January 25, 2011

Members of the NYSERS experiencing "discontinued service” [layoff] may be eligible for certain retirement benefits

Members of the NYSERS experiencing "discontinued service” [layoff] may be eligible for certain retirement benefits
Retirement and Social Security Law §73.b

Considering the various statements suggesting a potential for a significant number of State an municipal employees being laid off appearing in the press, it may be timely to consider the benefits available to members of the New York State Employees' Retirement System pursuant to §73.b of the Retirement and Social Security Law.

This section, captioned “Discontinued Service,” authorizes certain retirement benefits for individuals who became members of the New York State Employees’ Retirement System on or after April 8, 1943* who are laid off if they have 20 or more years of service.

§73.b, in pertinent part, provides that:

“1. A person who last became a member on or after April eighth, nineteen hundred forty-three, and who is discontinued from service while a member, through no fault or delinquency on his [or her] part, may elect to receive his [or her] accumulated contributions or a retirement allowance pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two of this subdivision b if:

“(a) He [or she] shall have completed twenty years of total service, and

“(b) During the six months immediately preceding such discontinuance, he [or she] shall have been in paid service continuously, regularly and without interruption.”**

The benefits payable to those eligible and electing to retire upon being laid off are set out in the statute as follows:

2. A retirement allowance granted pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision b shall consist of:

(a) An annuity of equivalent actuarial value to the member's accumulated contributions, and

(b) A pension which is the actuarial equivalent of the reserve-for-increased-take-home-pay to which he may be entitled, if any, and

(c) A pension, to begin immediately, which shall be composed of one or more of the following parts:

(1) One which is the actuarial equivalent, at his age at the time of such discontinuance, of a pension, beginning at age sixty, of one-seventieth of his final average salary multiplied by the number of years for which he has prior service credit and credit for service in war after world war I, if any, plus

(2) One which is the actuarial equivalent, at his age at the time of such discontinuance, of one-one hundred fortieth of his final average salary multiplied by the number of years for which he has member service credit, plus

(3) If the member shall have attained age fifty, one which equals fifty per centum of the difference between the pension payable to him pursuant to items one and two of this subparagraph (c) and the pension that would be allowable to him were he age sixty.

3. Application shall be made for a discontinued service retirement allowance pursuant to this subdivision b in the same manner and subject to the same conditions, which govern applications and elections for superannuation retirement allowances.

* Section 73.1.a. applies to individuals who last became members of the Retirement System before April 8, 1943.

** N.B. §73.b provides that “The provisions of subparagraph (b) of this paragraph one shall not apply to legislative employees or laborers who have served as such for at least parts of each of the two years immediately preceding such discontinuance.”

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For additional information concerning Layoff, Preferred Lists and Reinstatement, click on http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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