Governor Murphy Signs “20 and Out”, Election Season Draws Closer
Spring has sprung, and after what may have been the worst year any of us has ever seen, there are many reasons that the remainder of 2021 and beyond will be better times. COVID related illnesses are decreasing, businesses are reopening, and warmer weather is finally here.
The NJ FMBA Legislative Committee is pleased to announce that the Governor has signed 20 and Out bill for New Jersey Firefighters and Police Officers. This retirement option for PFRS members is long overdue, and has been a legislative priority. The Coronavirus pandemic has added an enormous layer of danger to a profession that routinely encounters physical trauma, air and blood borne pathogens, myriad carcinogens, and many potential bacterial and viral sicknesses.
The 20 and Out legislation addresses a problem that occasionally befalls our members who may need to retire earlier than they would like. This option will allow members to receive a pension of 50% of their final year salary after completion of 20 years with no health benefits. The duration for this option will be for two years, after which the legislature and the PFRS will assess the impact of the benefit on the pension system itself. It is our hope that not many of our members require this option and enjoy a full, healthy, and satisfying career. The NJ FMBA appreciates the support of Governor Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Coughlin, and all members of the legislature for securing this critical bill.
The balance of 2021 will be the most important election year of all time for NJ FMBA members. Every elected seat in this entire state is up for election this year. This includes each seat in the General Assembly, Senate, and the office of Governor. These legislators have a massive impact on your careers and livelihoods. We are asking you to continue to be fully engaged in the election process this year.
The past year has been extremely difficult, and sometimes, even devastating for firefighters in New Jersey. 2020 will not be remembered as a pleasant time in our profession. But with the advent of spring, it is clear that much better times are ahead. Your Association is more dedicated and stronger than ever to manage any problems that come our way.