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.
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.
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.
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.
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
New York City School Construction Authority
New York City Convention Operating Corporation
The Retired Detectives of the Police Department, City of New York (RDNY) is seeking new members. The RDNY is open to any retired Detective who served the City of New York. There is a one-time initiation fee of $10 and annual dues are $30. To join, contact RDNY, P.O. Box 3310, Farmingdale, New York, NY 11735.
Founded in 1955, the RDNY has a membership of approximately 1,400 retired NYPD Detectives living throughout the United States. In addition to fraternal functions, the group works towards the betterment of retiree benefits and has monthly meetings to keep retirees abreast of political and social issues. Members receive the monthly email newsletter The Squad.
The RDNY meets the second Wednesday of each month, except July and August. In May, the organization holds its annual gala World Yacht Dinner/Dance. The group also holds an annual golf outing. The RDNY honors law enforcement personnel, Commissioners, sports, news, or entertainment figures, or anyone who the group feels deserves recognition for police related issues.
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 --