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November 18, 2013

Retirement System not required to explain the tax implications of its response to an employee’s question


Retirement System not required to explain the tax implications of its response to an employee’s question
Hauser v. Comptroller, 83 A.D.2d 649

From time to time Personnel Officers receive questions from employees that may require extensive analysis or speculation because of the fact that there may be different results depending on the course of action followed by the employee. It seems that as long as the answer is correct, the Court will not impose an unreasonable burden on the administrator to explain the implications of the answer.

The case arose when a retiree sought to change the basis for his retirement from “service retirement” to “ordinary disability” retirement.

Max Hauser contended that the Employees’ Retirement System should have advised him of the possible federal tax benefits were he to elect “ordinary disability” retirement rather than the service retirement option.

In rejecting the argument, the Court indicated that the information given Hauser regarding the amount of benefits was correct and “to require the Retirement System to advise every applicant of the tax implications of their retirement would impose an unreasonable burden on the system”.
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