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Bloomberg Praises Cuomo's Pension Reform at Bill Signing

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Governor Andrew Cuomo Friday when he signed a crucial piece of his legislative agenda into law, creating a new pension tier in New York state. Tier VI raises the retirement age to 63, and increases the contributions future workers must pay to their plans.

Bloomberg praised the legislation, calling it a “huge victory for the taxpayers of New York state, and for the future of the state as a whole.”

“We will save something like $21 billion over the next 30 years,” Bloomberg said about the city specifically. “And those savings, incidentally, will be earned without a single current government employee or retiree being affected.”

The pension reform bill was opposed by several state labor unions, including the Civil Service Employees Association, the state’s largest worker union, and the New York State Nurses Association.

Critics say the new tier will hurt the middle class and may discourage people from taking civil service and public sector jobs.

But during the bill signing, Cuomo celebrated the achievement of what he called one of his top legislative priorities – estimating that the reform will save the state some $80 billion over the next three decades, and prevent cities and towns from going bankrupt, and laying off public workers, due to skyrocketing pension costs.

“I was unsuccessful last year in getting pension reform,” Cuomo said. “It was the one that got away last year. But we came back and got it done this year.”

The pension reform deal was announced on Thursday, after a marathon legislative session that also yielded deals on four other pieces of Cuomo’s legislative agenda, including redistricting reform, a gambling bill, teacher evaluations and the expansion of the state’s DNA database. Those efforts have yet to be codified into law.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Governor Andrew Cuomo Friday when he signed a crucial piece of his legislative agenda into law, creating a new pension tier in New York state. Tier VI raises the retirement age to 63, and increases the contributions future workers must pay to their plans.

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