The State PBA initiated bill to reestablish the 20 and Out benefit was passed in the General Assembly today. The bill now heads to the Governor for his consideration. We have been in contact with Governor Murphy’s office to express the need for his support for the legislation.
The bill will restore the 20 and Out PFRS benefit for 2 years after its enactment in order to assess the financial impact of the benefit on the pension system. While we believe that this retirement option will remain infrequently, as it has been for the last 20 years, we also must ensure that anything we pursue does not negatively impact the health of the PFRS. The long term health and growth of PFRS is of obvious critical importance. But restoring 20 and Out now ensures fairness to provide PFRS members benefits they were promised when they become officers two decades ago. We firmly believe that the next 2 years will prove our fiscal analysis correct that 20 and Out will have little impact on PFRS, thereby disproving the inaccurate cost estimate proposed by the League of Municipalities and Association of Counties, thus opening the door to make 20 and Out permanent.
It is important to remind PBA members that existing State Law prohibits providing employer paid health benefits to a retiree unless a member has 25 years of service. Therefore there are no health benefits provided to officers who retire at 20 years. But the member would receive 50% of their final salary regardless of age as a pension for the rest of their life.
Passage of the bill was a major priority for the State PBA and we would like to thank Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin for moving the bill and our sponsors, Senator Gopal, Assemblyman DeAngelo and Assemblyman Dancer for their steadfast support.