2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:66-117 - Contributory death benefits

18A:66-117. Contributory death benefits

a. The board of trustees may establish a plan of contributory death benefit coverage under which a death benefit, shall, upon receipt of proper proofs of death in service of a member covered therefor, be paid to such person, if living, as the member shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the board of trustees, otherwise to the executor or administrator of the member's estate. The amounts of death benefits under such plan of contributory death benefit coverage shall be determined by the board of trustees, provided that the amount of the death benefit for any member shall not exceed 1 1/2 times the compensation received by the member in the last year of creditable service, and provided further that for the death in service of a member occurring after he has attained age 70, the amount of death benefit under such plan shall not exceed 3/16 of the compensation received by the member in the last year of creditable service. Such a plan of contributory death benefit coverage shall be subject to adjustment from time to time by the board of trustees.

b. The board of trustees shall establish all rules governing the contributory death benefit coverage, subject to the provisions of this section. There is hereby established the members' death benefit fund in which fund shall be accumulated the contributions made under this section. Upon the death of a member electing the contributory death benefit, the contributory death benefit payable shall be paid from the members' death benefit fund.

c. The board of trustees shall establish schedules of contributions to be made by or on behalf of the members covered under the plan of contributory death benefit coverage. Such contributions shall be so computed that the contributions made by or on behalf of all covered members in the aggregate shall be sufficient to provide for the cost of the benefits established by subsection a. of this section. Such schedules of contributions shall be subject to adjustment from time to time, by the board of trustees, as the need may appear.

d. Each member will be eligible for such contributory death benefit coverage in accordance with and subject to the further provisions of this section. Each person who was a member on June 26, 1962 and who elected, not later than June 26, 1963 to purchase such contributory death benefit coverage became covered therefor on the first day on or after such election, on which he was actively at work and performing all his regular duties at his customary place of employment. Each person who became or becomes a member after June 26, 1962, shall automatically be covered for such contributory death benefit coverage from the first day of his membership on which he is actively at work and performing all his regular duties at his customary place of employment. Such automatic coverage shall continue during the member's first year of membership and during such year contributions as fixed by the board of trustees shall be made by or on behalf of the member. After such first year of membership such member shall continue to be covered for contributory death benefit coverage, subject to the continuance of the required contributions and subject to the provisions of such plan and the provisions of this section.

e. The contributions of a member for the contributory death benefit coverage shall be deducted from his compensation, but if there is no compensation from which such contributions may be deducted it shall be the obligation of the member to make such contributions directly to the members' death benefit fund or as directed by the board; provided, however, that no contribution shall be required while a member remains in service after attaining age 70 but the board of education employing such person shall be required to pay into the members' death benefit fund or as directed by the board of trustees on such person's behalf an amount equal to the contribution otherwise required by the board of trustees in accordance with this section.

f. Any other provision of this article notwithstanding, the contributions of a member, or the contributions made on behalf of a member by the board of education employing such member for the contributory death benefit coverage under this section shall not be returnable to the member, his or her beneficiary, or the board of education employing such member in any manner, or for any reason whatsoever, nor shall any contributions made for the contributory death benefit coverage be included in any pension payable to such member or to his or her beneficiary.

g. A member who is covered by the contributory death benefit coverage provided by this section may file with the board of trustees, and alter from time to time during his lifetime, as desired, a duly attested, written, new nomination of the payee of the death benefit provided under this section. Such member may also file and alter from time to time during his lifetime, as desired, a request with the board of trustees directing payment of said benefit in one sum or in equal annual installments over a period of years or as a life annuity. Upon the death of such member, a payee to whom a benefit is payable in one sum may elect to receive the amount payable in equal installments over a period of years or as a life annuity.

h. All other provisions of this section notwithstanding, the benefits to be provided pursuant to this section shall come into effect only as determined by the board of trustees. Applications for such additional death benefit coverage shall be submitted to the board of trustees in such a manner and upon such forms as the board of trustees shall provide.

i. The board of trustees may also provide, effective upon the adoption of this 1968 amendatory act, for additional death benefit coverage, as described in subsection j of this section, for former members who are receiving retirement allowances pursuant to the provisions of this article subject to the provisions hereinafter stated, and the board may terminate such coverage at any time. The additional death benefit coverage to be so provided shall be in accordance with rules as determined by the board from time to time on the basis of dates of retirement or other factors deemed appropriate by it. In no event shall the additional death benefit coverage described in subsection j of this section apply to any former member receiving a retirement allowance unless such member was covered by the additional death benefits described in subsection a of this section during the member's last month of creditable service, nor shall such coverage apply prior to a member's attainment of age 60. No contributions toward the cost of additional death benefit coverage described in subsection j of this section shall be required of a former member while he is receiving a retirement allowance pursuant to the provisions of this article.

j. Upon receipt of proper proofs of the death of a former member who was covered for the additional death benefit coverage pursuant to subsection i of this section, there shall be paid to such person, if living, as the member shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the board of trustees, otherwise to the executor or administrator of the member's estate, an amount equal to 3/16 of the compensation received by the member in the last year of creditable service.

L.1967, c.271; amended by L.1968, c. 364, s. 4, eff. Dec. 26, 1968.

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