The Bottom Line Retirement Law
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:17 PM EDT
Most people know that location means everything, when it comes to real estate --
but for one local veteran, it also means a big difference in his state
Don Mance of Schenectady remembers the exact date that he left
for basic training: November 25, 1988.
based in the Netherlands, served in the Air Force for four years, and played a
critical role in the Persian Gulf War.
"So technically, you did serve as
part of Desert Storm?" CBS 6's Dori Marlin asked him.
answered, "I was not in the Gulf, but we provided planes, materials,
Mance was honorably discharged in 1992, joined the state ranks
in 1993, and still works today as a New York State
Only now, he's trying to buy his military time toward his
pension, a benefit that many veterans take advantage of.
it, and really it would put me at around 20 years, which is when your benefit
package really starts to go up."
Don says the bump could mean an extra
$6,000 a year for his pension, so he formally applied -- but here's the
"I was told that although I did qualify, as far as the time that
I served," he told Dori, "because I didn't actually serve in the Gulf in the
theatre of operations, like in the countries of Iraq or Kuwait or the theatre of
operations, that I was not eligible unless I could prove to them that I served
in that theatre... which I can't."
Sure enough, Dori found that New York
State Retirement Law allows veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam
to qualify for the credit, regardless of where they served geographically -- but
for those who served in the Gulf War, the "location loophole" kicks into effect.
"So someone who did the same job you did in Kuwait, this wouldn't be a
problem?" Dori asked.
Mance replied, "Absolutely not."
The State Comptroller's Office tells Dori,
legislation passed in 1998 first enabled Gulf War veterans to qualify for the
benefit -- regardless of location of service.
But then in 2000, a
separate bill took effect -- specifying those countries of operation.
that it's 2012, the reason behind the change remains unknown.
Mance knows, is he's missing out on alot of money because of it.
York State is very generous when it comes to taking care of its veterans," said
Mance, "but this is one area where I feel it needs to make an improvement. If
nothing else, if the law isn't changed in time to help me, I would like to see
the law changed to help those who come after me."
Dori will continue
looking into this story, to get The Bottom Line.