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A07600 Summary:

BILL NOA07600B
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORAbbate
 
COSPNSRColton, McDonough, Woerner, Santabarbara
 
MLTSPNSREnglebright, Thiele
 
Add 363-ee, amd 363-e, R & SS L
 
Relates to disability retirement for members of the department of environmental conservation, forest rangers, university police officers and the regional state park police.
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A07600 Actions:

BILL NOA07600B
 
05/03/2017referred to governmental employees
05/23/2017reported referred to ways and means
06/05/2017amend and recommit to ways and means
06/05/2017print number 7600a
06/21/2017reported referred to rules
01/03/2018referred to governmental employees
01/12/2018amend and recommit to governmental employees
01/12/2018print number 7600b
02/05/2018reported referred to ways and means
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A07600 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7600B
 
SPONSOR: Abbate
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to disability retirement for members of the department of environmental conservation, forest rangers, university police offi- cers and the regional state park police   PURPOSE: To allow members of the division of law enforcement in the department of environmental conservation, forest rangers, university police officers and the regional state park police, who are injured in the performance of his or her duty and can no longer perform his or her duties due to the injury to receive three quarters accidental disability retirement. New York State Troopers, as well as members of the New York State Policemen's and Firemen's Retirement System already receive three quar- ters accidental disability retirement benefits.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of this bill amends the retirement and social security law by adding a new section 363-cc to allow members of the division of law enforcement in the department of environmental conservation, forest rangers, the regional state park police, and university police officers who are injured in the performance of his or her duty and can no longer perform his or her duties due to the injury to receive three quarters accidental disability retirement. Section two of this bill amends the section heading and subdivision a of section 363-e of the retirement and social security law to create uniformity among disability retirement allowance for members of the division of law enforcement in the department of environmental conserva- tion, a police officer in the department of environmental conservation, the regional state park police, and university police officers. Section three of this bill states that this act shall take effect imme- diately.   JUSTIFICATION: New York State Police Officers as well as members of the New York State Policemen's and Firemen's Retirement System have three quarter disabili- ty benefits. However, New York State Environmental Conservation Offi- cers, Forest Rangers, Regional Park Police and State University Police do not. This legislation will allow Environmental Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers, State University Police and Regional Park Police who become physically or mentally incapacitated to complete the duties of his or her job, to become eligible to receive an accidental disability retire- ment and all applicable benefits. While working within the full capacity of their job, Environmental Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers, State University Police and State Park Police should be assured that he or she will be eligible for an accidental disability retirement if he or she is injured due to an incident that was completely out of his or her control that is equal to other branches of law enforcement. There is no better justification than the recent shooting tragedy of New York State Environmental Conservation Officer James Davey who sustained a gunshot while investigating a call for "shots fired" in rural Columbia County which was ultimately two men attempting to poach deer in a field at night. These types of terrible incidents demonstrate the risks that Environmental Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers, Regional Park Police and State University Police encounter on a day-to-day basis in performance of their job duties. They should receive the same acci- dental disability benefits as other law enforcement members.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: See the bill   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A07600 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         7600--B
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       May 3, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. ABBATE, COLTON, McDONOUGH -- Multi-Sponsored by
          -- M. of A.   ENGLEBRIGHT, THIELE -- read once  and  referred  to  the
          Committee  on  Governmental  Employees -- reported and referred to the
          Committee on Ways and Means --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
          ordered  reprinted  as  amended  and  recommitted to said committee --
          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
 
        AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in  relation  to
          disability  retirement  for members of the department of environmental
          conservation, forest  rangers,  university  police  officers  and  the
          regional state park police
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The retirement and social security law is amended by adding
     2  a new section 363-ee to read as follows:
     3    § 363-ee.  Accidental  disability  retirement  allowance  for  certain
     4  members or officers of the division of law enforcement in the department
     5  of  environmental  conservation,  forest  rangers,  regional  state park
     6  police officers, and university police officers. a. A member  may  elect
     7  to  receive  an  accidental  disability retirement allowance as provided
     8  under this section in lieu of the benefits provided under section  three
     9  hundred sixty-three-e of this title if, at the time application therefor
    10  is filed, he or she is:
    11    1. Physically or mentally incapacitated for performance of duty as the
    12  natural and proximate result of an accident not caused by his or her own
    13  willful  negligence  sustained in such service and while actually a non-
    14  seasonally appointed member of the division of law  enforcement  in  the
    15  department  of  environmental  conservation,  a  police  officer  in the
    16  department of environmental conservation, an  officer  in  the  regional
    17  state  park  police, a forest ranger in the service of the department of
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10864-06-7

        A. 7600--B                          2
 
     1  environmental conservation which shall mean a person  who  serves  on  a
     2  full-time  basis  in  the  title  of  forest ranger I, forest ranger II,
     3  forest ranger III, assistant  superintendent  of  forest  fire  control,
     4  superintendent  of  forest  fire  control or any successor titles or new
     5  titles in the forest ranger title series in the department  of  environ-
     6  mental  conservation,  or a university police officer appointed pursuant
     7  to paragraph l of subdivision two of section three hundred fifty-five of
     8  the education law, and
     9    2. Actually in service upon which his  or  her  membership  is  based.
    10  However,  in  a  case where a member is discontinued from service subse-
    11  quent to the accident, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and provided
    12  that the member meets the requirements of paragraph one of this subdivi-
    13  sion, application may be made, either (a) by a vested  member  incapaci-
    14  tated  as  the  result  of  a qualifying World Trade Center condition as
    15  defined in section two of this chapter at any time,  or  (b)  not  later
    16  than two years after the member is first discontinued from service.
    17    b.  Application  for an accidental disability retirement allowance for
    18  such a member may be made by:
    19    1. Such member, or
    20    2. The head of the department where such member is employed or his  or
    21  her designee, or
    22    3. A person acting on behalf of and authorized by such member.
    23    c.  (a)  After  the filing of such an application such member shall be
    24  given one or more medical examinations. No  such  application  shall  be
    25  approved,  however, unless the member or some other person on his or her
    26  behalf shall have filed written notice in the office of the  comptroller
    27  within ninety days after the accident, setting forth:
    28    1. The time when and the place where such accident occurred;
    29    2. The particulars thereof;
    30    3. The nature and extent of the member's injuries; and
    31    4. His or her alleged incapacity.
    32    (b) The notice herein required need not be given:
    33    1.  If  notice  of such accident shall be filed in accordance with the
    34  provisions of the workers' compensation law of any state within which  a
    35  participating  employer  shall  have its employees located or performing
    36  functions and duties within the normal scope of their employment, or
    37    2. If the application for accidental disability  retirement  is  filed
    38  within one year after the date of such accident, or
    39    3.  If  a failure to file notice has been excused for good cause shown
    40  as provided by rules and regulations promulgated by the comptroller.
    41    d. If the comptroller determines that  the  member  is  physically  or
    42  mentally  incapacitated  for  the  performance  of  duty and ought to be
    43  retired for accidental disability, such member shall be so retired. Such
    44  retirement shall be effective as of a date approved by the comptroller.
    45    e. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the  retirement  allow-
    46  ance payable upon accidental disability retirement shall consist of:
    47    1.  An annuity which shall be the actuarial equivalent of the member's
    48  accumulated contributions, plus
    49    2. A pension which is the actuarial equivalent of the reserved-for-in-
    50  creased-take-home-pay to which he or she may be entitled, if any, plus
    51    3. A pension of three-quarters of his or her final average salary. The
    52  payment of such pension shall be subject to the  provisions  of  section
    53  three hundred sixty-four of this article.
    54    f.  If  the  member, at the time of the filing of an application under
    55  the provisions of subdivision b of  this  section,  is  eligible  for  a
    56  service retirement benefit, then and in that event, he or she may simul-

        A. 7600--B                          3
 
     1  taneously  file an application for service retirement in accordance with
     2  the provisions of section seventy of this  chapter,  provided  that  the
     3  member  indicates  on  the  application for service retirement that such
     4  application is filed without prejudice to the application for accidental
     5  disability retirement.
     6    g.  For  purposes  of this section, the term "accident" shall have the
     7  same meaning and be interpreted in the  same  manner  as  such  term  is
     8  defined  and interpreted to mean in section three hundred sixty-three of
     9  this title.
    10    h. 1. (a) Notwithstanding any provisions of this  chapter  or  of  any
    11  general,  special  or local law, charter, administrative code or rule or
    12  regulation to the contrary, if any condition or impairment of health  is
    13  caused  by  a  qualifying  World  Trade  Center  condition as defined in
    14  section two of this chapter, it shall be presumptive  evidence  that  it
    15  was  incurred  in  the performance and discharge of duty and the natural
    16  and proximate result of an accident not  caused  by  such  member's  own
    17  willful negligence, unless the contrary be proved by competent evidence.
    18    (b) The comptroller is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regu-
    19  lations to implement the provisions of this paragraph.
    20    2. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or of any gener-
    21  al,  special or local law, charter, administrative code or rule or regu-
    22  lation to the contrary, if a member  who  participated  in  World  Trade
    23  Center rescue, recovery or cleanup operations, as defined in section two
    24  of  this  chapter,  and subsequently retired on a service retirement, an
    25  ordinary disability retirement  or  a  performance  of  duty  disability
    26  retirement  and subsequent to such retirement is determined by the comp-
    27  troller to have a qualifying World Trade Center condition, as defined in
    28  section two of this chapter, upon such determination by the  comptroller
    29  it  shall  be presumed that such disability was incurred in the perform-
    30  ance and discharge of duty as the natural and  proximate  result  of  an
    31  accident  not  caused  by such member's own willful negligence, and that
    32  the member would have been physically or mentally incapacitated for  the
    33  performance  and  discharge of duty of the position from which he or she
    34  retired had the condition been known and fully developed at the time  of
    35  the  member's  retirement,  unless  the  contrary is proven by competent
    36  evidence.
    37    (b) The comptroller shall consider a reclassification of the  member's
    38  retirement  as  an  accidental disability retirement effective as of the
    39  date of such reclassification.
    40    (c) Such member's retirement option shall not be changed as  a  result
    41  of such reclassification.
    42    (d)  The  member's former employer at the time of the member's retire-
    43  ment shall have an opportunity to be heard on the  member's  application
    44  for  reclassification  by the comptroller according to procedures devel-
    45  oped by the comptroller.
    46    (e) The comptroller is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regu-
    47  lations to implement the provisions of this paragraph.
    48    i. Notwithstanding any other provision  of  this  chapter  or  of  any
    49  general,  special  or local law, charter, administrative code or rule or
    50  regulation to the contrary, if a retiree who: (1) has met  the  criteria
    51  of  subdivision h of this section and retired on a service or disability
    52  retirement, or would have met the criteria if not already retired on  an
    53  accidental  disability; and (2) has not been retired for more than twen-
    54  ty-five years; and (3) dies from a qualifying World Trade Center  condi-
    55  tion,  as  defined  in section two of this chapter, as determined by the
    56  applicable head of the retirement system or  applicable  medical  board,

        A. 7600--B                          4
 
     1  then  unless  the contrary be proven by competent evidence, such retiree
     2  shall be deemed to have died as a natural and  proximate  result  of  an
     3  accident  sustained  in  the  performance of duty and not as a result of
     4  willful negligence on his or her part. Such retiree's eligible benefici-
     5  ary,  as  set  forth  in  section three hundred sixty-one of this title,
     6  shall be entitled to an accidental death benefit as provided by  section
     7  three  hundred  sixty-one  of  this  title, however, for the purposes of
     8  determining the salary base upon which the accidental death  benefit  is
     9  calculated,  the retiree shall be deemed to have died on the date of his
    10  or her retirement. Upon the retiree's death,  the  eligible  beneficiary
    11  shall  make  a  written application to the head of the retirement system
    12  within the time for filing an application for an accidental death  bene-
    13  fit  as  set  forth  in  section  three  hundred sixty-one of this title
    14  requesting conversion of such retiree's service or disability retirement
    15  benefit to an accidental death benefit. At the time of such  conversion,
    16  the  eligible beneficiary shall relinquish all rights to the prospective
    17  benefits payable under the service  or  disability  retirement  benefit,
    18  including any post-retirement death benefits, since the retiree's death.
    19  If  the  eligible  beneficiary  is not the only beneficiary receiving or
    20  entitled to receive a benefit under the service or disability retirement
    21  benefit (including, but not limited to, post-retirement  death  benefits
    22  or benefits paid or payable pursuant to the retiree's option selection),
    23  the  accidental  death benefit payments to the eligible beneficiary will
    24  be reduced by any amounts paid or payable to any other beneficiary.
    25    j. Notwithstanding any other provision  of  this  chapter  or  of  any
    26  general,  special  or local law, charter, administrative code or rule or
    27  regulation to the contrary, if a member who: (1) has met the criteria of
    28  subdivision h of this section; and (2) dies in  active  service  from  a
    29  qualifying  World  Trade  Center condition, as defined in section two of
    30  this chapter, as determined by the applicable  head  of  the  retirement
    31  system  or applicable medical board to have been caused by such member's
    32  participation in the World Trade  Center  rescue,  recovery  or  cleanup
    33  operations,  as  defined in section two of this chapter, then unless the
    34  contrary be proven by competent evidence, such member shall be deemed to
    35  have died as a natural and proximate result of an accident sustained  in
    36  the performance of duty and not as a result of willful negligence on his
    37  or her part. Such member's eligible beneficiary, as set forth in section
    38  three  hundred  sixty-one  of  this title, shall be entitled to an acci-
    39  dental death benefit provided he or she makes written application to the
    40  head of the retirement system within the time for filing an  application
    41  for  an  accidental  death benefit as set forth in section three hundred
    42  sixty-one of this title.
    43    § 2. The section heading and subdivision a of  section  363-e  of  the
    44  retirement  and social security law, as added by chapter 208 of the laws
    45  of 1997, are amended to read as follows:
    46    Disability retirement allowance for members of  the  division  of  law
    47  enforcement  in  the  department  of  environmental conservation, police
    48  officers  in  the  department  of  environmental  conservation,   forest
    49  rangers, university police officers and the regional state park police.
    50    a. Every non-seasonally appointed sworn member or officer of the divi-
    51  sion  of law enforcement in the department of environmental conservation
    52  and the regional state park police, every police officer in the  depart-
    53  ment  of  environmental  conservation,  every  forest  ranger  and every
    54  university police officer appointed pursuant to paragraph l of  subdivi-
    55  sion  two  of  section three hundred fifty-five of the education law who
    56  becomes physically or mentally incapacitated for the performance of duty

        A. 7600--B                          5
 
     1  shall be covered by the provisions  of  this  section  in  lieu  of  the
     2  provisions  of  section  three hundred sixty-two or three hundred sixty-
     3  three of this [article] title; except, however, any such member or offi-
     4  cer  who last entered or reentered service in the department of environ-
     5  mental conservation or state park police, as the case may be,  prior  to
     6  September  first,  nineteen  hundred  ninety-seven, shall be entitled to
     7  apply for disability retirement pursuant to such sections and to receive
     8  the benefit so payable in lieu of the benefit payable pursuant  to  this
     9  section.  The  benefits  provided  by this section for university police
    10  officers shall be in lieu of section three hundred sixty-three  of  this
    11  article.
    12    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          This  bill  would  grant  improved  accidental and performance of duty
        disability pensions to certain members or officers of  the  division  of
        law  enforcement in the department of environmental conservation, forest
        rangers and regional state park police. The benefit  for  an  accidental
        disability  would  be 75% of final average salary minus worker's compen-
        sation. The benefit for a performance of duty disability  benefit  would
        be 50% of final average salary.
          If this bill is enacted, the estimated increase in the annual contrib-
        utions  of  the  state  of New York for the fiscal year ending March 31,
        2019 would be approximately $450,000.
          In addition to the annual contributions discussed above, there will be
        an immediate past service cost of $2.78 million which will be  borne  by
        the  state of New York as a one-time payment.  This estimate is based on
        the assumption that payment will be made on March 1, 2019.
          These estimated costs are based on 724 members having an annual salary
        for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 of approximately $60 million.
          Summary of relevant resources:
          The membership data used in  measuring  the  impact  of  the  proposed
        change  was  the same as that used in the March 31, 2017 actuarial valu-
        ation.  Distributions and other statistics can  be  found  in  the  2017
        Report  of  the  Actuary  and  the  2017  Comprehensive Annual Financial
        Report.
          The actuarial assumptions and methods used are described in the  2015,
        2016,  and  2017  Annual  Report to the Comptroller on Actuarial Assump-
        tions, 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, 2017
        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 November 22, 2017,  and  intended  for  use  only
        during  the  2018  Legislative  Session,  is  Fiscal  Note  No. 2018-10,
        prepared by the Actuary for the New  York  State  and  Local  Retirement
        System.
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