Bill S 1091-A / A 2239-A was passed by the Assembly on May 24, 2021. This bill has now been passed by both the Senate and the Assembly, and now awaits the Governor's signature.
If the Governor signs this bill into law, the maximum years of service credit that can be earned in a volunteer firefighter LOSAP here in New York State will be increased from 40 to 50 years. Since plans could have been adopted as early as 1990, including the 5-year buyback there are some participants that may be earning their 37th year of service in 2021.
For a sponsor to amend its LOSAP, it must adopt a resolution to amend the plan and then have that amendment approved by mandatory referendum (i.e., public vote). The statute stipulates that the sponsor does not have to increase to the full 50 years, but could increase it in increments.
For a Fire District that would like to hold this referendum on December 14, 2021, the timing of when the Governor signs this bill will be critical. The Governor signed the COVID-points bill 21 days after it was passed by both houses. However, the bill to increase the defined contribution plan service award to $1,200 was not signed until November 8th, or about 4.5 months after it was passed by the Legislature. Since the resolution must be adopted roughly 30 days before December 14, 2021, any significant delay in the Governor signing the bill into law could create some timing issues. A District could include provisionary language in the resolution, stating the amendment is contingent on the Governor signing the bill into law. Please contact your attorney for guidance on this.
When (hopefully) the Governor signs the bill into law, we'll post another update.