Bill S1760-2009

Relates to participation by free association libraries in the New York state and local employees' retirement system

Relates to participation by free association public libraries in the New York state and local employees' retirement system.

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  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
  • Feb 6, 2009: REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S1760

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to participation by free association libraries in the New York state and local employees' retirement system

PURPOSE : The bill would allow additional free association libraries to participate in the State retirement system, providing their librarians and other employees equity with those free association libraries which are currently in the retirement system, as well as with public libraries operating under other forms of governance.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Adds a new section 31-g to the Retirement and Social Security Law allowing free association libraries which meet enumerated standards to join the retirement system and providing for administration of the process. To be eligible, libraries must be chartered by the State Board of Regents, receive the majority of their revenues from public sources, provide for public voting on both their budgets and their trustees, and file appropriate reports with the State Comptroller.

EXISTING LAW : Section 31 of the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) permits, but does not require, the State Comptroller to accept for membership in the State retirement system, "Any public or quasi-public organization created wholly or partly or deriving its powers by the legislature of the state and which organization employs persons engaged in service to the public..." Pursuant to this section, the Comptroller appears to have admitted 16 free association libraries to participation in the retirement system, but reportedly has not accepted applications in recent years. Other sections of law (see sections 31-a, 31-b, 31-c, 31-d and 32 of the RSSL) provide membership for specific named public libraries and library systems.

JUSTIFICATION : This bill was requested by the New York Library Association (NYLA). Public libraries in New York generally operate under one of four types of governance. Some are agencies or departments of a municipality, so library staff are employees of the municipality and are thus members of the retirement system. Others are special districts created by special State legislation, and their retirement system participation may be established by their enabling legislation. Others are voter-established "school district public libraries," which are eligible to participate in the state retirement system pursuant to section 31-a of the RSSL. The fourth type of public library governance is the free association library. Free association libraries are subject to the same rights and responsibilities pursuant to the Education Law as are public libraries operating under other types of governance. Funding for these libraries typically is provided by the municipality (or municipalities) which they serve. These libraries receive the same State and federal aid as other public libraries. The largest and most well-known free association library is the research library of the New York Public Library, which is actually owned by the Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations. (This free association library is specifically made eligible to participate in the retirement system by section 32 of the RSSL.)

The vast majority of free association libraries, however, serve small, rural upstate communities. Their lack of participation in the retirement system hampers their ability to recruit and retain librarians and other staff. Experienced staff currently working in other libraries may be reluctant to accept employment which does not count toward their retirement, while entry-level staff are likely to move on to jobs at other libraries or other local government agencies which participate in the retirement system. Permitting these libraries to participate in the retirement system will "level the playing field" and ensure high quality library services for citizens in all parts of the State.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.7507/A.10518 of 2007.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : This bill would permit any free association public library which meets certain specific criteria to elect participation in the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System.

If this bill is enacted and an eligible corporation elects participation, the future annual cost would depend on the retirement plan adopted.

As a percentage of payroll, we anticipate that the annual contributions of the affected corporation for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, will be as follows:

Tier 1 4.7% to 9.2% Tier 2 4.5% to 8.5% Tier 3 6.9% Tier 4 6.9%

In addition to the annual contributions discussed above, there will be a deficiency cost to the affected corporation which will be payable for a 25 year period. These costs will depend on age, service, salary, tier status and plan of the affected employees.

This estimate, dated January 27, 2009 and intended for use only during the 2009 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2009-116, prepared by the Actuary for the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : No direct fiscal implications to local governments. The actual costs of participation in the retirement system will be billed by the Comptroller directly to the participating free association libraries.

EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1760 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 6, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to participation by free association libraries in the New York state and local employees' retirement system THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The retirement and social security law is amended by adding a new section 31-g to read as follows: S 31-G. PARTICIPATION BY FREE ASSOCIATION LIBRARIES. A FREE ASSOCI- ATION LIBRARY AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE OF THE EDUCATION LAW AND WHICH MEETS THE CRITERIA SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION, MAY BY RESOLUTION ADOPTED AS PROVIDED IN SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHT OF THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION LAW BY ITS BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE COMPTROLLER, ELECT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RETIRE- MENT SYSTEM. ACCEPTANCE OF ITS EMPLOYEES FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE RETIRE- MENT SYSTEM SHALL BE MANDATORY WITH THE COMPTROLLER, WHO SHALL DETERMINE THE AMOUNTS OF CONTRIBUTION PAYABLE BY SUCH LIBRARY AND ITS EMPLOYEES, SHALL RESOLVE QUESTIONS OF CREDIT FOR PRIOR SERVICE, AND SHALL IN ALL OTHER RESPECTS ASSURE THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES SHARE THE SAME RIGHTS, OBLI- GATIONS AND BENEFITS AS OTHER MEMBERS OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM. A FREE ASSOCIATION LIBRARY SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO JOIN THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM UNDER THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: (A) SUCH LIBRARY SHALL BE CHARTERED BY THE STATE BOARD OF REGENTS; (B) SUCH LIBRARY SHALL SERVE THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF ITS CHARTERED SERVICE AREA; (C) THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF SUCH LIBRARY SHALL BE ELECTED BY THE VOTERS OF ITS CHARTERED SERVICE AREA; (D) SUCH LIBRARY'S BUDGET SHALL BE APPROVED BY THE VOTERS OF ITS CHAR- TERED SERVICE AREA;
(E) AT LEAST FIFTY-ONE PERCENT OF SUCH LIBRARY'S BUDGET SHALL DERIVE FROM PUBLIC SOURCES; AND (F) SUCH LIBRARY SHALL FILE THE ANNUAL REPORT WITH THE COMPTROLLER AS REQUIRED OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES BY SECTION THIRTY OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately. FISCAL NOTE. -- Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50: This bill would permit any free association public library which meets certain specific criteria to elect participation in the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System. If this bill is enacted and an eligible corporation elects partic- ipation, the future annual cost would depend on the retirement plan adopted. As a percentage of payroll, we anticipate that the annual contrib- utions of the affected corporation for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, will be as follows: Tier 1 4.7% to 9.2% Tier 2 4.5% to 8.5% Tier 3 6.9% Tier 4 6.9% In addition to the annual contributions discussed above, there will be a deficiency cost to the affected corporation which will be payable for a 25 year period. These costs will depend on the age, service, salary, tier status and plan of the affected employees. This estimate, dated January 27, 2009, and intended for use only during the 2009 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2009-116, prepared by the Actuary for the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System.

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