This letter from the Chair of the PFRSNJ Board of Trustees is being sent this morning to the Certifying Officers of all PFRS locations. This letter will answer many of the questions that have been asked.

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After several days of discussions between the State PBA and Senate leaders, the Senate Budget Committee yesterday amended and moved forward Senate Bill 1017 to restore the 20s and Out benefit for PFRS members. 

There is no question that the anti-police rhetoric and attacks on our profession from politicians and special interest groups has caused many officers to consider an early retirement.  While there is overwhelming support to restore the 20 year retirement option, the potential stress that this could cause to the funding of the PFRS was a concern for some legislators. In order to get the ball moving on more quickly offering this benefit amendments were proposed in the Budget Committee to provide a roughly 2 year window for early retirements.

The amended bill would reestablish a 20 year retirement option for anyone currently enrolled, regardless of their year of enrollment in PFRS, but the benefit would be frozen again 25 months after the bill becomes law.  This will allow the State to analyze the impact of the retirement benefit for consideration of making the benefit permanent. 

While we would prefer that 20 and Out become permanent now this amendment makes it more likely the bill can move swiftly while its fiscal impact is analyzed in real time. 

The bill now requires a full Senate vote and consideration by the Assembly Budget Committee and the full Assembly. 

Governor Murphy today issued Executive Order 115 which permits the State and local governments to rehire retired employees to fill certain needs related directly to the outbreak of the Cornavirus.  It is critical that every retired officer understand exactly what this rule says and how potential reemployment could be handled.  We expect the Attorney General to issue guidelines soon but we want to share this review today to ensure you are aware of what the Order says and does not say:
This Order does not require a former employer to rehire any officer and it does not mandate that it be put into effect unless staffing is impacted due to the virus.
The reemployment as a law enforcement officer would be under the same conditions as a retirement job as a Class II Special Officer.
The Order expands the number of Class II Special Officers a non-shore community may hire to meet any potential staffing needs due to the impact of the virus
The employment would be only for the duration of the COVID Emergency Order and it is not a full time commitment for any position.
There is no additional PFRS coverage and no access to disability or death benefits should something happen if reemployed under this Order.
Nothing in this Order would permit an officer who retired on a disability, who is over the age of 65, who has been retired for more than 3 years or who otherwise would not be qualified under existing law for employment as a Class II Special Officer from seeking employment.

The State PBA will continue to monitor the impact of Executive Order 115 and any guidance issued by the Attorney General which may touch upon this analysis.  Any member who suspects any abuse of this Order or any condition that impacts on the health and safety of a law enforcement officer should notify their Delegate to ensure the State PBA is aware.

Governor Murphy announced today that retired officers will be permitted to obtain insurance to carry a firearm in an exemption to his Executive Order 83. The rule change issued today from the Department of Banking and Insurance comes weeks after State PBA leadership began one on one negotiations with the Governor's Office to ensure retired officers maintained their ability to get concealed carry insurance coverage out of recognition for our unique position as law enforcement officers in NJ under Federal and State law.

Finally, despite any claims by other groups or unions trying to take credit this victory was solely negotiated by the State PBA and we are grateful to the Governor and his team for making it happen.