Chapter 337 of the Laws of 1964
Although the compensation SUNY component units offered was competitive and it offered significant opportunities for career development, candidates proved reluctant to accept appointment to a SUNY position as the State's public retirement systems then required an individual to complete ten years of member service to vest his or her retirement benefits. The reason for such reluctance: there was great mobility in higher education at the time. It was not unusual for faculty and other staff members to “moved-on” by accepting an appointment at another college or university after three or four years of employment at their college or university and they would lose potential retirement benefits if they were not "vested" when they left.
Significantly, §396.of the Education Law provides that “Neither the state, nor state university, nor any electing employer or its local sponsor shall be a party to any contract purchased in whole or in part with contributions made under the optional retirement program established and administered pursuant to this article. No retirement, death, or other benefits shall be payable by the state, or by state university, or by any electing employer or its local sponsor under such optional retirement program. Such benefits shall be paid to electing employees or their beneficiaries by the designated insurer or insurers in accordance with the terms of their contracts.”
[iv]See Education Law §390.3