Bill S7834-2013

Grants retroactive retiree status to former New York city public-school teacher Israel Baum

Grants retroactive retiree status to former New York City public-school teacher Israel Baum.

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  • Jun 13, 2014: REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7834

TITLE OF BILL: An act relating to granting retroactive retiree status to former New York city public-school teacher Israel Baum

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the bill is to enable the widow and children of Israel Baum to receive the pension benefits to which they would otherwise be entitled had Israel Baum formally completed his retirement before his untimely passing.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

The bill deems Israel Baum to have retired as of the date of his death and thus makes the New York City Board of Education responsible for providing pension benefits to his family.

JUSTIFICATION:

Israel Baum worked tirelessly for the New York City Board of Education for 35 years, serving most of those years as a beloved physics teacher in James Madison High School in Brooklyn, was deeply dedicated to the Board of Education and to his students, and routinely stayed many hours after the school day to ensure that his students received the very best lessons he could offer. Because of his many years of service, he was eligible to retire with full pension benefits. He planned to retire in 2009, attended the Board's seminar for retiring teachers, submitted a tentative retirement date, and met with Board of Education officials to plan his retirement. However, before he could complete his formal retirement, he died suddenly of a heart attack on September 20, 2009. Since he did not finalize his formal retirement, his widow and children are not able to receive the pension benefits that he worked tirelessly for over three decades to provide for them, and to which they would otherwise be entitled. In the interests of fairness and equity, and in recognition of Israel Baum's years of public service, this bill would enable his family to receive pension benefits.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

There will be no cost to the state for this legislation, The costs to New York City are presented in the attached Fiscal Note.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7834 IN SENATE June 13, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FELDER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions AN ACT relating to granting retroactive retiree status to former New York city public-school teacher Israel Baum THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, Isra- el Baum, a member of the New York city teachers' retirement system having Tier III status, who was employed as a teacher by the New York City Board of Education from February 1, 1974 until his death on Septem- ber 20, 2009, and who became a member of the New York city teachers' retirement system on October 1, 1977, and who, for reasons not ascriba- ble to his own negligence, was not able to complete the retirement proc- ess before his untimely death, shall be deemed to have officially retired from the New York City Board of Education on September 20, 2009, if, on or before December 31, 2014, Mr. Baum's widow, Rochelle Baum, files a written application therefor, including a retirement benefit option election and election of the beneficiary of such benefits, with the head of the New York city teachers' retirement system; and upon receipt of such application, the head of the New York city teachers' retirement system shall calculate Israel Baum's retirement benefits retroactive to September 20, 2009 and thereafter and pay such benefits accordingly as if he had retired on September 20, 2009. The amount of benefits payable pursuant to this act shall be reduced by the ordinary death benefit which has been paid to Rochelle Baum, less the retroactive sum of previous years that is owed to Mrs. Baum, the exact amount to be calculated actuarially. Due to the length of his service, Mr. Baum was eligible to retire with full pension benefits. Mr. Baum's intent to retire was evidenced by the fact that he, along with his wife, Rochelle Baum, attended a special seminar for teachers given in February 2009 called "Getting Ready for Retirement"; this seminar was expressly designed for those members of the retirement system who were planning to retire within the year. The Baums received a letter dated January 22, 2009 confirming their participation. At the seminar, the Baums were
given a package of documents and an overview regarding retirement proce- dures and benefits. Mr. Baum also submitted an informal designated date of retirement as requested. Subsequently, on June 22, 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Baum attended a personal session at the Board of Education in downtown Brooklyn for the purpose of discussing Mr. Baum's retirement. The Baums discussed the various retirement allowance options and decided that they would select Option 1 - Equal Pay Option, which would allow the benefi- ciary to receive monthly payments equal to 100% of his reduced retire- ment allowance payments. The beneficiary of Israel Baum's retirement allowance was to be his wife, Rochelle Baum. S 2. Any costs incurred as a result of the enactment of this act shall be borne by the New York City Board of Education. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately. FISCAL NOTE -- Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50: PROVISIONS OF PROPOSED LEGISLATION: The proposed legislation would authorize the New York City Teachers' Retirement System ("NYCTRS") to pay pension benefits to the widow of Mr. Israel Baum (Mrs. Rochelle Baum) as if Mr. Baum had retired for service on September 20, 2009 (his date of death), elected a 100% Joint & Survivor form of payment and died immediately thereafter. BACKGROUND: Mr. Baum became a Tier III member of NYCTRS on October 1, 1977. He died on September 20, 2009 without having filed a Service Retire- ment application with NYCTRS. Accordingly, NYCTRS paid on or around February 18, 2010 an Ordinary Death Benefit equal to three times Mr. Baum's last year's salary plus his accumulated contributions plus the interest to his widow, Mrs. Rochelle Baum. These amounts are summarized as follows: *Three times last year's salary $324,419.85 *Accumulated contributions 86,982.30 *Interest to date of payment 7,428.28 $418,830.43 The proposed legislation, if enacted, would authorize NYCTRS to pay pension benefits to Mrs. Baum as if Israel Baum had retired for service on his date of death of September 20, 2009 and elected a 100% Joint & Survivor option with Mrs. Baum as his beneficiary, offset by the Ordi- nary Death Benefit ("ODB") that has previously been paid. The 100% Joint & Survivor benefit that would be payable to Mrs. Baum has been estimated to be approximately $59,900 per year. The actual implementation of this legislation including any recognition of the difference in taxability of the ODB as compared to the Service Retire- ment benefit would be determined by NYCTRS if the proposed legislation is enacted. All costs associated with the implementation of this proposed legis- lation would be borne by the New York City Board of Education. The Effective Date of the proposed legislation would be the Date of Enactment. FINANCIAL IMPACT - ACTUARIAL PRESENT VALUES: The estimated financial impact of this proposed legislation has been calculated based on the difference between (1) the Service Retirement benefits Mrs. Baum would receive if this prosed legislation were enacted and (2) the ODB that has already been paid to Mrs. Baum. Based on the actuarial assumptions and methods described herein, the enactment of this proposed legislation would increase the Actuarial

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