Pension calculation bill released by committee

TRENTON – The Assembly State Government Committee passed, by a 3-2 vote, a bill that changes the calculation of years of service from enrollment date to appointment date, in order to determine  certain retirees’ payment obligations for health care coverage.

Certain problems had come up involving some firefighters’ payment obligations and the bill, A2942, sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28), Belleville, is intended to solve that bottleneck. Under the bill, all employees  who have”20 or more years of creditable service in one or more state or locally-administered retirement systems on the effective date” will be exempt from payment obligations.

The occasional discrepencies of who, and who isn’t, eligible have arisen largely because of the different requirement behind the public employees and the police and firefighters retirement systems.

But Assemblyman Christopher Brown, (R-8), Medford, said not all names of employees are readily logged and it adds another “class” of people who would get benefits.

“I don’t see this bill ever getting passed,” he said bluntly.

Assemblyman Herb Conaway, (D-7), Delran, also expressed some concern about how some people who’d be eligible for benefits because they served in the military.

The bill passed along party lines, by a 3-2 vote. Assemblywoman Donna Simon, (R-16), Flemington, also voted no.

In additon, the committee released:

A2856, which would require the Essex County Board of Education Pension Fund to comply with various sections of the federal Internal Revenue Code. Assemblyman John McKeon, (D-27), Madison,  a bill sponsor, said the bill calls for “technical changes” that are intended to be made in order for the fund to avoid IRS penalties.

A3300, a bill that would prohibit contractors from doing state business if they are barred from doing work with the federal government.

Pension calculation bill released by committee