2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 40A - MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
Section 40A:10-21.1 - Contributions of employees of local unit, agency toward health care benefits.

40A:10-21.1 Contributions of employees of local unit, agency toward health care benefits.

42. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, public employees, as specified herein, of a local unit or agency thereof, herein referred to as an employer, shall contribute, through the withholding of the contribution from the pay, salary, or other compensation, toward the cost of health care benefits coverage for the employee and any dependent provided pursuant to N.J.S.40A:10-16 et seq., unless the provisions of subsection c. of this section apply, in an amount that shall be determined in accordance with section 39 of P.L.2011, c.78 (C.52:14-17.28c), except that, employees employed on the date on which the contribution commences, as specified in subsection d. of this section, shall pay:

during the first year in which the contribution is effective, one-fourth of the amount of contribution;

during the second year in which the contribution is effective, one-half of the amount of contribution; and

during the third year in which the contribution is effective, three-fourths of the amount of contribution,

as that amount is calculated in accordance with section 39 of P.L.2011, c.78 (C.52:14-17.28c).

The amount payable by any employee under this subsection shall not under any circumstance be less than the 1.5 percent of base salary that is provided for in subsection b. of N.J.S.40A:10-21 or section 16 of P.L.2010, c.2 (C.18A:64A-13.1a). An employee who pays the contribution required under this subsection shall not also be required to pay the contribution of 1.5 percent of base salary under subsection b. of N.J.S.40A:10-21 or section 16 of P.L.2010, c.2 (C.18A:64A-13.1a).

This subsection shall apply to employees for whom the employer has assumed a health care benefits payment obligation pursuant to N.J.S.40A:10-21, to require that such employees pay at a minimum the amount of contribution specified in this section for health care benefits coverage, with an employer including a county college.

b. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, public employees of an employer, as those employees are specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection, shall contribute, through the withholding of the contribution from the monthly retirement allowance, toward the cost of health care benefits coverage for the employee in retirement and any dependent provided pursuant to N.J.S.40A:10-16 et seq., unless the provisions of subsection c. of this section apply, in an amount that shall be determined in accordance with section 39 of P.L.2011, c.78 (C.52:14-17.28c) using the percentage applicable to the range within which the annual retirement allowance, and any future cost of living adjustments thereto, falls. The retirement allowance, and any future cost of living adjustments thereto, shall be used to identify the percentage of the cost of coverage.

(2) The contribution specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall apply to:

(a) employees of employers for whom there is a majority representative for collective negotiations purposes who accrue the number of years of service credit, and age if required, as specified in N.J.S.40A:10-23, or on or after the expiration of an applicable binding collective negotiations agreement in force on that effective date, and who retire on or after that effective date or expiration date, excepting employees who elect deferred retirement, when the employer has assumed payment obligations for health care benefits in retirement for such an employee; and

(b) employees of employers for whom there is no majority representative for collective negotiations purposes who accrue the number of years of service credit, and age if required, as specified in N.J.S.40A:10-23, on or after that effective date or on or after the expiration of a binding collective negotiations agreement in force on that effective date if the terms of that agreement concerning health care benefits payment obligations in retirement have been deemed applicable by the employer to those employees, and who retire on or after that effective date or expiration date, excepting employees who elect deferred retirement, when the employer has assumed payment obligations for health care benefits in retirement for such an employee.

(3) Employees described in paragraph (2) of this subsection who have 20 or more years of creditable service in one or more State or locally-administered retirement systems on the effective date of P.L.2011, c.78 shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection.

The amount payable by a retiree under this subsection shall not under any circumstance be less than the 1.5 percent of the monthly retirement allowance, including any future cost of living adjustments thereto, that is provided for such a retiree, if applicable to that retiree, under subsection b. of N.J.S.40A:10-23. A retiree who pays the contribution required under this subsection shall not also be required to pay the contribution of 1.5 percent of the monthly retirement allowance under subsection b. of N.J.S.40A:10-23.

c. A local unit may enter into a contract or contracts to provide health care benefits, including prescription drug benefits and other health care benefits, as may be required to implement a duly executed collective negotiations agreement, and may provide through such agreement for an amount of employee or retiree contribution as a cost share or premium share that is other than the percentage required under subsection a. or b., or both, of this section, if the total aggregate savings during the term of that agreement from such contributions or plan design, or both, from that agreement as applied to employees and retirees covered by that agreement, and to employees and retirees not covered by that agreement but to whom the agreement has been applied by the employer, if any, equals or exceeds the annual savings that would have resulted had those employees or retirees made the contributions required under subsection a. or b., or both, of this section plus the annual savings resulting to the plans within the State Health Benefits Program as a result of plan design changes made pursuant to P.L.2011, c.78.

A local unit shall certify the savings in writing to the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs and the Division of Pensions and Benefits in the Department of the Treasury. The Department of Community Affairs shall review and approve or reject the certification within 30 days of receipt. The certification shall be deemed approved if not rejected within that time. The agreement shall not be executed until that approval is received or the 30-day period has lapsed, whichever occurs first.

d. The contribution under subsection a. of this section shall commence: (1) upon the effective date of P.L.2011, c.78 for employees who do not have a majority representative for collective negotiations purposes, notwithstanding that the terms of an applicable collective negotiations agreement binding on the employer have been applied or have been deemed applicable to those employees by the employer, or have been used to modify the respective payment obligations of the employer and those employees in a manner consistent with those terms, before that effective date; and (2) upon the expiration of any applicable binding collective negotiations agreement in force on that effective date for employees covered by that agreement with the contribution required for the first year under subsection a. of this section commencing in the first year after that expiration, or upon the effective date of P.L.2011, c.78 if such an agreement has expired before that effective date with the contribution required for the first year under subsection a. of this section commencing in the first year after that effective date.

Once those employees are subjected to the contribution requirements set forth in subsection a. of this section, the public employers and public employees shall be bound by this act, P.L.2011, c.78, to apply the contribution levels set forth in section 39 of this act until all affected employees are contributing the full amount of the contribution, as determined by the implementation schedule set forth in subsection a. of this section. Notwithstanding the expiration date set forth in section 83 of this act, P.L.2011, c.78, or the expiration date of any successor agreements, the parties shall be bound to apply the requirements of this paragraph until they have reached the full implementation of the schedule set forth in subsection a. of this section.

As may be permitted by law or otherwise, the authority to determine an amount of contribution at the discretion of the employer or by means of a binding collective negotiations agreement, and by means of the application of the terms of such an agreement to employees who do not have a majority representative for collective negotiations purposes, or the modification of the respective payment obligations of the employer and those employees in a manner consistent with the terms of such an agreement, shall remain in effect with regard to contributions, whether as a share of the cost, or percentage of the premium or periodic charge, or otherwise, in addition to the contributions required under subsections a. and b. of this section.

This section shall apply when the health care benefits are provided through self insurance, the purchase of commercial insurance or reinsurance, an insurance fund or joint insurance fund, or in any other manner, or any combination thereof.

This section shall apply to counties and municipalities, and any agency, board, commission, authority, or instrumentality of a local unit, fire districts, or other entities created by a county or municipality, and to county colleges.

Amounts deducted from a retiree's benefit pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall be paid to the retiree's former employer, as appropriate.

All other provisions of law shall remain applicable to the extent not inconsistent with this section.

e. Any extension, alteration, re-opening, amendment or other adjustment to a collective negotiations agreement in force on the effective date of P.L.2011, c.78, or to an agreement that is expired on that effective date, shall be considered a new collective negotiations agreement entered into after that effective date for the purposes of this section.

L.2011, c.78, s.42.

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