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July 21, 2011

 


DiNapoli Local Wage Reporting Law Will
Protect Integrity of the Retirement System

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will have a strong new tool to uncover pension system abuse under a new law signed today by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The new law, which was part of DiNapoli’s legislative program, authorizes the Comptroller to access the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's wage reporting system to identify retirees working for local governments who exceed post-retirement earnings limitations.

“This law sends a message to anyone looking to game the retirement system - you will be found,” DiNapoli said. “My first priority is to protect the integrity of the pension fund. Governor Cuomo has helped provide my office with a tool to do just that."

The Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) places limits on the amount that may be earned by a retiree who returns to public employment without it affecting his or her pension payments. Most retirees are covered by Section 212 of the RSSL, which allows retirees under age 65 to earn up to $30,000 per calendar year without any pension penalty. If a state or local government employee earns more than those limits, the Comptroller has the authority to suspend and recoup any excess pension payments.

The new law grants access to local government employee salary information to match info with the Retirement System. Currently, the Retirement System compares information for state employees with the State Comptroller's Office Division of Payroll to identify retirees who have obtained employment with the state. In addition, a law passed in 2008 requires school districts and BOCES to annually report all public retirees, including independent contractors and consultants, on their payrolls during the previous calendar year.

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