2001 Laws

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Chapter 281 - Earnings Limitation for 2002

Chapter 281 of the Laws of 2001 amends §212 of the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL). 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 1999 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 2001 – $18,500; and for 2002 – $20,000. 

 

Chapter 290 - Accidental Death Benefits – Sanitation

Chapter 290 of the Laws of 2001 provides for an accidental death benefit to certain surviving spouses of uniformed sanitation workers and provides an ordinary death benefit to certain Tier 2 and 4 members who die while on authorized leave of absence.

A spouse who survives a Tier 1 or Tier 2 uniformed worker of the NYC department of Sanitation, may subsequently remarry and still retain the Accidental Death Benefit. Effective for those members who die on or after September 5, 2001.

The definition of eligibility for a Tier 2 and Tier 4 in-service death benefit has been expanded to now include these circumstances: subsequent to receiving his/her last payroll check, the member was on a continuous authorized medical leave of absence, without pay, that lasted less than four years.

Note: allows the possibility of a post-retirement death benefit for any pensioner who now retires under Death Benefit Plan 2 directly from a medical leave (must meet medical leave criteria as stated above).

 

Chapter 436 - Cobra-Like Health Insurance for Transitor HPD

Chapter 436 of the Laws of 2001 provides that when a retired Transit or Housing Police Officer is enrolled in a health insurance plan, and subsequently dies, their surviving spouse shall be afforded the right to purchase such health insurance coverage within one year of the death of the pensioner. The cost of the health insurance coverage will be 102% of the group cost. 

 

Chapter 503 - Chapter 96 Opt-Out for Part-time

Chapter 503 of the Laws of 2001 allows certain Tier 2 and Tier 4 Chapter 96 members who participate in the 25-Year Early Retirement Program to opt out. This opt out is only available to members working less than 1,827 hours per year in each of the first four years of the plan. Members must have filed their opt out request between January 2, 2002 and April 1, 2002. This law is not applicable to participants in the 57/5 Plan.

 

Chapter 509 - Chapter 96 Contribution Reduction

Chapter 509 of the Laws of 2001 reduced the rate of additional member contributions (AMC’s). The pre-Chapter 509 rate of AMC’s was 2.85%. That rate was reduced to 1.85% as of the first full payroll period after November 21, 2001. This law did not effect the AMC’s of 1.98% that participants in physically taxing positions are required to pay for the right to retire at age 50 with 25 years of physically taxing service.

 

Chapter 512 - Reopener Corrections 20-Year Plan

Chapter 512 of the Laws of 2001 was a re-opener for Tier 2 or Tier 3 Correction Force Members to elect the 20-Year Retirement Program. Correction Force Members must have previously been eligible to participate in one of the 20-Year Programs, but chose not too. Correction Force Members must have filed the form with NYCERS on or before December 31, 2001.

 

Chapter 514 - Reopener MTA (TBTA) 20/50 Plan

Chapter 514 of the Laws of 2001 was a re-opener for Tier 2 and Tier 4 Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority Members to elect the 20-Year/Age 50 Retirement Program. TBTA members must have been employed by the TBTA as a Bridge & Tunnel Officer, Sergeant or Lieutenant in a non-managerial position. The TBTA Member must have previously been eligible to participate in the 20-Year/Age 50 Program, but chose not to, AND must have filed the form with NYCERS on or before February 25, 2002.

 

Chapter 528 - Buy-back Lay Off Time – Sanitation

Chapter 528 of the Laws of 2001 provides for members of the uniformed force of the NYC Department of Sanitation, who were laid-off on or after July 1, 1990 (for economic reasons) to have been in continuous service for retirement purposes as long as the layoff did not exceed 33 months. The member shall pay by payroll deduction additional member contribution’s (AMCs) in addition to the regular contributions due for their current service in the following manner: 1) regular contributions for the period the member was laid off as though he had actually been in service during such period; 2) if the member selected the 20-year retirement program, as in the RSSL 604-a, the AMCs required by that section for the period of the starting date of such program to the date the member became such a participant in said program; and 3) AMCs of 2% of compensation beginning with their first full payroll period which includes November 28, 2001 and ending on the earlier of his retirement date or his completion of 30 years of service.

 

Chapter 558 - Transfer to TRS or NYS

Chapter 558 of the Laws of 2001 allows members of both the NYCTRS & NYSLERS who retired from service from either NYCERS or BERS as a member of the Career Pension Plan and have not received a pension payment from such system to transfer to TRS or NYSLERS. It further allows members of the Career Pension Plan who have now received a pension payment from NYCERS or BERS to be eligible for transfer to the NYSLERS or NYCTRS upon repayment of the pension payments to such systems. (see update on the Transfer Law for Retirees under the Laws of 2002).

 

Chapter 559 - Creates 25-Year Program for Deputy Sheriffs

Chapter 559 of the Laws of 2001 creates a 25-Year (no age requirement) retirement plan for Tier 2 and Tier 4 NYC Deputy Sheriffs. A member must hold title of deputy city sheriff level one, deputy city sheriff level two, supervising deputy sheriff or administrative sheriff. Those currently in this title had 180 days (until June 10, 2002) to file an election form with NYCERS. Anyone who becomes a Deputy Sheriff after the enactment date must file an election form within 180 days of becoming a Deputy Sheriff.

 

Chapter 560 - Creates 25-Year Program for Automotive Service Workers

Chapter 560 of the Laws of 2001 created a 25-Year/Age-50 Retirement Program for Tier 2 and Tier 4 Automotive Service titles. A members must hold the title of automotive or senior automotive service worker, auto body workers, auto mechanics, marine maintenance mechanics or oil burner specialist. Those currently in one of these titles had 180 days (until June 10, 2002) to file an election form with NYCERS. Anyone who enters one of these automotive services titles after the enactment date must file an election form within 180 days of obtaining that title.

 

Chapter 579 - Reopener Sanitation 20-Year Plan

Chapter 579 of the Laws of 2001 created a re-opener for Tier 2 and Tier 4 Sanitation Department members. A member must have previously been eligible to participate in one of the 20-year programs, and must have filed a form with NYCERS on or before June 17, 2002. This law also reduced the amount of allowable service from 30 years to 20 years that a Tier 4 member of the Sanitation 20-year program is required to contribute additional member contributions.

 

Chapter 582 - Creates 25-Year Plan for Special Officers

Chapter 582 of the Law of 2001 created a 25-Year (no age requirement) retirement program for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 4 members employed as special officers, parking control specialists, school agents, campus peace officers or New York City Taxi and Limousine inspectors. Those in the title at the law’s enactment had 180 days (until June 17, 2002) to file an election form with NYCERS. Any Tier 1 or Tier 2 member who entered one of the above titles after the enactment date may file an election form within 180 days of obtaining that title. A Tier 4 member who enters one of the above titles after the enactment date is mandated into the plan. If a member is over 30 he or she has the right to opt out within 180 days of becoming such a member.