News


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. 

The Senate and Assembly today have passed historic legislation to provide independence, policy making and investment powers to the PFRS Board of Trustees. The bill was a major priority for the State PBA and it's passage culminates several years of research and outreach to once and for all protect the PFRS from abuse and political interference. The bill provides the PFRS Board of Trustees with powers to invest PFRS funds, make policy decisions over pension benefits and provides powers for the board to ensure employer contributions.

The State PBA leadership specifically wishes to thank Senate President Sweeney for his passion and leadership in ensuring passage of this proposal and we are grateful for the efforts of Assembly Speaker Coughlin to further strengthen the protections offered by this bill to PFRS members. The quick movement this session of the bill is in recognition of their support but it signifies the hard work and focus State PBA members placed in urging their representatives to support this bill.

Today's vote came during PBA Day in Trenton. More than 500 PBA members rallied inside the State House to show their support for the bill and for the State PBA's leadership in the State House.

The bill now goes to Governor Murphy for his approval.