Chapter 3 — Reduction in Actuarial Interest Rate
Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2013 amends various sections of law relating to actuarial assumptions and methods. The following is a summary of the law’s major provisions:
- The Actuarial Interest Rate (AIR) used by the Actuary to calculate employer contributions was reduced to 7% (previously 8%) until June 30, 2016;
- The interest rate for Tier 3, 4 and 6 loans is 1% less than the AIR and is, therefore, reduced to 6% (an additional .3% is required for mandatory loan insurance) effective July 1, 2011;
- The Funding Method used by the Actuary to calculate employer contributions was changed from the Frozen Initial Liability Method to the Entry Age Cost Method, a method generally predicated on funding benefits over members’ working lifetimes;
- The interest rate used to credit Tier 1 and 2 member accounts will continue at 8.25% until June 30, 2016;
- Participating employers whose contributions are overdue may be subject to interest charges on such overdue contributions.
Chapter 196 – Increase in Special Accidental Death Benefit
This law increases the salary used in the computation of the special accidental death benefit provided under Section 208-f of the NYS General Municipal Law by 3%. The beneficiaries of the following NYCERS members are covered: members of the Uniformed Correction Force, Housing and Transit Police, Emergency Medical Technicians and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) members. The benefit is payable to the widow, 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 196 is deemed to have been in full force and effect on July 1, 2013.
Chapter 489 – Certain Vested Members Allowed to Apply for 3/4 Disability Pursuant to WTC Law
Chapter 489 of the Laws of 2013 implements recommendations of the September Eleventh Task Force by amending several sections of law to allow certain vested members to apply for a three-quarters disability benefit pursuant to the WTC Law, to allow the eligible beneficiaries of deceased vested members (who die prior to payability of a retirement allowance) to apply for accidental death benefits, and to extend the Notice of Participation filing deadline to September 11, 2014 for the vested members and eligible beneficiaries covered by this law ONLY. Specifically, Chapter 489 covers the following groups:
- Tier 1 and Tier 2 vested members and their eligible beneficiaries pursuant to NYC Administrative Code §13-168;
- Tier 3 vested members of the Uniformed Correction Force and their eligible beneficiaries pursuant to NYS Retirement and Social Security Law §507-c
- Tier 4 vested members of the Uniformed Sanitation Force and their eligible beneficiaries pursuant to NYS Retirement and Social Security Law §605-b
- Tier 4 vested Deputy Sheriffs and their eligible beneficiaries pursuant to NYS Retirement and Social Security Law §605-c
- Tier 4 vested Emergency Medical Technicians and their eligible beneficiaries pursuant to NYS Retirement and Social Security Law §607-b
Chapter 489 did not amend General Municipal Law (GML) §208-f. Therefore, the Special Accidental Death Benefit provided under GML §208-f would not be payable to an eligible beneficiary of a deceased vested member (who dies prior to payability of a retirement allowance) who met the criteria of the WTC law. Chapter 489 takes effect immediately and is deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after September 11, 2001.
Chapter 522 – Transit Supervisor (Stations) Refund of Additional Member Contributions
Chapter 522 authorizes refunds of the employee portion of Additional Member Contributions (AMCs) made by certain eligible former participants of a Chapter 96 Plan (55/25 or 57/5). An eligible former participant is a participant who is or was employed in the title of Supervisor (Stations) in Assignment Level II in the NYC Transit Authority Stations Department. To qualify for the refund, such former eligible participant must have been employed in the title of Supervisor (Stations) in Assignment Level II on October 1, 2006, must have been a participant of a Chapter 96 plan prior to the date AMCs in the Transit 25/55 Plan were eliminated (January 3, 2001), and must submit an application for the refund to NYCERS. Eligible former participants who have since retired or left City service may otherwise qualify for the refund if they have met the above-mentioned criteria.
Chapter 522 takes effect immediately.