Pension Commission opposes prostate cancer screening-coverage bill

TRENTON – The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission opposed legislation today that would require the state pension system to provide coverage for expenses incurred in screenings for prostate cancer.

A1656, sponsored by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, (D-37), Englewood, would require the State Health Benefits Program to provide coverage for annual medically recognized diagnostic examinations for men over the age of 50 who are asymptomatic, and for men over the age of 40 with a family history of prostate cancer or other prostate cancer risks.

The board cited opposition to the practice of health benefit mandates before voting unanimously against the bill.

Amendment to Alternate Benefit Program supported

The Commission voted unanimously to support S1819, sponsored by Sen. Samuel Thompson, (R-12), Old Bridge.

S1819 would amend a provision of the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) to allow a distribution of retirement benefits prior to retirement for any individual who is a participant in a transition to retirement program.

The bill clarifies that the division may authorize a transition to retirement program by regulation.

According to the bill, transition-to-retirement programs allow public colleges and universities to retain retiring experienced senior faculty members on a limited basis. 

Henry Matwiejewicz, the legislative coordinator at the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, recommended that the board support the bill because it would “legitimize” the ABP program to become uniform with other alternate benefit programs in the state.

The board recommended the bill unanimously.

Pension Commission opposes prostate cancer screening-coverage bill