For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
NEW YORK CITY, Dec. 7, 2010 – The trustees of the New York State Nurses Association Pension Plan today voted to retain the association’s current pension plan, reversing a previous move to decrease the plan’s benefits. New guidelines from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service will allow the plan to recertify as “green” and, therefore, maintain its current benefit structure.
The association had previously informed its members of changes to the NYSNA pension plan made pursuant to an arbitrator’s ruling in October, prior to the new IRS guidance. The arbitrator’s changes have been voided by the trustees’ new agreement and the pension plan currently in effect will remain in effect.
The IRS guidelines, which were issued November 26, clarify how the “The Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010” should be implemented by multiemployer defined benefit plans, such as the association’s pension plan. The Pension Relief Act, which the association championed, gives pension plans a longer time to recover from losses suffered during the recent recession.
“This is a huge victory for NYSNA and its members,” said Lorraine Seidel, Director of NYSNA’s Economic and General Welfare Program. “Nurses do vital and difficult jobs. They deserve to know their pensions are secure.”
The pension plan, which covers more than 14,000 NYSNA members at 29 facilities, will now be able to recertify as “green” or healthy for the plan year ended March 2010, instead of as “red,” allowing for the plan to continue with its existing benefit structure.
The Pension Rescue Task Force, made up of NYSNA members and staff, has been involved in an intensive campaign to educate members through letters, bulletins and posters, and to influence trustees and legislators through petition and postcard drives. A radio campaign running in the metro New York area was started in late September and ran through October.
“We never lost faith that we would be able to preserve a fair pension plan for our members, and by sustained efforts advocating for the Pension Relief Act, mobilizing members and communicating with plan trustees, we have been successful in maintaining our current pension plan,” said Nurses Association CEO Tina Gerardi, MS, RN, CAE.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest professional association and largest union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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