SENATE, No. 3411

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 10, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JOSEPH P. CRYAN

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes EMS part of PERS; provides enhanced benefits for emergency medical service employees.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning retirement benefits for emergency medical services employees and supplementing P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-1 et seq.).

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† As used in this act, P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

†††† ďEmergency medical services employee" means an employee serving in one of the following positions: emergency medical technician; mobile intensive care paramedic; paramedic; flight paramedic; mobile intensive care nurse; flight nurse; emergency medical services supervisor or deputy supervisor; emergency medical services chief or deputy chief; emergency medical services hazardous materials responder technician; emergency medical services coordinator, dispatcher, or instructor; or any position the primary or essential duties of which require the employee to be trained in basic or advanced life support services, as defined in section 1 of P.L.1984, c.146 (C.26:2K-7) or section 1 of P.L.1985, c.351 (C.26:2K-21), and who is certified or licensed by the Department of Health to perform these services.

†††† "Beneficiary" means any person entitled to receive any benefit pursuant to the provisions of this act by reason of the death of a member or retirant of the EMS Part.

†††† "Final compensation" means the annual salary received by the member of the EMS Part at the time of retirement or death.

†††† "Retirant" means any former member of the EMS Part receiving a pension or retirement allowance as provided by this act, P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

†††† 2.††† a. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, an emergency medical services employee shall be a member of the EMS Part established pursuant to this act, P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), of the Public Employees' Retirement System, established pursuant to P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-1 et seq.), and shall be subject to the same membership and benefit provisions as State, county, or municipal employees, except as provided by this act, P.L.††††† , c.††††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).†

†††† Membership in the retirement system shall be a condition of employment for service as an emergency medical services employee.† Any service credit which has been established in the Public Employees' Retirement System prior to the effective date of this act, P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall be established in the EMS Part without further assessment of cost to the member.

†††† b.††† All outstanding obligations, such as loans, purchases and other arrearage, shall be satisfied by member as previously scheduled for payment to the Public Employees' Retirement System.

 

†††† 3. a.† Notwithstanding the provisions of section 25 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-25) to the contrary, a separate account shall be established in the annuity savings fund for each member of the EMS Part and all contributions based on the memberís salary shall be credited to this account.

†††† b.††† A member of the EMS Part shall contribute at a rate established by the board, which contribution shall be deducted from the salary at the time or times it is paid, and which shall be exclusive of any other contribution required of the member for Social Security, contributory death benefits, or deductions for any other purpose.† The contribution rate shall be 10 percent of the memberís salary on and after the effective date of this act, P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† c.†††† A member of the EMS Part who is enrolled in the retirement system on the basis of other public service before, during, or after service as an emergency medical services employee shall contribute for such other service at the rate of contribution required of other members as provided by section 25.

 

†††† 4.††† a.† Any member of the EMS Part who has attained age 55 years may retire on a service retirement allowance by filing with the retirement system a written application, duly attested, stating at what time subsequent to the execution and filing thereof the member desires to be retired.† The board of trustees shall retire the member at the time specified or at such other time within one month after the date so specified as the board finds advisable.

†††† Any member in service who attains age 70 years shall be retired by the board of trustees on a service retirement allowance forthwith on the first day of the next calendar month or at such time within one month thereafter as it finds advisable, except that a member attaining age 70 years may be continued in service on an annual basis upon written notice to the retirement system by the employer if the member is a State employee, or governing body of the county or municipality, as appropriate, if the member is a county or municipal employee.

†††† b.††† Upon retirement for service, a member of the EMS Part shall receive a service retirement allowance which shall consist of:

†††† (1)†† An annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of the memberís aggregate contributions and

†††† (2)†† A pension in the amount which, when added to the member's annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of one-sixtieth of average final compensation multiplied by the number of years of creditable service, or 2 percent of average final compensation multiplied by the number of years of creditable service up to 30 plus 1 percent of average final compensation multiplied by the number of years of creditable service over 30, or 50 percent of final compensation if the member has established 20 or more years of creditable service, whichever is greater.

†††† c.†††† Any member as of the effective date of this act, P.L.    , c.     (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), who has 20 or more years of creditable service at the time of retirement shall be entitled to receive a retirement allowance equal to 50 percent of final compensation plus, in the case of a member required to retire pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. of this section, 3 percent of final compensation multiplied by the number of years of creditable service over 20 but not over 25.

†††† d.††† Upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of a member of the EMS Part who has retired on a service retirement allowance, there shall be paid to the memberís beneficiary an amount equal to one-half of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service.

 

†††† 5.††† Should a member of the EMS Part resign after having established 25 years of creditable service, the member may elect "special retirement," provided, that such election is communicated by the member to the retirement system by filing a written application, duly attested, stating at what time subsequent to the execution and filing thereof the member desires to be retired.† The member shall receive, in lieu of the payment provided in section 4 of P.L.††† , c.††††††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a retirement allowance which shall consist of:

†††† (1)†† An annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of the member's aggregate contributions and

†††† (2)†† A pension in the amount which, when added to the memberís annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of 65 percent of final compensation, plus 1 percent of final compensation multiplied by the number of years of creditable service over 25 but not over 30.

†††† The board of trustees shall retire the member at the time specified or at such other time within one month after the date so specified as the board finds advisable.

†††† Upon the receipt of proper proofs of the death of such a retirant, there shall be paid to the retirant's beneficiary an amount equal to one-half of the final compensation received by the retirant.

 

†††† 6.††† Should a member of the EMS Part, after having established 10 years of creditable service, be separated voluntarily or involuntarily from the service, before reaching age 55, and not by removal for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency, such person may elect to receive the payments provided for in section 4 or 5 of P.L.††† , c.††††††† (C.†††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), or a deferred retirement allowance, beginning on the first day of the month following the memberís attainment of age 55 and the filing of an application therefor, which shall consist of:

†††† (1)†† An annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of the memberís aggregate contributions at the time of severance from the service and

†††† (2)†† A pension in the amount which, when added to the memberís annuity, will provide a total retirement allowance of 2 percent of final compensation multiplied by the number of years of creditable service up to 30 plus 1 percent of final compensation multiplied by the number of years of creditable service over 30, provided that such inactive member may elect to receive payments provided under section 4 or 5 of P.L.††† , c.††††††† (C.†††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), if the member qualified under that section at the time of leaving service, except that in order to avail themselves of the option, the member shall exercise such option at least 30 days before the effective date of retirement.† If such inactive member shall die before attaining age 55, the memberís aggregate contributions shall be paid in accordance with subsection c. of section 41 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-41).† If such inactive member shall die after attaining age 55 but before filing an application for retirement benefits pursuant to this section or section 5 of P.L.††††† †, c.†††††††† (C.†††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and has not withdrawn the memberís aggregate contributions, or in the event of death after retirement, an amount equal to the accumulated deductions plus one-half of the compensation upon which contributions by the member to the annuity savings fund were based in the last year of creditable service shall be paid to such memberís beneficiary.

†††† Any member who, having elected to receive a deferred retirement allowance, again becomes an emergency medical services employee covered by the EMS Part of the retirement system while under the age of 55, shall thereupon be reenrolled.† If the member had discontinued service for more than two consecutive years, subsequent contributions shall be at the memberís former rate increased for the years of inactive membership.† The member shall be credited with all service as a member of the EMS Part standing to the member's credit at the time of an election to receive a deferred retirement allowance.

 

†††† 7.††† The State shall be liable for any increased pension costs to a county or municipality as a result of the enrollment of an emergency medical services employee in the EMS Part established pursuant to this act, P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), of the Public Employees' Retirement System, established pursuant to P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-1 et seq.).† The actuary for the Public Employees' Retirement System shall determine the unfunded accrued liability for the EMS Part of the retirement system and the benefits provided for members under that part in the same manner provided for the determination of the unfunded accrued liability of the retirement system by section 24 of P.L.1954, c.84 (C.43:15A-24).† This unfunded accrued liability shall be amortized in the manner provided by section 24 over an amortization period of 30 years.

 

†††† 8.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill creates an EMS Part in the Public Employeesí Retirement System (PERS) to provide enhanced pension benefits under terms identical to those provided to prosecutors under the Prosecutors Part of the PERS, including mandatory retirement at age 70.

†††† The members of the EMS Part will include State, county, or municipal employees serving in one of the following positions: emergency medical technician; mobile intensive care paramedic; paramedic; flight paramedic; mobile intensive care nurse; flight nurse; emergency medical services supervisor or deputy supervisor; emergency medical services chief or deputy chief; emergency medical services hazardous materials responder technician; emergency medical services coordinator, dispatcher, or instructor; or any position the primary or essential duties of which require the employee to be trained in basic or advanced life support services and who is certified or licensed by the Department of Health to perform these services.

†††† The State will be liable for the increased pension costs payable by counties or municipalities as a result this bill.