Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chapter 514 - Laws of 2011 - Police & Fire Retirement at Dismissal

Chapter 514 was signed into law on 9/23/2011. It deems a Tier 1 & 2 member of the NYPPF and the FDNYPF with 20 or more years of police or fire service to be retired as of the date he/she is dismissed Failure by the member to give the full 30 day filing notice due to termination will not impair the member’s retirement benefit. This law does not affect new members hired after 6/30/2009 since they are covered by Tier 3.

There is one negative aspect of this new law. There appears to be a pension forfeiture provision for a felony conviction, if a police or fire member avails himself of this exception to the 30 day filing requirement for retirement.

The provision states that a member (this word creates some uncertainty as to whether it applies to a pensioner) with 20 years of service will forfeit his/her retirement benefit if he/she is convicted of a felony in NYS, or an offense either in another state or under federal law that would be a felony in NYS.

Current Tier 1 & 2 police & fire members are generally not subject to this forfeiture since they have grandfather rights prior to 9/23/2011. I suspect, however, the only time the forfeiture issue would arise is when a member used the 30 day exception with his/her deemed retirement at termination.

I am not sure what the pension funds’ will do with respect to future felony convictions for dismissed retirees.

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