Bill Text: NY A04079 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Relates to increasing certain special accidental death benefits; increases the special accidental death benefit paid to a widow or widower or the deceased member's children under the age of eighteen, or if a student, under the age of twenty-three.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 42-13)

Status: (Enrolled) 2019-10-11 - delivered to governor [A04079 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A04079-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         4079--B

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                    February 1, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced by M. of A. JOYNER, LUPARDO, VANEL, WILLIAMS, HYNDMAN, ORTIZ,
          D'URSO,  LENTOL,  ENGLEBRIGHT,  CRESPO,  ZEBROWSKI,  JAFFEE,  DICKENS,
          BRAUNSTEIN, MOSLEY, BARRON, GUNTHER, TAYLOR,  RAMOS,  ARROYO,  LAVINE,
          PERRY,  DenDEKKER, COOK, BARNWELL, BLAKE, DAVILA -- Multi-Sponsored by
          -- M. of A. DINOWITZ, EPSTEIN, HEVESI, SIMON -- read once and referred
          to the Committee on Governmental Employees  --  committee  discharged,
          bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as amended and recommitted to said
          committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted  as
          amended and recommitted to said committee

        AN  ACT to amend the general municipal law and the retirement and social
          security law, in relation to  increasing  certain  special  accidental
          death benefits

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Subdivision c of section 208-f  of  the  general  municipal
     2  law,  as  amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2018, is amended to read
     3  as follows:
     4    c. Commencing July first, two thousand [eighteen] nineteen the special
     5  accidental death benefit paid to a widow  or  widower  or  the  deceased
     6  member's  children under the age of eighteen or, if a student, under the
     7  age of twenty-three, if the widow or widower has died,  shall  be  esca-
     8  lated  by  adding  thereto an additional percentage of the salary of the
     9  deceased member (as increased pursuant to subdivision b of this section)
    10  in accordance with the following schedule:
    11       calendar year of death
    12       of the deceased member              per centum
    13            1977 or prior                  [236%]   246.1%
    14            1978                           [226.2%] 236%
    15            1979                           [216.7%] 226.2%
    16            1980                           [207.5%] 216.7%
    17            1981                           [198.5%] 207.5%

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07653-06-9

        A. 4079--B                          2

     1            1982                           [189.8%] 198.5%
     2            1983                           [181.4%] 189.8%
     3            1984                           [173.2%] 181.4%
     4            1985                           [165.2%] 173.2%
     5            1986                           [157.5%] 165.2%
     6            1987                           [150.0%] 157.5%
     7            1988                           [142.7%] 150.0%
     8            1989                           [135.7%] 142.7%
     9            1990                           [128.8%] 135.7%
    10            1991                           [122.1%] 128.8%
    11            1992                           [115.7%] 122.1%
    12            1993                           [109.4%] 115.7%
    13            1994                           [103.3%] 109.4%
    14            1995                            [97.4%] 103.3%
    15            1996                            [91.6%]  97.4%
    16            1997                            [86.0%]  91.6%
    17            1998                            [80.6%]  86.0%
    18            1999                            [75.4%]  80.6%
    19            2000                            [70.2%]  75.4%
    20            2001                            [65.3%]  70.2%
    21            2002                            [60.5%]  65.3%
    22            2003                            [55.8%]  60.5%
    23            2004                            [51.3%]  55.8%
    24            2005                            [46.9%]  51.3%
    25            2006                            [42.6%]  46.9%
    26            2007                            [38.4%]  42.6%
    27            2008                            [34.4%]  38.4%
    28            2009                            [30.5%]  34.4%
    29            2010                            [26.7%]  30.5%
    30            2011                            [23.0%]  26.7%
    31            2012                            [19.4%]  23.0%
    32            2013                            [15.9%]  19.4%
    33            2014                            [12.6%]  15.9%
    34            2015                             [9.3%]  12.6%
    35            2016                             [6.1%]   9.3%
    36            2017                             [3.0%]   6.1%
    37            2018                             [0.0%]   3.0%
    38            2019                                      0.0%
    39    § 2. Subdivision c of section 361-a of the retirement and social secu-
    40  rity  law,  as amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2018, is amended to
    41  read as follows:
    42    c. Commencing July first, two thousand [eighteen] nineteen the special
    43  accidental death benefit paid to a widow  or  widower  or  the  deceased
    44  member's  children under the age of eighteen or, if a student, under the
    45  age of twenty-three, if the widow or widower has died,  shall  be  esca-
    46  lated  by  adding  thereto an additional percentage of the salary of the
    47  deceased member, as increased pursuant to subdivision b of this section,
    48  in accordance with the following schedule:
    49       calendar year of death
    50       of the deceased member              per centum
    51            1977 or prior                    [236%] 246.1%
    52            1978                             [226.2%] 236%
    53            1979                             [216.7%] 226.2%
    54            1980                             [207.5%] 216.7%
    55            1981                             [198.5%] 207.5%
    56            1982                             [189.8%] 198.5%

        A. 4079--B                          3

     1            1983                             [181.4%] 189.8%
     2            1984                             [173.2%] 181.4%
     3            1985                             [165.2%] 173.2%
     4            1986                             [157.5%] 165.2%
     5            1987                             [150.0%] 157.5%
     6            1988                             [142.7%] 150.0%
     7            1989                             [135.7%] 142.7%
     8            1990                             [128.8%] 135.7%
     9            1991                             [122.1%] 128.8%
    10            1992                             [115.7%] 122.1%
    11            1993                             [109.4%] 115.7%
    12            1994                             [103.3%] 109.4%
    13            1995                             [97.4%]  103.3%
    14            1996                             [91.6%]  97.4%
    15            1997                             [86.0%]  91.6%
    16            1998                             [80.6%]  86.0%
    17            1999                             [75.4%]  80.6%
    18            2000                             [70.2%]  75.4%
    19            2001                             [65.3%]  70.2%
    20            2002                             [60.5%]  65.3%
    21            2003                             [55.8%]  60.5%
    22            2004                             [51.3%]  55.8%
    23            2005                             [46.9%]  51.3%
    24            2006                             [42.6%]  46.9%
    25            2007                             [38.4%]  42.6%
    26            2008                             [34.4%]  38.4%
    27            2009                             [30.5%]  34.4%
    28            2010                             [26.7%]  30.5%
    29            2011                             [23.0%]  26.7%
    30            2012                             [19.4%]  23.0%
    31            2013                             [15.9%]  19.4%
    32            2014                             [12.6%]  15.9%
    33            2015                             [9.3%]   12.6%
    34            2016                             [6.1%]    9.3%
    35            2017                             [3.0%]    6.1%
    36            2018                             [0.0%]    3.0%
    37            2019                                       0.0%
    38    § 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          This  bill  would amend both the General Municipal Law and the Retire-
        ment and Social Security Law to increase the salary used in the computa-
        tion of the special accidental death benefit by 3% in  cases  where  the
        date of death was before 2019.
          Insofar  as  this  bill would amend the Retirement and Social Security
        Law, it is estimated that there would be an additional  annual  cost  of
        approximately  $547,000  above  the  approximately $12.5 million current
        annual cost of this benefit. This cost would be shared by the  State  of
        New York and all participating employers of the New York State and Local
        Police and Fire 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, 2018  actuarial  valu-
        ation.    Distributions  and  other  statistics can be found in the 2018
        Report of the  Actuary  and  the  2018  Comprehensive  Annual  Financial
        Report.

        A. 4079--B                          4

          The  actuarial assumptions and methods used are described in the 2015,
        2016, 2017 and 2018  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, 2018
        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 24,  2019,  and  intended  for  use  only
        during  the  2019  Legislative  Session,  is  Fiscal  Note  No. 2019-38,
        prepared by the Actuary for the New  York  State  and  Local  Retirement
        System.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          SUMMARY OF BILL: This proposed legislation would amend General Munici-
        pal  Law  (GML)  Section 208-f(c) to increase certain Special Accidental
        Death Benefits (SADB) for surviving  spouses,  dependent  children,  and
        certain  other  individuals (Eligible Beneficiaries) of former uniformed
        employees of the City of New York and  the  New  York  City  Health  and
        Hospitals  Corporation,  and for certain former employees of the Tribor-
        ough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, who were members of certain  New  York
        City  Pension  Funds or Retirement Systems (NYCRS) and died as a natural
        and proximate result of an accident  sustained  in  the  performance  of
        duty.
          Effective Date: July 1, 2019.
          BACKGROUND: Under the GML, the basic SADB is defined as:
          The  salary  of  the  deceased member at date of death (or, in certain
        instances,  a  greater  salary  based  on  a  higher   rank   or   other
        status)(Final  Salary), less the following payments to an Eligible Bene-
        ficiary:
          * Any NYCRS death benefit as adjusted by any Supplementation or  Cost-
        of-Living Adjustment (COLA),
          * Any Social Security death benefit, and
          * Any Workers' Compensation benefit.
          The  SADB is paid to the deceased member's surviving spouse, if alive.
        If the spouse is no longer alive, the  SADB  is  paid  to  the  deceased
        member's  children  until  age  eighteen  or until age twenty-three if a
        student. If neither a spouse nor a dependent child is  alive,  the  SADB
        may  be  paid  to  certain other individuals, if eligible, in accordance
        with certain laws related to the World Trade Center attack.
          The GML also provides that the SADB is subject to escalation based  on
        the  calendar  year in which the former member died. The SADB has tradi-
        tionally been increased by a cumulative, incremental percentage of Final
        Salary based on the calendar year of the member's death.
          IMPACT ON BENEFITS: With respect to the  NYCRS,  the  proposed  legis-
        lation  would impact the SADB payable to certain survivors of members of
        the:
          * New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS),
          * New York City Police Pension Fund (POLICE), or
          * New York City Fire Pension Fund (FIRE),
          and who were employed by one of the  following  employers  in  certain
        positions:
          * New York City Police Department - Uniformed Position,

        A. 4079--B                          5

          * New York City Fire Department - Uniformed Position,
          * New York City Department of Sanitation - Uniformed Position,
          * New York City Housing Authority - Uniformed Position,
          * New York City Transit Authority - Uniformed Position,
          * New York City Department of Correction - Uniformed Position,
          * New  York  City - Uniformed Position as Emergency Medical Technician
        (EMT),
          * New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation - Uniformed  Position
        as EMT, or
          * Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority - Bridge and Tunnel Position.
          Under  the proposed legislation, effective July 1, 2019, an additional
        3.0% of Final Salary would be applied to the SADB  paid  due  to  deaths
        occurring  in  each calendar year on and after 1977. The SADB for deaths
        occurring prior to 1977 would receive  the  same  escalation  as  deaths
        occurring in 1977.
          FINANCIAL IMPACT - PRESENT VALUES: Based on the Eligible Beneficiaries
        of  deceased NYCRS members who would be impacted by this proposed legis-
        lation and the actuarial assumptions and methods described  herein,  the
        enactment  of this proposed legislation would increase the Present Value
        of Future Benefits (PVFB) by approximately $49.2 million.
          FINANCIAL IMPACT - ANNUAL EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS: As a result  of  the
        past  four  decades'  practice  of providing 3.0% COLAs on the SADB each
        year, and the likelihood that COLAs will continue to be granted  in  the
        future,  the  Actuary  assumes  that  the  SADB benefit will continue to
        increase 3% per year in the future in  determining  the  NYCRS  employer
        contributions.  Therefore,  the  costs of this proposed legislation have
        already been accounted for and will not result in a further increase  in
        employer  contributions.  There will, however, be a decrease in employer
        contributions if the proposed legislation is not enacted.
          In accordance with Administrative Code of the City of New York (ACCNY)
        Section 13-638.2(k-2), new Unfunded Accrued  Liability  attributable  to
        benefit  changes  are  to  be amortized as determined by the Actuary but
        generally over the remaining working lifetime of those impacted  by  the
        benefit  changes.  However,  since changes in the SADB COLA paid are not
        known in advance, the decrease in expected pension payments due to  this
        legislation  not  passing  would  be treated as an actuarial gain. These
        actuarial gains would be amortized over a 15-year  period  (14  payments
        under  the One-Year Lag Methodology (OYLM)) using level dollar payments.
        This would result in a decrease in NYCRS annual  employer  contributions
        of approximately $5.8 million each year.
          OTHER COSTS: Not measured in this Fiscal Note are the following:
          *  The initial, additional administrative costs of NYCERS, POLICE, and
        FIRE and other New York City agencies to implement the  proposed  legis-
        lation.
          CONTRIBUTION  TIMING:  For  the  purposes  of  this Fiscal Note, it is
        assumed that the changes in the PVFB and annual  employer  contributions
        if  this  proposed legislation fails to pass, would be reflected for the
        first time in the Final June 30, 2020 actuarial  valuations  of  NYCERS,
        POLICE, and FIRE. In accordance with the OYLM used to determine employer
        contributions,  the  decrease  in  employer  contritions  would first be
        reflected in Fiscal Year 2022.
          CENSUS DATA: The estimates presented herein  are  based  on  upon  the
        census data for such Eligible Beneficiaries provided by the NYCRS.

        Retirement System        Number of Decreased      Annual Accidental
                                 Members with             Death Benefit

        A. 4079--B                          6

                                 Eligible Survivors       Prior to Proposed
                                                          July 1, 2019
                                                          Increase
                                                          ($ Millions)

        NYCERS                      39                     $ 3.1
        POLICE                     398                      44.0
        FIRE                       631                      74.1
        Total                    1,068                    $121.2

          ACTUARIAL  ASSUMPTIONS AND METHODS: The changes in the PVFB and annual
        employer contributions presented herein have been  calculated  based  on
        the  actuarial  assumptions  and methods in effect for the June 30, 2018
        (Lag) actuarial valuations used to determine the Preliminary Fiscal Year
        2020 employer contributions of NYCERS, POLICE, and FIRE.
          RISK AND UNCERTAINTY: The costs presented in this Fiscal  Note  depend
        highly  on the actuarial assumptions and methods used and are subject to
        change based on the realization of  potential  investment,  demographic,
        contribution,  and other risks. If actual experience deviates from actu-
        arial assumptions, the actual costs could differ  from  those  presented
        herein.  Costs  are  also  dependent  on the actuarial methods used, and
        therefore different actuarial methods could produce  different  results.
        Quantifying these risks is beyond the scope of this Fiscal Note.
          STATEMENT  OF ACTUARIAL OPINION: I, Sherry S. Chan, am the Chief Actu-
        ary for, and independent of, the New York City  Retirement  Systems  and
        Pension  Funds.  I  am a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, an Enrolled
        Actuary under the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974, a
        Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and a Fellow of the Confer-
        ence of Consulting Actuaries. I meet the Qualification Standards of  the
        American  Academy of Actuaries to render the actuarial opinion contained
        herein. To the best of my knowledge, the results contained  herein  have
        been prepared in accordance with generally accepted actuarial principles
        and  procedures  and  with the Actuarial Standards of Practice issued by
        the Actuarial Standards Board.
          FISCAL NOTE IDENTIFICATION: This Fiscal Note  2019-21  dated  May  17,
        2019  was prepared by the Chief Actuary for the New York City Employees'
        Retirement System, the New York City Police Pension Fund, and  New  York
        City  Fire  Pension  Fund. This estimate is intended for use only during
        the 2019 Legislative Session.
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