Jersey Shore Insider

Jersey Shore Insider: As Mayor, Hill Will Not Be Eligible for Public Pension Boost

TOMS RIVER-A law passed in 2007 by the state legislature will make newly elected Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill, of Toms River ineligible to continue his enrollment in the New Jersey Public Employee’s Retirement System (PERS) according to Business Administrator Don Guardian.

Hill, who has been enrolled in the pension system as a township councilman for 15 years was grandfathered into the state pension system, but his change of office will disqualify him from a once possible pension bump.  Under the law, a state employee’s pension is calculated based on the final three years’ pay rate of the public employee.  Prior to 2007, an elected official in Hill’s position would have had his pension bumped from the $8,500 councilman salary and would be calculated at his new $75,000 mayoral salary.   Although Hill is grandfathered in the pension system, a clause in the law disqualifies him for that pension bump but will be getting a $66,500 pay increase when he assumes his new office in January.

“State or local officials who are newly elected and take office on or after July 1, 2007, are ineligible for enrollment in the PERS. Elected officials may be eligible for enrollment in the DCRP,” the state said.  The DCRP is a Defined Contribution Retirement Program which the elected official pays into the account on their own.

Prior to July 1, 2007, elected officials who qualified as veterans were required to enroll in the PERS and enrollment was optional for non-veteran elected officials. These members may continue to receive PERS service credit while serving continuously in the same elected office.

If, however, an individual is elected to a different elected office, PERS membership will end and the newly elected official may only be eligible for membership in the DCRP.

“Jersey Shore Insider” is a new investigative watchdog reporting column of Shore News Network that aims to shed light on the inside of New Jersey politics and to make residents aware of what goes on behind the scenes in local politics.

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