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Board of Trustees of Public Employees'' Retirement System v. Board of Freeholders of County of Warren

Decided: March 22, 1965.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, A PART OF THE DIVISION OF PENSIONS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOARD OF FREEHOLDERS OF THE COUNTY OF WARREN, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AND JAMES SHAW, DEFENDANTS



Paulis, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).

Paulis

This is an action in lieu of prerogative writs to compel the County of Warren to contribute an additional sum of money to the Public Employees' Retirement System of the State of New Jersey in behalf of James Shaw, who retired as a supervisor of court reporters from Passaic, Sussex, Morris and Warren Counties. The matter comes on before me on a stipulation of facts and cross-motions for summary judgment.

The facts stipulated might be set forth as follows: Shaw was first employed by Passaic County from October 1, 1927. He was appointed supervisor of Official stenographic reporters for Passaic and Sussex Counties by order of the Superior Court on January 26, 1950, pursuant to law. His vicinage was expanded to Morris County September 16, 1954, and to Warren County on January 1, 1959.

Meanwhile, on March 1, 1949 Shaw enrolled in the Public Employees' Retirement System and purchased credit in the system back to October 1, 1927.

On November 16, 1961 Shaw made application for retirement, effective February 1, 1962. At the March 1962 meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System Shaw's retirement was approved as a multiple employee, subject to retroactive allowance being increased if and when the deficiency of $23,707.40 in the Retirement Reserve Fund was restored on a unitary basis, rather than a multiple basis. This means that contributions by each county would be

made on the basis of total years employed -- not by his employment in each county, but by the total years of his employment.

The suit was instituted by the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees' Retirement System, joining Shaw and the Warren County Board of Freeholders as defendants.

The interests of Shaw and the Board of Trustees seem to be similar, and Shaw relies upon the factual contentions and the law as cited in the briefs filed by plaintiff. Thus, Shaw, for the purposes of this suit, can be classified as a plaintiff, and the rules of the court permit liberal amendment of the pleadings in such case made and provided.

In order to follow plaintiff's theory, the freeholder board would have to pay a substantial sum, which is in excess of the amount paid by the County of Warren to Shaw as its share of the salary paid to him.

The freeholder board, as a defense, maintains mainly that this is contrary to the legislative intent in that the Legislature did not intend that Warren County should contribute to the retirement reserve more than Shaw earned as a salary. This is the main question before me.

It seems, and I find as a fact, that Shaw applied for admission into the Public Employees' Retirement System and was accepted as a multiple enrollee. Therefore, contributions to the contingent reserve were based on a certain formula. ...


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