S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
Same as A902
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
February 7, 2013
Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions
AN ACT to prohibit public employers from diminishing the health insur-
ance benefits and contributions of certain retired public employees
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. On and after the effective date of this act, a public
2 employer shall be prohibited from diminishing the health insurance bene-
3 fits provided to retirees and their dependents or the contributions such
4 employer makes for such health insurance coverage below the level of
5 such benefits or contributions made on behalf of such retirees and their
6 dependents by such employer as of the effective date of this act. For
7 the purpose of this act, "public employer" shall mean the following: (i)
8 the state; (ii) a county, city, town or village; (iii) any governmental
9 entity operating a college or university; (iv) a public improvement or
10 special district including police or fire districts; (v) a public
11 authority, commission or public benefit corporation; or (vi) any other
12 public corporation, agency, instrumentality or unit of government which
13 exercises governmental power under the laws of this state. The term
14 public employer shall not include any school district, board of cooper-
15 ative educational services, vocational education and extension board or
16 school district as enumerated in section 1 of chapter 566 of the laws of
17 1977, as amended.
18 S 2. Nothing contained in this act shall supersede or diminish the
19 terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
20 S 3. Notwithstanding the provisions of section one of this act to the
21 contrary, a public employer shall be prohibited from diminishing the
22 health insurance benefits provided to retirees who retire after the
23 effective date of this act from positions not subject to a collective
24 bargaining agreement and their dependents, or the contributions such
25 employer makes for such health insurance coverage, below the level of
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 3627 2
1 such benefits or contributions made on behalf of active employees in
2 such positions as of the retiree's date of retirement.
3 S 4. Nothing contained in this act shall require a public employer
4 which does not provide health insurance benefits to retirees and their
5 dependents as of the effective date of this act to offer such benefits.
6 S 5. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
7 have become a law.
BILL NUMBER: S3627 MEMO: / Same as A902
TITLE OF BILL: An act to prohibit public employers from diminishing the health insurance benefits and
contributions of certain retired public employees.
PURPOSE: This bill would prohibit state and local governments from diminishing the health insurance
benefits of retirees below the level of benefits that are in place 30 days after this act shall become law.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Prohibits the State and local governments from diminishing the health insurance benefits of retirees
and their dependents, as well as the employer contribution toward such health insurance, below the level of
benefits in place 30 days after this act shall take effect. This bill does not apply to school districts and
BOCES because they have been recently covered under the current law.
Section 2: Grants precedence to collective bargaining agreements.
Section 3: Provides for future retirees from positions not subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
Section 4: Ensures that a public employer which does not now offer health insurance benefits to retirees
is not required to do so under this bill.
EXISTING LAW: Chapter 729 of the laws of 1994, as amended by Chapter 22 of the Laws of 2007 and
the laws of 2009, prohibits school districts and BOCES from diminishing retiree health insurance benefits,
unless there is a parallel diminution affecting active employees. Article XI of the Civil Service Law provides
that retires from the State and participating agencies in the New York State Health Insurance Plan (NYSHIP)
shall receive the same health insurance benefits as negotiated with active employees. There is no existing law
protecting health insurance benefits of retirees from local governments.
JUSTIFICATION: Given the increasing costs of health care, health insurance coverage is of tremendous
importance to retirees and their dependents. Although there have been a number of attempts to protect retiree
health coverage, there is no consistent standard for all retirees. Education retirees are now protected by a law.
Some workers have retired under union contracts with stronger protections. Many retirees, however, have
no protection. This bill creates a uniform standard of protection which applies to all retirees and their
dependents, unless covered by a more favorable union contract.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.4371 - Referred to Civil Service and Pensions / A.2007 -
Referred to Ways and Means 2011: S.4371 – Referred to Civil Service and Pensions / A.2007 - Referred
to Governmental Employees
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None. This bill merely requires the State to continue the level of benefits
which it is now providing.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 30 days after enactment.
Memorandums of Support S3627 / A902
have been received from the following as of April 17, 2013.
New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association
PCNY (Police Conference of New York)
Affiliated Police Associations (53 PBA's & over 10,000 members)
NYS Fraternal Order of Police Empire State Lodge
Police Emerald Society of Westchester
Pelham Manor Police Assoc.
Police Columbia Assoc. of Westchester County
The International Police Assoc. (Westchester Region 3)
PBA City of White Plains
Retired Members Assoc., Inc., FDNY
New Rochelle Uniformed Fire Fighters Local 994
Yonkers Fire Fighters Local 628