New Jersey law, N.J.S.A. 43:16A-11.2, entitles members of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) who have served for ten years to get a “deferred retirement allowance” when they turn 55. Such members are entitled to benefits whether they are “separated [from employment] voluntarily or involuntarily” but are not so entitled if they were removed from their positions “for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency.”
At its April 11, 2016 meeting, the PFRS Board granted former Riverton Borough (Burlington County) police officer Michael Nocella’s application for deferred benefits. The Board noted that Nocella entered into a settlement agreement that was ratified by the Borough Council on September 14, 1995 and called for him to be placed on “permanent layoff,” to relinquish his tenure rights and to never work for the Borough again. Since “Riverton’s administrative charges were never formally served on him,” Nocella “was not removed for cause” so Board approved his application.