One of the most valuable benefits of City employment is membership in one of the City's five retirement systems: the New York City Employees' Retirement System, the Police Pension Fund, the Fire Department Pension Fund, the Teachers' Retirement System, and the Board of Education Retirement System. Together, these systems manage more than $115 billion in assets and cover more than 600,000 active and retired City employees.
Division attorneys assist the systems in interpreting the complex web of statutes and regulations, local, state and federal, governing retirement rights, benefits, and obligations, and its lawyers attend all meetings of the systems' Boards of Trustees.
Working closely with the Mayor's Office of Legislative Affairs and the Office of the Actuary, the Division also analyzes and drafts proposed legislation relating to municipal retirement. In the past year, lawyers have been assisting the retirement systems in analyzing and implementing a new law designed to provide presumptive accidental disability benefits for City employees and retirees who claim in the future to have contracted disabilities from work performed at the World Trade Center in 2001.
Much of the work of the Division is in the area of litigation, where Division lawyers represent the retirement systems in both state and federal court in cases ranging from challenges to individual retirement awards to class-action suits challenging the constitutionality of statutes relating to municipal retirement. Division lawyers, with the assistance of outside counsel, also investigate and prosecute securities fraud actions to recover investment losses sustained by the retirement systems.