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§ 31. Participation by public or quasi-public organizations. a. Any
public or quasi-public organization created wholly or partly or deriving
its powers by the legislature of the state and which organization
employs persons engaged in service to the public or any state agency as
defined in section fifty-three-a of the state finance law, or the New
York state association of town superintendents of highways, inc. or any
school board association, by resolution legally adopted by its governing
body and approved by the comptroller, may elect to have its officers and
employees become eligible to participate in the retirement system.
Acceptance of the officers and employees of such an employer for
membership in the retirement system shall be optional with the
comptroller. If he shall approve their participation, such organization,
except as specifically provided in this article to the contrary, shall
thereafter be treated as a participating employer. Any election made
pursuant to this subdivision by a school board association shall be
applicable to current employees of such association.
b. The officers and employees of such organization shall be credited
with such periods of prior service as shall be certified by their
employer for service rendered to it, or its predecessor, or the state,
or in any other capacity approved by such employer and the comptroller.
Service for such employer after the date on which it commences to
participate in the retirement system and on account of which such
employer pays contributions shall be considered as member service. An
officer or employee of such employer who, as of the date he is so
approved for membership in the retirement system, is already a member
thereof, shall not have his total credit reduced by such approval. Any
reserve held on account of any such officer or employee in the pension
accumulation fund shall be used as an offset against the deficiency
contribution payable thereafter by such employer on account of such
officer or employee for any prior service credit and any such previous
credit. Except as otherwise provided in this article, an officer or
employee of such employer who, by reason of this service, is a member of
any other governmental retirement system shall not participate in this
retirement system on that part of his compensation so covered. The term
"governmental retirement system", as used in this subdivision, shall
include any retirement system wholly or partly maintained by this state,
by a municipality of this state, by another state or political
subdivision thereof, by the United States government, or by any foreign
country or political subdivision thereof.
c. An agreement, made by such an employer pursuant to this section, to
contribute on account of its officers and employees shall be
irrevocable. In the event that such employer for any reason becomes
financially unable to make the contributions required on account of its
officers and employees, it shall be deemed to be in default. A
certificate to such effect thereupon shall be sent by the comptroller to
the employer and to the state superintendent of insurance. Every member
of the retirement system, who was an officer or employee of such
employer at the time of default, upon demand made within ninety days
thereafter, shall be entitled to discontinue his membership in the
retirement system and to a refund of his accumulated contributions. As
of a date ninety days following the date of such certificate of default,
the actuary of the retirement system, by actuarial valuation, shall
determine the amount of the reserves held on account of each active
member and pensioner of such employer. He shall credit to each such
member and pensioner the amount of reserve so held. In the event such an
active member does not discontinue his membership and thus become
entitled to the refund of his accumulated contributions, the reserve so
credited, together with the amount of his accumulated contributions
shall be used to provide for him a paid up deferred annuity beginning at
age sixty. The reserve of each pensioner shall be used in providing such
part of his existing pension as the reserve so held will provide, which
pension, together with his annuity, shall thereafter be payable to him.
The rights and privileges of both active members and pensioners of such
employer shall thereupon terminate except as to the payment of the
deferred annuities so provided for the previous active members and the
annuities and the pensions, or parts thereof, provided for the
pensioners.
d. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the retirement system
shall not be liable for the payment of any pensions or other benefits on
account of the officers, employees or pensioners of any employer under
this section, for which reserves have not been previously created from
funds contributed by such employer or its officers or employees for such
benefits. This provision shall not apply to any municipality which
elected to participate in the retirement system under former section
seventy-five-a of this law prior to July first, nineteen hundred
forty-eight.
e. 1. Any public organization not participating in the retirement
system prior to October first, nineteen hundred fifty-three, and which
has not provided old-age and survivors insurance coverage for its
employees, may, at the time of making election to participate, exclude
from eligibility for membership in the retirement system such class or
classes of offices or positions for which membership in the retirement
system is not made mandatory by this article, as the public organization
may specify in the resolution adopted pursuant to subdivision a of this
section. Participation by any such public organization which may exclude
from eligibility for membership any class or classes of its offices or
positions shall not become effective until such public organization
shall have entered into an agreement to provide old-age and survivors
insurance coverage for such class or classes of offices or positions in
the manner and to the extent provided by article three of this chapter.
2. Any public organization participating in the retirement system
prior to October first, nineteen hundred fifty-three, may, by the
adoption of a resolution in the manner provided in subdivision a of this
section and filed with the comptroller prior to the time such public
organization makes an agreement to provide old-age and survivors
insurance coverage for its employees, elect to exclude from eligibility
for membership in the retirement system any class or classes of offices
or positions for which membership in the retirement system is not made
mandatory by this article. Public notice of the proposed adoption of any
such resolution shall be given at least three months prior to the
adoption thereof. Officers and employees holding offices or positions in
any such excluded class or classes, however, who are members of the
retirement system at the time of the filing of such resolution shall
continue to be members of the retirement system. Such resolution
providing for such exclusion from eligibility for membership shall not
become effective, however, until such public organization shall have
entered into an agreement to provide old-age and survivors insurance
coverage for the class or classes of offices or positions so excluded
from eligibility for membership in the retirement system in the manner
and to the extent provided by article three of this chapter.
3. The power to exclude employees from eligibility for membership in
the retirement system pursuant to paragraph one or paragraph two of this
subdivision e shall terminate on the day after the modification
extending the old-age and survivors insurance system to any position
covered by such system and held by an employee of a political
subdivision of the state (exclusive of one in a policeman's or firemen's
position) is executed.

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