Relates to extending the filing deadline from two years to five years for active and retired firefighters in the New York state and local police and fire retirement system.
Ayes (63): Addabbo, Amedore, Avella, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, Comrie, Croci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Funke, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Hamilton, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Montgomery, Murphy, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Ortt, Panepinto, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Venditto, Young
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to accidental disability retirement
To extend the filing deadline from 2 years to 5 years for firefighters in the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System to file application for disability benefits due to certain cancers.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Paragraph 2 of subdivision a of section 363 of the retirement and social security law is amended.
The increased use of plastics and other chemical products, including flame-retardant materials, in the last several decades has resulted in a qualitative change in the nature of the compounds that firefighters are exposed to while fighting fires. A 2013 peer-reviewed study entitled, "Persistent Organic Pollutants including polychlorinated and polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in firefighters from Northern California," which was co-authored by, among others, two research scientists from the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, showed that firefighters had elevated concentrations of certain compounds produced by burning chemicals contained in flame-retardant materials when compared to the U.S. population. One study concluded that the firefighters at fires and during cleanup suffer greater exposure to chemicals and their byproducts that pose a significant health risk.
Concurrently with the increased exposure to these toxic and carcinogenic compounds, reports of cancer for both active and retired firefighters continue to rise when compared to average adult population across the nation, including, but not limited to, mouth and throat cancer, intestinal and rectal cancer, colon, lung, prostate, and lymphatic cancer and excess total cancer and leukemia deaths. More and more published studies are linking the increased incidents of cancer among firefighters to the proliferation of synthetic chemicals, plastics, and other materials that produce harmful byproducts when burned at the scene of fires.
It is also evident that the resulting cancers from firefighters' exposure to these toxins and carcinogens are not immediately obvious or diagnosable. Many cancers can take years to develop or even to manifest any symptoms. Due to the routine and significant exposure to the harmful chemicals and their byproducts when burned, it is necessary to extend the filing period for cancers experienced by firefighters from the present two-year-time period after normal retirement to a five-year-time period to adequately address the disabilities that firefighters incur while fighting fires in service to the public.
2014 Session: A.9541 / S.7176-A
See fiscal note.
This act shall take effect immediately and apply to all applications filed on or after January 1, 2014.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5012 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 28, 2015 ___________Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- 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 accidental disability retirement THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph 2 of subdivision a of section 363 of the retire- ment and social security law, as amended by chapter 489 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: 2. Actually in service upon which his membership is based. However, in a case where a member is discontinued from service subsequent to the accident, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and provided that the member meets the requirements of paragraph one of this subdivision, application may be made, either (a) by a vested member incapacitated as the result of a qualifying World Trade Center condition as defined in section two of this chapter at any time, or (b) not later than two years after the member is first discontinued from service. PROVIDED FURTHER THAT IN THE CASE OF AN APPLICATION FILED FOR ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY BENE- FITS PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE-D OF THIS TITLE, THE REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING FOR SUCH BENEFITS SHALL BE FIVE YEARS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and apply to all applica- tions filed on or after January 1, 2014. FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50: This bill would extend the filing deadline from 2 years to 5 years for active and retired firefighters in the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System to file an application for accidental disa- bility retirement due to certain cancers. If this bill is enacted, the cost would depend on the age, service, salary and plan of the affected firefighters, as well as whether such person would have otherwise been eligible for, or has been receiving anEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10604-01-5 S. 5012 2 ordinary disability, a performance of duty disability or a service retirement. For those who apply for this benefit subsequent to a service retire- ment, it is estimated that there would be an average per person cost of approximately 1.5 times final average salary. For those who apply subse- quent to a performance of duty retirement, it is estimated that there would be an average per person cost of approximately 2 times final aver- age salary. For those who apply subsequent to an ordinary disability retirement, it is estimated that there would be an average per person cost of approximately 4 times final average salary. The number of members and retirees who could be affected by this legislation cannot be readily determined. These costs would be borne by the State of New York and all the participating employers in the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System. For the one person known to be affected there will be a cost of approximately $218,000, assuming a February 1, 2016 payment date. The cost will be shared by the State of New York and all the participating employers in the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System. 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 January 14, 2015, and intended for use only during the 2015 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No, 2015-19, prepared by the Actuary for the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System.