Currently, surviving widows or widowers and their children receive 70 percent of a trooper’s State Police Retirement System pension, while children of unmarried officers, such as Trooper Sean Cullen’s two children, only receive a 20 percent benefit. Senator Allen’s bill, S-2061, ensures all children of fallen state troopers, police and firefighters receive the 70 percent benefit currently provided to surviving spouses and their children.
Qualified children would receive the benefits until they reach age 18, or age 24 if they are enrolled in college. If enacted, the bill would include the children of state troopers, police and firefighters who were killed on or after Jan. 1, 2016.
“Providing this equal access to death benefits honors our commitment to all of New Jersey’s lifesaving public servants, not just a select few,” Senator Allen added. “I am grateful to Senator Sweeney for his tireless work to pass this bill and to Governor Christie for supporting our efforts to correct this major oversight in state law.”