New York Assemblyman Peter Abbate has sponsored 2019 legislation to protect retirees in pension de-risking transfers. Assembly Bill A5818 – “AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to providing protection to certain retirees from pension de-risking transactions; and to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to statutorily exempt payments” has been referred to the Insurance Committee. This bill was introduced on February 19, 2019, and is the first step in gaining much needed protections for retirees impacted by pension de-risking transfers.
Pension de-risking through the purchase of a group annuity contract is a concern to retirees because retirees lose all of the uniform protections intended by Congress under ERISA and their rights become subject to non-uniform state laws. Enactment of legislation at the state level is needed to replace these protections. NY’s proposed legislation, A5818, will provide those protections to New York retirees impacted by pension de-risking transfers. This legislation will provide basic financial disclosures, protections of annuity benefits from creditors, and reasonable restrictions on subsequent transfers.