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Pensions and Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why did my previous statement give me a higher retirement amount than the current statement?

When you retire, your retirement allowance is based on your service credit and — depending on your retirement system and membership tier — the average of either your three highest years, five highest years, or last year of salary. Because the Division of Pensions and Benefits must make a quick calculation of salary for the Personal Benefit Statements, rather than search the employee's salary history for the three/five highest years or last year of salary, the computer takes the salary you earned in the three months preceding the statement date and converts it into an annual salary. With this in mind, listed below are principal reasons why the estimated retirement benefit on the statements might decrease from one year to the next.

  • If you received a retroactive salary increase during the three months upon which your previous statement is based, the computer assumes that the total salary in that quarter (including the retroactive increase) is your quarterly salary. The inflated quarterly salary converts into an inflated annual salary which, in turn, overstates the estimated retirement allowance. If, in the following quarter, the salary does not include a retroactive increase, the estimated retirement allowance will be more accurate but will appear to decrease from the overstated benefit of the previous statement.

  • If your salary actually decreased from what you were earning in the previous quarter (or year), the salary used to estimate the benefit would decrease and cause a corresponding decrease in the estimated retirement allowance.

  • If you are over normal retirement age (age 60, 62, or 65 for PERS and TPAF; age 55 for PFRS or SPRS) and, therefore, eligible for a Service Retirement, the Division applies a reduction factor to the calculation of your Personal Benefit Statement to avoid any overstatement of benefits that may occur from estimating using the current quarterly salary rather than the three/five year averaging or last year salary used to calculate your actual benefit.

Be assured that when you apply for retirement, the Division of Pensions and Benefits will use the actual salaries reported for you by your employer, rather than estimating a salary as is done for the Personal Benefit Statements.

If you are within two years of retirement, you can:

  • use the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS) to get a retirement estimate online.

  • call our Automated Information System at (609) 292-7524 to hear a retirement estimate over the phone.

    Retirement estimates from MBOS and the Automated Information System use the current, posted salary and service information on file with the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

If you are more than two years from retirement, use the Long-Range Retirement Estimate Calculators:

Select your pension fund.

2. I purchased my temporary service. Why didn't my enrollment date change?

The date you were enrolled in the retirement system never changes, even if you purchase credit for service prior to your enrollment date. Your service credit and average salary, not your enrollment date, are used to determine your eventual retirement allowance. The increase to your service credit from the purchase will be reflected on your Personal Benefit Statement in the Total Pension Service Credit line if the purchase was made before the statement date.

3. I work at several different employers. Were my service and contributions from all employers included in my statement?

If you contribute to the same retirement system through more than one public employer, you are considered a “multiple member” of the retirement system. Although only one Personal Benefit Statement is shown on MBOS account, the salary from all of the employers who submit pension contributions to your account are considered when your Personal Benefit Statement is prepared.

Please also note that PERS and TPAF members enrolled after May 21, 2010, are limited to the reporting of pension contributions and receipt of service credit from only one public employer.

4. I am a veteran. Why isn't "Veteran's Status" shown as "Yes" on my statement? What should I do?

If you are a veteran and the Veteran Status line on your Personal Benefit Statement is shown as "No", it means that the Division does not have proof of your veteran status on file. To be considered a qualified veteran in the retirement system you must have been discharged or released from military service under conditions other than dishonorable during the following time periods:

  • You must have completed at least 90 days of active military service with at least one of the days falling on or within the following dates: WWII: 9/16/40 - 12/31/46; Korean conflict: 6/23/50 - 1/31/55; Vietnam conflict: 12/31/60 - 5/7/75; or

  • You must have service in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama or the Persian Gulf, or on ships patrolling the territorial waters of those nations for at least 14 days with the start of your service falling on or within the following dates: Lebanon: 9/26-82 - 12/1/87; Grenada: 10/23/83 - 11/21/83; Panama: 12/20/89 - 1/31/90; the Arabian Peninsula or aboard ships patrolling the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield/Storm: 8/20/90 – present; Somalia: 12/5/92 - 3/31/94; Bosnia and Herzegovina: 11/20/95 – present; Operation Enduring Freedom: 9/1101 – present; or Operation Iraqi Freedom: 3/23/03 - present. If your service started prior to the beginning of the periods of hostilities, you must have served all 14 days within the dates specified.

To establish your veteran status, send a photocopy - do not send the original documents - of your discharge from military service (Form DD214) showing enlistment and discharge dates to the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, ATTN: DVP-VBB, PO Box 340, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0340.

Do not send your Form DD214 to the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

5. All other employees can view a statement. I cannot. What should I do?

If you are newly hired, recently transferred, or did not contribute to the retirement system for any reason any time in the three months preceding the statement date, you may not see the Personal Benefit Statement button on the MBOS home page and no statement will be displayed in your MBOS account.

Instead, you may contact the Division of Pensions and Benefits to request a Statement of Account letter, and will have access to the online Personal Benefit Statement button as of the next full quarter of payroll reported to, and posted by, the Division.

6. No one at my location can view a statement. What should I do?

If no active employee can view a Personal Benefit Statement or cannot see the Personal Benefit Statement button on the MBOS home page, it means that your employing location did not submit their quarterly Report of Contributions to the Division of Pensions and Benefits by the cut-off date for the quarter. Therefore, Personal Benefit Statements will not be available for employees of your location until the next quarterly posting.

7. Will I see a statement if I terminate employment?
No, if you are not on the payroll in the three months preceding the statement date, no statement will be available.
8. Will I see a statement if I transfer to another public employer?

A Personal Benefit Statement will be available to you if you were working and receive payroll that is reported for the entire three months preceding the statement date.

If you switched employers and there is any break in the reported quarterly payroll, you may not be able to see the Personal Benefit Statement button on the MBOS home page or view a statement. In this case, you will have access to the Personal Benefit Statement button as of the next full quarter of payroll reported to, and posted by, the Division.

9. My birth date is incorrect on my Personal Benefit Statement. How do I request a correction?

If the "Date of Birth" information is missing or incorrect on your Personal Benefit Statement, please send a photocopy of your official birth certificate or other acceptable proof of age documentation to the Division of Pensions and Benefits. Be sure to write your pension membership ID number on the photocopy (and your current name if the evidence is issued under a maiden name).

Before we can pay you a retirement benefit we must have your proof of age on file.

Acceptable proof of age documents are:

  • Birth Certificate (with visible seal)
  • Passport
  • U.S. Passport Card
  • Current New Jersey digital drivers license or New Jersey Digital Non-driver identification card
  • Current Pennsylvania or New York digital drivers license
  • Naturalization or Immigration Papers

Unacceptable documentation includes military records, expired documentation, out-of-state driver licenses (except PA and NY), hospital birth certificates, marriage certificates, census records, baptisimal records, or affidavits from older family members.


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