Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Veterans' Affairs Committee Chair Michael Dendekker and Assemblymember Amy Paulin announced today the passage of a bill to extend eligibility for additional credits in the state retirement system to all veterans.
"We owe so much to our veterans for the sacrifices they have made in the service of our country and our state," said Speaker Heastie. "This bill is a testament of our gratitude to these honorable men and women who complete their military duties and return home to continue their leadership in our communities and in our public workforce."
The bill (A.9531, Paulin) would remove the existing date of service limitations and expand eligibility for the veteran's service credit to otherwise eligible veterans regardless of when they completed their military service. Under current law, only those veterans who have served in specific military conflicts or during limited time frames are eligible to receive up to an additional three years of service credit in the pension system. Other provisions of the current limitations have effectively excluded a significant number of female veterans from eligibility. As a result, there was a varied and inconsistent application of the benefit.
"Our veterans take on the enormous risk of injury or even death when they enlist in the military," said Paulin. "This bill offers service members an incentive to stay here in New York State and continue to make meaningful contributions to our communities."
"For too long, New York's pension system has not been up to par with the rest of the country in regards to veterans," said Assemblymember DenDekker, Chair of the Veteran's Affairs Committee. "This legislation will correct that injustice, and is an important step towards ensuring that veterans receive the full benefits that they deserve, regardless of when or where he or she served."