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September 2009

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.

 

Judicial Survivors Protection Act of 2009


Thanks to the Judicial Survivors Protection Act of 2009, signed by the President on August 12, 2009, federal judges who are not currently enrolled have a six-month window of opportunity to join the Judicial Survivors’ Annuities System (JSAS). Additionally, judges now may make voluntary contributions to their survivors’ annuities.

All active, senior, and full-time recalled judges who previously opted not to enroll in JSAS have from September 11, 2009, through March 10, 2010, to choose to enroll in the system. Judges who enroll during this open season are required to contribute 2.75 percent of salary, rather than the usual 2.2 percent, through monthly payroll contributions. In addition, the new law gives all active, senior, and full-time recalled judges the ability to make voluntary contributions to enhance the amount of their survivors’ annuities.

Under JSAS, a survivor annuity is provided to a spouse and eligible dependents if the judge dies while in office, while receiving retirement compensation, or, in the case of a bankruptcy or magistrate judge, while awaiting receipt of a deferred annuity under the Judicial Retirement System. A judge must choose to participate in JSAS within six months of appointment to office, elevation to a higher court, or after marriage. The current Act provides a rare opportunity to elect to participate in JSAS during a statutorily created open season.

Judges wishing to know more about JSAS and how this new legislation may affect them should contact the Judges Compensation and Retirement Services Office at the Administrative Office at 202-502-1880.