2000 Laws

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Chapter 10 - Transit 25-Year and Age-55 Retirement Program

AMENDMENTS TO THE TRANSIT 25-YEAR AND AGE 55 RETIREMENT PROGRAM FOR TIER 4 TRANSIT OPERATING-FORCE MEMBERS

(Transit 25/55 Program) enacted by Chapter 529 of the Laws of 1994 . This law allowed all Transit Operating Force employees who are Tier 4 members to become participants in the Transit 25/55 retirement program; eliminates the Additional Member Contributions of 2.30% effective December 15, 2000; and reduced the basic Tier 4 member contribution (3% or wages) to 2% for eligible members of NYCERS.

This law took effect on the payroll period ending January 3, 2001, (the first full pay period after December 15, 2000, covering the period from December 17-30, 2000).

In addition, the TA Board may make the election to eliminate the AMC’s applicable to: all TA employees, or all TA employees represented by a specific bargaining unit, and/or to all unrepresented TA employees. Since the effective dates of Chapters 110 and 126 of the laws of 2000 (the Pension Enhancement Law) predate the effective date of Chapter 10, TA members not covered by Chapter 529 of the laws of 1994will receive the benefit of Pension Enhancement (see below).

This law also expands the definition of a New York City Transit Authority Member from hourly-paid Operating-Force and first-line supervisor members to all Transit Operating-Force members, including some managers.

All New York City Transit Authority Members who were not in the Transit 25/55 Program were mandated into Transit 25/55 Program as of the payroll period ending January 3, 2001. 

 

Chapter 85 - Tier 3 and Tier 4 Loan Interest Rates

Chapter 85 of the Laws of 2000 reduced the rate of interest charged on loans to Tiers 3 and 4 members from 7.75% to 7%, retroactive to July 1, 1999. If a Tier 3 or Tier 4 member took a loan between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000, and they have not taken a subsequent loan, their loan has been recomputed to reflect the lower interest rate. The repayment schedule will not be changed, but the outstanding principal has been reduced. If the member does not take any further loans, based on their current repayment schedule, they will be due a refund at the time that the current loan is paid off. If a member renegotiates their existing loan before it is paid off, that loan will be recomputed to reflect the lower interest rate, and will take into consideration the refund that would have been due.

 

Chapter 86 – ERI

Chapter 86 of the Laws of 2000 authorized the City of New York and its participating employers (i.e. NYCTA, OTB, etc.) to offer an early retirement incentive (ERI) to employees who were otherwise eligible to retire, or were age 50 or older with 10 or more years of credited pension service on their effective date of retirement.

This ERI provided one month of additional retirement service credit for each year of credited pension services as of the effective date of retirement, up to a maximum of 36 months of such service. The retirement benefit was subject to specified reductions for persons not otherwise eligible for immediate payability of an unreduced service retirement benefit. This ERI was made available during 2000.

 

Chapter 125 – Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Chapter 125 of the Laws of 2000 created a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to the pension allowances of eligible NYCERS retirees.

Payable to all NYCERS retirees who

  1. have attained age 62 and have been retired for five years; or
  2. have attained age 55 and have been retired for 10 years; or
  3. retired on a disability at any age and has been retired for five years; or
  4. is a recipient of an accidental death benefit, regardless of age and has been receiving that benefit for five years.

The COLA is based on the maximum (annual fixed) retirement allowance, including any prior years’ COLA payable under this legislation not to exceed $18,000.

The COLA percentage each year will be based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for each calendar year; 50% of the annual inflation as determined by the CPI in the one-year period ending on the March 31 prior to the COLA payment to be made on the following September 1, and not less than 1% or more than 3%

The COLA provided by this legislation is payable in lieu of any previous COLA legislation (the latest being Chapter 390 of 1998, which provided COLA to all pre-1994 retirees), unless the earlier COLA would pay more.

The surviving spouse of a deceased retiree who is receiving a benefit under a joint-and-survivor option, is eligible to receive a COLA of 50% of the amount the retiree would be receiving, if he or she were still alive; payable on September 1, 2000 or the month following the date of death of the retiree, whichever is later.

Designated Annuitant’s (DA’s)

A surviving spouse who is a DA is entitled to a supplemental retirement allowance of $200 per month commencing the later of July 2000 or the month following the month in which the member or retiree dies.

On September 1, 2001 the COLA amount will be increased by the same percentage(s) as those for service retirees (50% of the CPI, with a minimum of 1% and a maximum of 3%).

 

Chapter 110 and 126 - Pension Enhancement

For Tier 1 and 2 members, Chapter 110 and 126 of the Laws of 2000 (known as Pension Enhancement Law) provides one month’s additional retirement service credit to a member for each year of service credit, up to a maximum of 24 months (2 years) of additional retirement service credit. This service is considered Career Pension Plan Qualifying Service.

For example: a member with 24 years of service under the Pension Enhancement Law will receive an additional retirement service credit of 24 months, bringing him or her to a total of 26 years of service. Even with 23 years and one month of service the addition of the Pension Enhancement credit will bring a member to a total of slightly more than 25 years of service.

For Tier 3 and 4, eligible members will cease making the regular 3% contributions on October 1, 2000, if he/she had ten years of membership or ten years of credited service by that date.  Otherwise, contributions cease on (1) the anniversary date of the eligible member’s tenth year of membership or (2) the date the member attains ten years of credited service if that date is earlier than the membership anniversary date.

Example 1 (credited service): A member joins the retirement system on 7/11/00, leaves city employment on 10/01/05 and returns to city employment on 9/10/09.  The member ceases to pay regular 3% contributions on 7/11/10.

Example 2 (anniversary date): A member joins the retirement system on 7/11/00, but was working in city employment for two years prior to that date.  The member may opt to buy back the two years of prior service, and if paid in a lump sum, would cease making regular 3% contributions, barring any other interruptions in membership, on 7/11/08.

 

Chapter 231 – Increase in Special Accidental Death Benefits

Chapter 231 of the Laws of 2000 amend the GML and the RSSL to increase certain special accidental death benefits paid to line-of-duty widows and widowers and/or children of former members of the NYC Housing Police and NYC Transit Police departments. The special accidental death benefit that is paid to the surviving widow or widower and/or deceased member’s children under the age of 18 (or dependent children while attending school up to the age of 23, if the widow or widower has died), was increased effective July 1, 2000 by 3%.

 

Chapter 657 – VSF for Correction Officers

Variable Supplement Fund for NYC Correction Members (also see Chapter 657 of the Laws of 1999)

Chapter 657 of the Laws of 1999 established separate Variable Supplement Funds (VSF’s) for Correction Officers and Correction Captains and above. That law also provided for a Board of Trustees. When the Governor signed that bill, it was with the understanding that the unions and the City would agree on legislation that would convert the VSF’s into a defined benefit plan similar to that of the City’s police officers and firefighters. If an agreement could not be reached, Chapter 657 would be repealed by December 31, 2000.

 

Chapter 255 – VSF for Correction Members

Chapter 255 of the laws of 2000 is the result of that agreement. Chapter 255 amends Chapter 657 by combining the Correction Officers VSF and Correction Captains VSF into one fund for eligible service retirees of the uniformed force of the Department of Correction. The law also provides for the transfer of assets from NYCERS to the VSF’s when necessary to cover shortages.

The Correction Officers VSF is administered by a Board of Trustees composed of a representative of the Mayor (i.e. Chair of NYCERS), or a designee who has one vote; the Comptroller, or a designee who has one vote; the Finance Commissioner, or a designee who has one vote; a member of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association (must be an officer), or designee who has 1½ votes; a member of the Correction Captains union, or designee who has ½ vote. Any action taken by the Board must be by a resolution adopted by a vote of at least 3/5 of the whole number of votes to be cast by the board (3 aye votes). The members of the VSF Board have the same investment powers as the members of NYCERS’ Board of Trustees. The Board is also required to file a plan with the Superintendent of Insurance before making any payments from the VSF.

Transit and Housing VSF’s

The law also addresses the payments of variable supplements to Transit and Housing police. If the assets of the VSF’s are insufficient to pay the benefits in a given year, the money needed is to be transferred from NYCERS’ Contingent Reserve Fund to each of the VSF’s, as needed.

VSF’s and COLA

All VSF payments are reduced by the amount of any COLA (post-1999) received by the retiree. However, the reduction ceases on the later of the retiree attaining age sixty-two or in 2007.

 

Chapter 256 - Earnings Limitation for 2001

Chapter 256 of the Laws of 2000 amends RSSL §212. RSSL §212 sets earning limitations for retired persons upon who continue to receive their retirement allowance while returning to public service. A retired person may earn up to the amounts listed below in a calendar year while also receiving their retirement allowance. Once this earning limit is reached within that calendar year, the retirees retirement allowance shall be suspended for the remainder of the year.

This section is amended annually. In 2000 the maximum earning limitations set forth in this amendment were as follows: Retired persons who return to employment in public service can earn for the year 2000 – $17,000 and 2001 – $18,000.

 

Chapter 408 - Distribution of Accidental Death Benefits

Chapter 408 of the Laws of 2000 amended §13-149 of the Ad. Code and sections of the RSSL relating to the distribution of accidental death benefits.

The distribution of these benefits to “eligible beneficiaries” follows a particular order beginning with surviving spouse, (surviving) dependent children, or (surviving) dependent parents. The law now includes a fourth eligible beneficiary. If none of the people mentioned above survive the member, the benefit may then be distributed to a person whom the member may have nominated by written designation during the member’s lifetime as long as said designation was acknowledged and filed with NYCERS.

 

Chapter 411 – TBTA Extender

Chapter 411 of the Laws of 2000 amends Chapter 353 of the Laws of 1999 (among others) which expanded the application of those provisions for a reduced retirement age for certain TBTA employees. This law applied to covered employment performed on or before December 31, 2002 by expanding the covered employment period from 2000 to 2002.

 

Chapter 548 - Military Service Bill

Allows members of NYCERS who served in certain combat theatres, or during certain wartime periods to purchase and receive credit for up to three years of military service.

Eligibility Requirements

MEMBER MUST: 
have been honorably discharged (as established by a DD 214 form); 
have at least five years of Credited Service in NYCERS (not including any prior military service credit), upon making application for military service credit; 
not receive more than three years military service credit from any public retirement system, including this credit; 
and apply to purchase military service credit prior to retirement.

To be purchasable, the military service must have been rendered during one of the following periods of war: 
World War II (12/7/41 – 12/31/46);
Korean War (6/27/50 – 1/31/55);
Vietnam Era (2/28/61 – 5/7/75). 
Or during one of the following military conflicts: 
Lebanon (6/1/83 – 12/1/87)*; 
Grenada (10/23/83 -11/21/83) *; 
Panama (12/20/89 – 1/31/90) *. 
*As established by receipt of the armed forces expedition medal, the Navy expedition medal or the Marine Corps expedition medal. Or during hostilities participated in by the military forces of the United States in the following theatres of operation:

Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and the airspace above these locations (8/2/90 to the end of such hostilities).

A member who retired on or after December 21, 1998, but before the effective date of this legislation (October 19, 2000), may make application for military service credit within one year following the effective date of this law (no later than October 18, 2001). In this case, the earnings in the 12-month period preceding retirement will be used to determine the cost to the retiree.

Special Note: 
In order for a member to be eligible to purchase up to three years of military service credit under this law, the entire period of active duty does not have to be during the periods shown in the parentheses above. If at least part of the active-duty military service is rendered during the dates shown in the parentheses, the member or retiree is eligible to purchase credit for their entire period of active-duty service, up to a maximum of three years.

For Example:
A member who serves on active duty in the Marines in Vietnam from August 28, 1959 through August 27, 1963 is eligible to purchase the maximum amount of three years of military service credit, even though 1½ years of the active-duty service was rendered prior to the dates shown for the Vietnam Era.

Cost to Member 
The cost to purchase military service credit will be the number of years of military service being purchased times 3% times the salary the member earned during the 12-month period prior to the date of application for purchase of military service credit.

Currently, members must make payment of the amount due in a lump sum. The amount paid by the member will be deposited into the Contingent Reserve Fund. If the member retires prior to completion of the required payments, he or she must either pay the balance due in a lump sum, prior to the effective date of retirement, or he or she will only receive service credit proportional to the amount paid before retirement. If a member purchases credit for his or her active-duty military service under this law, the service will be qualifying service for all purposes.

Note: If a member previously paid for military service credit pursuant to Chapter 644 of the laws of 1998, NYCERS will recalculate the cost, and any overpayment will be refunded to the member.

 

Chapter 552 - Service Credit Law

Chapter 552 – Laws of 2000 eliminates the “continuous service” requirements for buying back time, and allows Tiers 2, 3, and 4 members of NYCERS to purchase retirement service credit for public service performed before becoming a member.

A member is eligible to obtain retirement credit for previous public service rendered anywhere in New York State if such service would have been creditable in any public employee retirement system in New York State and if the individual had been a member of such system at the time the service was rendered. The law also reduces from five years to two years the amount of Membership Service credit a member must have in order for any purchased previous service to be credited.

This law became effective October 1, 2000 by resolution of NYCERS’ Board of Trustees. It became applicable to non-represented employees automatically on October 1, 2000. However, for represented employees, NYCERS could not officially credit service to you until your bargaining unit settles its contract with the City.

TBTA Note: Purchasing credit for service prior to their membership date will not be advantageous to participants in the Transit 25/55 program, since the only service used in the calculation of their service retirement benefits is allowance service in the Transit Authority.

 

Chapter 553  - Tier Equity

Chapter 553 of the Laws of 2000 enables Tier 3 and Basic Tier 4 members WHO DO NOT BELONG TO A SPECIAL PLAN (i.e., 25/55, 57/5 and MEMBERS EMPLOYED BY THE NYC TRANSIT AUTHORITY WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE TRANSIT 25/55 PROGRAM) to retire prior to their normal retirement age, if they have met the minimum service requirement. However, they may not retire prior to age 55.

Benefit 
Members may retire and elect to receive their payments between the ages of 55 and 62. The Service Retirement Benefit will be reduced by ½ of 1% for each of the 24 months that the payment date precedes age 62, plus ¼ of 1% for each month it precedes age 60 (before reduction for a survivor option).

The following table shows the percentage reduction for various ages:

Age 61 – 6% reduction; 
Age 60 – 12% reduction; 
Age 59 – 15% reduction; 
Age 58 – 18% reduction; 
Age 57 – 21% reduction;
Age 56 – 24% reduction;
Age 55 – 27% reduction.

This law applies to members in Active Service on October 1, 2000, and became effective on this date by resolution of NYCERS’ Board of Trustees. It will be applicable to non-represented employees automatically on October 1, 2000. However, for represented employees, this law did not become effective until the member’s bargaining unit settled its contract with the City.

 

Chapter 554 – Death Benefi

Chapter 554 of the Laws of 2000 provides that the beneficiaries of Tiers 2, 3, and 4 members who die in service will collect the greater of Death Benefit Plan 2 or Death Benefit Plan 1, if the member selected Death Benefit Plan 1. If however, the member elected death benefit Plan 2 and the Death Benefit under Plan 1 would be greater, Death Benefit Plan 2 is still payable. In this situation, we cannot pay the Death Benefit under Plan 1. Anyone who becomes a member of NYCERS after January 1, 2001 will automatically be covered by Death Benefit Plan 2. Anyone who becomes a member of NYCERS before January 1, 2001 will also be covered by Death Benefit 2, unless the member elected Death Benefit Plan 1 in a timely manner, and the death benefit would be greater than under Death Benefit Plan 2.

This law applied to members in Active Service as of October 1, 2000 and became effective on this date by resolution of NYCERS’ Board of Trustees. It will be applicable to non-represented employees automatically on October 1, 2000. However, for represented employees, it did not become effective until the member’s bargaining unit settles its contract with the City. MEMBERS OF THE TRANSIT OPERATING-FORCE AND THE UNIFORMED FORCES OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF CORRECTION AND SANITATION WHO DIE IN SERVICE ARE COVERED BY A DEATH BENEFIT UPON COMPLETION OF 90 DAYS OF SERVICE, PROVIDED THEY WERE BEING PAID ON THE PAYROLL AT THE TIME OF DEATH. THE DEATH BENEFIT IS EQUAL TO THREE TIMES THE MEMBER’S SALARY, RAISED TO THE NEXT HIGHER $1,000. THIS BENEFIT IS IN ADDITION TO PAYMENT OF THE MEMBERS’ CONTRIBUTION ACCUMULATION FUND ACCOUNT.

 

Chapter 571 - Transfer of Membership for Certain Members

Chapter 571 of the Laws of 2000 provides for the transfer of a membership, for certain individuals, from any public retirement system to the Police Pension Fund, by creating a new §13-218 of Ad. Code. The law was effective for one year starting December 8, 2000 to December 7, 2001.

All transfers shall include a transfer of the pension reserves in accordance with NYCERS’ rules and regulations regarding transfers. If a NYCERS’ member who is requesting a transfer to the Police Pension is buying back time, or has a deficit in his/her account, the Police Pension Fund must be notified so that the member may be properly credited.

 

Chapter 574 - Elimination of Maximum Service Retirement Limitations

Chapter 574 of the Laws of 2000 eliminated the Tier 2 maximum retirement benefit limitations for all NYCERS’ Tier 2 service and disability retirees. Tier 2 members are no longer subject to the 60/50/40 limits as of December 8, 2000. Therefore, this law applies only to members who retire after December 8, 2000. This law also applies to Chapter 96 Participants.

 

Chapter 576 - 25-Year Retirement Programs for Dispatcher Members

Chapter 576 of the Laws of 2000 established 25-Year Retirement Programs for Dispatcher Members.

Definitions

Dispatcher Member: A member of NYCERS employed by the City of New York as a Fire Alarm Dispatcher, Supervising Fire Alarm Dispatcher, Levels 1 and 2, Director of Dispatch Operations or Deputy Director of Dispatch Operations.

Starting Date: December 8, 2000, the enactment date of the programs (the date the Governor signed the bill into law).

Programs 
Tier 1 – 25-Year Retirement Program for Dispatcher Members 
Tier 2 – Optional 25-Year Improved Benefit Retirement Program for Dispatcher Members 
Tier 4 – 25-Year Retirement Program for Dispatcher Members

Participant: Any Dispatcher Member who is entitled to the rights, benefits and privileges and is subject to the obligations of the 25-Year retirement programs established by Chapter 576 of the laws of 2000 .

Discontinued Member: A Participant who while a Dispatcher Member discontinued service as a member and has a right to a deferred vested benefit under one of the Programs.

Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member:
Service as a Dispatcher Member; and All service in the following Civil Service titles:
Chief Fire Alarm Dispatcher
Administrative Fire Alarm Dispatcher
Bus Operator (Transit)
Train Dispatcher (Transit)
Firefighter
Police Officer
Correction Officer
Fire Marshal
Probation Officer
Police Communications Technician
Supervising Police Communications Technician
Principal Police Communications Technician
Police Administrative Aide
Senior Police Administrative Aide
Emergency Medical Technician
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician,
Emergency Medical Service Specialist, levels 1 and 2
Fire Prevention Inspector
Fire Protection Inspector
Senior Fire Prevention Inspector
Principal Fire Prevention Inspector
Associate Fire Protection Inspector
County Detective
Detective (NYPD)
Detective Investigator
Senior Detective Investigator
Deputy Sheriff
Senior Deputy Sheriff
Inspector of Fire Alarm Boxes
Radio Operator
Radio Repair Technician
Supervisor of Radio Repair Operations 
Taxi and Limousine Inspector
Senior Taxi and Limousine Inspector
Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Officer; and

A member of NYCERS who is employed by the City of New York in a title whose duties require the supervision of employees whose Civil Service title is included above.

PARTICIPATION IN THE TIER 1 AND TIER 2 PROGRAMS:

(See Special Rules for Participation for Tier 4 Members)

Any person who is a Dispatcher Member on December 8, 2000 (the Starting Date of the Programs) may elect to become a Participant in one of the Programs by filing within 180 days after December 8, 2000 (June 6, 2001) a duly executed application with the New York City Employee’s Retirement System (NYCERS), provided he or she is a Dispatcher Member on the date such application is filed.

Any member who becomes a Dispatcher Member after December 8, 2000, may elect to become a Participant in a Program by filing within 180 days after becoming such Dispatcher Member, a duly executed application with NYCERS provided he or she is a Dispatcher Member at the time of filing such application.

Any election to participate in the Program is irrevocable.

When any Participant in the Program ceases to hold a position qualifying him or her for participation in a Program, he or she shall cease to be a Participant and shall not be eligible for the benefits of that Program.

Any Participant in a Program who terminates service as a Dispatcher Member and returns to such service at a later date, shall again become a Participant on that date.

Any person who is eligible to become a Participant and who fails to timely file an executed application for participation with NYCERS, shall not thereafter be eligible to become a Participant in the Programs.

Additional Member Contributions (AMC’s) – TIERS 1, 2 AND 4
In addition to the normal member contributions required by their tier, each Participant in one of the Programs shall contribute an additional 6% of compensation earned from all service as a Dispatcher Member rendered on and after December 8, 2000.

A Participant shall contribute AMC’s until the later of the date he or she is eligible to retire with 30 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member or December 8, 2001.

Where a Participant who is otherwise eligible for service retirement did not, prior to the effective date of retirement, pay the entire amount of a contribution deficiency, or repay the entire amount of a loan of his or her AMC’s, that Participant, nevertheless, shall be eligible to retire. However, that Participant’s service retirement benefit will be reduced by the actuarial equivalent of the contribution deficiency and/or outstanding loan of his or her AMC’s.

Where a Participant has not paid in full any contribution deficiency, and a benefit (i.e. disability retirement or death benefit), other than a refund of member’s accumulated deductions, becomes payable to the Participant, or his or her designated beneficiary, the actuarial equivalent of any such unpaid amount will be deducted from the benefit otherwise payable.

All AMC’s required, which are received by NYCERS, shall be paid into the Contingent Reserve Fund (CRF) and shall be the property of the retirement system.

AMC’s (and interest thereon) shall not for any purpose be deemed to be accumulated deductions of a Participant in one of the Programs.

Loans
A Participant is permitted to borrow from his or her AMC’s in the CRF. Such loans are to be governed by the same rights, privileges, obligations and procedures as for Tier 4 members borrowing from their Member Contribution Accumulation Fund (MCAF) account.

Refunds 
Should a Participant who has rendered less than 15 years of Credited Service cease to hold a position as a Dispatcher Member, for any reason whatsoever, his or her accumulated AMC’s may be withdrawn together with interest. (With 15 or more years of Credited Service, no withdrawal is possible.)

Should a Participant who has withdrawn his or her AMC’s (and any interest paid thereon) again become a Participant in one of the Programs, he or she will be charged with a deficiency (including interest) calculated as if such AMC’s had never been made.

No member, while a Participant in one of the Programs, shall have the right to withdraw his or her AMC’s.

AMC’s may not be offset by Social Security deductions (§138b RSSL) or reduced by Increased Take Home Pay (ITHP).

AMC’s shall be deemed to be and treated as employer contributions pursuant to §414h of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

25-YEAR RETIREMENT PROGRAM (D-25)

TIER 1 (Administrative Code §13-157.2)

Service Retirement Benefit 
A Participant in the 25-Year Retirement Program who has completed 25 or more years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member, and

who files an application for service retirement as least 30 days before it is to become effective, shall be entitled to a retirement allowance equal to:

An annuity (the actuarial equivalent of the required contributions for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member), plus a pension for ITHP for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member, plus a pension which, when added to the annuity and pension for ITHP equals:

55% of Final Salary (the salary earned or earnable in the year prior to retirement)

plus

an additional 1.70% of Final Salary for each year (or fraction thereof) beyond the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member (from the completion of the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member to the date of retirement).

Vesting
A Participant in the Program who discontinues service and has completed at least five but less than 25 years of Allowable City Service, and does not withdraw in whole or part his or her accumulated member contributions, shall be entitled to a vested benefit which vests automatically.

The vested benefit becomes payable on the earliest date the Participant could have retired for service (the date on which the Participant could have completed 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member).

The vested benefit shall be a pension equal to:

2.20% of Final Salary multiplied by the number of years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member credited to the Participant at the time of discontinuance.

25-YEAR IMPROVED BENEFIT RETIREMENT PROGRAM (DIS-I)

TIER 2 (ARTICLE 11 – §445-e of the RSSL)

Service Retirement Benefit
A Participant in the 25-Year Improved Benefit Retirement Program who has completed 25 or more years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member, and

who has made or paid while a Dispatcher Member all AMC’s and interest (if any) required by the Program, and

who files an application for service retirement as least 30 days before it is to become effective, shall be entitled to an early service retirement benefit equal to:

An annuity (the actuarial equivalent of the required contributions for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member), plus a pension for ITHP for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member, plus a pension which, when added to the annuity and pension for ITHP equals:

50% of Final Average Salary (FAS)

plus

an additional 2% of FAS for each year (or fraction thereof) beyond the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member (from the completion of the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member to the date of retirement), but not to exceed more than five years of additional Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member.

Note: 
A Tier 2 Participant cannot receive a greater benefit than would be received by a Tier 1 Participant.

25-YEAR RETIREMENT PROGRAM (DIS25) 
TIER 4 (ARTICLE 15 §604-e of the RSSL)

SPECIAL RULES REGARDING PARTICIPATION FOR TIER 4 MEMBERS

Any person who is a Tier 4 Dispatcher Member on December 8, 2000 (the enactment date of the Program) may elect to become a Participant in the Program by filing within 180 days after December 8, 2000 (June 6, 2001) a duly executed application with NYCERS, provided he or she is a Dispatcher Member on the date such application is filed.

Any NYCERS Tier 4 member who becomes a Dispatcher Member after December 8, 2000 and has pre-existing Tier 4 rights, may elect to become a Participant in the Program by filing within 180 days after becoming such Dispatcher Member, a duly executed application with NYCERS, provided he or she is a Dispatcher Member on the date such application is filed.

Each Dispatcher Member who becomes subject to the provisions of ARTICLE 15 (Tier 4) after December 8, 2000 shall become a Participant in the Program on the date he or she becomes such a Dispatcher Member.

Provided, however: A person who becomes subject to Article 15 after December 8, 2000 and who has exceeded age 30 upon employment as a Dispatcher Member SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM PARTICIPATION in the 25-Year Retirement Program IF SUCH PERSON ELECTS NOT TO PARTICIPATE by filing a duly executed form with NYCERS within 180 days of becoming a Dispatcher Member.

Special Note: 

A person, as described above, who elects to be exempt from participation in the 25-Year Retirement Program for Tier 4 Dispatcher Members will be mandated into the Chapter 96, Age-57 Retirement Program.

Examples
A person who became a NYCERS’ member after December 8, 2000 in a title other than Dispatcher Member, who becomes a Dispatcher Member after December 8, 2000 may elect to become a Participant in the Age-57 Retirement Program. 
A person who becomes a NYCERS’ member after December 8, 2000 shall become a Participant in the 25-Year Retirement Program on the date he or she becomes such a Dispatcher Member. EXCEPT

If the person is 30 years of age or older when he or she becomes a NYCERS’ member after December 8, 2000, he or she may file a form with NYCERS electing to be exempt from participation in the 25-Year Retirement Program. This person, if they elect to do so, will be mandated into the Chapter 96, Age-57 Retirement Program.

Service Retirement Benefit 
A Participant who has completed 25 or more years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member, and has paid before the effective date of retirement all AMC’s, and who files an application for service retirement at least 30 days before it is to become effective, shall be entitled to a early service retirement benefit equal to:

50% of FAS on account of the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member,

plus

2% of FAS for each additional year (or fraction thereof) beyond the first 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member, but not to exceed more than five years of additional service as a Dispatcher Member

Vesting 
A Participant who discontinues service as a Participant (other than by death or retirement), and who completed at least five but less than 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member, and has paid (prior to discontinuance) all AMC’s, and does not withdraw in whole or part his or her accumulated member contributions (and interest, if any), shall be entitled to a vested benefit which vests automatically.

The vested benefit becomes payable on the earliest date the Participant could have retired for service (the date on which the member could have completed 25 years of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member).

The Vested Benefit shall be equal to a pension of 2% of FAS for each year (or fraction thereof) of Allowable Service as a Dispatcher Member credited to the Participant at the time of discontinuance.

 

Chapter 577 - 25-Year Retirement Programs for EMT Members

Chapter 577 of the Laws of 2000 established 25-Year retirement Programs for EMT Members.

Definitions

EMT Member: A member of NYCERS employed by the City of New York or the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation in a title whose duties are those of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, or in a title whose duties require the supervision of employees whose duties are those of an Emergency Medical Technician or Advanced Emergency Medical Technician.

Starting Date:
December 8, 2000, the enactment date of the programs (the date the Governor signed the bill into law).

Programs

Tier 1 – 25-Year Retirement Program for EMT Members

Tier 2 – Optional 25-Year Improved Benefit Retirement Program for EMT Members

Tier 4 – 25-Year Retirement Program for EMT Members

Participant:
Any EMT Member who is entitled to the rights, benefits and privileges and is subject to the obligations of the 25-Year retirement programs established by Chapter 577 of the laws of 2000 .

Discontinued Member:

A Participant who while an EMT Member discontinued service as a member and has a right to a deferred vested benefit under one of the Programs.

Allowable Service as an EMT Member:

All service as an EMT Member and all service while employed by the City of New York or the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation in the title Motor Vehicle Operator.

Participation in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Programs

(See Special Rules Regarding Participation for Tier 4 Members)

Any person who is an EMT Member on December 8, 2000 (the Starting Date of the Programs) may elect to become a Participant in one of the Programs by filing within 180 days after December 8, 2000 (June 6, 2001) a duly executed application with the New York City Employee’s Retirement System (NYCERS), provided he or she is an EMT Member on the date such application is filed.

Any member who becomes an EMT Member after December 8, 2000, may elect to become a Participant in one of the Programs by filing within 180 days after becoming such EMT Member, a duly executed application with NYCERS provided he or she is an EMT Member at the time of filing such application.

Any election to participate in a Program is irrevocable.

When any Participant in a Program ceases to hold a position qualifying him or her for participation in that Program, he or she shall cease to be a Participant and shall not be eligible for the benefits of the Program.

Any Participant in a Program who terminates service as an EMT Member and returns to such service at a later date, shall again become a Participant on that date.

Any person who is eligible to become a Participant and who fails to timely file an executed application for participation with NYCERS, shall not thereafter be eligible to become a Participant in one of the Programs.

Additional Membership Contributions (AMC’s) – TIERS 1, 2 AND 4 
In addition to the normal member contributions required by their tier, each Participant in one of the Programs shall contribute an additional 6¼% of compensation earned from all service as an EMT Member rendered on and after December 8, 2000.

The AMC’s are required to be paid starting with the first full payroll period after the member becomes a Participant in one of the Programs. Interest will be charged at the rate of 8¼% for Tiers 1 and 2 members and 5% for Tier 4 members on any deficiency in AMC’s for any period after the first full payroll period after the member becomes a Participant in one of the Programs.

No interest is due on a deficiency in AMC’s for the period from December 8, 2000 up to the beginning of the first full pay period after the member becomes a Participant in one of the Programs.

A Participant shall contribute AMC’s until the later of the date he or she is eligible to retire with 30 years of Allowable Service as a EMT Member or December 8, 2001. These contributions are in lieu of AMC’s under Chapter 96 of the laws of 1995, and no member paying these contributions is required to pay Chapter 96 AMC’s.

Where a Participant who is otherwise eligible for service retirement did not, prior to the effective date of retirement, pay the entire amount of a contribution deficiency, or repay the entire amount of a loan of his or her AMC’s, that Participant, nevertheless, shall be eligible to retire. However, that Participant’s service retirement benefit will be reduced by the actuarial equivalent for the contribution deficiency and/or outstanding loan of his or her AMC’s (using the standard Tier 4 loan reduction factors established by the Chief Actuary).

Where a Participant has not paid in full any contribution deficiency, with interest, and a benefit (i.e. disability retirement or death benefit), other than a refund of the member’s accumulated deductions, becomes payable to the Participant, or his or her designated beneficiary, the actuarial equivalent of any such unpaid amount will be deducted from the benefit otherwise payable.

All AMC’s required, which are received by NYCERS, shall be paid into the Contingent Reserve Fund (CRF) and shall be the property of the retirement system.

AMC’s (and interest thereon) are not for any purpose deemed to be accumulated deductions of a member while a Participant in one of the Programs.

Loans 
A Participant is permitted to borrow from his or her AMC’s in the RRF. Such loans are to be governed by the same rights, privileges, obligations and procedures as for Tier 4 members borrowing from their Member Contribution Accumulation Fund (MCAF) account.

Refunds 
Should a Participant who has rendered less than 15 years of Credited Service cease to hold a position as an EMT Member, for any reason whatsoever, his or her accumulated AMC’s may be withdrawn together with interest (Tiers 1 and 2 members earn 8¼% interest on their AMC’s while on deposit, Tier 4 members earn 5% interest on their AMC’s while on deposit). Any outstanding loan will be deducted from the amount on deposit, before it is refunded to the member. (With 15 or more years of Credited Service, no withdrawal is possible.)

Should a Participant who has withdrawn his or her AMC’s (and any interest paid thereon) again become a Participant in one of the Programs, he or she will be charged with a deficiency (including interest) calculated as if such AMC’s had never been made.

No member, while a Participant in one of the Programs, shall have the right to withdraw his or her AMC’s.

AMC’s may not be offset by Social Security deductions (§138b RSSL) or reduced by Increased Take Home Pay (ITHP).

Such AMC’s are deemed to be and treated as employer contributions pursuant to §414h of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

25-YEAR RETIREMENT PROGRAM (E-25)

TIER 1 (Administrative Code §13-157.2)

Service Retirement Benefit

A Participant in the 25-Year Retirement Program who has completed 25 or more years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member, and

who files an application for service retirement as least 30 days before it is to become effective, shall be entitled to a retirement allowance equal to:

An annuity (the actuarial equivalent of the required contributions for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member), plus a pension for ITHP for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member, plus a pension which, when added to the annuity and pension for ITHP equals:

55% of Final Salary (the salary earned or earnable in the year prior to retirement)

plus

an additional 1.70% of Final Salary for each year (or fraction thereof) beyond the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member (from the completion of the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member to the date of retirement).

Vesting 
A Participant in the Program who discontinues service and has completed at least five but less than 25 years of Allowable City Service, and does not withdraw in whole or part his or her accumulated member contributions, shall be entitled to a vested benefit which vests automatically.

The vested benefit becomes payable on the earliest date the Participant could have retired for service (the date on which the Participant could have completed 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member).

The vested benefit shall be a pension equal to:

2.20% of Final Salary multiplied by the number of years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member credited to the Participant at the time of discontinuance.

25-YEAR IMPROVED BENEFIT RETIREMENT PROGRAM (EMT-I)

TIER 2 (ARTICLE 11 – §445-e of the RSSL)

Service Retirement Benefit A Participant in the 25-Year Improved Benefit Retirement Program who has completed 25 or more years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member, and who has made or paid while an EMT Member all AMC’s and interest (if any) required by the Program, and who files an application for service retirement as least 30 days before it is to become effective, shall be entitled to an early service retirement benefit equal to:

An annuity (the actuarial equivalent of the required contributions for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member), plus a pension for ITHP for the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member, plus a pension which, when added to the annuity and pension for ITHP equals:

50% of Final Average Salary (FAS)

plus

an additional 2% of FAS for each year (or fraction thereof) beyond the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member (from the completion of the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member to the date of retirement, but not to exceed more than five years of additional Allowable Service as An EMT Member. Note:

A Tier 2 Participant cannot receive a greater benefit than would be received by a Tier 1 Participant.

25-YEAR RETIREMENT PROGRAM (EMT25) 
TIER 4 (ARTICLE 15 §604-e of the RSSL)

SPECIAL RULES REGARDING PARTICIPATION 
Any person who is a Tier 4 EMT Member on December 8, 2000 (the enactment date of the Program) may elect to become a Participant in the Program by filing within 180 days after December 8, 2000 (June 6, 2001) a duly executed application with NYCERS, provided he or she is an EMT Member on the date such application is filed.

Any NYCERS Tier 4 member who becomes an EMT Member after December 8, 2000 and has pre-existing Tier 4 rights, may elect to become a Participant in the Program by filing within 180 days after becoming such EMT Member, a duly executed application with NYCERS, provided he or she is an EMT Member on the date such application is filed.

Each EMT Member who becomes subject to the provisions of ARTICLE 15 (Tier 4) after December 8, 2000 shall become a Participant in the Program on the date he or she becomes such an EMT Member.

Provided, however: a person who becomes subject to Article 15 after December 8, 2000 and who has exceeded age 30 upon employment as an EMT Member SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM PARTICIPATION in the 25-Year Retirement Program IF SUCH PERSON ELECTS NOT TO PARTICIPATE by filing a duly executed form with NYCERS within 180 days of becoming an EMT Member.

Special Note: 
A person, as described above, who elects to be exempt from participation in the 25-Year Retirement Program for Tier 4 EMT Members will be mandated into the Chapter 96, Age-57 Retirement Program.

Examples 
1) A person who became a NYCERS’ member after December 8, 2000 in a title other than EMT Member, who becomes an EMT Member after December 8, 2000 may elect to become a Participant in the 25-Year Retirement Program. 
2) A person who becomes a NYCERS’ member after December 8, 2000 shall become a Participant in the 25-Year Retirement Program on the date he or she becomes such an EMT Member. 

Except
3) If the person is 30 years of age or older when he or she becomes a NYCERS’ member after December 8, 2000, he or she may file a form with NYCERS electing to be exempt from participation in the 25-Year Retirement Program. This person, if they elect to do so, will be mandated into the Chapter 96, Age-57 Retirement Program.

Service Retirement Benefit 
A Participant who has completed 25 or more years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member, and has paid before the effective date of retirement all AMC’s, and who files an application for service retirement at least 30 days before it is to become effective, shall be entitled to a early service retirement benefit equal to:

50% of FAS on account of the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member,

plus

2% of FAS for each additional year (or fraction thereof) beyond the first 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member, but not to exceed more than five years of additional service as a EMT Member

Vesting 
A Participant who discontinues service as a Participant (other than by death or retirement), and who completed at least five but less than 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member, and has paid (prior to discontinuance) all AMC’s, and does not withdraw in whole or part his or her accumulated member contributions (and interest, if any), shall be entitled to a vested benefit which vests automatically.

The vested benefit becomes payable on the earliest date the Participant could have retired for service (the date on which the member could have completed 25 years of Allowable Service as an EMT Member).

The Vested Benefit shall be equal to:

a pension of 2% of FAS for each year (or fraction thereof) of Allowable Service as an EMT Member credited to the Participant at the time of discontinuance.

 

Chapter 592 - Accidental Death Benefit for NYS Correction Officers and above

Chapter 592 of the Laws of 2000 amended the GML Law to include “a deceased paid member of the uniformed correction force of the New York City Department of Correction” as eligible for payment of the special accidental death benefit provided to his or her widow or widower or deceased member’s children under the age of 18, or, if a student, under the age of 23, if such widow or widower has died. To be eligible the member must have died before his or her effective date of retirement as a natural and proximate result of an accident sustained in the performance of duty in the service upon which his or her membership was based, and did not cause such accident by his or her own willful negligence, and at the time of accident was actually a member of NYCERS.