senate Bill S5936

Amended

Relates to limiting participation by certain 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
view actions

actions

  • 18 / Sep / 2013
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
  • 04 / Apr / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
  • 04 / Apr / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 5936A

Summary

Limits participation by employees 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 counties, 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 in the retirement system.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S5936
S5936A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Civil Service And Pensions
Law Section:
Retirement and Social Security Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง31 & 609, R & SS L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5936

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 new employees of certain
private organizations in the New York State pension system.

Section 2 of the bill amends section 609 of the retirement and social
security law in relation to additional service credit for current
employees of certain private organizations in the New York State
pension system.

Section 3 is a severability clause.

Section 4 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 reduce additional service credit for
certain individuals already in the retirement system. Therefore,
pension costs for NYS and for local governments will be reduced.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately.

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

                                  5936

                       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.
                                                           LBD11781-02-3

S. 5936                             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. Section 609 of the retirement and social security law is amended
by adding a new subdivision i to read as follows:
   I. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION OR  ANY  OTHER
LAW,  RULE  OR  REGULATION, AN 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,  SHALL  NOT RECEIVE SERVICE CREDIT FOR EMPLOYMENT WITH SUCH
ORGANIZATION ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  S 3. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
sion, section or part of this act shall be  adjudged  by  any  court  of
competent  jurisdiction  to  be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall  be  confined  in
its  operation  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
the legislature that this act would  have  been  enacted  even  if  such
invalid provisions had not been included herein.
  S 4. 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  for  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 of 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.
  This  legislation  also would freeze the benefit accruals of employees
of one of the boards or associations who are members of the NYS&LERS  as
of  the  effective date. If this bill is enacted, it is likely to face a
constitutional challenge based upon the guarantee that a member's  bene-
fits may not be diminished.
  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.

S. 5936                             3

  This estimate, dated September 13, 2013, and  intended  for  use  only
during  the  2014  Legislative  Session,  is  Fiscal  Note  No. 2014-10,
prepared by the Actuary for the New  York  State  and  Local  Employees'
Retirement System.

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