Relates to defining the terms "retiree" and "beneficiary" within the freedom of information law.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to defining the terms "retiree" and "beneficiary" within the freedom of information law
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to clarify that the name of a retiree in a public employees' retirement system is subject to disclosure under FOIL.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would amend section 86 of the Public Officers Law to define "retiree" as a former officer or employee of an agency, the state legislature, or the judiciary who was a member of a public retirement system of the state, as such term is defined in subdivision twenty-three of section five hundred one of the retirement and social security law and is receiving, or entitled to receive, a benefit from such public retirement system. The bill would also define "beneficiary" as a person designated by a member or retiree of a public retirement system of the state to receive retirement or death benefits following the death of the member or retiree.
JUSTIFICATION: Subdivision 7 of section 89 of the Public Officers Law clearly states that the identity of a retiree can be disclosed in response to a FOIL request, but that the identity of a beneficiary is exempt. Despite this, the First Department, Appellate Division interpreted this subdivision to preclude access to the names of retirees who receive pension benefits through the NYC Police Pension Fund (Empire Center for New York State Policy v. New York City Police Pension Fund, 88 AD3d 520, 930 NYS2d 576, (1st Dept, 2011)). Adding the definitions of "retiree" and "beneficiary" to FOIL will clarify that the intent of subdivision 7 of section 89 is to allow for the release of retiree's names while protecting the names of beneficiaries,
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: A.9461-A - Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None noted.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7614 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to defining the terms "retiree" and "beneficiary" within the freedom of information law THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 86 of the public officers law is amended by adding two new subdivisions 6 and 7 to read as follows: 6. "RETIREE" MEANS A FORMER OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF AN AGENCY, THE STATE LEGISLATURE, OR THE JUDICIARY WHO WAS A MEMBER OF A PUBLIC RETIRE- MENT SYSTEM OF THE STATE, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWEN- TY-THREE OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED ONE OF THE RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECU- RITY LAW AND IS RECEIVING, OR ENTITLED TO RECEIVE, A BENEFIT FROM SUCH PUBLIC RETIREMENT SYSTEM. 7. "BENEFICIARY" MEANS A PERSON DESIGNATED BY A MEMBER OR RETIREE OF A PUBLIC RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF THE STATE TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT OR DEATH BENEFITS FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THE MEMBER OR RETIREE. S 2. Subdivision 7 of section 89 of the public officers law, as added by chapter 783 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: 7. Nothing in this article shall require the disclosure of the home address of an officer or employee, former officer or employee, or of a retiree of a public
[employees']retirement system OF THE STATE, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWENTY-THREE OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED ONE OF THE RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY LAW; nor shall anything in this article require the disclosure of the name or home address of a benefi- ciary of a public [employees']retirement system OF THE STATE, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWENTY-THREE OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED ONE OF THE RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY LAW, or of an applicant for appointment to public employment; provided however, that nothing in this subdivision shall limit or abridge the right of an employee organiza- tion, certified or recognized for any collective negotiating unit of an employer pursuant to article fourteen of the civil service law, toEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09168-01-3 S. 7614 2
obtain the name or home address of any officer, employee or retiree of such employer, if such name or home address is otherwise available under this article. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.