Relates to providing accidental disability retirement benefits for chief fire marshals, assistant chief fire marshals, division supervising fire marshals, supervising marshals, fire marshals and fire marshal trainees.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to providing accidental disability retirement benefits for chief fire marshals, assistant chief fire marshals, division supervising fire marshals, supervising fire marshals, fire marshals and fire marshal trainees in Nassau county
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation provides for a Y2 performance of duty retirement for various fire marshal titles within Nassau County who are injured in the line of duty.
JUSTIFICATION: Nassau County Fire Marshals provide services countywide, including inspectional duties, Hazmat operations, the investigation of suspicious fires, and the apprehension of arsonists and other criminals. They are armed peace officers in New York State.
Though rare, it does happen that Nassau County Fire Marshals are rendered seriously and permanently disabled due to injuries sustained in the line of duty. While such instances occur infrequently, they are nonetheless devastating to the Marshal involved, their spouses, and their children.
Fire Marshals respond to and perform work at the scene of serious fires and Hazmat situations. Responses to Hazmat incidents place the Fire Marshals with materials that, by their nature, are extremely dangerous. Incidents involving flammables, corrosives, explosives, and deadly fumes can cause extremely serious injury and disability to those responding to and abating these conditions. Further, the Fire Marshals are trained to handle weapons of mass destruction, as well as to deal with CBRNE response and mitigation. These threats involve chemical and biological agents, radiological and nuclear issues, which are all inherently dangerous.
Though the Marshals are well trained, the operations they perform are by their nature very dangerous and can result in serious injury. Additionally, in their investigation and apprehension role, Fire Marshals are exposed to similar conditions as any other law enforcement officer with arrest powers in our state. It should be noted that Police Officers in Nassau County have a 50% disability benefit.
This bill will provide appropriate protection for Nassau County Fire Marshals and their families in the event of a serious on-the-job disablement. It also will rectify the imbalance in protection that currently exists between the Fire Marshals and other, similar law enforcement officers.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: See fiscal note.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4987--A 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 27, 2015 ___________Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to providing accidental disability retirement benefits for chief fire marshals, assistant chief fire marshals, division supervising fire marshals, supervising fire marshals, fire marshals and fire marshal trainees in Nassau county 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 607-i to read as follows: S 607-I. PERFORMANCE OF DUTY, DISABILITY RETIREMENT FOR CHIEF FIRE MARSHALS, ASSISTANT CHIEF FIRE MARSHALS, DIVISION SUPERVISING FIRE MARSHALS, SUPERVISING FIRE MARSHALS, FIRE MARSHALS AND FIRE MARSHAL TRAINEES IN NASSAU COUNTY. A. THE COUNTY OF NASSAU SHALL MAKE THE BENE- FITS PROVIDED HEREIN AVAILABLE TO CHIEF FIRE MARSHALS, ASSISTANT CHIEF FIRE MARSHALS, DIVISION SUPERVISING FIRE MARSHALS, SUPERVISING FIRE MARSHALS, FIRE MARSHALS AND FIRE MARSHAL TRAINEES IN THE EMPLOY OF NASSAU COUNTY. B. A MEMBER SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RETIREMENT FOR DISABILITY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY IF, AT THE TIME APPLICATION THEREFOR IS FILED, HE OR SHE IS: 1. PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPACITATED FOR PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AS THE NATURAL AND PROXIMATE RESULT OF A DISABILITY, NOT CAUSED BY HIS OR HER OWN WILLFUL NEGLIGENCE SUSTAINED IN SUCH SERVICE AND WHILE ACTUALLY A MEMBER OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM; AND 2. ACTUALLY IN SERVICE UPON WHICH HIS OR HER MEMBERSHIP IS BASED. HOWEVER, IN A CASE WHERE A MEMBER IS DISCONTINUED FROM SERVICE, EITHER VOLUNTARILY OR INVOLUNTARILY, SUBSEQUENT TO SUSTAINING A DISABILITY INEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10180-06-5 S. 4987--A 2
SUCH SERVICE, APPLICATION MAY BE MADE NOT LATER THAN TWO YEARS AFTER THE MEMBER IS FIRST DISCONTINUED FROM SERVICE; AND PROVIDED THAT THE MEMBER MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION A OF THIS SECTION AND THIS SUBDI- VISION. C. APPLICATION FOR A PERFORMANCE OF DUTY DISABILITY RETIREMENT ALLOW- ANCE FOR SUCH A MEMBER MAY BE MADE BY: 1. SUCH MEMBER; OR 2. THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH SUCH MEMBER IS EMPLOYED; OR 3. ANY PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF OF AND AUTHORIZED BY SUCH MEMBER. D. 1. AFTER THE FILING OF SUCH AN APPLICATION, SUCH MEMBER SHALL BE GIVEN ONE OR MORE MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS. NO SUCH APPLICATION SHALL BE APPROVED, HOWEVER, UNLESS THE MEMBER OR SOME OTHER PERSON ON HIS OR HER BEHALF SHALL HAVE FILED WRITTEN NOTICE IN THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER WITHIN NINETY DAYS AFTER SUCH OCCURRENCE WHICH IS THE BASIS FOR THE DISABILITY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY, SETTING FORTH: (A) THE TIME AND THE PLACE OF SUCH OCCURRENCE; AND (B) THE PARTICULARS THEREOF; AND (C) THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE MEMBER'S INJURIES; AND (D) HIS OR HER ALLEGED DISABILITY. 2. THE NOTICE HEREIN REQUIRED NEED NOT BE GIVEN: (A) IF THE NOTICE OF SUCH OCCURRENCE SHALL BE FILED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW OF ANY STATE WITHIN WHICH A PARTICIPATING EMPLOYER IN NASSAU COUNTY SHALL HAVE ITS EMPLOYEES LOCATED OR PERFORMING FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES WITHIN THE NORMAL SCOPE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT; OR (B) IF THE APPLICATION FOR PERFORMANCE OF DUTY DISABILITY RETIREMENT IS FILED WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF THE OCCURRENCE WHICH FORMS THE BASIS FOR THE APPLICATION; OR (C) IF A FAILURE TO FILE NOTICE HAS BEEN EXCUSED FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN AS PROVIDED BY RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE COMPTROLLER. E. IF THE COMPTROLLER DETERMINES THAT THE MEMBER IS PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPACITATED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY PURSUANT TO SUBDIVI- SION B OF THIS SECTION AND OUGHT TO BE RETIRED, SUCH MEMBER SHALL BE SO RETIRED. SUCH RETIREMENT SHALL BE EFFECTIVE AS OF A DATE APPROVED BY THE COMPTROLLER. F. THE ANNUAL RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE PAYABLE UPON RETIREMENT FOR DISA- BILITY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY SHALL BE A PENSION OF ONE-HALF OF HIS OR HER FINAL AVERAGE SALARY PLUS AN ANNUITY WHICH SHALL BE THE ACTUARIAL EQUIVALENT OF THE MEMBER'S ACCUMULATED CONTRIBUTIONS, IF ANY. G. IF THE MEMBER, AT THE TIME OF THE FILING OF AN APPLICATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION C OF THIS SECTION, IS ELIGIBLE FOR A SERVICE RETIREMENT BENEFIT, THEN AND IN THAT EVENT, HE OR SHE MAY SIMUL- TANEOUSLY FILE AN APPLICATION FOR SERVICE RETIREMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION SEVENTY OF THIS CHAPTER, PROVIDED THAT THE MEMBER INDICATES ON THE APPLICATION FOR SERVICE RETIREMENT THAT SUCH APPLICATION IS FILED WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THE APPLICATION FOR THE RETIREMENT FOR DISABILITY INCURRED IN PERFORMANCE OF DUTY. H. ANY BENEFIT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSID- ERED AS AN ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY BENEFIT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION SIXTY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER. I. ANY BENEFIT PAYABLE PURSUANT TO THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW TO A MEMBER RECEIVING A DISABILITY ALLOWANCE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO SUCH RETIREMENT FOR DISABILITY INCURRED IN PERFORMANCE OF DUTY ALLOWANCE.S. 4987--A 3
J. A FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE COMPTROLLER THAT THE MEMBER IS NOT ENTITLED TO RETIREMENT BENEFITS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT IN ANY RESPECT BE, OR CONSTITUTE, A DETERMINATION WITH REGARD TO BENEFITS PAYABLE PURSUANT TO SECTION TWO HUNDRED SEVEN-A OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW. S 2. All costs associated with implementing the provisions of this act shall be borne by Nassau county. S 3. All past service costs incurred due to implementing the provisions of this act will be borne by Nassau County, and may be amor- tized over a 15 year period. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately. FISCAL NOTE. - Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50: This bill would grant any Nassau County Tier 3, 4, 5 and 6 chief fire marshal, assistant fire marshal, division supervising fire marshal, supervising fire marshal, fire marshal and fire marshal trainee an enhanced disability benefit for injuries sustained in the performance of duty. The benefit for a performance of duty disability would be 50% of final average salary. If this bill is enacted during the 2015 session, there will be an estimated increase of approximately $33,000 in the annual contributions of Nassau County for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015. In addition to the annual contributions discussed above, there will be an immediate past service cost of $221,000 which may be borne by Nassau County as a one-time payment. This estimate is based on the assumption that payment will be made on February 1, 2016. If Nassau County elects to amortize this cost over a 15 year period, the cost for the first year would be $23,300. These estimated costs above are based on 45 fire marshals employed by Nassau County with a total estimated annual salary of approximately $4.8 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. Summary of relevant resources: The membership data used in measuring the impact of the proposed change was the same as that used in the March 31, 2014 actuarial valu- ation. Distributions and other statistics can be found in the 2014 Report of the Actuary and the 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The actuarial assumptions and methods used are described in the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Annual Report to the Comptroller on Actuarial Assumptions, and the Codes Rules and Regulations of the State of New York: Audit and Control. The Market Assets and GASB Disclosures are found in the March 31, 2014 New York State and Local Retirement System Financial Statements and Supplementary Information. I am a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and meet the Quali- fication Standards to render the actuarial opinion contained herein. This estimate, dated May 28, 2015, and intended for use only during the 2015 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2015-119, prepared by the Actuary for the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System.