2004 Laws


Chapter 4 - RSSL §212 Earnings Limitations for 2004

For the year 2004 and thereafter the earnings limitation for retired person in positions of public service is $27,500.


Chapter 127 - Extends §42 of the Patriot Plan for 1 more year

This law extends for one year the applicability of §42 of the Patriot Plan regarding the suspension of loan repayment obligations for members absent on military duty. This law does not change the context of §42 in any way.


Chapter 133 - Actuarial Interest Rate Extender  

This law extends the statutory rate of interest used by the Actuary to credit interest on Tier I and Tier II member contributions, ITHP and the Actuarial Interest Rate on employer contributions. The rate is 8% per year and is extended through fiscal year 2005.


Chapter 351 - Increase in Special Accidental Death Amounts 

This law increases the special accidental death benefit, by 3% or more for deaths that occurred in 2004 or earlier for Correction Officers, Housing and Transit Police and certain EMTs. The benefit is payable to the widow or widower or the children of the deceased under 18 years of age or under 23 if the child is a student if the widow or widower is deceased.


Chapter 446 - Adjusts the time period for changing an Option Selection

This law applies to Tiers 2, 3 and 4 members. Chapter 446 states that an option selection previously filed by a member or a retired member may be changed no later than 30 days following the date of payability of his/her retirement benefit. A disability retiree can change an option selection previously filed no later than the later of (1) 30 days following the date the Board of Trustees approved the disability retirement or (2) 30 days following the date such retiree was retired for disability. 

However, the application of this law will not change NYCERS’ procedures for processing an option selection since our procedures are more liberal. 


Chapter 581 - Allows Correction Members to Receive Service Credit for Child Care Leave

This law allows NYCERS correction members to receive up to 1 year of service credit for each time such member is absent without pay while on an authorized child care leave. This law affects Tier 1 and Tier 2 correction members only.


Chapter 583 - Accidental Death Benefit for Certain EMT Members

This law provides a performance-of-duty accidental death benefit consisting of the deceased member’s salary less certain reductions. This benefit is provided for deceased employees of the NYC Health & Hospital Corporation in the title of EMT, Advanced EMT or in a title whose duties are to supervise EMTs or Advanced EMTs. 

This law was passed on October 5, 2004 and shall be deemed to have been in effect since July 1, 2000.


Chapter 622 - Refund of AMCs upon Death for Correction Officers

This law adds the right to a refund of additional member contributions (AMCs) upon the death of a participant in the Tier 3 20-Year plan for correction members below the rank of Captain, regardless of the amount of service credit. Under existing law, should a participant in this plan who has rendered less than 15 years of credited service cease to hold a position as a correction officer for any reason whatsoever his/her AMCs may be withdrawn. Over 15 years of Credited Service, no withdrawal was possible. Now, under this new law, upon the death of a participant in this plan on or after 10/20/04 his or her beneficiary shall receive the participant’s AMCs. 


Chapter 622 - Correction Captain Reopener for Tier 3 Members

This law permits members who failed to elect the 20 Year Plan for Correction Captains and above (CC-20 Plan) to now elect to become a participant in this plan. This law applies to those Tier 3 correction members of the rank of Captain or above who were eligible to participate in this plan on 8/4/93 and also to those Tier 3 correction members who became a correction member of the rank of Captain or above prior to 10/20/04.


Chapter 622 - AMC changes for Correction Members

The additional member contribution rate for participants in the CC-20 Plan for all periods from 12/19/1990 and going forward is now equal to 5.11%; except for those participants in the 20-Year Plan for Correction Officers (CO-20 Plan) who (a) paid an AMC rate of 3.61%, (b) were CO-20 Plan members on 10/18/04, and (c) became correction members of the rank of captain or above after 10/18/04. Chapter 622 adds the provision that if a participant in the CC-20 Plan, whether an existing participant or one who became a participant through the Re-opener, has rendered more than 15 years of Credited Service, the participant will have his or her contribution deficiency reduced by the AMCs. Chapter 622 also adds a clause which states that a participant in the CC-20 Plan with 20 years of Credited Service who has made AMCs in excess of the amount required, and who retires on or after 10/19/04 shall receive a refund of that portion of AMCs which exceed the required amount.


Chapter 622 - New 20-Year Correction Force Plan

This law adds Section 504-d to the RSSL — establishing a 20-Year Retirement Program for NYC correction members. Any person who becomes a NYC correction member and becomes a Tier 3 member on or after 10/19/04 (the effective date of this law) will be a member of this plan. The 20-Year Correction Officers Plan and the 20-Year Correction Captains Plan are closed to anyone not having Tier 3 rights.


Chapter 623 - Excess Benefit Plan

This law provides for an excess benefit plan to be established which would provide benefits to those pensioners whose annual retirement benefits are limited because those benefits exceed the limitations set by IRC Section 415(b). This law is retroactive to July 1, 2000.


Chapter 647 - Transfer of Reserves Upon Transfer of Membership

This law eliminates the requirement for transfer of certain reserves upon transfer of membership. The law is effective immediately and applies to all transfers initiated on or after October 27, 2004 and any membership transfer initiated prior to the effective date where no transfer of reserves has occurred. This law only affects NYCERS procedures internally. 


Chapter 695 - New 20-Year District Attorney Investigator Plan

This law adds Section 13-157.4 of the Administrative Code- adding a 20-Year Retirement Program for investigators in the district attorneys’ offices. This plan is available to the following people: (a) current district attorney investigators in any tier (those investigators that did not elect to participate in the existing 25-Year DA Investigator Plan); and (b) any participant in the existing 25-Year Plan; and (c) any NYCERS member hired as a district attorney investigator after 11/16/04 (the effective date of this law). 


Chapter 697 -  Heart Bill for Sanitation Department

This law establishes a Heart Bill for the Sanitation Department under §207-r of the General Municipal Law. Chapter 697 creates a presumption that eligible members who developed heart disease after appointment incurred that disease in the performance of duty. The NYCERS Medical Board can rebut the presumption with competent evidence that the member did not incur the heart disease as a performance of duty disability. 

This law was passed on November 18, 2004 but does not take effect until July 1, 2005 and shall expire and be deemed repealed on July 1, 2006 unless extended.


Chapter 717 -  Reduction of Retirement Age for TBTA (extender)

This law amends RSSL §651 which provides for a reduction of the retirement age for TBTA officers, sergeants or lieutenants (with at least one competitive appointment), bridge and tunnel maintainer titles or TBTA laborers for each year of covered employment. This law expands the covered period to employment performed on or before 12/31/06 (previously the covered period ended on 12/31/04). 


Chapter 723 - Political Committee Contributions by Retirees

This law states that retirees may now designate deductions from their pension checks to be sent to political committees of their retiree organizations (those organizations which were designated as the employee representatives while the retirees were employed).


Chapter 725 - Final Medical Review for EMT

This law provides for final medical review for EMT as provided for in RSSL §605(e) for Tier 4 members of NYCERS who are eligible to receive a performance of duty disability under RSSL §607-b. This law is applicable to any member who has made application for accident disability under §607-b at any time. This law was enacted on November 17, 2004.   


Chapter 728 - Prior EMT Service Transferable to Police Pension Fund

This law amends Administrative Code Section 13-143(b)(1) which permits certain service immediately preceding service in the police force to count towards retirement eligibility. Chapter 728 adds service rendered as an EMT member immediately preceding service in the police force as a type of service deemed to be service in the police force for benefit eligibility purposes.   


Chapter 742 - TBTA Special Accidental Death Benefit

This law provides a performance-of-duty accidental death benefit consisting of the deceased member’s salary less certain reductions. This benefit is provided for deceased employees of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. This law was passed on 12/15/04 and shall take effect immediately.