Bill Text: NY A07716 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended

Bill Title: Relates to presumptive evidence of disability caused by cancer of firefighters who have been retired for five years or less.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 26-5)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-20 - substituted by s5246a [A07716 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A07716-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                      May 17, 2019

        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  REYES,  CRUZ, BRAUNSTEIN, DE LA ROSA, RAMOS,
          ORTIZ, SAYEGH, L. ROSENTHAL, RAIA, MIKULIN -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
          of  A.    ENGLEBRIGHT  --  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 general municipal law, in relation to disabilities
          of certain retired firefighters caused by cancer

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

     1    Section 1. Section 207-kk of the general municipal law,  as amended by
     2  chapter 531 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows:
     3    §  207-kk.  Disabilities  of  firefighters in certain cities caused by
     4  cancer. Notwithstanding any other provisions  of  this  chapter  to  the
     5  contrary, any condition of impairment of health caused by (i) any condi-
     6  tion  of  cancer  affecting  the  lymphatic,  digestive,  hematological,
     7  urinary, neurological, breast, reproductive, or prostate systems or (ii)
     8  melanoma resulting in total or partial disability or  death  to  a  paid
     9  member  of  a fire department in a city with a population of one million
    10  or more, or any retired member of such department who has  been  retired
    11  for  five  or less years, who successfully passed a physical examination
    12  on entry into the service of such department, which  examination  failed
    13  to  reveal any evidence of such condition, shall be presumptive evidence
    14  that it was incurred in the performance and discharge of duty unless the
    15  contrary be proved by competent evidence. The provisions of this section
    16  shall remain in full force and effect [to and  including  the  thirtieth
    17  day  of June, two thousand five] pursuant to section four hundred eighty
    18  of the retirement and social security law.
    19    § 2. The board of trustees  of  the  New  York  City  fire  department
    20  pension  fund  shall take appropriate administrative action to implement
    21  the intent of section one of this act.

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

        A. 7716--A                          2

     1    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          SUMMARY OF BILL: This proposed legislation would amend General Munici-
        pal Law (GML) Section 207-kk to allow retirees of the New York City Fire
        Pension Fund (FIRE) who become disabled from an enumerated cancer within
        five years of retirement use of the Cancer Bill presumptions.
          Effective Date: Upon enactment.
          BACKGROUND:  Currently,  the  Cancer  Bill presumption only applies to
        active members of FIRE. The presumption is that the enumerated disabling
        cancer resulted from an accident on the  job,  but  the  presumption  of
        causation  can  be rebutted by evidence to the contrary. If the presump-
        tion is not rebutted by the Medical Board, the member is  granted  acci-
        dental disability benefits.
          FINANCIAL IMPACT - PRESENT VALUES: There is no data available to esti-
        mate  the  number  of  members  who might develop and become disabled by
        cancer within five years of retirement,  and  potentially  benefit  from
        this proposed legislation. Therefore, the estimated financial impact has
        been  calculated on a per-event basis equal to the increase in the Pres-
        ent Value of Future Benefits (PVFB) for an average member who  is  diag-
        nosed  with cancer as the result of the enactment of the proposed legis-
          With respect to an individual member,  the  additional  cost  of  this
        proposed legislation could vary greatly depending on the member's length
        of service, age, and salary history.
          Based  on  the  census  data and the actuarial assumptions and methods
        described herein, the  enactment  of  this  proposed  legislation  would
        increase the PVFB by approximately $420,000, on average, for each occur-
        rence of cancer within five years of retirement.
        proposed legislation would increase employer contributions,  where  such
        amount  would  depend on the number of members affected as well as other
        characteristics including the age, years of service, and salary  history
        of the member.
          As  there  is  no  data  currently available to estimate the number of
        members who might  be diagnosed with cancer within five years of retire-
        ment, the financial impact would be recognized at the time of event.
          Consequently, changes in employer contributions  have  been  estimated
        assuming  that  the  increase  in  the PVFB will be financed over a time
        period used under the current amortization period for actuarial  losses.
        Using  this  approach,  the  additional  PVFB  would be amortized over a
        closed 15-year period (14 payments under the  One-Year  Lag  Methodology
        (OYLM) using level dollar payments.
          Based  on the Actuary's actuarial assumptions and methods in effect as
        of June 30, 2018, the enactment of this proposed  legislation  is  esti-
        mated to increase annual employer contributions by approximately $50,000
        for  each Accidental Disability Retirement (ADR) reclassification due to
        cancer within five years of retirement.  With  respect  to  the  timing,
        increases in employer contributions would depend upon when members would
        be  reclassified,  but  generally, increased employer contributions will
        first occur the second fiscal year following approval of the ADR.
          OTHER COSTS: Not measured in this Fiscal Note are the following:
          * The initial, additional administrative costs of FIRE and  other  New
        York City agencies to implement the proposed legislation.
          *  The  impact  of  this  proposed legislation on Other Postemployment
        Benefit (OPEB) costs.

        A. 7716--A                          3

          * The cost of any potential Special  Accidental  Death  Benefits  paid
        pursuant to GML Section 208-f.
          *  The  potential  Line-of-Duty  Death  benefits paid to beneficiaries
        should the member die within five years of retirement.
          CENSUS DATA: The estimates presented herein are based  on  the  census
        data  used in the Preliminary June 30, 2018 (Lag) actuarial valuation of
        FIRE to determine the Preliminary Fiscal  Year  2020  employer  contrib-
          There  are 103 FIRE members who retired for service during Fiscal Year
        2018 with an average age of approximately 56 years, average  service  of
        approximately   29   years,  average  annual  pension  of  approximately
        $123,500, plus a Variable Supplements Fund (VSF) payment of $12,000  per
          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 FIRE. Also,  based  on  the  analysis  of
        World Trade Center disabilities from 2001 to 2017, it was estimated that
        the  ADR benefits are approximately 40% greater than the service retire-
        ment benefits.
          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  2019-29  dated  May  31,
        2019  was  prepared  by  the  Chief  Actuary  for the New York City Fire
        Pension Fund. This estimate is intended for use  only  during  the  2019
        Legislative Session.