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This page was created to keep you up-to-date on the topic of NJ law enforcement. Here you will find news and information as it becomes available about NJ law enforcement as it relates to recruiting spread throughout 20 different categories.


NJ Pension System

This is the first post under the heading “NJ Pension System”.  The purpose for this category is to keep law enforcement candidates up-to-date with news and information. 

NJ police officers pay into a pension system during their careers. A portion of their earnings each pay period are deposited into the state pension fund.  The municipality they work for also contributes a matching portion. Currently, it is 8.5% for a total of 16% each week. If the police officer works for a state law enforcement agency, then the state of NJ pays the matching 8.5% along with the officer’s contribution each week. If the officer works for a county law enforcement agency, then the county would contribute the matching funds.
The agency responsible for the management of this pension system is the State of NJ / Department of the Treasury / and subdivided to the “Division of Pensions and Benefits” which can be found on the internet at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/

This agency has several different pension systems that it manages. Here are a few:

Police Fire Retirement System (P.F.R.S.) – All police officers and firefighters appointed after June, 1944, in municipalities where local police and fire pension funds existed, or where this system was adopted by referendum or resolution, are required to become members of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. Certain State and County law enforcement job titles are also covered.

  • State Police Retirement System (S.P.R.S.) – All full-time troopers or commissioned or noncommissioned officers of the New Jersey Division of State Police appointed after July 1, 1965, are members of the State Police Retirement System.


  • Public Employees Retirement System (P.E.R.S.) – The Public Employees’ Retirement System is open to state, county, municipal, authority, and school board employees who are precluded from any other NJ state pension system (e.g., Teachers’.
    Police and Fire, State Police, Judicial).


  • Judicial Retirement System (J.R.S.) – open to members of the State judiciary. The system covers the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the State Supreme Court, as well as all judges of the Superior Court and Tax Court of the State of New Jersey. Enrollment in the JRS is required as a condition of employment.


  • Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (T.P.A.F.) – NJ Teachers’ pensions.


  • Alternate Benefit Program (A.B.P.) – For State and County College Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, Part-time Instructors, and Administrators.


The NJ Pension System is governed by NJ state statute law, Title 43.  So, in other words, most major decisions made for this agency come from laws that NJ legislatures enact while in state congress sessions.

Each pension system has its own set of rules and regulations and has a specific list of employment titles within each category that are allowed to join the system. Just because someone works in law enforcement, doesn’t necessarily mean they are in the Police Fire Retirement System (P.F.R.S.). There are some exceptions, however the majority of NJ police officers excluding State Troopers, are in this system.

Several rules and regulations within the P.F.R.S. will affect how you plan to enter your career field. For instance, you cannot be over the age of 35 to begin a pension plan. So, if you are 34 years old, you will only have one year to become a municipal police officer. However, there are specific exceptions to this rule and it can get complicated. For more information on this topic, you should refer to the P.F.R.S. handbook described later in this post. Also be sure to read the ”Maximum Age Requirements” for hire at the Civil Service Department Website.  In the meantime, here is another quick link to the basic chart for the retirement benefit structure.  

Additionally, when police officers retire, the pension rules and regulations mandate that after 20 years of service, a police officer can retire at 50% of their salary for life. After 25 years of service, they can retire at 65% of their salary for life. After 30 years of service, they can retire at 70% of their salary for life. There are also provisions for early retirement for a variety of reason such as injuries. There are also provisions for early retirement for a variety of reason such as injuries. You can read further for additional detailed information in the P.F.R.S. handbook described below.

The topic of the NJ Pension System is a huge one! The laws that surround the pension fund are long and complicated and are constantly changing even if only in small amounts.  Currently, in 2010, the pension is underfunded and in dire financial condition due to many years of neglect and mismanagement. Of course, this would turn into a political debate if we analyzed all of the reasons why and picked people to blame, so for this post, just accept that many mistakes were made for several years by a lot of people and now the current Governor Christopher Christie is proposing legislative changes to reform the  system. For this reason, I have created this category to provide crucial updates.   

You can read more about the pension as it relates to becoming a police officer in my book titled, “How to Become a New Jersey Police Officer or State Trooper”.

I also recommend reading news releases on the Pensions and Benefits website on somewhat of a regular basis.  Additionally, you should download the pension system handbooks, and other publications available on the website as well. Try to gain a basic understanding of the system; after all, if you are trying to become a police officer or are already a police officer; laws, rules, and regulations that change within the pension system will have a direct result in your financial life upon retirement.

Links in this post which link to State of NJ websites, change regularly, so be aware if any links are broken. The pages are most likely moved, not deleted. So perform a Google.com search if this happens.

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