Sr. Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x112.