The following information from the NJEA web site has been adapted for teacher/staff positions covered by the Trenton Education Association collective bargaining agreement.
How does the recent pensions & health benefits laws affect you?
P.L. 2011, chapter 78 and P.L. 2010, chapter 2 (See attachments below for details)
Employees hired on or before June 27, 2011
Q: I am a returning employee in Trenton, when do I start to premium share for my health benefits under the new law?
A: Our current Trenton Education Association contract expires August 31, 2012. Therefore, under P.L. 2010, c.2, we will contribute 1.5% of base salary toward health benefits beginning September 1, 2012. Under P.L. 2011 chapter 78, beginning September 1, 2012, you will start to pay based on the law at the tier 1 level, but not less than the 1.5% indicated in the 2010 law. Each employee will pay the larger amount based on these 2 laws toward their health benefits.
New employees hired on or after June 28, 2011
Q: I was a new employee in September 2011. When do I start premium sharing for my health benefits under the new law?
A: P.L. 2011, chapter 78 will not affect you until the expiration of our collective bargaining agreement. Our current Trenton Education Association contract will expire August 31, 2012. Under P.L. 2011 chapter 78, beginning September 1, 2012, you will start to pay based on the law at the Tier 1 level (See Premium Sharing chart) or 1.5% of your base salary, whichever is the larger amount.
New employees hired on or after September 1, 2012
New employees hired after the expiration of our contract will begin contributing to health benefits based on Tier 4 (See Premium Sharing chart).
Post-retirement medical benefits
Q: The law grandfathers premium free health benefits in retirement for anyone with 20 or more years in the pension system as of the effective date of the legislation. Can you explain this?
A: For active members with 20 or more years of creditable service as of June 28, 2011, they will receive post-retirement medical benefits premium free upon retirement and 25 years of creditable service. For active members with fewer than 20 years of creditable service as of that date, they will receive post-retirement medical benefits upon retirement and 25 years of creditable service, but will be required to pay a portion of the premium, based on the law.
Q: I am currently employed and have an active pension account. Do I have to wait until age 65 to retire?
A: P.L. 2011 chapter 78 does not make any changes to your normal age of retirement or pension formula, which is determined by your date of enrollment.
Q: I am currently employed and have an active pension account. Can I still retire early with 25 years of pension credit?
A: Yes, you can still apply for early retirement with 25 years of service credit.