Sunday, December 06, 2009


Believe it or not, the New York Legislature passed what appears to be pension reform! Its a new, less generous, tier of pension benefits that, on the face, is expected to save New York taxpayers billions of dollars in years to come! Yes, Billions!
Tom DiNapoli has pursued this cause long before becoming out State Comptroller. Now he finally gets his wish. This new "Tier 5" package puts the retirement age for State employees at 62 instead of 55. You also have to work for more than the paltry 5 years stint to be eligible. It's now a 10 year minimum. Whew!

You've heard of pension padding? No? It's the practice of applying extra overtime that gets compounded on the pension accumulated by Police, Fire and municipal workers. Well, even that practice will see some restrictions. There is now a 15% limit that any employee can pile on their pension annually. With over a million employees covered by this program, the impact should be tremendous.

According to DiNapoli's website, the estimates in savings range between $30 to $50 billion over the next few decades. Who says there's no room for change in New York policy? I'm thrilled.

Considering what financial impact the pension burden had on Kingston and Ulster County, this can only spell good news for budget makers in years to come.
Long live Thomas DiNapoli.


Anonymous said...

Although the Teachers union still got their way and lowered their retirement age to 57, this will go a long way to fix that problem too.
Too many of our State Senators are beholden to the unions. The burden on us taxpayers simply because they want more, helps to drive out any chance of New York getting back on it's financial feet.
I guess we should be grateful for the small change we got.


Anonymous said...

Can I assume that as typically happens, people already working for the state, county, etc... and already paying into the retirement system are grandfathered in with their current plan?

Anonymous said...

DiNapoli has taken a giant step forward. As a businessman and former Assemblyman in Nassau County, we have a Comptroller who has knowledge and the ability to get things accomplished.

There is still much to gain, with a tremendous amount of obstacles and road bumps designed to keep the pensions fully funded by those in charge.

In the real business world, there is no free lunch. You are rewarded by the dollars that you and your employer are able to place into the retirement fund.

Now you have to follow his lead here in Kingston.
Good luck,

Anonymous said...

Assemblyman Cahill has been pushing the Ethics Reform for many years. It's never taken up bu the State Senate. Now that Bruno has been convicted, could we see a movement to address this issue in Albany?

You know Bruno will continue to enjoy his 95K/year pension just like Hevesi enjoys his 100K/year. This is one element of the Ethics Laws that really has to be addressed.

Anonymous said...

You will not see any saving from this for twenty to thirty years. It only applies to new hires. Its a step in the right direction, but so was tier 4 until the politicians gave it all back.

Anonymous said...

But the government pensions are still totally exempt from NYS tax while private pensions are only exempted on first $ 20,000. So the biggest drivers and beneficiaries of taxes don't share the expense with the taxpayers?