NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7791
SPONSOR: Pheffer Amato
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to
the restoration of 20 year service retirement for New York city police
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To restore the 20-year service retirement for New York City police offi-
cers hired on or after July 2009.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends subdivision 17 of section 501 of the
Retirement and Social Security Law to state that for police/fire members
of the New York city police pension fund, normal retirement age shall be
the age at which a member completes or would have completed twenty years
Section two of the bill amends subdivision d of section 503 of the
Retirement and Social Security Law to state that the normal service
retirement benefit specified in section five hundred five of this Arti-
cle shall be paid to police/fire members oi'the New York city police
pension fund, after twenty years of service.
Section three of the bill amends section 505 of the Retirement and
Social Security Law to add a new subdivision d that states that notwith-
standing anything to the contrary in any other law, pollee/fire members
of the New York city police pension fund shall be eligible for a normal
service retirement benefit in lieu of an early service retirement bene-
fit upon completing twenty' years of service pursuant to subdivision d
of section five hundred three of this Article.
This bill seeks to remedy a glaring inequity facing recently-hired New
York City police officers. Throughout New York State, police officers
become eligible for a full service retirement benefit of half of their
final salary after 20 years. And in New York City, police officers hired
prior to July 1.2009 become eligible for a full service retirement bene-
fit after 20 years. However, under current law New York City police
officers hired on or after July 1, 2009 do not become eligible for a
full service retirement benefit until they have worked at least 22
This inequity has played a role in the unprecedented crisis New York
City is experiencing in regard to the recruitment and retention of
police officers. With respect to retention, 2022 saw the most New York
City police officer resignations in at least two decades, including an
increase of more than 600% from 10 years ago. Departing police officers
regularly cite their inferior pensions and the additional service
requirement as reasons for joining other police departments. With
respect to recruitment, the NYPD has been unable to fill and graduate
sufficient police academy classes.
These issues have a profound impact on both New York City police offi-
cers and New Yorkers. Many of the NYPD's best, brightest, and most
diverse officers are fleeing for neighboring jurisdictions, where they
not only are eligible for a 20-year service retirement, but can also
earn more wages, work less, and improve their quality of life. For simi-
lar reasons, promising young men and women interested in pursuing
careers in law enforcement are choosing to join other police agencies or
pursue other careers altogether. The loss of these talented individu-
als-and the attendant impact on remaining officers who are forced to
work overtime due to staffing shortages-makes New York City less safe.
And, it has a direct financial impact on the New York taxpayer, both
through the significant resources wasted on training officers who soon
depart (costs for such training are estimated to be in excess of
$100,000 per recruit), as well as the additional overtime costs incurred
due to lack of adequate staffing.
Finally, and importantly, this bill would merely restore the 20-year
service retirement for all New York City police officers as it existed
prior to the veto of the Tier 2 extender by Governor David Paterson in
2009, which was never intended to take away this meaningful benefit for
New York City police officers.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
Please see Bill.
This act shall take effect immediately.