Pension / Retirement Options
Employees at Stockton, depending on job classification, may enroll in one of four retirement systems:
The Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) is a tax-sheltered, defined contribution retirement program for higher education faculty and certain administrators. ABP provides retirement benefits, life insurance and disability coverage, which, when combined with Social Security and other tax-deferred plans, can provide security in retirement.
Full-time and adjunct faculty, part-time instructors, officers, visiting professors, and certain professional administrative staff required to possess a college degree or its equivalent participate in the ABP. “Full-time” is defined by statue to include anyone receiving 50% or more of base salary and may include anyone on sabbatical or paid leave of absence for a period not to exceed one year.
Individuals NOT eligible for membership include: temporary employees (with the exception of visiting professors appointed for a school year, a semester, or a lesser period of time); faculty members temporarily in the U.S. under an F or J visa; employees in a career service title defined by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission; employees in clerical and other nonprofessional positions; and any employee receiving a retirement benefit from any New Jersey State-administered retirement system including the ABP.
HOW MUCH INCOME MAY BE TAX SHELTERED?
Members annually contribute 5% of base or contractual salary matched by an 8% employer contribution to a tax-deferred investment account. This account may be established with any of the current authorized providers. (A detailed description of the investment options available to you is provided in the Carrier Comparison Guide available from the Human Resources Office or the Division of Pensions and Benefits.) Additional voluntary federal tax-deferred contributions under Internal Revenue Code, Section 403(b), may also be made, based on the actual base salary paid less the mandatory 5% member contribution. Before having any additional contributions deducted, members should contact the authorized carrier of their ABP account for a calculation on the exact amount available to them for a Section 403(b) contribution. These contributions cannot exceed the actual dollar limits eligible for tax shelter in a given year.
Employer-paid group life insurance is provided for all eligible members. No medical examination is required unless the member has attained the age of 60 prior to enrollment. Coverage equals three and one half times the member's base salary.
The Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) was established in 1955 after the repeal of the laws creating the former State Employees' Retirement System. The Division of Pensions and Benefits is assigned all administrative functions of the retirement system except for investment.
Membership in the retirement system is generally required as a condition of employment for most employees of the University. You are required to enroll in PERS if:
- you are employed on a regular basis in a position covered by Social Security; and
- you are not required to be a member of any other State or local government retirement system on the basis of the same position;
- you are receiving a monthly retirement allowance from the PERS and you work more than the minimum number of hours per week required for PERS Tier 5 enrollment.
Although most employees are required to enroll in the retirement system when hired, in some instances you may not qualify for enrollment in the system until up to one year from your date of employment.
FACTORS FOR INELIGIBILITY
You cannot join the PERS if:
- you are a provisional or temporary employee covered by Civil Service with less than 12 months of continuous service.
- you do not meet the minimum salary requirements for Tier 1, 2, or 3 membership or the minimum hourly requirements for Tier 4 or 5 membership.
- your position is not covered by Social Security.
- you are a seasonal employee.
- you are a retired PERS member, with a bona fide retirement, who returns to public employment on a part-time basis, or five months for employing locations that report on a 10-month basis.
- you are a PERS disability retiree who has been approved to return to PERS-covered employment, but does not earn the minimum annual salary for enrollment under your original PERS membership tier.
- you are retired and receiving a monthly retirement allowance from another public retirement system in New Jersey.
- you received a lump-sum retirement distribution from the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) or Defined Contribution Retirement Program (DCRP) regardless of distribution amount.
- You are employed under a Professional Services Contract.
- You are a newly elected State or local official.
- You are a newly appointed State or local official and do not have an existing PERS account.
Group Life Insurance for Members Age 60 or Older
Employees who are age 60 or older at the time of enrollment are ineligible for both noncontributory or contributory group life insurance coverage until they prove insurability by taking and passing a physical examination.
The Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) was established in 1944. The Division of Pensions and Benefits manages all administrative functions of the retirement system except for investment.
Eligibility in the PFRS is determined by your job title, your age, your health, and successful completion of approved training courses. Over the years, these criteria for membership have been subject to change and reinterpretation. Enrollment in the PFRS is required for all campus police officers. Security officers are enrolled in PERS until they are permanently appointed. The date of enrollment in PFRS is the date of permanent appointment to the position.
There are medical requirements for acceptance in the PFRS. When you apply for membership, you must have a medical examination to determine if you satisfy these requirements. The examination, documented on the authorized PFRS form, may be given by the department physician, another physician designated by the employer, or if required, a physician designated by the retirement system.
Current law prescribes a maximum age for entry into the PFRS. Employees must be eligible on or before their 35th birthday to qualify for enrollment.
Under Civil Service (Title 11) State, county, or municipal, candidates cannot be past their 35th birthday as of the announced closing date of the Civil Service examination. Those candidates meeting the age requirements at that time will be considered as having met the maximum age requirement for the duration of the ensuing Civil Service Eligibility List from which appointments may be made. Non-Civil Service employees cannot be past their 35th birthday as of their official date of hire.
The Defined Contribution Retirement Program (DCRP) provides eligible members with a tax-sheltered, defined contribution retirement benefit, along with life insurance and disability coverage. The Defined Contribution Retirement Program Board oversees the DCRP, which is administered for the Division of Pensions and Benefits by Prudential Financial.
Individuals eligible for membership in the DCRP include:
- State or local officials who are elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2007
- Employees enrolled in the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) or State Police Retirement System (SPRS) after May 21, 2010, who earn salary in excess of established "maximum compensation" limits
- Employees otherwise eligible to enroll in the PERS or TPAF on or after November 2, 2008, who do not earn the minimum annual salary for PERS or TPAF Tier 3 enrollment ($8,300 in 2017, subject to adjustment in future years) but who earn salary of at least $5,000 annually
- Employees otherwise eligible to enroll in the PERS and TPAF after May 21, 2010, who do not work the minimum number of hours per week required for PERS or TPAF Tier 4 or Tier 5 enrollment (35 hours per week for State employees or 32 hours per week for local government or local education employees) but who earn salary of at least $5,000
Supplemental Retirement Savings Plans
The Additional Contributions Tax-Sheltered (ACTS) Program allows for eligible employees to obtain supplemental tax-deferred annuities with a variety of carriers through a salary reduction agreement. Participants can direct voluntary contributions among six authorized investment providers. Each provider provides a selection of investment choices to meet the needs and goals of retirement planning. The ACTS Program is separate from, and in addition to your basic pension benefit, the Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust (SACT) Fund, and the Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP).
All full-time, part-time, and TES employees of the University are eligible to participate in the ACTS Program. Participation is also open to those employees who are now receiving retirement allowances from a state pension system and who would otherwise be barred from joining another state pension system. Eligible employees can obtain supplemental tax-deferred annuities with outside investment providers on the same basis and with the same providers as currently available to members of the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP).
The New Jersey State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan (NJSEDCP) provides you, as an eligible state employee, an opportunity to voluntarily shelter a portion of your wages from federal income taxes while saving for retirement to supplement your Social Security and pension benefits. Under the Plan, federal income tax is not due on deferred amounts or accumulated earnings until you receive a distribution (payment) from your account. Presumably, distribution is at retirement when you tax rate is expected to be lower.
All full-time, part-time, and TES employees of the University are eligible to participate in the NJSEDCP.
If you are employed through a county, township, or municipality and not paid directly by the State of New Jersey or one of its agencies, you are NOT eligible for the NJSEDCP.
We stand at the ready to assist you with all of your retirement and pension needs and questions.
- Click here to view the full list of pension and benefits staff including notes on who can help you with what
- Or, call us at 609-652-4384
- Or stop by our suite in J-115
We look forward to getting you what you need, answering your questions, and/or connecting you with the HR/Payroll team member that can best help you.