Kenneth Mr. Vercammen was included in the 2017 “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters.

To schedule a confidential consultation, email us at VercammenAppointments@NJlaws.com, call or visit www.njlaws.com

(732) 572-0500

Sunday, January 10, 2016

CASEY PIATT VS. POLICE AND FIREMEN'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM, NEW JERSEY DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY A-5504-12T1

CASEY PIATT VS. POLICE AND FIREMEN'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM, NEW JERSEY DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY
A-5504-12T1

Under N.J.S.A. 43:16A-3 and N.J.A.C. 17:4-2.5(a), a person must be no more than thirty-five years old when becoming a
page10image18960 page10image19120 page10image19280 page10image19440 page10image19600

member of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS). Plaintiffs are State corrections officers who claim that age requirement cannot be applied to them. However, the long history of PFRS makes clear that the Legislature intends to restrict PFRS membership to persons meeting that age requirement at the time they become a "policeman" or "fireman." N.J.S.A. 43:16A-3. Although N.J.S.A. 43:16A-3 applies by its terms to political subdivisions, it also applies to State corrections officers because the Legislature has included them in the definition of "policeman." The age requirement serves the Legislature's goals of using PFRS's heightened benefits to encourage persons to become officers while young and fit, and to retire at a relatively early age. Moreover, the PFRS Board by regulation has properly applied this construction of the PFRS Act for more than forty years. N.J.A.C. 17:4-2.5(a).