Below is a list of historical legislation that had a significant impact on NYSTRS and its members. Please refer to the Compilation of Laws for more information on the laws that govern the Retirement System.
Chapter 490 of the Laws of 2019 (S45B/A8097) – Military Service Eligibility for LGBT Veterans
Chapter 490 of the Laws of 2019 amended various provisions of law to expand eligibility for certain state benefits to veterans and LGBT veterans who have a qualifying condition and who received a discharge for other than bad conduct or dishonorable discharge from military service. Veterans and LGBT veterans, with a qualifying condition, were eligible to apply for military service credit beginning on or after November 12, 2020.
Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2019 (S1509-C/A2009-C) – Retirement Contribution Reserve Fund
Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2019 (specifically, Part YYY, Sections 52-g through 52-k) amended Section 6-r of the General Municipal Law to allow certain eligible participating employers of NYSTRS the option to establish a retirement contribution reserve sub-fund. The purpose of the reserve sub-fund is to permit those employers to set aside funds in one year to defray the required employer contribution payable to NYSTRS under Education Law Section 521 in another year.
Chapter 41 of the Laws of 2016 – Military Service Eligibility
Chapter 41 of the Laws of 2016 amended Retirement and Social Security Law Section 1000 by removing existing requirements for military service to be performed during specified periods of war and certain hostilities. Eligible members may claim up to three years of service credit for military duty. A member must be honorably discharged from the military, have at least five years of credited service, be an active NYSTRS member on or after May 31, 2016 (the date the law took effect) and claim any possible military credit before the effective date of retirement in order to be eligible.
Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2013, Part BB – Stable Contribution Option for Certain NYSTRS Employers
Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2013, Part BB amended portions of the Education Law that affect contributions made by certain NYSTRS participating employers. This law provided NYSTRS with the opportunity to offer a seven-year stable contribution option to BOCES and public school districts that are participating employers.
Chapter 18 of the Laws of 2012 – Tier 6 Enacted
Chapter 18 of the Laws of 2012 created a new membership tier (Tier 6) for NYS public employees, effective April 1, 2012.
Chapter 553 of the Laws of 2011 – Membership Withdrawal
Chapter 553 of the Laws of 2011 allows Tiers 3-5 members of NYSTRS who have permanently ceased teaching in the state of New York to withdraw their NYSTRS membership and obtain credit in another public employee retirement system outside of New York State.
Chapter 105 of the Laws of 2010 – Retirement Incentive for Certain Public Employees
Chapter 105 of the Laws of 2010 provided that NYSTRS participating employers had the option of whether or not to offer either: Part A, which provided one-twelfth of a year of additional service credit for every year of credited service, to a maximum of three years of additional credit; or Part B, which allowed Tier 2-4 members who were at least age 55 or older with a minimum of 25 years of service credit to retire without an age reduction.
Chapter 45 of the Laws of 2010 – 55/25 Retirement Incentive for Educators Represented by NYSUT
Chapter 45 of the Laws of 2010, the 55/25 retirement incentive for educators represented by NYSUT, provided a temporary early retirement incentive for Tier 2-4 members of either the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System or NYSTRS who held a position represented by a recognized collective bargaining unit affiliated with NYSUT. The incentive allowed members of the defined population who are at least age 55 with a minimum of 25 years of service to retire without any benefit reductions.
Chapter 504 of the Laws of 2009 – Tier 5 Enacted
Chapter 504 of the Laws of 2009 created a new membership tier (Tier 5) for NYS public employees, effective Jan. 1, 2010.
Chapter 640 of the Laws of 2008 – Post-Retirement Earnings Rules and Reporting Requirements
Chapter 640 of the Laws of 2008 strengthened transparency and accountability measures relative to employee hiring and reporting. Among its provisions, the law implemented various reforms to the process by which a retired public employee may obtain a waiver under Retirement and Social Security Law §211 (i.e., a 211 waiver) and increased the reporting and public disclosure obligations of school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).
Chapter 497 of the Laws of 2005 – Date New Legislation Takes Effect
Chapter 497 of the Laws of 2005 provided that any legislation affecting benefits provided by NYSTRS will take effect no later than June 30 of the year in which the legislation is enacted.
Chapter 695 of the Laws of 2002 – Retirement Filing Flexibility
Chapter 695 of the Laws of 2002 provided members with flexibility regarding filing and withdrawing a service retirement application, and changing their benefit payment option. The law: eliminated the mandatory 30-day filing requirement for service retirement applications (i.e., members can file a retirement application up until the effective date of retirement; however, the maximum 90-day filing window still applies); allows members to withdraw their service retirement application up to 14 days after their date of retirement; and allows members to change their benefit payment choice up to 30 days from their date of retirement.
Chapter 69 of the Laws of 2002 – Retirement Incentive
Chapter 69 of the Laws of 2002 provided that NYSTRS participating employers had the option of whether or not to offer either: Part A, which provided one-twelfth of a year of additional service credit for every year of credited service, to a maximum of three years of additional credit; or Part B, which allowed Tier 2-4 members who were at least age 55 or older with a minimum of 25 years of service credit to retire without an age reduction.
Chapter 552 of the Laws of 2000 – Prior Service
Chapter 52 of the Laws of 2000 allowed members to receive credit for prior NYS public service that predated membership in NYSTRS and would have been creditable at the time the service occurred. The law also provided that members are eligible to apply for prior service credit after earning two years of service credit under their current membership.
Chapter 126 of the Laws of 2000 – Article 19/Benefit Enhancement
Chapter 126 of the Laws of 2000 provided up to two years of additional service credit for eligible Tier 1 and 2 members. The law also provided that Tier 3 and 4 members’ mandatory 3% contributions to the retirement system will cease after they have 10 years of membership or 10 years of total service credit.
Chapter 125 of the Laws of 2000 – Cost-of-Living Adjustment
Chapter 125 of the Laws of 2000 provided a permanent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to eligible retired members based on 50% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase from one March to the next. The COLA percentage can never be less than 1% nor greater than 3%, and is applied to the first $18,000 of a retiree's maximum retirement benefit.
Chapter 86 of the Laws of 2000 – Retirement Incentive
Chapter 86 of the Laws of 2000 provided that eligible NYSTRS members could receive one-twelfth of a year of additional service credit to an eligible member for each year of service credited at retirement, to a maximum of three years of additional credit.