STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
May 3, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. RAMOS -- read once and referred to the Committee
on Governmental Employees
AN ACT to provide temporary retirement incentive for certain public
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. This act enacts into law components of legislation that
2 would establish an age 55/25 temporary retirement incentive for certain
3 public employees.
4 § 2. Legislative findings. The legislature finds and declares that the
5 retirement benefit for certain public employees who are above age 55 and
6 with 25 years of service provided for in this act is intended only to be
7 temporary in nature for employees who are eligible to receive and quali-
8 fy for the applicable benefit during the applicable time periods speci-
9 fied in this act. Further, nothing in this act shall be construed to
10 create an expectation of a future or continuing retirement benefit for
11 any public employee who is not eligible to receive and qualify for the
12 retirement benefits herein during the applicable time periods.
13 § 3. Definitions. As used in this act, unless the context clearly
14 requires otherwise:
15 (a) "Retirement system" means the New York state teachers' retirement
17 (b) "Teachers' retirement system" means the New York state teachers'
18 retirement system.
19 (c) "Educational employer" means a participating employer which is a
20 school district, a board of cooperative educational services, a voca-
21 tional education and extension board, an institution for the instruction
22 of the deaf and of the blind as enumerated in section 4201 of the educa-
23 tion law, or a school district as enumerated in section 1 of chapter 566
24 of the laws of 1967, as amended.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
] is old law to be omitted.
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1 (d) "Eligible employee" means a person who is a member of the teach-
2 ers' retirement system, who is an employee of an educational employer,
3 who holds a position represented by the recognized collective bargaining
4 units affiliated with the New York state united teachers employee organ-
5 ization as certified by his or her employer, and who has attained the
6 age of fifty-five and has at least twenty-five years of creditable
7 service in the retirement system.
8 (e) "Active service" means service while being paid on the payroll,
9 provided that (i) a leave of absence with pay shall be deemed active
10 service; (ii) other approved leave without pay not to exceed twelve
11 weeks from March 1, 2019 and the commencement of the designated open
12 period; and (iii) the period of time subsequent to the June 2019 school
13 term and on or before August 31, 2019 for a teacher (or other employee
14 as defined in this act, employed on a school-year basis) who is other-
15 wise in active service on the effective date of this act shall be deemed
16 active service.
17 (f) "Open period" means the period beginning with the commencement
18 date as defined in subdivision (g) of this section and shall be 60 days
19 in length. For educational employers who make election after June 30,
20 2019, the open period shall begin immediately after such election, and
21 shall not extend beyond August 31, 2019. For the purposes of retirement
22 pursuant to this act, a service retirement application must be filed
23 with the appropriate retirement system not less than 14 days prior to
24 the effective date of retirement to become effective, unless a shorter
25 time period is permitted under law.
26 (g) "Commencement date" means the first day the retirement benefit
27 mandated by this act shall be made available, which shall mean a date or
28 dates on or after the effective date of this act to be determined by the
29 educational employer which elects to participate pursuant to section
30 four of this act, but no sooner than June 30, 2019.
31 § 4. On or after June 30, 2019 an educational employer may elect to
32 provide its employees the retirement incentive authorized by this act by
33 the adoption of a resolution of its governing body. A copy of such
34 resolution shall be filed with the appropriate retirement system. The
35 resolution shall be accompanied by the affidavit of the school board
36 president or trustee or other comparable official certifying the validi-
37 ty of such resolution.
38 § 5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any eligible employee
39 serving in an eligible title who (a) has been continuously in the active
40 service of an educational employer who has elected to participate in the
41 retirement incentive provided in section six of this act, pursuant to
42 section four of this act, from March 1, 2019 to the date immediately
43 prior to the commencement date of the applicable open period, (b) files
44 an application for service retirement that is effective during the open
45 period, and (c) is otherwise eligible for a service retirement as of the
46 effective date of the application for retirement shall be entitled to
47 the retirement benefit provided in section six of this act.
48 § 6. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any eligible employee
49 who is: (a) a member of the teachers' retirement system, and (b) enti-
50 tled to retirement benefits pursuant to section five of this act may
51 retire during the open period without the reduction of his or her
52 retirement benefit that would otherwise be imposed by article 11 or 15
53 of the retirement and social security law if he or she has attained the
54 age of 55 and has completed at least 25 or more years of creditable
55 service. An eligible employee who is covered by the provisions of arti-
56 cle 11 or 15 of the retirement and social security law shall retire
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1 under the provisions of article 11 or 15 of the retirement and social
2 security law.
3 § 7. The pension benefit costs of section six of this act shall be
4 paid by employers as provided by applicable law for the retirement
5 system covered by this act over a period not to exceed five years
6 commencing in the state fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.
7 § 8. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this act shall have
8 no impact on retirement incentives, options or inducements offered as
9 part of a contractual agreement between an eligible employee and an
10 educational employer which were negotiated prior to the effective date
11 of this act.
12 § 9. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdi-
13 vision, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of
14 competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
15 impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in
16 its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
17 or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
18 ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
19 the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if such
20 invalid provisions had not been included herein.
21 § 10. This act shall take effect immediately.
FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
This bill would provide a temporary retirement incentive to members of
the New York State Teachers' Retirement System during fiscal year 2019-
2020. This incentive would permit eligible members to retire without an
early retirement reduction upon attainment of at least age 55 with 25
years of service. Currently 30 years of service are required in order to
retire without reduction for Tiers 2, 3, 4 and 5 members. Currently
Tier 6 members are required to attain age 63 in order to retire without
reduction regardless of the number of years of service they have. In
order to receive this benefit, a member of an employer who has elected
to participate must retire during the designated 60-day open period,
beginning on or after June 30, 2019 and not extend beyond August 31,
2019. In order to be eligible, a member must be an employee of an educa-
tional employer and hold a position represented by one of the recognized
collective bargaining units affiliated with the New York State United
Teachers (NYSUT) as certified by his or her employer. In order to
participate in this retirement incentive, the educational employer must
be a school district, a board of cooperative educational services, a
vocational education and extension board, an institution for the
instruction of the deaf and of the blind as enumerated in Section 4201
of the Education Law or a school district as enumerated in Section 1 of
Chapter 566 of the Laws of 1967. Employers who elect to participate
would pay the cost of the retirement incentive over a period not to
exceed five years, beginning in the state fiscal year ending March 31,
The estimated increase in the present value of benefits due to this
temporary retirement incentive is approximately $214 million. The annual
cost, over a five-year period, to the participating employers of members
of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System for this benefit is
estimated to be $57.6 million or .34% of payroll if this bill is
Member data is from the System's most recent actuarial valuation
files, consisting of data provided by the employers to the Retirement
System. Data distributions and statistics can be found in the System's
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). System assets are as
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reported in the System's financial statements, and can also be found in
the CAFR. Actuarial assumptions and methods are provided in the System's
Actuarial Valuation Report.
The source of this estimate is Fiscal Note 2019-25 dated April 26,
2019 prepared by the Actuary of the New York State Teachers' Retirement
System and is intended for use only during the 2019 Legislative Session.
I, Richard A. Young, am the Actuary for the New York State Teachers'
Retirement System. I am a member of the American Academy of Actuaries
and I meet the Qualification Standards of the American Academy of Actu-
aries to render the actuarial opinion contained herein.