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Taliaferro & Giblin Bill to Expand Eligibility for Retirement Benefits for Certain Law Enforcement and First Responders Passes Committee

(TRENTON) – The Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Adam Taliaferro and Thomas Giblin to expand eligibility for enhanced benefits under the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) to certain firefighters, corrections officers and county police officers.

The measure (A-3828) would apply to certain professionals not eligible to be enrolled in the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) due to age or medical reasons. This includes county corrections officers, county corrections sergeants, county corrections lieutenants, county corrections captains and investigators in a county department of corrections; officers, detectives, sergeants, lieutenants and captains of a county police department; and any permanent and full-time firefighter employed by the State, a county, a fire district or a municipality, among others.

Under the bill, these members would be placed under the Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) category of PERS and would be eligible for enhanced benefits.

Assemblyman Taliaferro (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) and Assemblyman Giblin (D-Essex, Passaic) released the following statement:

“Firefighters, county law enforcement and other first responders make sacrifices throughout their careers to keep their communities safe. However, many professionals are excluded from receiving retirement benefits under PFRS because they do not meet restricted age or medical requirements.

          “Recognizing that many of these same first responders are or will be enrolled in PERS, this bill would ensure more police and fire professionals have access to enhanced retirement benefits.”