NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6858A
This bill would allow beneficiaries of members who died within 30 days
of filing a retirement application to choose pension benefits.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends section 70 of the retirement and social
security law as it relates to allowing beneficiaries of members of the
state and local retirement system who died within 30 days of filing
retirement application to choose pension benefits.
Section two of the bill provides that none of the provisions of the bill
shall be subject to section 25 of the retirement and social security
Section three of the bill relates to the effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION
Updated fiscal note for the 2022 Legislative Session.
Currently, a member who files a retirement application most wait at
least 15 days before the retirement may become active. There are tragic
stories where a member of the state and local retirement system who
filed their retirement application died before the application became
effective. This loophole deprives their families of the ability to
obtain their pension but rather will receive the death benefit; a lower
beneficiary payment. This bill expands protections that members of the
police and fire retirement system have which allows the beneficiaries of
a member who died within 30 days of filing a retirement application to
be eligible to receive their pension.
2020 - S5763C, Reported and Committed to Finance Assembly
2021- 54411, Passed Senate
2020 - A7553B, Reported to Ways and Means
2021 - A6858, Reported to Ways and Means
See attached fiscal note.
This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been
in full force and effect on and after January 1, 2017.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
April 12, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. ZEBROWSKI, EICHENSTEIN, BRABENEC, DeSTEFANO,
BYRNE, BYRNES -- read once and referred to the Committee on Govern-
mental Employees -- recommitted to the Committee on Governmental
Employees in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- 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
authorizing the beneficiaries of a member of the state and local
employees' retirement system who die after filing a retirement appli-
cation to choose pension benefits rather than a death benefit
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision a of section 70 of the retirement and social
2 security law, as amended by chapter 375 of the laws of 2011, is amended
3 to read as follows:
4 a. Any member may retire if he or she shall have attained at least the
5 minimum retirement age while in service as a member, or while in federal
6 service, or in the service of the United Nations or other international
7 organizations of which the United States is a member, as a member
8 continued pursuant to paragraph one of subdivision f of section forty of
9 this article, or while entitled to make application for a vested retire-
10 ment allowance pursuant to section seventy-six of this title. Any such
11 member desiring to retire shall execute and file with the comptroller an
12 application for retirement, which shall specify the effective date of
13 his or her retirement, which shall be not less than fifteen nor more
14 than ninety days subsequent to such date of filing. An application for
15 service retirement, filed hereunder in accordance with the provisions of
16 subdivision c of section sixty-two or subdivision f of section sixty-
17 three of this article, shall be processed in the regular manner,
18 provided that if the application filed simultaneously therewith under
19 either of such subdivisions is granted, then and in that event the
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 6858--A 2
1 retirement allowance granted in accordance with the provisions of this
2 section shall be appropriately adjusted. Notwithstanding any other
3 provision of law, for any member who is eligible to retire and who has
4 died while in active service, and who has filed an application for
5 service retirement less than thirty days prior to death, the member's
6 active beneficiary shall have the option to choose the death benefit or
7 if such member filed an option election form prior to death, the benefit
8 elected by the member on such form, in which case the member will be
9 deemed to have retired the day prior to death.
10 § 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, none
11 of the provisions of this act shall be subject to section 25 of the
12 retirement and social security law.
13 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to
14 have been in full force and effect on and after January 1, 2017.
FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
This bill would allow a deceased member's active death beneficiary the
option to make effective the service retirement and option election form
filed by the member, resulting in payment of a survivor's benefit in
lieu of the member's active death benefit, provided the member is 1)
eligible to retire (on the day before the date of death), 2) has died in
active service, 3) has filed an application for service retirement less
than thirty days prior to death, and 4) has filed an option election
form prior to death. The date used for the deemed service retirement
will be the day prior to the member's death. This bill will include
deaths which occurred on or after January 1, 2017.
If this bill is enacted during the 2022 legislative session, the cost
will depend upon the deceased member's age, service, salary, plan, and
the optional form selected by the member on the option election form
filed with the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement
System(NYSLERS). For standard options, there will be an estimated addi-
tional cost of up to five (5) times the salary of a deceased member.
This cost assumes that the post-retirement death benefit will be payable
on behalf of eligible members when the service retirement form is
selected but not when the active death benefit form is selected.
The number of members and beneficiaries who could be affected by this
legislation cannot be readily determined, but it is estimated that
approximately 450 beneficiaries could benefit from this provision each
year. Those costs arising would be shared and spread by the State of New
York and the participating employers in NYSLERS.
In addition to the per person costs stated above, there will be
significant administrative costs to implement the provisions of this
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
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
The Market Assets and GASB Disclosures are found in the March 31, 2021
New York State and Local Retirement System Financial Statements and
A. 6858--A 3
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 March 11, 2022, and intended for use only during
the 2022 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2022-83, prepared by
the Actuary for the New York State and Local Retirement System.