JRS Frequently Asked Questions

What is the JRS vesting provision?

Five paid up years of membership service.

What do I contribute?

7% of salary if you were first hired as a justice or judge after July 1, 1978. Contributions stop after you have accrued 15 years of credited service.

How are benefits computed?

Each year (or part year) of service is calculated at 5% of the current base salary of the public office you retire from. The maximum benefit payable is 75% of base salary.

When are benefits payable?

Full unreduced benefits are payable at age 60; however, actuarially reduced early benefits are payable upon attaining age 55 or at any age if you have accrued at least 20 years of credited service. The reduction is based on the number of years and months prior to age 60 at which you commence the benefit. If you are contemplating early retirement, contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits for a projection of your benefits.

What if I leave office prior to my retirement age?

You should contact the Division of Retirement and Benefits at least one month prior to the month when you wish to commence your benefit.

What happens to my accrued benefits if I die?

Provided you have accrued at least 2 years of credited service and been married for at least 1 year to your spouse when you die, JRS provides an automatic survivor benefit of 50% of your accrued benefit at the time of your death (or of your actual benefit if you are already retired). If you have accrued a benefit formula percentage of less than 60% at the time of your death, the survivor benefit may not be less than 30% of the current base salary of your judicial office. If there is no surviving spouse but you have dependent children, 50% of the above benefit may be divided in equal shares to your dependent children for the duration of their dependency. If there is no spouse or dependent children, your contribution account balance, less any benefits you have been paid, will be paid to your designated beneficiary or beneficiaries.

What if I become disabled while employed under the JRS?

If you have accrued at least 5 years of credited service and become incapacitated while in covered employment, a benefit is payable based on your credited service and your salary at the time of becoming incapacitated as though you were of normal retirement age.