A07958 Summary:

BILL NOA07958B
 
SAME ASSAME AS S05745-B
 
SPONSORAbbate
 
COSPNSRGoldfeder, Saladino, Colton, Aubry, Malliotakis, Ortiz, Ceretto, Skoufis
 
MLTSPNSRGalef, Markey, Thiele
 
Amd 162 & 168, Work Comp L; amd 2, R & SS L
 
Relates to participants in the World Trade Center rescue.
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A07958 Actions:

BILL NOA07958B
 
06/02/2015referred to governmental employees
06/10/2015reported referred to ways and means
01/06/2016referred to governmental employees
03/03/2016amend and recommit to governmental employees
03/03/2016print number 7958a
03/22/2016reported referred to ways and means
05/18/2016amend and recommit to ways and means
05/18/2016print number 7958b
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A07958 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7958B
 
SPONSOR: Abbate (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the workers' compensation law and the retirement and social security law in relation to participants in the World Trade Center rescue   PURPOSE: Reopens notice of participation for certain members who contracted illness suffered as a result of participating in rescue, recovery, and clean up directly related to attacks at the World. Trade Center on September 11, 2001.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Extends the deadline during which to file as having a world trade center condition and modifies qualifications.   JUSTIFICATION: This bill will extend the deadline for filing a registration of partic- ipation under the World Trade Center (WTC) Disability Law for those members who were eligible and never filed an application. Some of these members have become disabled with a WTC qualifying condition and have been precluded from receiving the WTC disability benefits because they never filed the notice of participation during the open window period. This bill will correct this inequity.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: See the bill.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A07958 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         7958--B
 
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      June 2, 2015
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  ABBATE,  GOLDFEDER, SALADINO, COLTON, AUBRY,
          MALLIOTAKIS, ORTIZ, CERETTO, SKOUFIS -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.
          GALEF, MARKEY, THIELE -- read once and referred to  the  Committee  on
          Governmental Employees -- recommitted to the Committee on Governmental
          Employees  in  accordance  with  Assembly  Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee -- reported and referred to the  Committee  on  Ways
          and  Means -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
          amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the workers' compensation law  and  the  retirement  and
          social  security  law  in  relation to participants in the World Trade
          Center rescue
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 162 of the workers' compensation law, as amended by
     2  section 489 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows:
     3    §  162.  Registration  of  participation in World Trade Center rescue,
     4  recovery and clean-up operations. In order for the claim  of  a  partic-
     5  ipant  in World Trade Center rescue, recovery and clean-up operations to
     6  come within the application of this article, such participant must  file
     7  a  written  and  sworn statement with the board on a form promulgated by
     8  the chair indicating the dates and locations of such  participation  and
     9  the  name  of  such  participant's employer during the period of partic-
    10  ipation. Such statement must be filed not later than September eleventh,
    11  two thousand [fourteen] eighteen.  The board shall transmit  a  copy  of
    12  such  statement  to the employer or carrier named therein. The filing of
    13  such a statement shall not be considered the filing of a claim for bene-
    14  fits under this chapter.
    15    § 2. Section 168 of the workers' compensation law is amended by adding
    16  a new subdivision 3 to read as follows:

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11342-06-6

        A. 7958--B                          2
 
     1    3. A claim by a participant in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery
     2  or cleanup operations whose disablement occurred between September elev-
     3  enth, two thousand twelve, and September eleventh, two thousand fifteen,
     4  shall not be disallowed as barred by section eighteen or  section  twen-
     5  ty-eight  of  this chapter if such claim is filed on or before September
     6  eleventh, two thousand eighteen. Any such claim by a participant in  the
     7  World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations whose disable-
     8  ment  occurred  between  September  eleventh,  two  thousand twelve, and
     9  September eleventh, two thousand fifteen, and was disallowed by  section
    10  eighteen  or  twenty-eight  of this chapter shall be reconsidered by the
    11  board.
    12    § 3. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 36 of section 2  of  the  retirement
    13  and  social security law, as amended by chapter 472 of the laws of 2014,
    14  is amended to read as follows:
    15    (a) "Qualifying World Trade Center condition" shall mean a  qualifying
    16  condition  or  impairment  of health resulting in disability to a member
    17  who participated in World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup oper-
    18  ations for a qualifying  period,  as  those  terms  are  defined  below,
    19  provided  the  following  conditions  have been met: (i) such member, or
    20  eligible beneficiary in the case of the member's death, must have  filed
    21  a  written  and sworn statement with the member's retirement system on a
    22  form provided  by  such  system  indicating  the  underlying  dates  and
    23  locations  of employment not later than September eleventh, two thousand
    24  [fifteen] eighteen, and (ii) such member has either successfully  passed
    25  a  physical  examination  for  entry  into public service, or authorized
    26  release of all relevant medical records, if the member did not undergo a
    27  physical examination for entry into public service; and (iii)  there  is
    28  no  evidence  of  the  qualifying condition or impairment of health that
    29  formed the basis for the disability in  such  physical  examination  for
    30  entry  into  public service or in the relevant medical records, prior to
    31  September eleventh, two thousand one except for such member, or eligible
    32  beneficiary in the case of the member's death,  of  a  local  retirement
    33  system  of  a  city  with  a  population  of one million or more that is
    34  covered by section 13-551 of the administrative code of the city of  New
    35  York,  or  by  section twenty-five hundred seventy-five of the education
    36  law and for such member who separated from service with  vested  rights,
    37  or  eligible  beneficiary of such member who separated from service with
    38  vested rights in the case of the member's death, of a  local  retirement
    39  system  of  a  city  with  a  population  of one million or more who are
    40  covered by sections 13-168, 13-252.1 or 13-353.1 of  the  administrative
    41  code  of  the  city  of  New  York or sections five hundred seven-c, six
    42  hundred five-b, six hundred five-c, or six hundred seven-b of this chap-
    43  ter. The deadline for filing a written and sworn statement  required  by
    44  subparagraph  (i)  of  this  paragraph  shall be September eleventh, two
    45  thousand [fourteen] eighteen for such member, or eligible beneficiary in
    46  the case of the member's death, of a local retirement system of  a  city
    47  with  a  population  of  one  million or more that is covered by section
    48  13-551 of the administrative code of the city of New York, or by section
    49  twenty-five hundred seventy-five of  the  education  law  and  for  such
    50  member  who separated from service with vested rights, or eligible bene-
    51  ficiary of such member who separated from service with vested rights  in
    52  the  case  of the member's death, of a local retirement system of a city
    53  with a population of one million or more who  are  covered  by  sections
    54  13-168,  13-252.1  or 13-353.1 of the administrative code of the city of
    55  New York and sections five hundred  seven-c,  six  hundred  five-b,  six
    56  hundred five-c, or six hundred seven-b of this chapter. Every retirement

        A. 7958--B                          3
 
     1  system  shall  keep  a copy of every written and sworn statement that is
     2  presented for filing not later than  September  eleventh,  two  thousand
     3  [fifteen]  eighteen,  including  those  that  are rejected for filing as
     4  untimely.
     5    §  4. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, none of the
     6  provisions of this act shall be subject to section 25 of the  retirement
     7  and social security law.
     8    §  5.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to
     9  have been in full force and effect on  and  after  September  11,  2001;
    10  provided,  however,  that  the amendments to sections 162 and 168 of the
    11  workers' compensation law made by sections one  and  two  of  this  act,
    12  respectively,  shall  apply  to all open and closed claims coming within
    13  its purview.
          FISCAL NOTE.-- Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          This bill would amend chapter 93 of the Laws of 2005 and  chapter  445
        of the Laws of 2006, which provided members of public retirement systems
        who  contract  any  form of disease or disability related to exposure to
        any elements in connection  with  the  World  Trade  Center  tragedy  of
        September  11,  2001 to be presumptive evidence that such disability, or
        death as a result of such disability was the result of an  accident  and
        was  sustained  in  the performance of duty.  The provisions of this act
        will not be subject to Section 25 of the Retirement and Social  Security
        Law.
          Insofar as this bill would affect the New York State and Local Employ-
        ees' Retirement and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retire-
        ment  System,  this  bill  would  extend  the deadline for filing notice
        regarding the eligibility for benefits for certain members  who  partic-
        ipated  in  the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operation
        to September 11, 2018.
          If this bill is enacted, it would  lead  to  more  disabilities  being
        classified as "in performance of duty" or "accidental". For the disabil-
        ities  so classified due to this bill, the cost would depend on the age,
        service, salary and plan of the affected member or retiree, as  well  as
        whether  such person would have otherwise been eligible for, or has been
        receiving an ordinary disability, a performance of duty disability or  a
        service retirement. For those who contract such disease prior to retire-
        ment,  it  is estimated that there could be per person one-time costs of
        as much as 5 times salary. For those who contract  such  disease  subse-
        quent  to  a  service retirement, it is estimated that there would be an
        average per person cost of approximately 2 times final  average  salary.
        For those who contract such disease subsequent to an ordinary disability
        retirement,  it  is  estimated that there would be an average per person
        cost of approximately 5 times final average salary.
          This bill would also lead to more deaths being  classified  as  "acci-
        dental".  For  each death classified as accidental due to this bill, the
        cost would depend on the age, service, salary and plan of  the  affected
        individual,  as  well as whether such person was an active member or has
        been receiving an ordinary disability, a performance of duty disability,
        an accidental disability or a service retirement. It is  estimated  that
        the cost for each ERS and PFRS individual affected would average approx-
        imately 3.5 times final average salary and 8 times final average salary,
        respectively.
          These  costs  would be shared by the State of New York and the partic-
        ipating employers in the ERS and PFRS.
          Summary of relevant resources:

        A. 7958--B                          4
 
          The membership data used in  measuring  the  impact  of  the  proposed
        change  was  the same as that used in the March 31, 2015 actuarial valu-
        ation.  Distributions and other statistics can  be  found  in  the  2015
        Report  of  the  Actuary  and  the  2015  Comprehensive Annual Financial
        Report.
          The  actuarial  assumptions and methods used are described in the 2015
        Annual Report to the Comptroller on Actuarial Assumptions, and the Codes
        Rules and Regulations of the State of New York: Audit and Control.
          The Market Assets and GASB Disclosures are found in the March 31, 2015
        New York State and Local  Retirement  System  Financial  Statements  and
        Supplementary Information.
          I am a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and meet the Quali-
        fication Standards to render the actuarial opinion contained herein.
          This  estimate,  dated  February  16,  2016, and intended for use only
        during the  2016  Legislative  Session,  is  Fiscal  Note  No.  2016-62,
        prepared  by  the  Actuary  for  the New York State and Local Retirement
        System.
          FISCAL NOTE.-- Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          PROVISIONS OF PROPOSED LEGISLATION: With respect to the New York  City
        Retirement  System (NYCRS), the proposed legislation would amend Retire-
        ment and Social Security Law (RSSL) Section 2, to  extend,  for  certain
        members  who  participated in the Rescue, Recovery or Cleanup operations
        related to the World Trade Center (WTC) attack on  September  11,  2001,
        the deadline for filing a Notice of Participation under the WTC Disabil-
        ity Law.
          The   NYCRS  include:  New  York  City  Employees'  Retirement  System
        (NYCERS), New York City Teachers' Retirement System (NYCTRS),  New  York
        City  Board  of Education Retirement System (BERS), New York City Police
        Pension Fund (POLICE) and New York Fire Department Pension Fund (FIRE).
          The effective date of this proposed legislation would be the  date  of
        enactment,  and  would, as it related to NYCRS, be deemed retroactive to
        September 11, 2001.
          DEADLINES UNDER EXISTING PROVISIONS: Under current law, there are  two
        different deadlines, depending on covered groupings, for timely filing a
        Notice of Participation.
          Chapter 489 of the Laws of 2013 expanded coverage of the WTC Disabili-
        ty  law to certain groups (Chapter 489/13 Covered Groups), and enacted a
        September 11, 2014 deadline for eligible individuals within those Groups
        to file  a  Notice  of  Participation.  Chapter  489/13  Covered  Groups
        include:
          * Active, vested and retired Tier 1 and 2 NYCTRS members
          * Active, vested and retired Tier 1 and 2 BERS members
          * Vested Tier 1 and 2 NYCERS members
          * Vested Tier 1 and 2 POLICE members
          * Vested Tier 1 and 2 FIRE members
          * Vested Tier 3 NYCERS Uniformed Corrections members
          * Vested Tier 4 NYCERS Uniformed Sanitation members
          * Vested Tier 4 and 6 NYCERS Deputy Sheriff members
          * Vested Tier 4 and 6 NYCERS EMT members
          Chapter 472 of the Laws of 2014 extended the deadline to file a Notice
        of  Participation  for  all  eligible groups not included in the Chapter
        489/13 Covered Groups (the Original Covered  Groups)  to  September  11,
        2015.
          DEADLINES  UNDER PROPOSED LEGISLATION: With respect to the NYCERS, the
        proposed legislation would extend the deadline for filing  a  Notice  of
        Participation  under  the  WTC  Disability  Law for the Original Covered

        A. 7958--B                          5
 
        Groups from September 11, 2015 to September 11,  2018,  and  extend  the
        deadline  for  the Chapter 489/13 Covered Groups from September 11, 2014
        to September 11, 2018.
          ADDITIONAL  EMPLOYER  CONTRIBUTIONS: The increase in employer contrib-
        utions as a result of the  proposed  legislation  would  depend  on  the
        number  of  additional  members  who  file  the  required form, meet the
        requirements of the WTC Disability Laws and then ultimately benefit from
        one of the Laws.
          As the Actuary believes that most members who would  be  eligible  for
        the  benefits  provided  under the WTC Disability Law have already filed
        the required form to register for  participation,  only  a  few  members
        likely  would  benefit form the proposed legislation and, therefore, the
        increase in employer contributions would likely be de minimis.
          ACTUARIAL ASSUMPTIONS AND METHODS: The additional employer  costs  and
        contributions  have  been  determined based on the actuarial assumptions
        and methods used in June 30, 2015 (Lag) actuarial valuations of NYCRS.
          STATEMENT OF ACTUARIAL OPINION: I, Sherry S. Chan, am the Chief  Actu-
        ary  for  the New York City Retirement Systems. I am an Associate of the
        Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries
        and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. I meet the Qualifica-
        tion Standards of the American Academy of Actuaries to render the  actu-
        arial opinion contained herein.
          FISCAL  NOTE  IDENTIFICATION: This Fiscal Note 2016-17 dated April 11,
        2016, was prepared by the Chief Actuary for the New York City Employees'
        Retirement System, the New York City Teachers'  Retirement  System,  the
        New  York  City  Board of Education Retirement System, the New York City
        Police Pension Fund and the New York Fire Department Pension Fund.  This
        estimate is intended for use only during the 2016 Legislative Session.
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