Senator Foley Helps Streamline State and Local Government

Brian X. Foley

June 04, 2010

Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point) announced that legislation (S7909) which establishes a temporary retirement benefit incentive for certain public employees has been signed into law. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Diane Savino, will assist in streamlining the workforce and achieving cost savings.

Members of the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System, the New York City Employees Retirement System, the New York State Teachers Retirement System, the New York City Teachers Retirement System, and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System will be eligible for the program at the discretion of their respective employers. The incentive program is aimed at positions that can be eliminated for reasons of economy, consolidation, abolition or curtailment of government activities. The employer would have to consider whether the elimination of a position would unacceptably reduce the level of patient care, pose health and safety risks or result in adverse budgetary implications.

“Allowing certain employees to retire early will mean cost savings for state and local governments and, in turn, taxpayers,” said Senator Foley. “Employees vacating positions will allow agencies to either transfer other employees to those positions to avoid having to lay off employees who are not eligible to retire or to eliminate positions that are no longer necessary for the operation of the agency. In these tough fiscal times, when all levels of government must tighten their belts, this law will help them do just that.”

In order to take advantage of this law, local governments would have to adopt local laws or resolutions on or before August 31, 2010. School districts would need to adopt a similar law or resolution on or before July 30, 2010.

Under the law, employees will have the option of receiving one month of credit for every year of service for up to three years. Employees who have reached the age of 55 and have at least 25 years of service will be able to retire without being subject penalties.