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The New Jersey Department of Education recently issued an advisory with guidance on applying to extend the employment of retired teachers and professional staff members who were hired during the 2021-2022 or 2022-2023 school years.

In July 2023, Gov. Phil Murphy signed P.L. 2023, c.121, which extended the implementation of P.L.2021, c.408 to the 2023-2024 school year. This legislation permitted local educational agencies, including school districts, charter schools and renaissance school projects, to apply for designation as a critical need district and hire retired teachers and professional staff members providing special services for up to two years without reenrollment in the Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund.

The ability to hire retired teachers and professional staff members providing special services expires June 30, 2024. However, the legislation permits an extension of employment beyond the initial two-year period for current employees (those hired during the 2021-2022 or 2022-2023 school years), if approved by the commissioner of education as being in the best interests of the LEA.

To apply for an extension for the 2024-2025 school year, LEA leads must submit a letter to the executive county superintendent that demonstrates that the extension is in the best interests of the LEA and that details the names, positions held, certifications, school assignments and employment start date of the retired staff members hired under Chapter 408. If the request for an extension is approved, the LEA will receive a letter of approval from the NJDOE.

The LEA is responsible for updating the retired staff member’s Notification of Employment After Retirement (form ee904). For specific pension-related questions, contact the Division of Pensions and Benefits at 609-292-7524 or via email.