nj teacher benefits

Teachers in New Jersey are provided with a range of attractive benefits. Most notably, they receive lifetime pensions and health insurance coverage.

In addition, they are enrolled in the statewide Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) defined benefit retirement plan, which administers lifetime retirement assets that become available upon retirement.


The mainstay of teacher compensation, pensions provide a significant portion of a retired teachers’ income. They are based on a formula that includes the teacher’s years of service and their final average salary.

Almost all states offer a defined benefit retirement plan. This type of pension offers lifetime retirement assets that grow with time, and can be augmented with Social Security benefits. Teachers are automatically enrolled in the New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF), which administers a defined benefit pension and annuity program.

Teachers also have access to a tax-sheltered health insurance plan that covers life and disability coverage. The New Jersey School Boards Association has opposed the double-digit health premium increases approved Monday for school employees enrolled in the state’s health plan, saying they will affect district budgets and may force schools to cut programs and staff. The rates were approved by a panel that includes both government and union representatives. The state’s public employee health benefits commission is required to review and approve insurance rates annually.

Health Benefits

As a teacher, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of some very competitive health benefits. Each district negotiates with its local teachers’ union for these benefits, so your exact costs and premium tier will vary by school. However, in general, the school districts cover a majority of the cost of the insurance. Teachers must pay a small portion of the total cost.

In New Jersey, teachers are enrolled in the state’s Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF). This is a defined benefit retirement system that allows you to retire with a monthly income based on your years of service.

New Jersey teachers and their family members have the option to choose from several medical, dental, and vision plans. Use the Percentage of Premium Chart to determine your per-pay deduction for Aetna Open Access Medical, the Aetna Dental Plan, and the VSP Vision Plan. You may opt-out of these deductions during the initial eligibility period or during an open enrollment or a qualifying life event.

Paid Time Off

Many teachers choose to work in New Jersey because of the attractive benefits. These include a lifetime pension and quality health coverage. These benefits are part of an employee’s deferred compensation package and help attract and retain a highly qualified workforce.

In addition, these benefits help prevent costly absenteeism. When employees are able to take time off for illness, personal reasons, and vacations, they are more likely to be honest and avoid unexcused absences.

However, it is important to note that these benefits come at a cost for both school districts and taxpayers. For example, a recent study by Bellwether Education Partners found that New Jersey’s retirement system for teachers falls behind most other states. The state’s pension system is also non-portable, meaning that educators who switch careers or move across state lines can’t bring their old pension with them. This can have a significant impact on their long-term savings.

Professional Development

Continuing education is a vital part of any career-minded individual’s life. Teachers are no exception. They take time away from the classroom to attend workshops and courses on a variety of subjects, including teaching techniques, best practices, and new technology.

The district’s Curriculum Department also offers a fall and spring professional development calendar that includes a variety of topics. These sessions are led by in-house Curriculum Supervisors and the district’s Technology Coordinator.

Teachers have one of the most competitive compensation and benefit packages in the state. They are guaranteed a minimum starting salary, a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, and the opportunity to advance in their profession. Plus, they get 17 days of paid vacation and sick time each year! The Newark Board of Education strives to attract, retain and support highly effective educators, allowing them to focus on providing remarkable educational experiences for their students.