Bill Text: NY S05529 | 2023-2024 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Enables public employers to offer an age fifty-five with ten years of service or age fifty with twenty-five years of service temporary retirement incentives for certain public employees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2024-01-03 - REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS [S05529 Detail]

Download: New_York-2023-S05529-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          5529

                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                      March 7, 2023
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sen.  GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions

        AN ACT in relation to enabling public employers to offer certain  tempo-
          rary retirement incentives for certain public employees

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature  finds  and  declares
     2  that  the  state  is  experiencing economic difficulties and in order to
     3  avoid layoffs of public employees, a retirement incentive is  necessary.
     4  However, nothing in this act shall be construed to create an expectation
     5  of a future or continuing retirement benefit for any public employee who
     6  is  not  eligible  to receive and qualify for the retirement benefits in
     7  this act during the applicable time periods.
     8    § 2. Definitions. For purposes of this act, the following terms  shall
     9  have the following meanings:
    10    (a)  "Retirement system" means the New York state and local employees'
    11  retirement system, the New York state teachers' retirement  system,  the
    12  New  York  city  teachers' retirement system, the New York city board of
    13  education retirement system or the New York city  employees'  retirement
    14  system,  exclusive  of  the  retirement  plans  established  pursuant to
    15  sections 13-156 and 13-157 of the administrative code of the city of New
    16  York.
    17    (b) "State employer" means:
    18    (1) the executive branch of the state;
    19    (2) the state-operated institutions of the  state  university  of  New
    20  York;
    21    (3)  the  statutory and contract colleges operated pursuant to section
    22  357 of the education law;
    23    (4) the state university construction fund (hereinafter referred to in
    24  this act as the "fund");

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05022-02-3

        S. 5529                             2

     1    (5) a cooperative extension association (hereinafter  referred  to  in
     2  this act as the "association");
     3    (6)  the  city  university  of New York as defined in subdivision 2 of
     4  section 6202 of the education law;
     5    (7) the unified court system;
     6    (8) the senate;
     7    (9) the assembly; and
     8    (10) joint legislative employers.
     9    (c) "Participating employer" means an employer,  other  than  a  state
    10  employer,  which  participates  in  a retirement system. Such term shall
    11  include a community college operating under the program of state univer-
    12  sity of New York.
    13    (d) "Educational employer" means a participating employer which  is  a
    14  school  district,  a  board of cooperative educational services, a voca-
    15  tional education and extension board, an institution for the instruction
    16  of the deaf and of the blind pursuant to section 4201 of  the  education
    17  law,  or  a  school district pursuant to section 1 of chapter 566 of the
    18  laws of 1967, as amended.
    19    (e) (1) "Eligible employee" means a  person  who  is  a  member  of  a
    20  retirement  system who is an employee in the executive branch of a state
    21  employer or an employee of a state employer or a participating  employer
    22  who  has  attained fifty years of age and has at least twenty-five years
    23  of creditable service or has attained fifty-five years of age and has at
    24  least ten years of creditable service in a retirement system,  but  such
    25  term shall not include the following persons:
    26    (i) elected officials, judges or justices appointed to or serving in a
    27  court of record and acting village justices;
    28    (ii)  chief  administrative  officers of participating employers which
    29  participate in a teachers' retirement system;
    30    (iii) officers described in sections 4, 41-a, 46, 61,  70,  70-a,  169
    31  (including those officers whose salary is established pursuant to salary
    32  plans  described in subdivision 3 of section 169), 180 and subdivision 1
    33  of section 41 of the executive law and any  agency  or  department  head
    34  appointed by the governor, comptroller or attorney general;
    35    (iv)  appointed members of boards or commissions, any of whose members
    36  are appointed by the governor or by another state officer or body;
    37    (v) nonjudicial officers and employees of the  unified  court  system,
    38  unless  the chief administrator of the courts elects as provided herein,
    39  which election shall cover only nonjudicial officers and employees hold-
    40  ing positions in any title in the  classified  service  of  the  unified
    41  court system;
    42    (vi)  officers  or  employees of the senate unless the senate adopts a
    43  resolution authorizing the temporary president to file the  election  as
    44  provided in this subdivision;
    45    (vii) officers or employees of the assembly unless the assembly adopts
    46  a  resolution  authorizing  the  speaker  of  the  assembly  to file the
    47  election as provided in this subdivision; and
    48    (viii) officers or employees of joint legislative employers unless:
    49    a. with respect to officers or employees of the  legislative  library,
    50  legislative  messenger  service, legislative health service, legislative
    51  ethics committee, the legislative  bill  drafting  commission,  and  the
    52  joint  line  of  the  legislative task force on demographic research and
    53  reapportionment, the senate and assembly adopt a  concurrent  resolution
    54  authorizing the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the
    55  assembly to jointly file an election as provided in this subdivision;

        S. 5529                             3

     1    b.  with  respect to officers or employees of components of the senate
     2  as identified pursuant to section 90 of the legislative law, the  senate
     3  adopts  a  resolution  authorizing  the  temporary  president to file an
     4  election for officers or employees of  those  components  designated  in
     5  such resolution; and
     6    c. with respect to officers or employees of components of the assembly
     7  as  identified pursuant to section 90 of the legislative law, the assem-
     8  bly adopts a resolution authorizing the speaker of the assembly to  file
     9  an  election for officers or employees of those components designated in
    10  such resolution.
    11    (2) Any election under subparagraphs (v) through (viii)  of  paragraph
    12  one  of  this  subdivision  to  make  available the retirement incentive
    13  provided by this act shall be in writing and filed with the state  comp-
    14  troller not later than ninety days after the effective date of this act.
    15  Notwithstanding  any other provision of this act, each such filing shall
    16  specify the commencement date of the open period.
    17    (3) For the purposes of paragraph (vi), (vii) or (viii)  of  paragraph
    18  one of this subdivision, an employee of the legislature shall be as such
    19  term  is defined in section 7-a, 7-b or 7-d of the legislative law or by
    20  any other provision of law which classifies employees of an entity to be
    21  legislative employees for all purposes, but shall not  include  senators
    22  or  members of the assembly. The term "joint legislative employer" shall
    23  mean legislative commissions, committees, task forces, councils or simi-
    24  lar bodies whose membership is comprised of both senators  and  assembly
    25  members,  or  which  consist  of commissioners, or the majority of whose
    26  membership is appointed by one or more of the following:  the  temporary
    27  president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority lead-
    28  er of the senate, and/or the minority leader of the assembly. The tempo-
    29  rary  president  of  the senate and the speaker of the assembly shall be
    30  the joint legislative employer  of  the  employees  of  the  legislature
    31  referred to in sections 7-a and 7-b of the legislative law.
    32    (f)  "College  faculty"  means  an  employee,  not  in  the classified
    33  service, of a state employer described in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of
    34  subdivision (b) of this section or of  a  community  college  who  is  a
    35  member of a teachers' retirement system, or the New York state and local
    36  employees' retirement system.
    37    (g)  "Active  service"  means service while being paid on the payroll,
    38  provided that:
    39    (1) a leave of absence with pay shall be deemed active service;
    40    (2) other approved leave without pay not to exceed twelve  weeks  from
    41  February 1, 2023 and the commencement of the designated open period; and
    42    (3)  the period of time subsequent to the June 2023 school term and on
    43  or before August 31, 2023 for a teacher (or other employee employed on a
    44  school-year basis) who is otherwise in active service on  the  effective
    45  date of this act shall be deemed active service.
    46    (h)  "Open  period"  means  the period beginning with the commencement
    47  date as defined in subdivision (i) of this section and shall  be  ninety
    48  days  in length, provided however that there shall be only one such open
    49  period and any such period shall not extend beyond  September  30,  2023
    50  for a state employer and December 31, 2023 for a participating employer.
    51  For  educational  employers  who  make election after July 15, 2023, the
    52  open period shall begin immediately after such election, and  shall  not
    53  extend  beyond October 15, 2023. For the purposes of retirement pursuant
    54  to this act, a service retirement application shall be  filed  with  the
    55  appropriate  retirement  system not less than fourteen days prior to the

        S. 5529                             4

     1  effective date of retirement to become effective, unless a shorter peri-
     2  od of time is permitted under law.
     3    (i)  "Commencement  date"  means  the first day the retirement benefit
     4  mandated by this act shall be made available, which shall mean a date or
     5  dates on or after the effective date of this act to be determined by the
     6  director of state operations for the executive branch of the  state,  or
     7  for  any other state employer or any participating employer which elects
     8  to participate pursuant to section four of this act, a date on or  after
     9  the  effective  date  of this act, provided, however, that for an educa-
    10  tional employer which elects to participate pursuant to subdivision  (d)
    11  of  this  section, the commencement date shall be July 15, 2023 or imme-
    12  diately after election  of  the  retirement  incentive  for  educational
    13  employers  who  elect after July 15, 2023 and provided, further that for
    14  participating employers which elect to participate pursuant  to  section
    15  four  of this act, except the city of New York and participating employ-
    16  ers which are not empowered to act by local law, the  commencement  date
    17  shall be November 1, 2023. The director of state operations shall notify
    18  the  head  of  the appropriate retirement system of the date of the open
    19  period applicable to employees of the executive branch  or  of  a  state
    20  employer prior to the commencement date.
    21    §  3.  (a)  A  state  employer which elects to participate pursuant to
    22  section four  of  this  act,  a  participating  employer  which  is  not
    23  empowered  to  act  by local law which elects to participate pursuant to
    24  section four of this act, or the city of  New  York,  if  it  elects  to
    25  participate  pursuant  to  section  four  of  this act shall establish a
    26  commencement date for the retirement benefit established  under  section
    27  six of this act in the following manner:
    28    (1)  for  the executive branch, the director of state operations shall
    29  establish the commencement date in writing to the appropriate retirement
    30  system;
    31    (2) for state employers described in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5  and  6  of
    32  subdivision  (b)  of section two of this act and participating employers
    33  that are not empowered to act by local law,  its  governing  body  shall
    34  adopt a resolution establishing a commencement date;
    35    (3)  for  state  employers  described  in paragraphs 7, 8, 9 and 10 of
    36  subdivision (b) of section two of this act, the person  or  persons  who
    37  make  the  election  to offer the retirement incentive shall establish a
    38  commencement date in writing to the appropriate retirement system; and
    39    (4) for the city of New York, the chief executive officer shall  issue
    40  an  executive order establishing the commencement date, provided, howev-
    41  er, no executive order, in the case of  the  city  of  New  York  issued
    42  pursuant  to this section, shall in any manner supersede any local char-
    43  ter.  A copy of any such resolution or executive order in  the  case  of
    44  the  city  of  New  York establishing a commencement date shall be filed
    45  with the appropriate retirement system or systems, and,  if  applicable,
    46  on  forms  provided by such system. The resolution or executive order in
    47  the case of the city of New York shall be accompanied by  the  affidavit
    48  of  the  chief executive officer or other comparable official certifying
    49  the commencement date.
    50    (b) A state employer, participating employer which is not empowered to
    51  act by local law which elects to participate pursuant to section four of
    52  this act, or the city of New York if it elects to  participate  pursuant
    53  to  section  four of this act shall be required to establish a commence-
    54  ment date under subdivision (a) of this section for the retirement bene-
    55  fit established under section six of this act. In the event that a state
    56  employer, a participating employer which is  not  empowered  to  act  by

        S. 5529                             5

     1  local  law  which elects to participate pursuant to section four of this
     2  act, or the city of New York if it elects  to  participate  pursuant  to
     3  section  four of this act fails to establish a commencement date for the
     4  retirement  benefit  established  under  section  six  of  this act, the
     5  commencement date for the eligible employees of a state  employer  shall
     6  be  July  15,  2023. The commencement date for the eligible employees of
     7  all other employers referenced in this subdivision shall be September 1,
     8  2023.
     9    § 4. On or before September 1, 2023, a  participating  employer  or  a
    10  state  employer  described in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of subdivision
    11  (b) of section two of this act may elect to provide  its  employees  the
    12  retirement incentive authorized by this act by:
    13    (a) the enactment of a local law; or
    14    (b)  in the case of a participating employer which is not so empowered
    15  to act by local law or a state employer described in paragraphs 2, 3, 4,
    16  5 and 6 of subdivision (b) of section two of this act, by  the  adoption
    17  of a resolution of its governing body, provided however, no local law or
    18  resolution  enacted  pursuant to this section shall in any manner super-
    19  sede any local  charter,  provided  further,  that  for  an  educational
    20  employer  such  election  shall  be made thirty days after the effective
    21  date of this act.  For a community college operating under  the  program
    22  of  state  university  of  New  York, such election shall be made by the
    23  board of trustees of such community college subject to the  approval  of
    24  its  sponsor.  A  copy of such law or resolution shall be filed with the
    25  appropriate retirement system or systems, and, if applicable,  on  forms
    26  provided  by  such system. The local law or resolution shall be accompa-
    27  nied by the affidavit of the chief executive officer or other comparable
    28  official certifying the validity of such local law  or  resolution.  The
    29  executive  branch  of the state shall be deemed to have made an election
    30  under this section upon its enactment.
    31    § 5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any eligible employee
    32  who has been continuously in the active service of a state  employer  or
    33  of a participating employer from February 1, 2023 to the date immediate-
    34  ly  prior  to the commencement date of the applicable open period, files
    35  an application for service retirement that is effective during the  open
    36  period,  and  is  eligible for a service retirement pursuant to this act
    37  because he or she has attained the age of fifty and has at  least  twen-
    38  ty-five  years  of  creditable service or has attained the age of fifty-
    39  five and has at least ten years of creditable service, as of the  effec-
    40  tive  date  of  the  application for retirement shall be entitled to the
    41  retirement benefit provided in section six of this act.
    42    § 6. (a) Notwithstanding any  other  provision  of  law,  an  eligible
    43  employee who is a member of a retirement system and who is entitled to a
    44  retirement  benefit  pursuant  to  section  five  of this act may retire
    45  during the open period without the reduction of his  or  her  retirement
    46  benefit  that  would  otherwise  be  imposed  by article 11 or 15 of the
    47  retirement and social security law if he or she has attained the age  of
    48  fifty and has completed at least twenty-five years of creditable service
    49  or  has  attained  the  age of fifty-five and has completed at least ten
    50  years of creditable service. An eligible employee who is covered by  the
    51  provisions  of  articles 11 and 15 of the retirement and social security
    52  law shall retire under the provisions of  articles  11  and  15  of  the
    53  retirement and social security law.
    54    (b)  The  director of state operations, the chief executive officer of
    55  the city of New York, or chief executive officer or governing board,  as
    56  appropriate, of the participating employer may deny participation in the

        S. 5529                             6

     1  retirement  benefit  provided  by subdivision (a) of this section if the
     2  director of state operations, the chief executive officer  of  New  York
     3  city  or  the  chief executive officer or governing board of the partic-
     4  ipating  employer  makes a determination that the employee holds a posi-
     5  tion that is deemed critical to the maintenance  of  public  health  and
     6  safety.
     7    (c)  The  action of the director of state operations, the chief execu-
     8  tive officer of the city of New York,  or  chief  executive  officer  or
     9  governing  board, as appropriate, of the participating employer in deny-
    10  ing the retirement benefit provided  for  in  subdivision  (a)  of  this
    11  section  to  any  individual  shall  be  subject to review in the manner
    12  provided for in article 78 of the civil practice  law  and  rules.  Such
    13  action  for  review pursuant to article 78 of the civil practice law and
    14  rules shall only be commenced by the  individual  that  was  denied  the
    15  retirement benefit provided by subdivision (a) of this section.
    16    (d)  After making any such determination under subdivision (b) of this
    17  section, the director of state operations, the chief  executive  officer
    18  of  the  city  of  New York and the chief executive officer or governing
    19  board, as appropriate, of the participating employer  shall  notify  the
    20  appropriate  retirement  system  or  teachers'  retirement system of its
    21  determination.
    22    § 7. The pension benefit costs of section six of  this  act  shall  be
    23  paid  by  employers  as  provided  by applicable law for each retirement
    24  system covered by this act over  a  period  not  to  exceed  five  years
    25  commencing in the state fiscal year ending March 31, 2025.
    26    § 8. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    27  sion,  section  or  part  of  this act shall be adjudged by any court of
    28  competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,
    29  impair,  or  invalidate  the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in
    30  its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph,  subdivision,  section
    31  or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
    32  ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
    33  the  legislature  that  this  act  would  have been enacted even if such
    34  invalid provisions had not been included herein.
    35    § 9. This act shall take effect immediately.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          This bill would allow retirement at age 50 for certain members of  the
        New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (NYSLERS) who have
        accrued at least 25 years of creditable service. It would also eliminate
        the early retirement reductions for members who have attained age 55 and
        have accrued at least 10 years of creditable service.
          Insofar  as  this  bill  affects  the NYSLERS, if this bill is enacted
        during the 2023 legislative session, the additional cost for each member
        who receives these benefits will vary depending  on  the  member's  age,
        years  of service, plans and final average salary. Eliminating the early
        age reductions for members retiring after attaining age 55 with at least
        10 years of service credit is estimated to  cost  (on  average  for  the
        group)  180%  of the member's final average salary. Extending retirement
        eligibility to members who have attained age 50 with at least  25  years
        of  service  credit is estimated to cost (on average for the group) 180%
        of the member's final average salary. The final costs will be  borne  by
        each employer electing the incentive.
          The  exact number of members who would be affected by this legislation
        cannot be readily determined.
          Summary of relevant resources:

        S. 5529                             7

          Membership data as of March 31, 2022 was used in measuring the  impact
        of the proposed change, the same data used in the April 1, 2022 actuari-
        al  valuation.  Distributions  and  other statistics can be found in the
        2022 Report of the Actuary and the 2022 Annual  Comprehensive  Financial
        Report.
          The  actuarial assumptions and methods used are described in the 2020,
        2021, and 2022 Annual Report to the  Comptroller  on  Actuarial  Assump-
        tions,  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, 2022
        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  fiscal note does not constitute a legal opinion on the viability
        of the proposed change nor is it intended to serve as a  substitute  for
        the professional judgment of an attorney.
          This  estimate,  dated  February  24,  2023, and intended for use only
        during the  2023  Legislative  Session,  is  Fiscal  Note  No.  2023-67,
        prepared  by  the  Actuary  for  the New York State and Local Retirement
        System.
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