Bill A7972A-2009

Provides for compliance by the NYS&LERS and NYS&LP&FRS with the requirements of the federal older workers' benefit protection act

Provides for compliance by the NYS&LERS and NYS&LP&FRS with the requirements of the federal older workers' benefit protection act; provides that provisions relating to disability benefits, ordinary death benefits and post-retirement death benefits would be modified to be consistent with benefits currently paid by other retirement systems as required by OWBPA.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 24, 2010: substituted by s5533a
  • Jun 24, 2010: rules report cal.330
  • Jun 24, 2010: reported
  • Jun 24, 2010: reported referred to rules
  • Jun 8, 2010: reported referred to ways and means
  • Apr 19, 2010: print number 7972a
  • Apr 19, 2010: amend and recommit to governmental employees
  • Jan 12, 2010: committed to governmental employees
  • Jan 6, 2010: ordered to third reading cal.542
  • Jan 6, 2010: RETURNED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jan 6, 2010: DIED IN SENATE
  • Jun 11, 2009: REFERRED TO RULES
  • Jun 9, 2009: delivered to senate
  • Jun 9, 2009: passed assembly
  • Jun 8, 2009: ordered to third reading rules cal.93
  • Jun 8, 2009: rules report cal.93
  • Jun 8, 2009: reported
  • Jun 2, 2009: reported referred to rules
  • May 19, 2009: reported referred to ways and means
  • Apr 30, 2009: referred to governmental employees

Memo

BILL NUMBER:A7972A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to bringing certain provisions of such law into accordance with the requirements of the federal older workers' benefit protection act (OWBPA)

PURPOSE:

To amend provisions of the Retirement and Social Security Law ("RSSL") relating to death and disability benefits payable to members and beneficiaries of the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (the "Retirement Systems") in a manner that will comply with the requirements of the Federal Older Workers' Benefit Protection Act.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill is a declaration of legislative intent.

Section 2 of the bill would amend RSSL §62(b)(1) to except members enrolled in a plan under §§ 70-a, 71 or 75 from its general rule which provides that individuals who are granted ordinary disability benefits after attaining age 60 shall receive benefits equal to the amount of service retirement that would be payable. It further provides that such plan members shall receive an amount calculated under § 62(b)(2)(c)(2).

Section 3 of the bill would amend RSSL §362 to except members enrolled in a plan under §§ 370-a, 371 or 375 from its general rule which provides that individuals who are granted ordinary disability benefits after attaining age 60 shall receive benefits equal to the amount of service retirement that would be payable. It further provides that such plan members shall receive an amount calculated under § 362(b)(2)(c)(2).

Section 4 of the bill would amend RSSL §448(a) (2) to change the rate of reduction of death benefit amounts payable to individuals based on the age at which the member entered service. It eliminates for Retirement System members, death benefit reductions of 10% per year from age 61, up to a maximum of 90% reduction. It substitutes, for certain members of the Retirement Systems, a benefit reduction formula of 3% per year from age 61, not to exceed 60% of the original benefit. Most members of The New York State and Local Retirement System ("NYSLERS), upon reaching age 61, will have death benefit reductions of 4% a year, not to exceed 60% of the original benefit. It further provides that the post-retirement death benefit for a NYSLERS member will not be less than 10% of the benefit in force at the time of retirement.

Section 5 of the bill would amend RSSL §506(a) to exempt members of the NYSLERS from its provision otherwise disqualifying individuals from ordinary disability benefit eligibility because of the member's eligibility for normal service retirement benefits.

Section 6 of the bill would amend RSSL §507(a) to exempt members of the NYSLERS from ineligibility for accidental disability benefits because of the member's eligibility for normal service retirement benefits. Section 6-a of the bill would amend RSSL §507(c) to change the accidental disability benefits available to NYSLERS members to a pension equal to 60% of final average salary less 50% of the primary social security disability benefit, if any, and 100% of the workers compensation benefits.

Section 7 of the bill would amend RSSL §508(a)(2) to change the rate of reduction of death benefit amounts payable to individuals based on the age of the member when he or she last joined the system. It also eliminates for Retirement System members, death benefit reductions of 10% per year from age 61, up to a maximum of 90% reduction. It substitutes, for certain members of the Retirement Systems, a benefit reduction formula of 3% per year from age 61, not to exceed 70% of the original benefit. Most members of NYSLERS, upon reaching 61, will have death benefit reductions of 4% a year, not to exceed 60% of the original benefit. It further provides that the post-retirement death benefit for a NYSLERS member will not be less than 10% of the benefit in force at the time of retirement.

Section 8 of the bill would amend RSSL §508 to increase death benefits, in an OWBPA compliant manner, to a limited group of Retirement System members who have a constitutional right to coverage by a repealed provision of such section.

Section 9 of the bill would amend RSSL §605(d) to add a new paragraph 4 to provide a minimum death benefit for NYSLERS members who are disabled as a result of an accident sustained in the performance of duties in active service to one-third of the member's final average salary.

Section 10 of the bill would amend RSSL §606 (a)(2) to change the rate of reduction of death benefit amounts payable to individuals based on the age of the member when he or she last joined the system. It also eliminates for Retirement System members, death benefit reductions of 10% per year from age 61, up to a maximum of 90% reduction. It substitutes, for certain members of the Retirement Systems, a benefit reduction formula of 3% per year from age 61, not to exceed 70% of the original benefit. Most members of the New York State and Local Retirement System ("NSLERS"), upon reaching age 61, will have death benefit reductions of 4% a year, not to exceed 60% of the original benefit. It further provides

that the post-retirement death benefit for a NYSLERS member will not be less than 10% of the benefit in force at the time of retirement.

Section 11 provides for an immediate effective date, retroactive to October 16, 1992, with certain qualifications.

JUSTIFICATION:

The federal Older Workers' Benefit Protection Act ("OWBPA") was enacted in October 1990. OWBPA prohibits certain aged-based discriminatory distinctions in disability and death benefits provided by employers. OWBPA applies to disability retirement benefits payable by the Retirement Systems on or after October 16, 1992, and to all death benefits which became payable on account of deaths which occurred on or after such date.

Because the Legislature has yet to amend the pertinent provisions of the Retirement and Social Security Law, the Retirement Systems have restructured the disability and death benefit formulas to comply with OWBPA. The new formulas have been in place since June, 1996 and the Retirement Systems have been paying all new benefits under the restructured formulas, as well as making adjustments retroactive to the October 16, 1992 compliance date to all individuals who were previously paid under non-complying formulas.

The Retirement Systems' benefit structure is now in full compliance with OWBPA and we believe that the New York State Constitution's prohibition against diminution of established pension rights and benefits renders these changes permanent. Nevertheless, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has advised the Retirement Systems that it may view the legislature's continuing failure to change the pertinent provisions of the RSSL to comply with OWBPA to be a "willful violation" of Federal Law, which could give rise to "double damages" to large classes of disability pensioners and death benefit beneficiaries. In view of this potential, substantial liability and the fact that Federal Law requires the statutory changes that would be accomplished by this bill, we believe enactment of this measure is imperative.

In 1992, the Comptroller commissioned Buck Consultants, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as "Buck") to analyze the death benefit structure to determine whether and to what extent such structure violated OWBPA. The resulting report contained recommendations as to the best possible approaches to amending the benefit structure to comply with OWBPA in a manner consistent with the Comptroller's fiduciary responsibilities as Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The analyses and recommendations contained in the resulting report were utilized and followed in the development of the OWBPA-complying disability and death benefit structures that have been adopted by the Retirement Systems and are provided by this measure.

There are two ways in which an employer may provide employee disability and death benefit plans that comply with OWBPA. The first of the two - the "equal benefits" approach - is to provide benefits under which the calculations and eligibility requirements do not contain age-based distinctions. The second means of compliance is commonly referred to as the "equal costs" method, under which the costs of providing benefits to different aged individuals are equal. To use the more common terminology, a benefit plan with age-based distinctions may comply with OWBPA if the age-based distinctions can be "cost-justified".

In order to comply with both OWBPA and the New York State constitution, the death benefit structure had to be revised so as to increase benefits payable on account of the deaths of older members - without decreasing amounts payable on account of younger members. In view of this constitutional mandate to comply with OWBPA in such a manner, it was less costly for the Retirement Systems to adopt and implement "cost-justified" death and disability retirement benefit structures than it would have been to implement "equal benefits" structures. Minimizing the cost of complying with OWBPA, however, is not the only reason that a cost-justified approach was utilized by the Retirement systems. The Comptroller had a fudiciary obligation to accomplish compliance in a manner that followed the existing state statutory benefit structure as closely as possible. The fact that the existing provisions of the RSSL did make; aged-based distinctions in benefit calculations required adoption of a "cost-justified" benefit structure.

Not all of the RSSL death and disability benefit provisions are violative of OWBPA. Accordingly, only the offending provisions are affected by this measure. One of the two death benefits which Tier 2, 3 and 4 members of the Employees' Retirement System may elect to pursuant to RSSL sections 448, 508 and 606 contains age-based benefit reductions that are not cost-justified. These sections provide for reductions in benefits based on the age of the individual at the time of entry into membership, and for additional reductions based on the age at death (if death occurs following attainment of age 61). Based on the Buck report findings, we have determined that there is no cost justification for any reduction based on age at entry to membership, and accordingly, the restructured benefit formula removes the existing reductions for age at membership.

These same sections of law provide for a second adjustment based on the age of the member at the time of death. The reduction is 10% of the benefit otherwise payable (on account of a qualifying death before attainment of age 61) for each year by which the age at death exceeds age 60. Reductions at this rate continue until attainment of age 69, at which point the benefit is reduced by 90% of the amount

payable. Under the statute, the reduction may not exceed 90%.

We have determined that the statutory reduction of 10% for death at age 61 and an additional 10% for each year between age 61 and 69 is not cost-justified. Rather, it was determined that the appropriate cost-justified amount of the reduction for age at death following attainment of age 61 for most Employees' Retirement System members is 4% for each year by which the age at death exceeds 60. With respect to Police and Fire System members (and Employees' Retirement System members in special plans), it has been determined that the appropriate cost-justified amount of the reduction for age at death is 3% for each year by which the age at death exceeds 60. The maximum reduction, which applies when death occurs at age 70 or thereafter, is 40% for most Employees' Retirement System members and 30% for Police and Fire System members (and for Employees' Retirement System members in special plans). The restructured benefit structure reflected by this measure adopts these cost-justified reduction percentages. However, we note that the provisions requiring aged-based reductions apply only to a small minority of the Tier 2 Police and Fire System membership.

Similarly, this bill would amend provisions of the RSSL that make age-based distinctions for disability retirement benefits available to members of the New York State and Local Retirement System that are impermissible under OWBPA. Under the existing provisions of sections 62 and 362, the ordinary disability benefits payable to the very few (if any) contributory Tier 1 and 2 members of both Systems who have attained age 60 are limited to the amount of the service retirement benefit that would be payable to such individuals. This measure would amend those sections to provide that the disability benefits for such individuals shall be calculated under statutory formulas applicable to younger applicants. Sections 506 and 507 of the RSSL, which provide disability retirement benefits for Tier 3 members of the Employees' Retirement System, currently provide that individuals eligible for "normal" retirement shall not be eligible. The phrase "normal retirement benefits" refers to benefits which are not reduced for early retirement (prior to attainment of age 62 for most Tier 3 members; 55 for those with 30 years of credited service). Accordingly, these sections effectively provide that individuals who have attained age 62 (or 55, with 30 years of credited service) are ineligible for disability retirement. This measure would remove these limitations, and make such disability benefits available to individuals without regard to age. Lastly, this bill would amend section 605 of the RSSL which currently provides for impermissible age-based reductions in the benefit calculation. Under this measure, section 605 provides a benefit equal to one-third of final average salary to all applicants who are permanently incapacitated as the result of an accident.

In conclusion, this measure would bring the statutory provisions pertaining to disability and death benefits for members of the New York State and Local Retirement Systems into compliance with OWBPA. Enactment of this measure would not produce any additional costs to the State or participating employers because the changes to the benefit structure provided herein have already been implemented in order to comply with OWBPA, and the employer billing rates in effect already reflect these changes. We emphasize that federal law requires these changes, and failure to amend the technically offending provisions of the Retirement and Social Security Law may be viewed as a "willful violation" of federal law that possibly could result in damages.

In view of the foregoing, the Comptroller respectfully urges enactment of this measure.

FISCAL NOTE: This bill would change the Retirement and Social Security Law as it affects the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (NYSLERS) and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (NYSLPFRS) to comply with the requirements of the Federal Older Workers' Benefit Protection Act ("OWBPA"). Provisions relating to disability benefits, ordinary death benefits, and post-retirement death benefits would be modified to be consistent with the benefits currently being paid by the Retirement Systems, as required by OWBPA.

If this bill is enacted, there will be no increase in benefits being paid by the NYSLERS and NYSLPFRS to members or beneficiaries. Therefore, there will be no cost if this bill is enacted.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7972--A 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY April 30, 2009 ___________
Introduced by M. of A. ABBATE, McENENY, COLTON -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. WEINSTEIN -- (at request of the State Comptroller) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Governmental Employees -- committed to Governmental Employees -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to bringing certain provisions of such law into accordance with the requirements of the federal older workers' benefit protection act (OWBPA) THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Declaration of legislative intent. This act is intended to bring the statutory provisions pertaining to the New York state and local employees' retirement system and the New York state and local police and fire retirement system into compliance with the Federal Older Workers' Benefit Protection Act, P.L. 101-433, by providing death and disability benefits for which the cost incurred on behalf of an older member is no less than that incurred on behalf of a younger member of such systems, as permissible under section 1625.10 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. S 2. Paragraph 1 of subdivision b of section 62 of the retirement and social security law, as amended by chapter 1087 of the laws of 1969, is amended to read as follows: 1. If the member has attained age sixty when such retirement becomes effective, his OR HER retirement allowance shall be equal to that which he OR SHE would receive in the case of superannuation retirement, UNLESS THE MEMBER IS ENROLLED IN A PLAN PROVIDED UNDER SECTION SEVENTY-A, SEVENTY-ONE-A OR SEVENTY-FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE, IN WHICH CASE THE BENEFIT SHALL BE CALCULATED IN THE MANNER DESCRIBED IN CLAUSE TWO OF SUBPARA- GRAPH (C) OF PARAGRAPH TWO OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
S 3. Paragraph 1 of subdivision b of section 362 of the retirement and social security law, as amended by chapter 1087 of the laws of 1969, is amended to read as follows: 1. If a member has attained age sixty when such retirement becomes effective, his OR HER retirement allowance shall be equal to that which he OR SHE would receive in the case of superannuation retirement, UNLESS THE MEMBER IS ENROLLED IN A PLAN PROVIDED UNDER SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-A, THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE-A OR THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE, IN WHICH CASE THE BENEFIT SHALL BE CALCULATED IN THE MANNER DESCRIBED IN CLAUSE TWO OF SUBPARAGRAPH (C) OF PARAGRAPH TWO OF THIS SUBDIVISION. S 4. Paragraph 2 of subdivision a of section 448 of the retirement and social security law, as amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: 2. A benefit upon the death of a member in service equal to the member's salary upon his OR HER completion of one year of service, two years' salary upon completion of two years of service, and three years' salary upon completion of three years of service. In the case of a member of a retirement system other than the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system, THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOY- EES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM OR THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL POLICE AND FIRE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, such benefit shall be subject to the following limi- tations: (a) If the member last joined the retirement system prior to attain- ment of age fifty-two, the maximum benefit shall be three years' salary; (b) If the member was age fifty-two when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be two and one-half times annual salary; (c) If the member was age fifty-three when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be two years' salary; (d) If the member was age fifty-four when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one and one-half times annual salary; (e) If the member was age fifty-five or older but under age sixty-five when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one year's salary; and (f) If the member was age sixty-five or older when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one thousand dollars. In the case of a member of a retirement system other than the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retire- ment system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system, THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM OR THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL POLICE AND FIRE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit otherwise provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety [percentum] PER CENTUM of the benefit otherwise payable and each year thereafter the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to ten [percentum] PER CENTUM per year of the original benefit otherwise payable, but not below ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the original benefit otherwise paya- ble. In the case of a member of the New York state teachers' retirement system, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit other-
wise provided pursuant to this paragraph [two] shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety-six per centum of the benefit other- wise payable and each year thereafter the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to four per centum per year of the original benefit otherwise payable, but not below sixty per centum of the original benefit otherwise payable. In the case of a member of the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system or the New York city teachers' retirement system, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit other- wise provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety-five per centum of the benefit otherwise payable and each year thereafter the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to five per centum per year of the original benefit otherwise payable, but not below fifty per centum of the original bene- fit otherwise payable. IN THE CASE OF ANY MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM WHO IS PERMITTED TO RETIRE WITH- OUT REGARD TO AGE OR A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL POLICE AND FIRE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, COMMENCING UPON ATTAINMENT OF AGE SIXTY-ONE, THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REDUCED WHILE THE MEMBER IS IN SERVICE TO NINETY-SEVEN PER CENTUM OF THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER THE BENEFIT PAYABLE SHALL BE REDUCED BY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THREE PER CENTUM PER YEAR OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, BUT NOT BELOW SEVENTY PER CENTUM OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE. IN THE CASE OF ANY OTHER MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, COMMENCING UPON ATTAINMENT OF AGE SIXTY-ONE, THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PROVIDED PURSU- ANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REDUCED WHILE THE MEMBER IS IN SERVICE TO NINETY-SIX PER CENTUM OF THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER THE BENEFIT PAYABLE SHALL BE REDUCED BY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO FOUR PER CENTUM PER YEAR OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, BUT NOT BELOW SIXTY PER CENTUM OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE. Upon retirement from any retirement system, the benefit in force shall be reduced by fifty [percentum] PER CENTUM; upon completion of the first year of retirement, the benefit in force at the time of retirement shall be reduced by an additional twenty-five [percentum] PER CENTUM, and upon commencement of the third year of retirement, the benefit shall be ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the benefit in force at age sixty, if any, or at the time of retirement if retirement preceded such age; provided, however, the benefit in retirement shall not be reduced below ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the benefit in force at age sixty, if any, or at the time of retirement if retirement preceded such age. NOTWITH- STANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS PARAGRAPH TO THE CONTRARY, THE BENEFIT FOR A RETIREE FROM THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM SHALL NOT BE REDUCED BELOW TEN PER CENTUM OF THE BENE- FIT IN FORCE AT THE TIME OF RETIREMENT. S 5. Subdivision a of section 506 of the retirement and social securi- ty law, as amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: a. A member in active service who is not eligible for a normal retire- ment benefit shall, upon completing five years or more of service, be eligible for the ordinary disability benefit described in subdivision b of this section if such member has been determined to be eligible for primary social security disability benefits; provided, however, that no member of the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system OR
THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM who is other- wise eligible for ordinary disability benefits pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be ineligible for such benefits because such member is eligible for a normal service retirement benefit. S 6. Subdivision a of section 507 of the retirement and social securi- ty law, as amended by chapter 489 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: a. A member in active service, or a vested member incapacitated as the result of a qualifying World Trade Center condition as defined in section two of this chapter, who is not eligible for a normal service retirement benefit shall be eligible for the accidental disability bene- fit described in subdivision c of this section if such member has been determined to be eligible for primary social security disability bene- fits and was disabled as the natural and proximate result of an accident sustained in such active service and not caused by such member's own willful negligence; provided, however, that no member of the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retire- ment system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system OR THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM who is otherwise eligible for accidental disability benefits pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be ineligible for such benefits because such member is eligi- ble for a normal service retirement benefit. S 6-a. Subdivision c of section 507 of the retirement and social secu- rity law, as amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: c. In the case of a member of a retirement system other than THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system or the New York city teachers' retirement system, the accidental disability benefit hereunder shall be a pension equal to two percent of final aver- age salary times years of credited service which such member would have attained if employment had continued until such member's full escalation date, not in excess of the maximum years of service creditable for the normal service retirement benefit, less (i) fifty percent of the primary social security disability benefit, if any, as provided in section five hundred eleven of this article, and (ii) one hundred percent of any workers' compensation benefits payable. In the case of a member of THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system or the New York city teachers' retirement system, the accidental disability benefit hereunder shall be a pension equal to sixty percent of final average salary, less (i) fifty percent of the primary social security disability benefit, if any, as provided in section five hundred eleven of this article, and (ii) one hundred percent of any workers' compensation benefits payable. In the event a disability retiree from any retirement system is not eligible for the primary social security disability benefit and continues to be eligible for disability benefits hereunder, such disability benefit shall be reduced by one-half of such retiree's primary social security retirement benefit, commencing at age sixty-two, in the same manner as provided for service retirement benefits under section five hundred eleven of this article.
S 7. Paragraph 2 of subdivision a of section 508 of the retirement and social security law, as amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: 2. A benefit upon the death of a member in service equal to the member's salary upon his OR HER completion of one year of service, two years' salary upon completion of two years of service, and three years' salary upon completion of three years of service. In the case of a member of a retirement system other than the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system, OR THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, such benefit shall be subject to the following limitations: (a) If the member last joined the retirement system prior to attain- ment of age fifty-two, the maximum benefit shall be three years' salary; (b) If the member was age fifty-two when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be two and one-half times annual salary; (c) If the member was age fifty-three when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be two years' salary; (d) If the member was age fifty-four when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one and one-half times annual salary; (e) If the member was age fifty-five or older but under age sixty-five when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one year's salary; and (f) If the member was age sixty-five or older when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one thousand dollars. In the case of a member of a retirement system other than the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retire- ment system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system, OR THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit otherwise provided pursuant to this para- graph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety [percen- tum] PER CENTUM of the benefit otherwise payable and each year thereaft- er the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to ten [percentum] PER CENTUM per year of the original benefit otherwise paya- ble, but not below ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the original benefit otherwise payable. Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, in the case of a member of the New York state teachers' retirement system, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit otherwise provided pursu- ant to this paragraph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety-six per centum of the benefit otherwise payable, and each year thereafter the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to four per centum per year of the original benefit otherwise payable, but not below sixty per centum of the original benefit otherwise payable. In the case of a member of the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system or the New York city teachers' retirement system, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit otherwise provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety-five per centum of the benefit otherwise payable and each year thereafter the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to five per centum
per year of the original benefit otherwise payable, but not below fifty per centum of the original benefit otherwise payable. IN THE CASE OF ANY MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM WHO IS PERMITTED TO RETIRE WITHOUT REGARD TO AGE, COMMENCING UPON ATTAINMENT OF AGE SIXTY-ONE, THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REDUCED WHILE THE MEMBER IS IN SERVICE TO NINE- TY-SEVEN PER CENTUM OF THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER THE BENEFIT PAYABLE SHALL BE REDUCED BY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THREE PER CENTUM PER YEAR OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, BUT NOT BELOW SEVENTY PER CENTUM OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE. IN THE CASE OF ANY OTHER MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOY- EES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, COMMENCING UPON ATTAINMENT OF AGE SIXTY-ONE, THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REDUCED WHILE THE MEMBER IS IN SERVICE TO NINETY-SIX PER CENTUM OF THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER THE BENEFIT PAYABLE SHALL BE REDUCED BY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO FOUR PER CENTUM PER YEAR OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, BUT NOT BELOW SIXTY PER CENTUM OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE. Upon retirement from any retirement system, the benefit in force shall be reduced by fifty [percentum] PER CENTUM; upon completion of the first year of retirement, the benefit in force at the time of retirement shall be reduced by an additional twen- ty-five [percentum] PER CENTUM, and upon commencement of the third year of retirement, the benefit shall be ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the benefit in force at age sixty, if any, or at the time of retirement if retirement preceded such age; provided, however, the benefit in retire- ment shall not be reduced below ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the bene- fit in force at age sixty, if any, or at the time of retirement if retirement preceded such age. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS PARAGRAPH TO THE CONTRARY, THE BENEFIT FOR A RETIREE FROM THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM SHALL NOT BE REDUCED BELOW TEN PER CENTUM OF THE BENEFIT IN FORCE AT THE TIME OF RETIREMENT. S 8. Section 508 of the retirement and social security law is amended by adding a new subdivision f to read as follows: F. WITH RESPECT TO A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM WHO WAS COVERED BY PARAGRAPH TWO OF SUBDIVISION A OF THE FORMER SECTION FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT OF THIS CHAPTER, AS ADDED BY CHAP- TER EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-SIX, PRIOR TO ITS REPEAL PURSUANT TO CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED SEVENTEEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX AND WHO IS ENTITLED UNDER THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO HAVE BENEFITS CALCULATED UNDER SUCH PROVISION AS IT READ PRIOR TO SUCH NINETEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX AMENDMENT, THE LUMP SUM DEATH BENEFIT SHALL BE DETERMINED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION A OF THIS SECTION. WITH RESPECT TO A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM WHO WAS COVERED BY SUBDIVISION B OF THE FORMER SECTION FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT OF THIS CHAPTER, AS ADDED BY CHAPTER EIGHT HUNDRED NINETY OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-SIX, PRIOR TO ITS REPEAL PURSUANT TO CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED SEVENTEEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX AND WHO IS ENTITLED UNDER THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO HAVE BENEFITS CALCULATED UNDER SUCH PROVISION AS IT READ PRIOR TO SUCH NINETEEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX AMENDMENT, THE LUMP SUM DEATH BENEFIT SHALL BE DETERMINED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION A OF THIS SECTION. S 9. Subdivision d of section 605 of the retirement and social securi- ty law is amended by adding a new paragraph 4 to read as follows: 4. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE MINIMUM BENEFIT PAYABLE TO A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM WHO HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY
INCAPACITATED FOR PERFORMANCE OF GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT AS THE NATURAL AND PROXIMATE RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT NOT CAUSED BY WILLFUL NEGLIGENCE SUSTAINED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES IN ACTIVE SERVICE WHILE ACTUALLY A MEMBER OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM SHALL BE A PENSION OF ONE-THIRD OF SUCH MEMBER'S FINAL AVERAGE SALARY. S 10. Paragraph 2 of subdivision a of section 606 of the retirement and social security law, as amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: 2. A benefit upon the death of a member in service equal to the member's salary upon his OR HER completion of one year of service, two years' salary upon completion of two years of service, and three years' salary upon completion of three years of service. In the case of a member of a retirement system other than the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system OR THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOY- EES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, such benefit shall be subject to the following limitations: (a) If the member last joined the retirement system prior to attain- ment of age fifty-two, the maximum benefit shall be three years' salary; (b) If the member was age fifty-two when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be two and one-half times annual salary; (c) If the member was age fifty-three when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be two years' salary; (d) If the member was age fifty-four when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one and one-half times annual salary; (e) If the member was age fifty-five or older but under age sixty-five when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one year's salary; and (f) If the member was age sixty-five or older when he OR SHE last joined the retirement system, the maximum benefit shall be one thousand dollars. In the case of a member of a retirement system other than the New York state teachers' retirement system, the New York city employees' retire- ment system, the New York city board of education retirement system [or], the New York city teachers' retirement system OR THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit otherwise provided pursuant to this para- graph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety [percen- tum] PER CENTUM of the benefit otherwise payable and each year thereaft- er the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to ten [percentum] PER CENTUM per year of the original benefit otherwise paya- ble, but not below ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the original benefit otherwise payable. In the case of a member of the New York state teachers' retirement system, commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit other- wise provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety-six per centum of the benefit otherwise payable, and each year thereafter the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to four per centum per year of the original benefit otherwise payable, but not below sixty per centum of the original bene- fit otherwise payable. In the case of a member of the New York city employees' retirement system, the New York city board of education retirement system or the New York city teachers' retirement system,
commencing upon attainment of age sixty-one, the benefit otherwise provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be reduced while the member is in service to ninety-five per centum of the benefit otherwise payable and each year thereafter the benefit payable shall be reduced by an amount equal to five per centum per year of the original benefit other- wise payable, but not below fifty per centum of the original benefit otherwise payable. IN THE CASE OF ANY MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM WHO IS PERMITTED TO RETIRE WITHOUT REGARD TO AGE, COMMENCING UPON ATTAINMENT OF AGE SIXTY-ONE, THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REDUCED WHILE THE MEMBER IS IN SERVICE TO NINETY-SEVEN PER CENTUM OF THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER THE BENEFIT PAYABLE SHALL BE REDUCED BY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THREE PER CENTUM PER YEAR OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, BUT NOT BELOW SEVENTY PER CENTUM OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE. IN THE CASE OF ANY OTHER MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, COMMENCING UPON ATTAINMENT OF AGE SIXTY-ONE, THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE REDUCED WHILE THE MEMBER IS IN SERVICE TO NINE- TY-SIX PER CENTUM OF THE BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, AND EACH YEAR THERE- AFTER THE BENEFIT PAYABLE SHALL BE REDUCED BY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO FOUR PER CENTUM PER YEAR OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE, BUT NOT BELOW SIXTY PER CENTUM OF THE ORIGINAL BENEFIT OTHERWISE PAYABLE. Upon retirement, from any retirement system, the benefit in force shall be reduced by fifty [percentum] PER CENTUM; upon completion of the first year of retirement, the benefit in force at the time of retirement shall be reduced by an additional twenty-five [percentum] PER CENTUM, and upon commencement of the third year of retirement, the benefit shall be ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the benefit in force at age sixty, if any, or at the time of retirement if retirement preceded such age; provided, however, the benefit in retirement shall not be reduced below ten [percentum] PER CENTUM of the benefit in force at age sixty, if any, or at the time of retirement if retirement preceded such age. NOTWITH- STANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS PARAGRAPH TO THE CONTRARY, THE BENEFIT FOR A RETIREE FROM THE NEW YORK STATE AND LOCAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM SHALL NOT BE REDUCED BELOW TEN PER CENTUM OF THE BENE- FIT IN FORCE AT THE TIME OF RETIREMENT. S 11. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after October 16, 1992, provided, however, that: (i) this act shall not apply to any payment of benefits which became payable prior to October 16, 1992; and (ii) sections seven and eight of this act shall be effective if and, in such case, only to the extent section 1 of chapter 617 of the laws of 1986 is unconstitutional insofar as it abrogates the rights pursuant to section 508 of the retirement and social security law as added by section 1 of chapter 890 of the laws of 1976, of public employees who became members of the New York state and local employees' retirement system on or after July 27, 1976 and before September 1, 1983. FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50: This bill would change the Retirement and Social Security Law as it affects the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (NYSLERS) and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (NYSLPFRS) to comply with the requirements of the Federal Older Workers' Benefit Protection Act ("OWBPA"). Provisions relating to disa- bility benefits, ordinary death benefits, and post-retirement death benefits would be modified to be consistent with the benefits currently being paid by the Retirement Systems, as required by OWBPA.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.

Discuss!

blog comments powered by Disqus