senate Bill S5935

Amended

Relates to limiting participation by public or quasi-public organizations in the retirement system

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 18 / Sep / 2013
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 30 / Dec / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO RULES
  • 30 / Dec / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 5935A
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1296
  • 20 / Jun / 2014
    • RECOMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Relates to limiting participation by certain public or quasi-public organizations in the retirement system.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8212
Versions:
S5935
S5935A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Retirement and Social Security Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง31, R & SS L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5935

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the retirement and social security
law, in relation to participation by public or quasi-public
organizations in the retirement system

PURPOSE:

To limit participation by officers and employees of certain private
organizations in the New York State public retirement system.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends section 31 of the retirement and social
security law in relation to participation of certain private
organizations in the New York State pension system.

Section 2 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

The NYS retirement system is one of the largest in the nation - with
over a million participants and having a value of almost $160 billion.
The system is a benefit to hardworking public employees and it is a
benefit to state and local government in terms of attracting and
retaining qualified employees As much as the retirement system is a
benefit, it is also a financial burden especially to local
governments. According to the NYS Office of the State Comptroller, for
the 2011-2012 fiscal year, contributions to the retirement system from
government employers totaled over $4.5 billion.

In recent years, the NYS Legislature has acted responsibly in passing
measures to help control the cost of the state pension system,
particularly for local governments. And, although reform measures such
as new pension tiers have been established, there are still other
problems with the pension system that must be fixed. A prime example
of this is the state's law permitting employees of certain private
organizations to participate in the state's public retirement system.

Under current law, officers and employees of private organizations
such as the NYS Association of Counties, the NYS School Boards
Association, the Association of Towns of the State of New York, and
the NYS Conference of Mayors are all eligible to participate in New
York's retirement system. Decades ago, these organizations applied for
(and were granted) this special privilege. Consequently, the state's
public retirement system includes certain private-sector employees
that enjoy a special benefit that other similarly situated private
sector employees do not have.. A particularly troubling aspect of this
arrangement is that, in some cases, the officers and employees of
these private organizations are actually registered lobbyists.
Ultimately, the state pensions for these individuals increases costs
for state and local government - costs that are ultimately borne by
New York residents. It is outrageous and unfair to require New York
residents to pay the costs of a public pension for private sector
lobbying organizations.


Another particularly irksome aspect of this situation is that these
groups regularly lobby New York state government officials to reduce
the high costs of pensions for local governments - the very costs that
their officers and employees are contributing to through the special
privilege they are taking advantage of. In fact, the NYS Association
of Counties, The NYS Conference of Mayors and the NYS Schools Boards
Association have all had pension reform on their lobbying agenda.

To be sure, the NYS retirement system is large and costs a lot of
money. There are many, many hard-working public employees that deserve
a public pension - and a pension system should be maintained for these
individuals. However, the fact that the current system provides a
public pension to private-sector lobbying organizations demands a fix.
This bill does just that.

BILL HISTORY:

New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

This bill will reduce the number of individuals eligible for the NYS
retirement system and will therefore reduce pension costs for NYS and
for local governments.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5935

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                           September 18, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in  relation  to
  participation  by  public or quasi-public organizations in the retire-
  ment system

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subdivision  a of section 31 of the retirement and social
security law, as amended by chapter 379 of the laws of 1989, is  amended
to read as follows:
  a. Any public or quasi-public organization created wholly or partly or
deriving  its powers by the legislature of the state and which organiza-
tion employs persons engaged in service to the public or any state agen-
cy as defined in section fifty-three-a of the state finance law, or  the
New  York state association of town superintendents of highways, inc. or
any school board association,  by  resolution  legally  adopted  by  its
governing  body  and  approved by the comptroller, may elect to have its
officers and employees become eligible to participate in the  retirement
system.    Acceptance  of the officers and employees of such an employer
for membership in the retirement system shall be optional with the comp-
troller. If he shall approve  their  participation,  such  organization,
except  as  specifically provided in this article to the contrary, shall
thereafter be treated as a participating  employer.  Any  election  made
pursuant  to  this  subdivision  by  a school board association shall be
applicable to current employees of such  association.    NOTWITHSTANDING
THE  FOREGOING PROVISIONS, ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE NEW YORK STATE
ASSOCIATION OF TOWN SUPERINTENDENTS OF  HIGHWAYS,  INC.,  THE  NEW  YORK
STATE SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION, THE NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF COUN-
TIES,  THE  ASSOCIATION  OF TOWNS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, THE NEW YORK
CONFERENCE OF MAYORS AND OTHER MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS, OR ANY SCHOOL  BOARD
ASSOCIATION,  FIRST EMPLOYED ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAP-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11764-03-3

S. 5935                             2

TER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN WHICH AMENDED THIS SUBDIVISION,
SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
  FISCAL  NOTE.--This  bill would require that persons first employed by
the following associations on or after the effective date  will  not  be
eligible  to  membership  in  the  New  York  State and Local Employees'
Retirement System:
  The New York state association of town  superintendents  of  highways,
inc,
  The New York state school board association,
  The New York state association counties,
  The association of towns of the state of New York,
  The New York conference of mayors and other municipal officials, and
  Any school board association.
  If  this  bill  is  enacted,  there  will be no cost to the retirement
system.
  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, 2013 actuarial valu-
ation.  Distributions and other statistics can  be  found  in  the  2013
Report of the Actuary and the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
when released in the fall of 2013.
  The  actuarial assumptions and methods used are described in the 2010,
2011, 2012 and 2013  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, 2013
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  statement  of  actuarial  opinion
contained herein.
  This estimate, dated September 3, 2013,  and  intended  for  use  only
during the 2014 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2014-7, prepared
by  the  Actuary  for the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement
System.

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