Retirees page

In the event of the death of a DEA member, a spouse or beneficiary should be prepared to obtain copies of documents which will be needed by the Union and by various agencies, organizations, and the government to straighten out the deceased’s estate.

Here is a list of the documents that each member’s spouse or beneficiary will need, and for whom they will be needed.

Death Certificates

You will need one copy of the death certificate for the DEA Health Benefits office. You will also need two copies for the City (one for the Employee Section and one for the Pension Section of the Police Department). If the deceased was a veteran, you will need two copies of the death certificate for the Veterans Administration. One copy is also needed for the Social Security Administration and another copy is needed for the Department of Motor Vehicles. A copy will also be needed for your insurance company. DEA insurance policies are handled through Mechanic & Associates at (845) 624-3800, or call toll free in the State of New York (888) 669-3800; or call toll free out of State (888) 956-3800. If you have other policies, you will need one copy for each company involved. In order to execute the Will, you will need one death certificate for the deceased’s lawyer. Additionally, the spouse or beneficiary should retain a copy of the death certificate for his or her personal records and for future reference. Also keep in mind that other relatives who work for the City may each need a copy to obtain time off from work to attend the funeral. Death certificates cost approximately $4 for each copy.

Marriage Certificates with the official raised seal

If the deceased was a veteran, you will need one copy of the marriage certificate for the Veterans Administration. One copy will also be needed for the Social Security Administration. Marriage certificates cost approximately $10 for the first copy and $5 for each additional copy. They are available from the City Hall where you were married.

Last Will and Testament

You will need one copy of the deceased’s Will for the State’s Department of Taxation in order to obtain a tax waiver for pension monies. You will also probably need one copy for the Internal Revenue Service. Active and retired DEA members are entitled to a Last Will and Testament, a Living Will, and/or Health Care Proxies from the DEA’s attorneys, Karasyk & Moschella. Call Karasyk & Moschella directly at (212) 233-3800 for this service.

 

Surrogates’ Certificates

 

In the event that the Will calls for a transfer of ownership of property, you will need the following surrogate’s certificates, supplied by Surrogates Court: One copy for the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to transfer car ownership; One copy for the City Department of Finance in order to collect the deceased’s final pay checks; One copy for the State Department of Taxation for a tax waiver in order to collect pension monies; And one copy for the City Comptroller’s Office (in some cases this is necessary to collect pension monies). Please note that it usually takes about 3-1/2 months after a person’s death for a spouse or beneficiary to receive a Surrogate’s Certificate.

Discharge Papers

If the deceased was a veteran, a copy of his or her discharge papers will be needed for the Veterans Administration. The veteran’s original discharge papers may be needed for the Social Security Administration.

Paid Funeral Bills

The Detectives’ Endowment Association will pay up to $10,000 for the funeral of any active NYPD Detective who passes away, regardless of the cause of death. (This does not apply to retirees.) The Union also provides a $5,000 funeral expense for an active NYPD Detective’s spouse or properly registered domestic partner. (This also does not apply to retirees.) If the member or spouse chooses, the DEA can pay the funeral home and others directly. In addition to the processing of this benefit, you will need copies of paid funeral bills for the NYPD in order for the spouse or beneficiary to receive the deceased’s final paychecks from the Department. An additional set of copies will be needed for the Pension Section (unless the undertaker fills out the pension supplies form).

DEA Annuity Fund

If the deceased kept an account with the DEA Annuity Fund, upon notification of the member’s death, the DEA will send a form to the beneficiary, who needs to fill out the form and return it to the DEA, along with a copy of the deceased’s death certificate. The beneficiary has the option to roll over the account into an IRA or withdraw the funds.

DEA Health Benefits

The DEA will provide a health benefits package to the surviving spouse of an active DEA member and his or her eligible dependents (up to the age of 19). To purchase this COBRA coverage, survivors should contact the DEA Health Benefits office at (212) 587-9120, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Social Security Administration

Your nearest Social Security office, which will be listed under the government section in your phone book, requires one copy of the deceased’s death certificate and one copy of the deceased’s marriage certificate (with seal). The SSA also requires one copy of the deceased’s birth certificate (with seal).  Birth certificates can be obtained by contacting the Department of Health in the city in which the deceased was born. Copies of birth certificates cost approximately $3.50 each. If the deceased was a military veteran, one copy of the member’s discharge papers must go to the Social Security Administration, along with one copy of the paid funeral bills, one copy of the deceased’s Social Security card, and one copy of the survivor’s Social Security card. Please note that Social Security payment for widows and dependent children takes approximately two months.

Veterans Administration

You can phone (800) 827-1000, a toll free number for the regional New York office of the VA, to inquire about any sort of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) to which certain veteran’s spouses may be entitled. The VA requires the following documents: two copies of the death certificate; one copy of the marriage certificate; one copy of the deceased’s birth certificate; one copy of the discharge papers; and one copy of government insurance papers. Please note that the VA sometimes supplies gravestones, plus a stipend of approximately $250 for burial and for benefits for a spouse and for dependent children.

State Department of Motor Vehicles

For the transfer of automobile ownership, the State Department of Motor Vehicles will require one copy of the death certificate and one copy of the surrogate’s certificate (if there is a Will involved).

Keep Cash Readily Available

You should keep enough cash readily available to sustain your family for several months while you are waiting for payments from some of the above-mentioned agencies or until the settlement of an estate. Banks will put a hold on savings or checking accounts and safety deposit boxes as soon as an obituary is published. New York State taxes, as well as federal inheritance taxes, may be due.  Identification will be needed at most places to get information or application forms. The Social Security cards of both the deceased and the beneficiary (or survivor) will be required at most of the offices that need to be contacted.

You may also want to contact the New York State Department of Taxation. You can receive a tax waiver to be filled out and notarized. You must list all of the deceased’s assets (such as real estate, bank accounts, insurance, union benefits, veteran’s benefits, city pension benefits, etc.). The Department of Taxation will also require a copy of the Will (if one is involved), and possibly a Surrogate’s Certificate.

You may also wish to contact the New York City Comptroller’s Office. They may require a copy of the Surrogate’s Certificate before paying out monies that are due from the pension system.

Please remember to notify the NYPD and the DEA in the event of a death.

 

Both the DEA Benefits office at (212) 587-9120 and the NYPD Operations Division at (646) 610-6100 should be notified. When immediately notified, the Operations Division may also be able to supply Police Officers in dress uniform as pallbearers for the funeral. If you have any questions, it is always a good idea to consult with your lawyer and accountant as tax and legal issues are constantly subject to change.

In order for an active Detective to receive his or her pension estimate, both the DEA Pension Estimate form and the New York City Police Pension Fund (NYCPPF) form must be filled out and submitted to the DEA. The NYCPPF form also must be notarized. Return both forms to Steve Feely, Retiree Representative of the DEA at 26 Thomas Street, New York, New York 10007. It takes approximately up to four weeks to receive an estimate. Please note that you may only receive an estimate from the Pension Section once.

Both forms can be found on the website Forms page.

Retiree Employment Restrictions

There are certain statutory restrictions on retiree employment. These restrictions are a matter of law and although all retirees are notified at the time of their retirement, a number of retirees are consistently discovered through government audits to be violating these restrictions. These retirees are then forced to reimburse the Article II Pension Fund for all pension benefits received while in violation of the law.

In 1998, a City Comptroller’s audit caught 81 retired City employees illegally collecting pension benefits while receiving paychecks from either City or State agencies for whom they had gone back to work. These “double-dipping” retirees had collected nearly $600,000 in illicit benefits, and now, several of them, including NYPD retirees, are reimbursing the Fund over $200,000 each! Don't let this happen to you!

The New York City Comptroller’s office has turned over the results of their audit to the New York City Department of Investigation for possible criminal prosecution, in addition to recovery of all pension monies received.

Retirees — make sure that you are in compliance with the following guidelines on employment. You should review the statutes cited to avoid jeopardizing your pension benefits. Questions regarding these statutory restrictions should be submitted to the Pension Section in writing. A copy of your correspondence will be made a part of your pension records. Remember that you are responsible for ensuring that you are not violating these important restrictions. Violations will result in substantial financial reparations as well as possible criminal repercussions.

Employment Limitations for All Article II Retired Persons

Your retirement benefit consists chiefly of a pension portion, and to a lesser degree, an annuity portion. The following is concerned with the pension portion only. (The annuity portion of your retirement benefit was purchased by your contributions and is not affected. Also, continuation of your annuity portion maintains your eligibility for medical benefits.)

An active member of the pension system is one who is in the active service of a governmental agency. He or she may or may not be making contributions to the pension system, but is earning future pension benefit credits. A passive member is one who is receiving benefits.

Service and Vested Interest Retirees

According to Section 1117 of the New York City Charter, the pension portion of the retirement benefit is to be suspended or forfeited for all retired persons who are employed by New York State or any of its political subdivisions, unless the sum of the pension portion and the compensation or salary is less than $1,800 per year.

Section 211 of the New York State Retirement and Social Security Law allows a person retired for other than a physical disability to be employed by New York State or one of its political subdivisions if the agency wishing to employ the person obtains approval from the New York State Civil Service Commission or others in power to grant such approval.

Disability Retiree Prior to 20th Anniversary

Disability retirees may be employed, with an earnings limitation, by New York City, State or any political subdivision prior to the 20th anniversary of their appointment to the Police Department. The earnings are limited to the difference between the pension portion and the current salary, plus overtime, night shift differential, and vacation work for the next higher rank than that of the retired person at the time of retirement. Uniform allowance shall be included at the rate for the rank of the retired person at the time of retirement. Earnings in excess of this difference are to be subtracted from subsequent pension portion payments.

Disability Retirees after the 20th Anniversary

After the 20th anniversary of their appointment to the Police Department, all accident or ordinary disabilities are subject to Section 1117 of the New York City Charter, which states that you may not be employed by New York City, State or any political subdivision without first suspending the pension portion of your retirement allowance. As disability retirees, you are excluded from the exemption provisions of Section 211 or 212 of the New York State Retirement and Social Security Law, because you would have had to retire for other than a physical disability in order to be eligible. This means that after the 20th anniversary, disability retirees cannot work for any municipal employer in New York State (other than a public benefit corporation) without suspending their pension benefit with the Pension Section.

Section 40-C-9 RSSL

Any retired person (disability, service or vested interest) may not join another New York State Retirement System as an active member while receiving a pension benefit from the Article II Pension System. If a retired person elects to do so, the pension portion must be suspended. When the active membership ceases, pension portion payments will be reinstated.

Section 212 of the New York State Retirement and Social Security Law permits employment by New York State or one of its political subdivisions without approval for non-disability retired persons if the salary or compensation is less than an amount set by the Legislature each year (check the amount with the NYPD Pension Section). Under Section 212, you must notify the Article II Pension System if you elect to exercise this right.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the service or vested interest retiree to verify that the prospective employer has obtained a waiver under Section 211 and that waiver is continued in force throughout the duration of employment.

Public Benefit Corporation

The Office of the Corporation Counsel has interpreted Section 1117 of the New York City Charter as not applying to the “Public Benefit Corporations,” so that retired City employees can work for such corporations without suspension of benefits. The Corporation Counsel has determined the following Authorities to be Public Benefit Corporations:

New York City Housing Authority

New York City Transit Authority

New York City Dormitory Authority

Off-Track Betting Corporation

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Urban Development Corporation

Port Authority

Waterfront Commission

New York City School Construction Authority

New York City Convention Operating Corporation

The NYPD has a portion of its website devoted to retirees. If you have not registered for the Retiree Mobilization Plan (RMP) and wish to do so, you can register at www.nyc.gov/nypd by clicking on the “Actively Retired” link.

The objective of this Plan is to prepare and include the NYPD’s retired community as responders in the event of an emergency. However, registered retirees can find fellow retirees and subscribe to Spring 3100 magazine at the site as well.

Prescription Drugs for Veterans

Prescription drugs can be obtained through the VA hospital in your area at the cost of a few dollars per prescription, regardless of disability. Contact your local VA hospital for more details, or contact the VA Health Benefits Service Center at (877) 222-VETS.

New York Pension Taxation by State

In response to many inquiries about taxes in other states, the Retired Public Employees Association has come up with a tax table of information. This can be used as a guideline, but the RPEA highly recommends that you contact an individual State’s revenue agency because tax laws are subject to change constantly. The tax table can be found at www.rpea.org under the section “Tax Info.”

When you or one of your dependents becomes eligible for Medicare at age 65 (and thereafter) or through special provisions of the Social Security Act for the Disabled, your first level of health benefits is provided by Medicare. The NYC Health Benefits Program provides a second level of benefits intended to fill certain gaps in Medicare coverage. In order to maintain maximum health benefits, it is essential that you join Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) at your local Social Security office AS SOON AS YOU BECOME ELIGIBLE.

If you do not join Medicare, you will lose whatever benefits the City would have provided. The City of New York Health Benefits Program supplements Medicare, but does not duplicate benefits available under Medicare. Additionally, should you not elect Medicare Parts A and B, you will be charged a significant penalty at a later date should you wish to obtain Medicare benefits. This penalty will apply each and every year in the form of a significantly higher Medicare Part B premium rate until you reach age 65. Also, Medicare ‘eligibles’ must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B in order to be covered by a Medicare HMO plan. The City of New York continues to reimburse 100% of your Medicare Part B premium on an annual basis. There is no charge for Medicare Part A. You must provide a copy of your Medicare card and completed Medicare Reimbursement Application to the City of New York in order to receive your annual Medicare Part B reimbursement.

Get the training you need through the NYPD SHIELD program. SHIELD is a partner with private sector security managers and provides best practices, lessons learned, counterterrorism training opportunities, and information sharing through member seminars and the SHIELD website. Members of the Service, particularly retired members who are security directors at key resources and critical infrastructures, can take advantage of the SHIELD program and all it offers. Visit the website at --   

www.nypdshield.org/public/

L.E.O.S.A. H.R. 218 Weekly Qualifications on Staten Island

Courses taught by NYS Certified Police Firearms Instructor/Active MOS

Receive a photo ID Card with 24-hour contact information

Contact Bernie Novins

(347) 552-0903

(516) 900-4486

arthurkillsports@gmail.com

Please note -- The DEA cautions at this time there are still many unanswered questions about this legislation. Please read advice from our legal counsel, Karasyk & Moschella, published in the fall 2004 issue of The Gold Shield before deciding whether or not to carry firearms out of state.

 

 

 

The “Right to Carry” Bill

On July 22, 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law, H.R. 218: “The Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act,” better known as “The Right to Carry” bill.

While this bill gives “qualified” active and retired Police Officers the right to carry firearms off-duty outside of New York State, the DEA cautions that at this time there are still many unanswered questions about this legislation, even though it is supposed to be in effect.

The Legal Department of the NYPD has issued new Departmental Guidelines.

However, our own attorney, whose recommendations are reprinted here, examined the legislation to determine how we can approach the many issues not yet clarified within the law, such as: necessary qualifications; liability; indemnification; justification in using a firearm in other jurisdictions; private property laws in other jurisdictions; and representation in the event of an incident. There are also issues surrounding the possibility of whether states, cities, or other jurisdictions will challenge or supersede this law.

Although in theory this legislation can be a benefit to our members, there are many potential problems inherent with it as it now stands.

Consequently, it is the DEA’s expressed recommendation that our members refrain from carrying their firearms outside of New York State at this time, until the many questions and issues raised by this legislation are resolved.

We will keep you informed as developments occur.

Please read the following important memo from our General Cousel, Philip Karasyk:

I have completed an initial read-through of the new “Right to Carry Bill” recently enacted by the federal government and signed by President George W. Bush on July 22, 2004. While it is still too early to determine what position the various states may take on this legislation, it is apparent from the text of the law that many loopholes exist which can be exploited by states with strong anti-handgun constituencies. Until all of the ambiguities contained in this statute can be resolved, I would be extremely reluctant to advise any of our members to carry a concealed weapon outside of New York State.

A cursory examination of Section 2, Subsection (b) of the law indicates that a member of the service, active or retired, carrying a weapon outside of New York State would have to acquaint him or herself with a bewildering array of local and state ordinances restricting the presence of firearms on a particular piece of property.

You will also note that the law gives private persons or entities the right to prohibit or restrict the possession of a concealed weapon on their property. Such entities could include clubs, restaurants, bars, amusement parks, ball parks, etc.

In addition, Subsection (b)(2) gives the states the right to prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on state or local governmental property, specifically mentioning buildings, bases and parks. I assume this would include state campgrounds, as well as state and local parks, and may include, but not be limited to, places where members of the service might engage in athletic events. It is apparent that any member of the service carrying a concealed weapon outside New York State would have to acquaint him or herself with a range of local and state laws and ordinances governing the ability to carry a firearm at each and every location which he or she might want to visit. Other questions which arise are –

ü What would the penalty be for a violation of a state or local law governing the possession of firearms at those locations exempt from the federal law?

ü Would the member of the service be subject to the full weight of the state laws governing the possession of a concealed weapon?

ü Would our member be subject to criminal sanctions if he or she violated a local or state law in good faith?

ü Would those criminal sanctions then be the basis for the NYPD to issue charges against the member?

ü Would a conviction of a different state’s criminal law then serve as the basis for terminating that member under the New York State Civil Service law, which makes a felony conviction grounds for automatic termination from the NYPD?

Section 2, subparagraph (c) also presents a range of problems arising from the wording of the various subsections. The definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” is defined under paragraph (c) by six subheadings: the violation of any one of these subheadings could cause the officer to lose his or her “qualified” law enforcement status, and therefore be in violation of the law of the state in which he or she has carried the concealed weapon.

For instance, under Section 2, Subparagraph (c)(2), an officer on modified, restricted, or limited duty may not be authorized under the rules of the NYPD to carry a firearm while he or she is on less than full-duty status. Similarly, Subparagraph (c)(3), states that a qualified officer is one who is not the subject of any disciplinary action by their Agency.

This poses the question, what does the term “subject” of any disciplinary action encompass? Does this apply to a member of the service who is G.O. 15’d as a “subject,” but who does not receive charges?; Or is it someone who has been served with charges and specifications and is now awaiting a final determination of his or her case?

During an NYPD G.O.15, the term “subject” is specifically used at the beginning of the interview, and considering the fact that these investigations can take months to conclude, what then is the status of an officer who is G.O.15’d as a subject, but who has yet to receive a final determination?

Similarly, paragraph (4) speaks about the employee being regularly qualified in the use of firearms. What is the status of an officer who has, for one reason or another, failed to appear at the range within the designated time for a re-qualification?

Paragraph (5) is the most troublesome paragraph for many reasons, stated and unstated. It concerns a person not being qualified if they are “under the influence of alcohol.” For example, an officer is enjoying a cocktail in a bar in Alabama and carrying his or her concealed weapon. The officer gets into a dispute, either in the bar or outside of the bar (but does not in any manner display the weapon). The officer is found to have had “one too many” and is therefore considered “under the influence.” Does the officer now lose his or her exemption under this law and, as a result, be considered in violation of the handgun laws of the State of Alabama?

The concerns regarding qualified retired law enforcement officers are basically the same. In addition to those previously mentioned, we would also have to deal with the issue of what retired “in good standing” means, as well as what constitutes the qualification for firearms training in a twelve month period.

Section 3 regarding retired members, paragraph (c)(5) and (d)(1), seem to require that a retired member of the service have training, and/or be qualified, every twelve months during the period of his or her retirement. One can only speculate about the consequences that may befall an officer who is found to be in possession of a concealed weapon in another state and has not had any training within the last twelve months.

In summary, the major problem with this legislation is that we are unable to predict with any degree of accuracy what consequences would befall a member of the service who is found to be in possession of a concealed firearm in a state other than New York and has violated one of the provisions of this law.

To repeat, would a technical violation of this statute expose the officer to the full criminal liability existing in a given state regarding the carrying of a concealed weapon? Would a conviction of those local state statutes form the basis for further disciplinary action within the NYPD, including automatic termination if the member is convicted of a felony?

In light of the foregoing, it is advisable that members do not carry firearms outside of New York State until we are able to gauge how the individual states have attempted to narrow the scope and restrict the provisions of this “Right to Carry” statute.