April 8, 2017, 10:30 PM
BY GINGER ADAMS OTIS
|Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch praised the legal victory. (MARC A. HERMANN/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
Cops who become parents can now nurture their pensions along with their new babies, according to the city’s largest police union.
A ruling last week from state Supreme Court said NYPD officers on leave for the birth of a child can pay into their pensions — siding against the city.
The ruling affects some 13,000 police officers who are part of the Tier 3 pension group hired after 2009.
NYPD officers hired earlier who fall under prior pension tiers have always gotten the benefit — which allows them to keep paying into pension funds and accruing interest even while off work for maternity or paternity leave.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association brought the legal challenge on behalf of its members.
“This decision is an important victory for city police officers and their families. The court’s finding affirms that support for women’s and family issues cannot be cherry-picked or based on politics, and furthermore, that the women and men keeping our streets safe are provided equal benefits that will allow them to make the best choice for their families and their careers,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the PBA.
One married NYPD couple from Queens who are expecting their first child said they were relieved by the decision.
“(The previous policy) definitely didn’t seem fair — you are talking about possibly a year, two years where you can’t pay in,” said the soon-to-be proud dad.
“It can move you from 27 years of service to 25 accrued in your pension and why — just because you have a baby?” he said.
His wife expressed similar feelings — noting that it would have punished her the most.
“I want to take as much time as I can. You don’t want to rush,” said the expectant mother. “It takes off some of the pressure.”
Current NYPD maternity policy allows a mother to take sick leave about a month before the due date, and it lasts roughly five to six weeks, according to NYPD policy.
Once that sick leave is used up, the mother can wipe out vacation days and then take up to 365 days of unpaid leave.
“This decision involves a technical interpretation of pension laws,” said a spokesman for the Law Department. “We are reviewing the decision.”