Pensions Benefit Report
In the past few months, I have written articles about the separation of service requirement for PFRS members. Lately, there seems to be some confusion as to when a retiree must satisfy a break in service. At the March 2022 meeting of the PFRS board of trustees, the trustees voted to accept a proposed rule change to the separation of service (NJAC 17:4-6.19). This new law, which was effective as of April 1, 2022, now requires a retiree who has retired after April 1, 2022, to have a 90-day separation of service in order to take a position with the same employer after retirement. This 90-day rule only applies when a retiree is returning to work for the same employer the retiree just retired from, or if the retiree will be supervising PFRS titles.
For example, a member retires on July 1, 2022, and desires to return to the same employer after they retired: That retiree must wait 90 days from July 1 or 90 days from the date when the retirement application was approved, whichever is the later date. In addition to the break in service, the prospective retiree cannot make any prearrangement with their employer to return for any job prior to retirement.
If a retiree wants to take a job with a different employer after they retire, that retiree must wait 30 days from the date of their retirement or the date on which the retirement was approved, whichever is the later date. If a retiree wants to take a job with the federal government or a private sector firm, this rule does not apply to the bona fide separation of service.
This new law became effective on April 1, 2022, so if you retired prior to that, you must wait 180 days to return to the same employer or supervise PFRS titles. The 30-day waiting period is still in effect for those who retired prior to April 1, 2022, in order to take a position with a different New Jersey governmental agency.
This new rule is for PFRS members, and as of now, the 180-day separation period is still in effect for those who are enrolled in the other New Jersey–administered pension funds.
As always, please call or email me if you have any questions regarding the new rule for the bona fide separation of service.