Assemblywoman Amy Paulin Hosts Press Conference in Support of Amending the Veteran’s Buyback Program

Albany – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin [D-88] hosted a press conference Tuesday afternoon in the Capitol to discuss her bill that would amend the veteran’s pension buyback program [A6974/S4714].

The bill would remove the dates of service requirements from the military pension buyback program. The program allows State employees to buy back up to three years of pension credit after five years of employment if they served in the military and received an honorable discharge.

The law currently lists specific dates targeting those who were in combat but does not limit the buyback to combat veterans. While better than 90 percent of veterans of declared wartime do not see active combat, they still benefit from the law as it is currently structured. However, under the current law, no vets that served after February 28, 1991 are eligible for the buy back. This includes those who served in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This is about the equal and fair treatment that all veterans deserve,” Paulin said. “If you are in the armed services, you are called upon to put your life on the line at a moment’s notice. That, above all else, entitles you to certain things. The pension buyback is one such program. To put restrictions on when you can participate in the pension buyback program is not acceptable.

“The people who serve do so voluntarily and we need to do everything we can to show our appreciation for their service to this country. They are the ones who are called upon to protect us. It is up to us to protect them as well whenever possible.”

The bill currently has 75 Assembly cosponsors and 37 Senate sponsors. Senator William Larkin [R-39] is the primary Senate sponsor. The bill has drawn the support of Jewish War Veterans, The Transit Workers Union, the AFL-CIO, New York State Council of Vietnam War Veterans of America, The Public Employees Federation and the NYS Association of PBAs.