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Biz-friendly mandate relief group supports Cuomo's pension reform plan

Thursday, February 09, 2012 - 11:06 AM

When the Let NY Work coalition unveiled its mandate relief program back in November, pension reform was literally at the top of their list. The coalition consists of business, real estate and municipality groups pushing for major changes to the obligations localities have to the state and public employee unions.

Today Let NY Work doubled down on their push for pension reform, hailing Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal for a new pension tier that would give new state employees the option of enrolling in a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

“New York cannot afford to not pass this legislation," Peter Baynes, the executive director of New York Conference of Mayors, said about the Governor's plan in a statement. "Without it, local governments will steadily lose the fiscal capacity to hire employees, much less pay their pensions. This is a critically important step on the road to sustainable property tax relief for New Yorkers. If state legislators are serious about authentic mandate relief, they must pass the governor’s Tier VI plan."

"The Tier VI retirement proposal advanced by Gov. Cuomo is a fair and balanced approach to containing pension costs in New York," said Unshackle Upstate's executive director Brian Sampson in the statement.

The new Tier VI plan is opposed by labor unions. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has signaled his resistance to the idea, suggesting that the logic behind a new tier--that the current economic problems justify a long-term change to the system--"might not be the smartest move.

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Comments [2]

Larry Littlefield

"He has also pointed out the defined benefit plans are CHEAPER for NYS in the long run,"

Based on what?  How does one know what the defined benefit plans will be? 

It might turn out to be that workers can work for one year, retire immediately, and draw a pension at five times their salary.  All it takes is a 3 am vote and such a deal becomes irrevocable.

DiNapoli himself voted for pension enrichments for his generation over and over again, as a member of the legislature.  And he has also supported pension cuts for those coming after.  I guess he isn't ready to fess up that he had made future generations this much worse off yet, or at least want to make sure that the damage is greater for those who haven't contributed to his campaigns.

Generation Greed.

Feb. 10 2012 04:31 PM
Court Brunelle

Comptroller DiNapoli didn't just indicate he was "resistant". He rightfull called it "unacceptable" at the Washington Press Club event. He has also pointed out the defined benefit plans are CHEAPER for NYS in the long run, since pushing workers into 401(k) has not worked for private sector retirees (few have enough funds to retire, many are working longer, and many lost their retirements in the market collapse). These seniors are then forced in social welfare programs or rely on their adult children for help, creating even more downward pressure on the working class. 401(k)s are actually on average 46% more costly to administer, not to mention the estimated $7-$12 million it will cost municpalities to implement (Nat'l Institute on Retirement Security). Wall Street investment firms stand to gain hundreds of thousands of new customers from Gov Cuomo's Tier 6 proposal and it may lift the short-term burden of covering pension costs will be off municipalities, so it's easy to see why short-changing middle-class retirees is appealing. But in the long run, it undermines workers and hurts us all.

Feb. 09 2012 08:51 PM

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