Tuesday will be the 10th anniversary of a state legislative landmark: the creation of a new public-pension “tier” reining in the explosive cost of state- and local-government retirement benefits in New York.
While Tier 6 wasn’t the “bold and transformational” breakthrough touted by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2012, it was a solid net positive for taxpayers, building on incremental changes in the Tier 5 pension reform enacted two years earlier. (Tiers 5 and 6 cover most occupations other than police and firefighters, who belong to other pension plans modified in different ways by the same legislation.)
The reforms have saved billions of taxpayer dollars for the state and local governments over the past decade — including $1 billion this year alone — plus significant added savings for New York City’s separate pension systems.
The state’s well-fed public-sector unions tried to block pension changes at every turn. Now, under the slogan “Fix Tier 6,” they’re pushing the Legislature to roll back pension reform as part of the budget for the fiscal year that starts April 1.
The “fix” sought by the 200,000-member Civil Service Employees Association and other government unions is a return to the state’s enriched pre-2010 pension plans, which (among other sweeteners) required no employee pension-fund contributions after 10 years and allowed for early retirement on full pensions as early as age 55 after a minimum 30 years of service.
Author(s): E.J. McMahon
Publication Date: 11 Mar 2022
Publication Site: NY Post