An article in the Dec. 29 editions of the Bergen Record and the Star-Ledger addresses proposed legislation that would prohibit future employees of three associations, including NJSBA, from participating in the Public Employees Retirement System. The proposed legislation, which is sponsored by fourth-district Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, is not yet available for review.
Following is the full response that NJSBA provided to the Bergen Record reporter:
“NJSBA supports system-wide reform of the state pension systems that would be in local school districts’ interests—whether or not such changes would affect the Association’s eligibility to participate in the plan. We have not seen the proposed legislation yet. However, Assemblyman Moriarity’s statement acknowledges that his bill does not address major issues facing the state’s pension system. These issues would include the cost to the state budget of post-retirement medical benefits.
“I would like to emphasize the following facts concerning NJSBA’s participation in PERS:
- While the Assemblyman’s news release mentions ‘officers and staff’ of the associations, no ‘officers’ of the New Jersey School Boards Association receive any compensation for their services, including membership in PERS.
- NJSBA does not provide current employees with post-retirement medical benefits.
- Almost 90 percent of NJSBA’s staff members are involved in non-lobbying functions, such as training, informational and on-site services to local school boards.
- The participation of active NJSBA employees in the state pension system has no impact on the state budget, since payments to the plan are made by the Association and its employees and not by the state.
“Since NJSBA is classified as a ‘local public employer’ by the Division of Pensions, it cannot unilaterally remove itself from the plan.”
The response was provided by Frank Belluscio, NJSBA director of communications.