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Posted on: May 15, 2023

Governor Conditionally Vetoes 20 and Out Legislation

Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed legislation (S-3090/A-4498) that would permit police and fire employees to retire after 20 years of service, regardless of age, with a retirement benefit of 50% of final compensation. The League joined the New Jersey Association of Counties in opposing this enhanced benefit as the additional costs will be borne by taxpayers at a time when local governments can least afford it.

P.L. 2021, c. 52, which expires in May, permitted police and fire employees to retire after 20 years regardless of age and receive a retirement allowance equal to 50% of the member’s final compensation. The purpose of the sunset provision of the law was to study the impact the enhanced benefit would have on the pension system.

In his conditional veto message, the Governor noted that “while the two-year period provided some valuable insight into the impact that the 20 and out benefit could have on the PFRS in the short term, I am concerned that it is still too early to ascertain the long-term impacts that this benefit will have on the system.” The Governor also noted that the COVID-19 emergency “created significant anomalies in retirement rates” and lessened the value of the information collected during this period. 

The Governor’s conditional veto extends the benefit for an additional three years so the impact of the benefit can be evaluated. The bill now heads back to the legislature. 

Contact: Lori Buckelew, Deputy Executive Director & Director of Government Affairs, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x112.

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