A state appeals court has rejected a city judge’s bid to receive a refund of the pension contributions taken from his paychecks from January 2008 to May 2010.
Noach Dear (See Profile), a Civil Court and acting Supreme Court justice from Brooklyn, sought to reclaim the money collected from his paychecks through the 3 percent assessment on his salary by the State and Local Retirement System. Dear argued before the state comptroller’s office, which administers the pension system, that he did not halt the assessments until May 2010, when he requested that his membership in the New York City Employees’ Retirement System be transferred to the state system.
Once he was transferred, Dear’s status as a vested employee with at least 10 years in the city system allowed him to forego the 3 percent assessments. Dear paid $7,738 into the state system from 2008 to 2010, according to his briefs.
The Appellate Division, Third Department panel said in Dear v. New York State and Local Retirement System, 517345, that the state comptroller is barred by state law from refunding the pension contributions Dear made before he formally left the city system and joined the state one. The judges said estoppel does not apply to undo the comptroller’s determination.
Eli Feit of Heller, Horowitz & Feit in Manhattan represented Dear. Assistant Attorney General William Storrs argued for the retirement system.