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12 N.J.A.R. 545

Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund, Bd. of Trustees of the; Steinmann, Elizabeth v
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Citation: 12 N.J.A.R. 545
Decision Date: 1987
Synopsis: The Board of Trustees of the Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) denied petitioner's request for a change of retirement plan from ordinary disability to early retirement. Petitioner appealed and the matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing. Petitioner wanted to change her retirement plan because ordinary disability is subject to an offset for workers' compensation awards, but early retirement benefits are not offset. Because petitioner was awarded workers' compensation, she could receive higher retirement income through early retirement. When petitioner stopped working, she could have taken early retirement but applied instead for accidental disability. TPAF denied the claim for accidental disability but gave her ordinary disability retirement. She subsequently received a permanent disability workers' compensation award. The administrative law judge assigned to the case concluded that petitioner should be permitted to convert to early retirement. Applying the two-pronged test of Duvin v. State, 76 N.J. 203 (1978), the judge found that petitioner had shown both good cause and reasonable diligence in seeking to change retirement plans. Upon review, this initial decision was rejected by the Board of Trustees of TPAF. The Appellate Division affirmed the Board in an unpublished opinion (A-3713-86, Jan. 15, 1988). The Supreme Court reversed, holding .that petitioner should have been permitted to convert her retirement plan. Under Duvin, good cause was established by the fact that petitioner could not make an informed choice among retirement plans until her workers' compensation offset was calculated.
Citation Tracker rejected-Bd. of Trustees; affirmed -235 N.J. Super. 356 (App. Div. 1988); reversed & remanded-116 N.J. 564 (1989) [Updated through 1991]