Bill Text: NY S05246 | 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: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 14-1)

Status: (Passed) 2019-09-11 - SIGNED CHAP.250 [S05246 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S05246-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK

            Cal. No. 847

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                     April 18, 2019

        Introduced  by  Sens.  GOUNARDES,  LIU,  ORTT  -- read twice and ordered
          printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Cities
          -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second
          report,  ordered  to  a  third reading, amended and ordered reprinted,
          retaining its place in the order of third reading

        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.
    22    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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

        S. 5246--A                          2

          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.
          * The cost of any potential Special  Accidental  Death  Benefits  paid
        pursuant to GML Section 208-f.

        S. 5246--A                          3

          *  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.