New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1623-2017    Version: * Name: Amend the retirement and social security law to automatically enroll “optional employees” in the NYC Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) after 90 days of employment unless the employee affirmatively opts out of the program in advance. (A.7193/S. 5
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Civil Service and Labor
On agenda: 8/24/2017
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the state legislature to pass and the Governor to sign, A.7193 and S. 5634, which would amend the retirement and social security law to automatically enroll "optional employees" in the New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) after 90 days of employment unless the employee affirmatively opts out of the program in advance
Sponsors: I. Daneek Miller, Vincent J. Gentile
Council Member Sponsors: 2
Attachments: 1. Assembly Bill, 2. Senate Bill, 3. August 24, 2017 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files

Res. No. 1623

 

Resolution calling on the state legislature to pass and the Governor to sign, A.7193 and S. 5634, which would amend the retirement and social security law to automatically enroll “optional employees” in the New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) after 90 days of employment unless the employee affirmatively opts out of the program in advance

 

By Council Members Miller and Gentile

                     Whereas, Public-sector employees comprise a significant portion of New York City’s workforce; and

                     Whereas, According to a report from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), the City of New York employs approximately 363,000 people, or 8.2 percent of the city’s total workforce, as estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and

                     Whereas, DCAS also found that roughly 37,000, or 10 percent of city government employees, are part-time or temporary employees, and that 29 percent of all City employees, or roughly 105,000 people, are eligible to retire within the next five years; and

                     Whereas,  Currently, part-time and temporary employees, as well as those who are not required to take civil service exams, are allowed optional enrollment in the Board of Education Retirement System (BERS), which, according to the office of the Comptroller, holds over $4 billion in assets; and

                     Whereas, Part-time City employees have been eligible for pension benefits since 1988, when the State Court of Appeals ruled in their favor in a 7-0 decision; and

                     Whereas, Pension enrollment is optional; and

                     Whereas, According to the New York Legislative Bill Drafting Commission (LBDC), only 72 percent of eligible employees join BERS; and

                     Whereas, Furthermore, the LBDC has reported that 73 percent of those who have not elected to enroll are women, with an average salary of approximately $25,500; and

                     Whereas, A simple lack of awareness can mean that a committed City employee can lose access to years of benefits to which he or she is entitled; and

                     Whereas, There is currently legislation in both the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate that would address this issue; and

                     Whereas, A. 7193C and its companion, S. 5634B, would amend the retirement and social security law by automatically enrolling new employees in the pension system 90 days after beginning employment; and

                     Whereas, The proposed legislation would also allow employees to either opt-in immediately or opt-out in accordance with their wishes; and

                     Whereas, These bills have won the support of District Council 37, New York City’s largest public employee union, which represents 125,000 members and 50,000 retirees, and

                     Whereas, Most importantly, however this measure would ensure that City employees can obtain the pension benefits that they have earned; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on the state legislature to pass and the Governor to sign, A.7193 and S. 5634, which would amend the retirement and social security law to automatically enroll “optional employees” in to the New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) after 90 days of employment unless the employee affirmatively opts out of the program in advance

LS#11062

8/1/17

MK