TRENTON- To further strengthen the ability of New Jersey’s public workforce to respond to COVID-19, Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 115, allowing retirees to return to State and local government employment without impacting their retirement pensions and removing restrictions on law enforcement’s ability to temporarily supplement their ranks. Governor Murphy’s Executive Order also enrolls newly hired State employees in the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) immediately upon hire. The SHBP enrollment only applies to new State employees hired in connection with COVID-19 response efforts.
“Right now, we need all the experienced help we can get – whether it be retired law enforcement officers returning to duty, or nurses who can return to University Hospital,”said Governor Murphy.“Today’s Order will remove roadblocks preventing retired public employees from joining our fight against COVID-19 – in any capacity they can – without impacting their pension status.”
The Governor’s Executive Order makes the following changes to the State’s personnel policies for the duration of the public health emergency:
Retirees: Retirees may return to public employment in any capacity, including full-time, part-time or as SLEOs, provided:
- The retiree has retired before the date of the executive order;
- The retiree has completed at least a 30-day separation from their employment, dating from the date of retirement or the date of board approval, whichever is later; and
- The retiree’s return to employment is necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Special Law Enforcement Officers (SLEOs): The 25% SLEO cap is suspended and a municipality may employ the number of SLEOs as are necessary in the judgement of the law enforcement agency to address public health and safety.
New Hires: Any individual hired by a State or local entity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may immediately enroll in SHBP.
The Order will take effect immediately.
A copy of the Executive Order No. 115 can be found here.