New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Now Law: Kean Bill Ensuring Public Employees Can Volunteer as Emergency Responders During Retirement

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Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-21) that will ensure public employees can continue to volunteer as EMTs or firefighters after the retire from public service.

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Sen. Tom Kean’s bill to ensure public employees can continue to volunteer as emergency first responders after the retire from public service. (Flickr)

“This legislation is personal for me,” Senator Kean said. “I was a volunteer firefighter and EMT for many years. I saw the passion and dedication my fellow volunteers had for serving their community. If they are able and willing, there is no reason why we shouldn’t encourage these first responders to continue protecting their neighbors after they retire.”

Due to an inconsistency in IRS regulations, public employees previously could risk losing their pension if they chose to volunteer as an emergency responder after retirement, even if they had volunteered as one previously.

Senator Kean’s legislation (A-1627/S-1873) will correct this interpretation of the IRS code, so that local volunteers can continue to serve their communities after they retire from public service.

“75 percent of fire departments in New Jersey are comprised of all volunteers. We count on these people to save lives and be on call at all times. We cannot keep our residents safe without them,” Senator Kean said. “Allowing retirees to continue to serve their community and keep their pensions is the right thing to do. I am very glad to see this commonsense change signed into law.”

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