Governor Pataki has signed into law 11 pieces of legislation that have an impact on your NYCERS retirement benefits. The following is intended to provide a brief explanation of each:
Chapter 69 - Early Retirement Incentive (ERI)
Provides a retirement incentive for certain public employees (ERI) Effective date 5/20/02. In May of 2002 a law was signed by the governor authorizing the City of New York and its participating employers to offer an Early Retirement Incentive (ERI). Be advised that some employers are not participating in Part A of this incentive and/or they are targeting the incentive to certain titles, so be sure to check with your employer before making your retirement decisions. NYCERS created a write-up explaining the open periods and filing dates for the various agencies, as well as examples of retirement scenarios for the various tiers and plans.
If you are eligible for this ERI you must formally notify your employer of your intent to retire at least 21 days prior to your retirement date. And you must file a service retirement application with NYCERS at least 14 days prior to your retirement date.
The following is a brief overview of this two-part ERI.
Part A of this ERI is available to employees who, on their effective date of retirement, would be:
at least 50 years old with 10 or more years of credit service
are otherwise eligible to retire
With Part A you will be afforded one month of additional service credit for each year of service (up to 3 years). You may use this additional service credit to achieve the eligibility requirements.
Note: MTA Bridges and Tunnels (TBTA) has chosen not to participate in Part A of this ERI.
Transit is targeting only certain titles for participation in Part A of this ERI. Part B of this ERI is available to employees who, on their effective date of retirement, would be:
Part B of this ERI is available to employees who, on their effective date of retirement, would be:
at least age 55
have 25 or more years of credited
If you qualify for Part B, there will be no age-related reduction on your retirement benefit. However, if you select Part B you cannot benefit from the additional service credit offered in Part A. There is a service credit offering with Part B, but it is only for Tier 2 or Tier 4 members retiring from a Chapter 96 (55/25) Plan. Those specific members will receive two months of additional service credit for every year they paid additional member contributions (up to a max of one year service credit).
If your employer is not participating in Part A, or your employer is not targeting your title for Part A ERI eligibility, then Part B is your only option. If you have a choice and you are retiring from a 55/25 plan, be advised that Part B may be your most advantageous option.
Chapter 245 - Redefines Active Service Under Pension Enhancement Laws
Changes the definition of Active Service for the Tier 1 & 2 Pension Enhancement to include leaves without pay of any length. Effective date 7/30/02.
Chapter 277 - Additional Service Credit for Specific Plans Under 2002 ERI
Provides that Part B incentive retirees in the Chapter 96 25/55 plan will receive an additional 2 months for each year of additional member contributions up to 12 additional months. Effective Date 7/30/02.
Chapter 310 - Earnings Limitation for 2003
Limits the maximum post-retirement earnings of public employees for 2003 to $25,000. Effective Date 8/6/02.
Chapter 313 - Increases Certain Accidental Death Benefits
Increases certain special accidental death benefits for widows, widowers, minor children or children under 23 still in college. Effective Date 9/6/02.
Chapter 367 - Changes Retirement Age Requirement for MTA Bridges & Tunnels (TBTA)
Expands the application of provisions for a reduced retirement age for certain Triborough bridge and tunnel authority employees. Effective Date 8/13/02.
Chapter 381 - Allows Transfer of Service Credit for ISF Plan Members/Pensioners
Provides that ISF retirees from NYCERS can transfer their retirement credit to TRS or NYSLRS even after receiving pension payment so long as those payments are repaid. Effective Date 8/13/02.
Chapter 414 - Redefines Previous Law (560/2001) to Create Automotive Service Worker Plans
Establishes a twenty-five year retirement program for members of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System employed in automotive positions. Effective Date 8/13/02.
Chapter 474 - No Earning Limitation When Reentering Public Employment at Age 65
Decreases the age at which public retirees can reenter public employment without any earning limit and without diminution of retirement benefits from 70 to 65. Effective Date 8/20/02.
Chapter 504 - Sanitation 3/4 Disability Retirement Benefits
Provides accidental disability retirement benefits for certain uniformed N.Y. City department of sanitation members and retirees of NYCERS. Effective Date 9/17/02.
Chapter 547 - Refund of Military Buy-Back if Not Advantageous to Member
Allows refund of payment made by veterans to purchase their military service, if at retirement, the military service purchased does not produce a greater benefit. Effective Date 9/17/02.
Chapter 602 - Reduces Number of Years Correction Officers Have to Pay AMC
Correction Officers and above/Change in Additional Member Contributions
Prior to the this bill a participant Correction Officer or above (Captain, Deputy Warden) in the twenty year improved benefit retirement plan was required to contribute additional member contributions until he/she has thirty (30) years of credited service. This bill changes the years that an eligible member is required to make additional member contributions from 30 years to 20 years of credited service.
This bill takes effect immediately.
Chapter 617 - Adds Additional Titles to the Special Officer Plan
Special Officers for NYCHA and Board of Education 25 Year Plan/No Age
Tiers 1 and 4
This bill adds additional titles to the Special Officer Plan. The titles added include NYCHA and Board of Education Special Officers and School Safety Agents employed by the Board of Education. This bill takes effect immediately.