2017 Laws

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Chapter 467 – Special Plan members may use basic or additional member contributions to offset MCAF or RRF deficits

Allows Special Plan members to use basic or additional member contributions to offset any deficits in MCAF or RRF accounts.

This bill allows participants in Special Plans to, upon retirement, use a surplus in their Additional Member Contributions (AMCs) to offset any deficit in their Basic Member Contribution account (MCAF), or to use a surplus in Basic Member Contributions (BMCs) to offset a deficit in the Additional Member Contribution account (RRF).  Participants in the following Plans are affected by this legislation:

Article 14 Special Plans:

  • 20-Year Retirement Plan for New York City Correction Members below the Rank of Captain – CO-20 (RSSL § 504-a)
  • 20-Year Retirement Plan for New York City Correction Members of the Rank of Captain or above – CC-20 (RSSL § 504-b)
  • 20-Year Retirement Plan for New York City Correction Members – CF-20 (RSSL § 504-d)

Article 15 Special Plans:

  • 20-Year Retirement Plan for New York City Sanitation Members — SA-20 (RSSL § 604-a)
  • 25-Year and Age 55 Retirement Plan for New York City Transit Authority Members – T2555 (RSSL § 604-b)
  • Optional 25-Year Early Retirement Plan for Certain New York City Members – 55/25 (RSSL § 604-c)
  • 20-Year/Age 50 Retirement Plan for Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Members – TBTA 20/50 (RSSL § 604-c)
  • Age 57 Retirement Plan for Certain New York City Members — 57/5 (RSSL § 604-d)
  • 25-Year Retirement Plan for Dispatcher Members – DIS-25 (RSSL § 604-e)
  • 25-Year Retirement Plan for EMT Members – EMT-25 (RSSL § 604-e)
  • 25-Year Retirement Plan for Deputy Sheriff Members – DSH-25 (RSSL § 604-f)
  • 25-Year  Retirement  Plan for Special  Officer, Parking Control Specialist, School Safety Agent, Campus  Peace  Officer or New York City Taxi and Limousine Inspector Members – SPO-25 (RSSL § 604-f)
  • 25-Year/Age 50 Retirement Plan for Automotive Members – AUT-25 (RSSL § 604-g)
  • 25-Year Retirement Plan for Police Communications Members – PCT-25 (RSSL § 604-h)

This bill is effective as of December 18, 2017.

Chapter 457 – Special Accidental Death Benefits for Sanitation

Relates to pension benefits of widows or widowers of sanitation workers; defines eligible beneficiary of a NYC uniformed sanitation revised plan member

This law amends section 208-f of the New York State General Municipal Law.  It provides Special Accidental Death Benefits to eligible beneficiaries of NYCERS members who are employed in the Uniformed Force of the Department of Sanitation, if the member dies as a natural and proximate result of an accident sustained in the performance of duty on or after November 1, 1996.

The new legislation further amends New York State Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) §§ 501 and 601 to prospectively expand the definition of a Tier 4 and modified Tier 3 Uniformed Sanitation Workers’ eligible beneficiaries for Accidental Death Benefits contained in RSSL §§ 509 and 607.  The new definition includes: (1) a surviving spouse who has not renounced survivorship rights in a separation agreement, (2) surviving children until age twenty-five, (3) dependent parents, determined under regulations promulgated by the comptroller, and (4) any other person who qualified as a dependent on the final federal income tax return of the member or the return filed in the year immediately preceding the year of death, until such person reaches twenty-one years of age.

The law is effective as of December 13, 2017.  The amendment to General Municipal Law section 208-f is retroactive to accidental deaths sustained in the performance of duty on and after November 1, 1996.  The amendments to RSSL sections 501 and 601 are effective as of December 13, 2017.

Chapter 445 – T25/55 Purchase of Service when on Preferred Eligible List

This bill amends section 604-b of the RSSL to allow members of the T25/55 Plan who were placed on a preferred eligible list during the period between 5/11/2010 and 7/25/2012 by reason of the abolition of their position, to purchase the service for the time period that they were on the preferred eligible list.  These members will be allowed to purchase this time by making the required contributions to the plan covering the period they were on the preferred eligible list, including interest.  This buy back time will be credited as allowable service in the T25/55 Plan. Chapter 445 is deemed to have been in full force and effect on November 30, 2017.

Chapter 368 – Increase to Overtime Ceiling Percentage

Commencing on January 1, 2018 and for each year thereafter, the overtime ceiling percentage shall be increased by an amount equal to annual inflation, which will be determined based on the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) in the one-year period ending on the September 30th prior to the overtime ceiling adjustment effective on the following January 1st.  This changes the reporting of the overtime limit from a fiscal year basis to a calendar year basis. This law is effective as of October 23, 2017.

Chapter 71 – Extension of Interest Rate

This bill extends for one fiscal year, until June 30, 2018, the 7% rate of interest used by the Chief Actuary for NYCERS in valuing the retirement system liabilities for the purpose of computing the amount of employer contributions.  The bill also extends for one fiscal year the rate of interest to be paid into certain constituent funds of the City retirement systems and the amount of interest to be credited on AMCs and ITHP reserves for Tier 1 and Tier 2 members. The effective date of this law is July 1, 2017.

Chapter 76 – Increase in Special Accidental Death Benefit

Chapter 76 of the Laws of 2017 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 76 is deemed to have been in full force and effect on July 1, 2017.

Chapter 61 – Accidental Death and Disability Benefits for 22-Year Plan Members

Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2017 adds section 209-ff to the General Municipal Law. This new section provides that 22-Year Plan Members are eligible for accidental disability benefits under RSSL 507 regardless of the fact that the member also qualifies for normal service retirement.  In addition, the law amends RSSL 507(d), which states that a member can be put on the preferred eligible list without a medical examination if his or her Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits cease or he or she was awarded accident disability without a determination from SSA, but is earning a salary that would be greater than what is permitted under the SSA.  Under the new law, 22-Year Sanitation and IDA members are now subject to safeguards under NYCERS Rules and the provisions of 507(d) do not apply.  For 22-Year Correction members, the member must have a medical examination and be found not disabled before 507(d) is applied.