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Mar 30

S-3522 Local Part PERS Board of Trustees: Formation

Posted on March 30, 2021 at 11:02 AM by Legislative Staff

Senate President Sweeney has introduced legislation (S-3522) that would divide the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) into two parts. A State Part for State employees and a Local Part for all other employees. The Senate President has indicated that he is advancing this legislation as a means of protecting the local part of the PERS from being co-mingled with the State.

This is the first of a four-part blog series summarizing the formation and powers of the Local Part PERS Board of Trustees. 

Section 1 (New Section)

The general responsibility for the proper operation of the retirement system is vested in a Board of trustees.

The board may, in its discretion and when and how the board determines:

  • Enhance any benefit set forth in N.J.S.A. 43:15A-1 et seq. as board determines reasonable and appropriate.
  • Modify any benefit as an alternative to an increase in the member contribution rate, which the board determines to be reasonable, necessary, and appropriate.
  • Reinstate, when appropriate, reduced benefits to the statutory level without an additional contribution by the members.

The board will act exclusively on behalf of the contributing employers, active members of the retirement system, and retired members as the fiduciary of the system.

The primary obligation of the board will be to direct policies and investments to achieve and maintain the full funding and continuation of the retirement system for the exclusive benefit of its members.

Board Membership:

The Board will have 7 trustees (3 Labor, 3 Management, and 1 determined by the board) as follows:

  • 3 trustees, staggered terms,
    • Appointed by the Governor.
    • Holding or held an elective public office as a mayor, member of a municipal council, or member of a board of chosen freeholders, or is employed, or has been employed, by a municipal or county government as an administrator, manager, or chief financial officer to represent the interests of local government employers.
    • New Jersey League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Association of Counties provide names to the Governor for appointment.
    • 4-year term.
      • Initial appointment
        • 2 trustees are 2 years no later than the 1st day of the 7th month following enactment.
        • 1 trustee is 4 years no later than 1st day of the 7th month following enactment.

  • 3 trustees
    • Appointed by the Governor.
    • Each trustee represents a different collective bargaining unit representing active local part members.
    • Recommendation by the AFL-CIO Public Employee Committee.
    • 4-year term.
      • Initial appointment:
      • 2 trustees are 3 years no later than the 1st day of the 7th month following enactment.
      • 1 trustee is 4 years no later than 1st day of the 7th month following enactment.

  • 1 trustee
    • Active member of the Local Part.
    • Appointed in manner prescribed by Board.
    • 4-year term.
      • Initial appointment is 2 years.

Trustees serve without compensation but are reimbursed for all necessary expenses.

Chair and Vice Chair

  • Board elects from its membership.
  • Chair, or the vice chair in the chair’s absence, will serve as the primary contact with the board staff, coordinate and approve meeting agendas, and have the power to authorize any special staff action necessary to execute any of the board duties.  Do not have the authority to discipline or discharge an employee of the board unless authorized by majority of trustees at a public meeting.

Removal of Trustee

Board may remove, by majority vote, a Trustee for:

  • Violating oath of office.
  • Unexcused absences.
    • More than 3 meetings in calendar year.
    • Without an official excuse.

The Trustee’s position will be filled in the same manner as the position was previously filled.

Note: Trustees may participate in a board meeting by teleconference.

Trustees serve at the pleasure of the official who appointed them, but may be removed for violating the oath of office or unexcused absences.


  • Filled in the same manner as office previously filled.
  • Cannot last more than 60 days.
  • If the vacancy lasts for more than 60 days, the board shall then appoint upon a majority vote of the serving trustees a qualified person.

Retiring Trustees

A trustee who retires from active service may remain a trustee until a successor is appointed.

Contact:  Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director,, 609-695-3481, x112. 

Tag(s): Trustees, PERS, Board