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8 N.J.A.R. 1

Police and Firemen's Retirement System, Board of Trustees; North Bergen, Township of v
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Citation: 8 N.J.A.R. 1
Decision Date: 1984
Synopsis: The Township of North Bergen applied to change the commencement date of an award of accidental disability benefits made pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:16A-1 to one of its employees. The administrative law judge assigned to the case found that the employee in question had been employed as a policeman by petitioner for 15 years and in 1981 was involved in a job-related accident. While his application for accidental disability retirement benefits was pending, petitioner terminated his employment but continued to pay him two- thirds of his salary until a final determination on the application was made. These payments, from which income taxes as well as social secur- ity contributions were deducted, continued from September 1, 1982 to June 30, 1983, and were drawn from petitioner's payroll accounts. The administrative law judge rejected the Board's argument that petitioner lacked standing finding that N.J.S.A. 43:16A-7 conferred standing on the petitioner. The judge determined that N.J.A.C. 17:4-6.1 (f) prohibits disbursement of benefits previously granted while the member is still receiving salary; and that despite the characteriza- tion of the payments made to petitioner as an 'advance of salary bene- fits,' the payments were in fact salary. Accordingly, the administrative law judge concluded that respondent had properly calculated that retirement benefits had properly begun after the last payment from the petitioner was received. Upon review, the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System adopted the initial decision. Judith Brunstein-Betancourt, Assistant Township Attorney, for petitioner Charlotte Kitler, Deputy Attorney General, for respondent (Irwin I. Kimmelman, Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney) Initial Decision
Rule(s) Cited: 17:4-6.1(f)