2015-01-14 / Features

Goldfeder Fights for Veterans’ Pensions

Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder is set to sponsor a bill to extend public service retirement credits for peace-time military veterans and service by women in non-combat roles, toward receiving state pensions currently excluded from state retirement credit program.
Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder is set to sponsor a bill to extend public service retirement credits for peace-time military veterans and service by women in non-combat roles, toward receiving state pensions currently excluded from state retirement credit program. Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder (D– Rockaway Park) announced plans on January 12 to sponsor legislation to allow New York State public sector military veterans, and women veterans who served in non-combat roles, to count their service toward their state pensions.

Under current state retirement laws, only veterans who have served part or all of their military service during war time are eligible for the credits.

“It’s important that we value the honorable service and sacrifices of our military veterans, regardless of when or how they served our country,” said Goldfeder. “This bill will ensure that all our veterans, including the many women unable to serve in combat roles, receive the benefits they are entitled to.”

In 2013, Goldfeder co-sponsored the bill A 6974-B, which proposed amending the retirement and social security law to make peace-time periods of military service eligible for credit in the New York state public retirement system. Under the legislation, peace-time veterans and women who served in non-combat roles would be able to count up to three years of service toward their service credit. This credit forms the basis for state pension eligibility and the calculation of service retirement, vested rights, disability retirement and death benefits.

Last November, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed the bill, despite overwhelming support in the both the Assembly and Senate. Goldfeder is currently working with colleagues to reintroduce the legislation during the current Assembly session that convened last week.

“This bill acknowledges the value of all veterans who served our country,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “These brave men and women were ready for action if their country beckoned, and they should be entitled to buy back their military time. Albany should enact this legislation swiftly and give all our veterans the respect they deserve.”

Goldfeder has long made veterans’ rights a top priority. In addition to the proposed legislation, he has also fought to extend paid leave for public employees called to military duty. In announcing the proposed change to the state pension system, the assemblymember stressed his obligation to ensure that veterans are properly cared for by the state in their retirement.

“Just as our military veterans were duty-bound to serve and protect us, we too have a duty to make sure they are provided for in their golden years,” concluded Goldfeder. “This is about doing what’s right.”

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.