Five Councilmen Withdraw Support For Bill to Boost Disability Pension of NYC Cops


Last week, Pension360 reported on the re-emergence of a New York City Council resolution that would boost police disability benefits.

At the time, a majority of councilmembers were on board with the resolution.

But between last week and now, things have changed: this week, five councilmembers withdrew their support for the measure.

A few of them said they changed their mind after they were asked to reconsider their stance by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Details from Capital New York:

Five members of the City Council are withdrawing their support for a resolution that would boost disability pension benefits for New York City police officers and firefighters.

The five offered varying reasons for removing their names from the resolution, which is a priority for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union that’s been at odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Several Council members said they changed their minds after Mark-Viverito and her staff asked them to reconsider. Eric Koch, a spokesman for Mark-Viverito, denied the Speaker made any such calls, but did not dispute that her staff had reached out to members.

The list of council members who changed their minds:

Councilman Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn had signed onto the proposal last week, but withdrew his support over a “procedural issue,” his spokesman said.


The other members who backed away from the resolution are: Danny Dromm of Queens and Robert Cornegy of Brooklyn, both of whom did not respond to repeated requests for comment; Donovan Richards of Queens, who declined comment; and Daneek Miller of Queens.

The measure would boost police disability pensions by altering the tier system that dictates benefits. Crain’s explains:

[The measure] would increase disability pensions for police hired after July 2009. It has been introduced annually in response to Mr. Paterson’s veto of a bill to move newly hired officers to the more generous Tier II pension from Tier III.

Members of Tier III work for 22 years, instead of 20, to collect full-service pensions. Their disability benefits are 44% of their last three years of salary with an offset for Social Security benefits, instead of 75% of the final year’s salary with no offset.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out against the measure, and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is undecided.


Photo by via Flickr CC License

New York City Council Weighs Disability Pension Boost For Police


A New York City councilwoman is sponsoring a resolution that would ask the state to increase the disability pensions of certain city police officers.

The resolution has the support of two-thirds of the City Council, but doesn’t yet have the support of the mayor’s office or the Council speaker.

From Capital New York:

Under the current law, uniformed workers are placed into a tier system based on when they are hired. Workers with less time on the job only receive 50 percent of their pensions. Workers hired before 2009—the last time the law was changed —get 75 percent of their pension in disability benefits.

Crowley’s proposal would create parity among the different pension tiers for all employees of the uniformed services.

“Every emergency responder is taking the same risk, and every responder deserves the same disability benefits if they get hurt,” Crowley said.

Since it’s a law that can only be enacted at the state level, the Council must pass what is known as a “home rule message,” indicating to Albany that it supports the legislation and would urge the governor to sign it into law.

Last year, the Council failed to act on the resolution and never passed the home rule message, so the state Legislature was not able to move a corresponding bill. Similar legislation was passed in 2009, but then-governor David Paterson vetoed it.

The Council hearing has not been scheduled yet. The bill will also have to be reintroduced in Albany’s new legislative session before it can be sent to the floor for a vote.


De Blasio has said he would oppose because of concerns over its cost. But the mayor doesn’t have the power to veto this sort of Council resolution.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has said she is reviewing the request. Her spokesman said today that still hasn’t taken a position on it.

Similar pieces of legislation have been proposed on an annual basis since 2009. In 2009, the legislation was passed but subsequently vetoed by Gov. David Paterson.