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6 N.J.A.R. 114

Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund; Allen, Ruth v
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Citation: 6 N.J.A.R. 114
Decision Date: 1982
Agency: TEACHERS' PENSION & ANNUITY FUND
Synopsis: Petitioner's application for veteran's retirement benefits was denied by the Board of Trustees and in a hearing before an administrative law judge, petitioner asserted that she was entitled to veteran's benefits pursuant to N.J.S.A 18A:66-70 or that, in the alternative, she was entitled to such benefits under principles of equitable estoppel. N.J.S.A. 18A:66-71(a) provides that veteran members of the pen- sion system in employment on January 1, 1955, and who remain in continuous employment for 20 years may retire at age 60 at half of the last year's salary. While petitioner admitted that she was not employed on January 1, 1955, petitioner argued that the free veteran's credit of 32 months service which she received pursuant to N.J.S.A 18A:66-70 should be applied retroactively which would have construc- tively placed her in employment on January 1, 1955. The adminis- trative law judge rejected petitioner's argument concluding that nothing in the plain words of the statute diminished the requirement that an individual actually be employed on January 1, 1955 to qualify for benefits. In addition, petitioner argued that she was entitled to veteran ben- efits on the basis of equitable estoppel. Noting that the use of equitable estoppel against administrative agencies was limited, the judge found that petitioner has failed to establish reasonable reliance or the extent to which that reliance had forclosed alternative opportunities for pension benefits. Accordingly, the judge ordered that petitioner's application for veteran's allowance be denied. State of New Jersey 115 Richard A. Friedman, Esq., for petitioner (Ruhlman & Butrym, attorneys) Sharon M. Joyce, Deputy Attorney General, for respondent (James R. Zazzali, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney)
Citation Tracker modified-Bd, of Trustees; affirmed -App. Div., A-3384-81, 2/22/83 (unreported) [Updated through 1991]