•  Summary 
  •  
  •  Actions 
  •  
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  
  •  Memo 
  •  
  •  Text 
  •  
  •  LFIN 
  •  
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

A07004 Summary:

BILL NOA07004A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S06093-A
 
SPONSORAbbate
 
COSPNSRGriffin, Stern, Sillitti, Burke, Buttenschon, Lupardo
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §363-a, add §809, R & SS L
 
Relates to the effect and rebuttal of certain medical presumptions relating to heart disease; provides that, for certain members, any condition of impairment of health caused by a disease of the heart, resulting in disability, shall be presumptive evidence that such disability was incurred in the performance and discharge of duty and the natural and proximate result of an accident.
Go to top    

A07004 Actions:

BILL NOA07004A
 
04/19/2021referred to governmental employees
01/05/2022referred to governmental employees
03/25/2022amend and recommit to governmental employees
03/25/2022print number 7004a
05/25/2022reported referred to ways and means
06/01/2022reported referred to rules
06/02/2022reported
06/02/2022rules report cal.609
06/02/2022substituted by s6093a
 S06093 AMEND=A GOUNARDES
 04/08/2021REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
 01/05/2022REFERRED TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
 02/08/2022AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CIVIL SERVICE AND PENSIONS
 02/08/2022PRINT NUMBER 6093A
 06/01/2022COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
 06/01/2022ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1757
 06/01/2022PASSED SENATE
 06/01/2022DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
 06/01/2022referred to ways and means
 06/02/2022substituted for a7004a
 06/02/2022ordered to third reading rules cal.609
 06/02/2022passed assembly
 06/02/2022returned to senate
Go to top

A07004 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A7004A
 
SPONSOR: Abbate
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to certain medical presumptions applicable to members of the New York state and local employees' retirement system   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill is intended to clarify the intent of the legislature regarding existing statutory presumptions pertaining to heart-related disabilities suffered by members of the New York State Local Police, Fire Retirement System and the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System. Clarification is necessary because a series of narrow judicial interpre- tations has prevented the statutory presumptions from achieving their intended purposes.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends subdivision 2 of section 363-a of the Retirement and Social Security Law to restore to the heart disease presumption applica- ble to police officers language that expressly provided that an impair- ment of health caused by diseases of the heart that results in disabili- ty is also presumed to be "the natural and proximate result of an accident, unless the contrary can be proved by competent evidence" Section 2 adds a new section 809 to the Retirement and Social Security Law to govern the existing statutory heart disease presumptions applica- ble to members of the New York State Police and Fire Retirement System and the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System with respect to applications for an accidental disability retirement allow- ance. * Subdivision a of Section 2 provides that the section shall apply only to applications for an accidental disability retirement with respect to members of the New York State Police and Fire Retirement System and Local Employees' Retirement System and the New York State Local Police where applications are subject to dual presumptions that disability from diseases of the heart are (1) incurred in the performance and discharge of duty, and (2) the natural and proximate result of an accident. * Subdivision b of Section 2 provides that it is not necessary for an applicant to allege or establish an accidental disability retirement that is subject to the dual presumptions. Subdivision b also provides that such an applicant need not establish that notice of an accident was filed. * Subdivision c of Section 2 provides that the presumption may be rebutted only by competent evidence that .the heart disease is not the natural and proximate result of the performance and discharge of duty. Section three provides that the provisions of this bill shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any temporary right, privilege, or benefit conferred under existing general, special, or local law. Section four provides the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This remedial legislation is intended to overcome judicial interpreta- tions limiting the effectiveness of certain existing statutory heart disease presumptions in a manner that is inconsistent with the apparent intent behind the original enactment of such presumptions. In the past 30 years, the Legislature has passed, and the governor has signed into law a series of "heart bills" designed to make it easier for certain public servants at the state and local levels whose jobs put them at high risk of injury, disease or death due to heart disease to receive an accidental disability retirement allowance. In general, these laws create statutory presumptions that the member's heart disease was the result of a job-related accident. The presumption lightens, but does not eliminate, the member's burden of establishing entitlement to the enhanced benefit, which is usually three-quarters of final average salary. Over the years these presump- tions have been interpreted differently by different courts, with Appel- late Division, Third Department, which has jurisdiction over retirement benefit determinations by the New York State and Local Retirement System and the New York State Local Police and Fire Retirement System taking the strictest approach According to a series of Third Department cases, despite the statutory presumption, the law must be interpreted narrowly to require the member to submit proof of an actual accident and notice to the employer of such an -accident, and if a member is found to be permanently disabled, the member is granted only a rebuttable presump- tion that his or her heart disease was incurred in the performance of duty and was the result of the specific accident.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2021: A7004 - referred to Governmental Employees 2019-2020: A7907B - Referred to Governmental Employees 2012: A3781A - Referred to Governmental Employees 2011: A3781 - Referred to Governmental Employees 2010: A7796 - Referred to Governmental Employees 2009: A7796 - Referred to Governmental Employees 2008: S8429/A11455 - Vetoed by Governor   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: See bill   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top

A07004 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         7004--A
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     April 19, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. ABBATE -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on  Governmental  Employees  --  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
          certain  medical  presumptions  applicable  to members of the New York
          state and local employees' retirement system
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 363-a of the retirement and social
     2  security  law, as amended by chapter 437 of the laws of 2016, is amended
     3  to read as follows:
     4    2. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or  of  any  general,
     5  special,  or  local  law to the contrary, any condition of impairment of
     6  health caused by diseases of the heart, resulting in disability or death
     7  to a police officer, presently employed, and who  shall  have  sustained
     8  such disability while so employed, shall be presumptive evidence that it
     9  was  incurred  in  the performance and discharge of duty and the natural
    10  and proximate result of an accident, unless the contrary  be  proved  by
    11  competent evidence.
    12    § 2. The retirement and social security law is amended by adding a new
    13  section 809 to read as follows:
    14    §  809. Effect and rebuttal of certain medical presumptions pertaining
    15  to diseases of the heart. a. This section shall apply to certain  appli-
    16  cations  for  disability retirement allowances made by or on behalf of a
    17  member of the New York state and local employees' retirement  system  or
    18  the  New  York  state  and  local police and fire retirement system.  It
    19  shall apply only to applications that are subject under this chapter  to
    20  a  provision  that  any  condition  of  impairment of health caused by a
    21  disease of the heart, resulting  in  disability,  shall  be  presumptive
    22  evidence  that  such  disability  was  incurred  in  the performance and
    23  discharge of duty and the natural and proximate result of an accident.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10747-06-2

        A. 7004--A                          2
 
     1    b. Notwithstanding any other provision  of  law  to  the  contrary  an
     2  application  for  an  accidental disability retirement allowance that is
     3  based on a permanent incapacity caused by a disease of the heart,  shall
     4  not be required to allege or establish:
     5    (1) that the member sustained an accident or other incident related to
     6  the performance and discharge of duty; or
     7    (2) that notice was provided thereof.
     8    c.  Notwithstanding  any  other  provision of law to the contrary, the
     9  presumptions referred to  in  subdivision  a  of  this  section  may  be
    10  rebutted  only  by  competent  evidence  that  the disability is not the
    11  natural and proximate result of the performance and discharge of duty.
    12    § 3. The amendment made to subdivision  2  of  section  363-a  of  the
    13  retirement  and social security law by section one of this act shall not
    14  affect, impair or invalidate any temporary right, privilege  or  benefit
    15  conferred  pursuant to the provisions of a general, special or local law
    16  (other than pursuant to articles 14 and 15 of the retirement and  social
    17  security  law)  for  any member of a public retirement system or pension
    18  plan funded by the state or one of its political subdivisions, nor shall
    19  any amendment thereto affect  the  application  of  such  provisions  as
    20  extended  by  the provisions of section 480 of the retirement and social
    21  security law.
    22    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          This bill would amend the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) to
          1) Eliminate certain eligibility requirements for awarding  accidental
        disability  benefits,  when the disability is related to diseases of the
        heart, for members in the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement
        System (ERS) and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement
        System (PFRS). Accidental disability  benefits  would  be  granted  even
        where
          a. the member did not sustain an accident,
          b. the member's incapacitation is unrelated to any accident, or
          c. the member failed to provide notice thereof.
          The  heart  presumption  could  continue  to  be rebutted by competent
        evidence that the disability is not the result of  the  performance  and
        discharge of duty.
          2)  Increase  disability  benefits payable to police officers in PFRS,
        who become incapacitated due to diseases of the heart, by  providing  an
        accidental  disability  benefit  equal  to  75%  of salary less workers'
        compensation. Currently, police officers  are  eligible  for  a  perfor-
        mance-of-duty (POD) disability benefit equal to 50% of salary less work-
        ers' compensation.
          3)  Increase the death benefits payable on behalf of a deceased police
        officer in PFRS, whose death results from  diseases  of  the  heart,  by
        providing  the  special accidental death benefit equal to more than 100%
        of salary less workers' compensation and social security benefits  paya-
        ble  to  eligible beneficiary(ies). Currently the death benefit would be
        the continuance afforded under the POD disability retirement.
          Insofar as this bill will affect the New York State and Local  Retire-
        ment System (NYSLRS), more accidental disability benefits and accidental
        death  benefits  would  be granted. The cost of the revised benefit will
        depend upon the applicant's age, service, salary, plan, and benefit type
        otherwise payable.
          The number of retirees who  could  be  affected  by  this  legislation
        cannot be readily determined.  However, every active member of PFRS will

        A. 7004--A                          3
 
        be  covered,  as  well  as  members of ERS who are Uniformed Court Peace
        Officers in the Unified Court System.
          If this bill is enacted during the 2022 legislative session, we antic-
        ipate  that  there  will be an increase of approximately $5.6 million in
        the annual contributions to NYSLRS for the fiscal year ending March  31,
        2023. This cost would be shared by the State of New York (the State) and
        local participating employers of PFRS as follows:
          a. $2.3 million borne annually by the State ($900,000 to PFRS and $1.4
        million to ERS), and
          b. $3.3 million borne by the local participating employers in PFRS.
          In  future  years,  these  annual  costs  will  vary  as the salary of
        affected members change.
          In addition to the annual contributions discussed above, there will be
        an immediate past service cost to ERS  of  approximately  $13.2  million
        which will be borne by the State as a one-time payment. This estimate is
        based on the assumption that payment will be made on March 1, 2023.
          Further, we anticipate that the number of accidental disability appli-
        cations  will  result  in a large increase in the administrative cost to
        process these applications and litigate anticipated disputes.
          Estimated costs arising in PFRS are based upon 31,922 members with  an
        approximate salary of $3.7 billion as of March 31, 2021. Estimated costs
        arising  in  ERS are based upon 6,531 members with an approximate salary
        of $608 million as of March 31, 2021.
          Summary of relevant resources:
          Membership data as of March 31, 2021 was used in measuring the  impact
        of the proposed change, the same data used in the April 1, 2021 actuari-
        al  valuation.    Distributions and other statistics can be found in the
        2021 Report of the Actuary and the 2021 Comprehensive  Annual  Financial
        Report.
          The  actuarial  assumptions and methods used are described in the 2020
        and 2021 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, 2021
        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  fiscal note does not constitute a legal opinion on the viability
        of the proposed change nor is it intended to serve as a  substitute  for
        the professional judgment of an attorney.
          This estimate, dated January 4, 2022, and intended for use only during
        the  2022  Legislative  Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2022-39, prepared by
        the Actuary for the New York State and Local Retirement System.
Go to top