18A:66-56 Board of trustees, committee duties, appointment or election, terms, vacancies, oaths, voting, expenses.
18A:66-56. a. (1) Subject to the provisions of chapter 70 of the laws of 1955, the general responsibility for the proper operation of the teachers' pension and annuity fund shall be vested in the board of trustees, and, as specified, in the committee established pursuant to subsection b. of this section. Subject to the limitations of the law, the board shall annually establish rules and regulations for the administration and transaction of the board's and committee's business and for the control of the funds created by this article. Such rules and regulations shall be consistent with those adopted by the other pension funds within the Division of Pensions and Benefits in order to permit the most economical and uniform administration of all such retirement systems. The committee shall adopt such regulations as provided in subsection b. of this section.
(2)The membership of the board shall consist of the following:
(a)The State Treasurer or the deputy State Treasurer, when designated for that purpose by the State Treasurer;
(b)Two trustees appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall serve for a term of office of three years and until their successors are appointed, and who shall be private citizens of the State of New Jersey and who are neither an officer thereof nor active or retired members of the system, except that of the two trustees initially appointed by the Governor pursuant to P.L.1992, c.41 (C.43:6A-33.1 et al.), one shall be appointed for a term of two years and one for a term of three years;
(c)Three trustees from among the active or retired members of the retirement system, elected by the membership or by the delegates elected for this purpose by the membership, one of whom shall be elected each year for a three-year term commencing on January 1, following such election in such manner as the board of trustees may prescribe. If the board of trustees determines that the election of trustees under this subsection is to be made by delegates elected by the membership, it shall prescribe that those delegates shall be chosen from among active and retired members of the retirement system;
(d)One trustee not an active or retired teacher nor an officer of the State, elected by the other trustees, other than the State Treasurer, for a term of three years.
(3)A vacancy occurring in the board of trustees shall be filled in the same manner as provided in this section for regular appointment or election to the position where the vacancy exists, except that a vacancy occurring in the trustees elected from among the active or retired members of the retirement system shall be filled for the unexpired term.
Each member of the board shall, upon appointment or election, take an oath of office that, so far as it devolves upon him, he will diligently and honestly administer the board's affairs, and that he will not knowingly violate or willfully permit to be violated any provision of law applicable to this article. The oath shall be subscribed to by the member making it, certified by the officer before whom it is taken and filed immediately in the office of the Secretary of State.
Each trustee shall be entitled to one vote in the board and a majority of all the votes of the entire board shall be necessary for a decision by the board of trustees at a meeting of the board or committee. The board shall keep a record of all its proceedings, which shall be open to public inspection.
The members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for any necessary expenditures. No employee shall suffer loss of salary or wages through serving on the board.
(4)The State Treasurer shall designate a medical board after consultation with the Director of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, subject to veto by the board for valid reason. It shall be composed of three physicians who are not eligible to participate in the retirement system. The medical board shall pass upon all medical examinations required under the provisions of this article, shall investigate all essential statements and certificates by or on behalf of a member in connection with an application for disability retirement, and shall report in writing to the retirement system its conclusions and recommendations upon all matters referred to it.
b.There is established a committee to be composed of eight members, four of whom shall be appointed by the Governor as representatives of public employers whose employees are enrolled in the retirement system, three of whom shall be appointed by the head of the union representing the greatest number of members of the retirement system having union membership, and one of whom shall be appointed by the head of the union representing the second greatest number of members of the retirement system having union membership. The members of the committee shall not be appointed until the system, or part of the system, attains the target funded ratio.
The members of the committee shall serve for a term of three years and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Of the initial appointments by the Governor, two members shall serve for two years and until a successor is appointed and qualified, and one shall serve for one year and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Of the initial appointments by the head of the union representing the greatest number of members of the retirement system, one member shall serve for two years and until a successor is appointed and qualified, and one shall serve for one year and until a successor is appointed and qualified.
The members of the committee shall select a chairperson from among the members, who shall serve for a term of one year, with no member serving more than one term, until all the members of the committee have served a term in a manner alternating among the employer representatives and employee representatives, unless the committee determines otherwise with regard to this process.
The provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection a. of this section, and N.J.S.18A:66-60, shall apply to the committee and its members, as appropriate.
Upon the convening of any meeting of the committee, the members shall consider a motion to assume the authority provided in this subsection and shall proceed only if a majority of the members of the committee vote in the affirmative on that motion.
The committee may contract with such actuaries or consultants, or both, in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1954, c.48 (C.52:34-6 et seq.), as the committee may deem necessary to perform its duties, when the system or part of the system has attained the target funded ratio.
When the retirement system, or a part of the system, has attained the target funded ratio as defined in section 27 of P.L.2011, c.78 (C.43:3C-16), the committee shall have the discretionary authority for the system or for that part, as appropriate, to (1) modify the: member contribution rate; formula for calculation of final compensation; the fraction of compensation applied to service credited after the modification; age at which a member may be eligible for and the benefits for service or early retirement; and benefits provided for disability retirement; and (2) activate the application of the "Pension Adjustment Act," P.L.1958, c.143 (C.43:3B-1 et seq.) for retirees for the period that the system or part is at or above the target funded ratio and modify the basis for the calculation of the adjustment and set the duration and extent of the activation. The committee shall give priority consideration to subparagraph (2) of this paragraph. The committee shall not have the authority to change the years of creditable service required for vesting.
The committee may consider a matter described above and render a decision notwithstanding that the provisions of the statutory law may set forth a specific requirement on that matter.
The committee may consider a matter described above and render a decision notwithstanding that the provisions of the statutory law do not set forth a specific requirement on the considered aspect of that matter or address that matter at all.
The members of the committee shall have the same duty and responsibility to the retirement system as do the members of the board of trustees. No decision of the committee shall be implemented if the direct or indirect result of the decision will be that the system's or part's funded ratio falls below the target funded ratio in any valuation period during the 30 years following the implementation of the decision. The actuary of the fund shall make a determination of the result in that regard and submit that determination in a written report to the committee and the board prior to the implementation of the decision.
If any matter before the committee receives at least five votes in the affirmative, the board of trustees shall approve and implement the committee's decision.
If any matter regarding benefits before the committee receives four votes in the affirmative and four votes in the negative or the committee otherwise reaches an impasse on a decision, the provisions of section 33 of P.L.2011, c.78 (C.43:3C-17) shall be followed.
A final action of the committee shall be made by the adoption of a regulation that shall identify the modifications to the system by reference to statutory section. The regulations shall also specify the effective date of the modification and the system members, including beneficiaries and retirees, to whom the modification applies. Regulations of the committee are considered to be part of the plan document for the system. A regulation adopted by the committee may be modified by regulation in order to comply with the requirements of this section.
c.No member of the board, committee, employee of the board, or employee of the Division of Pensions and Benefits in the Department of the Treasury shall accept from any person, whether directly or indirectly and whether by himself or through his spouse or any member of his family, or through any partner or associate, any gift, favor, service, employment or offer of employment, or any other thing of value, including contributions to the campaign of a member or employee as a candidate for elective public office, which he knows or has reason to believe is offered to him with intent to influence him in the performance of his public duties and responsibilities. As used in this paragraph, "person" means an (1) individual or business entity, or officer or employee of such an entity, who is seeking, or who holds, or who held within the prior three years, a contract with the board; (2) an active or retired member, or beneficiary, of the retirement system; or (3) an entity, or officer or employee of such an entity, in which the assets of the retirement system have been invested. A board or committee member or employee violating this prohibition shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.
amended 1971, c.121, s.30; 1992, c.41, s.5; 1997, c.63, s.2; 1999, c.230; 2011, c.78, s.1.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016