Mayor Bloomberg Proposes Cutting Pensions

NEW YORK (AP / CBS New York) – Future city police and firefighters could not boost their pensions by working overtime in their last years on the job under cuts proposed Wednesday by the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

The proposal, subject to state lawmakers’ approval, would also raise teacher retirement ages for new hires and eliminate a $12,000 yearly payment received by many current police and fire department retirees. The administration presented it to the Municipal Labor Committee, which represents some 300,000 city workers.

Bloomberg has said the city’s pensions are more generous than those in the private sector. With the metropolis facing deep budget cuts, he argues that he has no choice but to reduce pensions for future hires and cut the yearly payments for some retirees.

But unions fiercely protested the proposal, saying the city was ignoring the sacrifices of many of its workers.

“This would destroy the city employees. You wouldn’t get the talent that you have there now,” said Harry Nespoli, the Municipal Labor Committee chairman. “This is just an attack on the middle class.”

PBA President Patrick Lynch says these cuts are dangerous

The yearly payments to retired firefighters and police officers are a promise the city should not abandon, said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Patrick Lynch.

“This is not only bad fiscal policy that may result in low recruitment and increased crime rates, it’s a violation of a trust,” he said.

The proposal also calls for non-uniformed workers to pay more of their salary into their pension and cuts some benefits for teachers. Uniformed employees who work fewer than 22 years would have to wait until the age of 65 to collect their pensions.

Bloomberg has enlisted former Mayor Ed Koch in his Albany campaign for pension reforms that he says will save the city billions of dollars. Among the changes they’re seeking is a reversal of the law requiring the state government to approve city pension changes. Instead, Bloomberg wants to be able to negotiate pension terms at the same time as salary and other benefits during collective bargaining.

It’s unclear what fate the proposal will face in the Legislature. Joshua Vlasto, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said Wednesday the administration was reviewing the proposal.

“As the Governor has said since the beginning of his campaign, he is committed to reforming the pension system in order to reduce costs,” Vlasto said in an e-mail.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

More from Rich Lamb
  • Chris

    For all of those bashing the pensions and benefits…go work weekends, nights, and holidays for 20 or more years…or better yet…TAKE A TEST!!! Didn’t think so. Remember the days civil service was beneath some of you? Go f yourselves now.

    • howard

      It is people like you and your sorry ass attitude that turns the public against servants of the people….what a joke…here to serve…:)

      I spent many years working nights weekends and holidays in my 40 year work career. That was to support and provide for my family properly and pay for their Insurance’s and medical problems…called my fair share…My work career was my choice….I have also worked outside night shifts in 30 below zero with wind chill factor…..again My choice….who the hell are you that taxpayers should pay for your benefits….I had to take test and physical and drug screens for every job I had in my last 20 years and never did drugs….also face chemical dangers in refineries and chemical plants….again My choice of career…I doubt you ever experienced working at the edge of a high rise building 50 or 60 or 75 stories in the air without benefit of safety precautions…again my choice…again my choice…I worked building the Twin Towers 1000 ft in the air without a harness and no wall. my choice….STOP YOUR FKING WHINING GET YOUR VEST ON AND GET YOUR FREE COFFEE AND DONUTS. I have several NYPD and NYFD in my family….they make a damn good income and benefits….thats why you took the job…..good b enefits early retirements….NOw I dont like hearing anyone losing any income but when they cant afford to pay .just think of what you do gain with job security….lots of people without job would love to have your 100,000 package income….give it a rest…..

  • Billj

    That’s right – he will be remembered as the greatest Mayor this once great city has ever had BECAUSE he will be given credit for breaking the unions,changing labor laws and returning over-bloated collectively bargained compensation to a more reasonable level. It so wonderful to see a man who understands how the NON-UNION (non-city, county, state or federal) worker feels.

  • Adele

    High time!

  • himmy g

    Salary cap sound great

    Figure this out after 10 years LEO can earn close 90K with overtime.

    During winter you hardly see this LEo they are hiding their vans and squad cars!

    Even better
    “Uniformed employees who work fewer than 22 years would have to wait until the age of 65 to collect their pensions.”

  • Dennis

    In reading many of cooments from those who support Bloomberg, it’s obvious there is jealousy over the pensions earned by our Police Officers & Firefighters. IT’S THEIR MONEY. Why don’ people get that? They gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the city and are only getting a portion of it back. It’s NOT a bonus . For those of you who think your taxes pay for this supplemental fund, Do you really think the Mayor will reduce your taxes if he syeals it back? Where were you when the city took the money? It was okay tp take the Officers money but suddenly it’s considered a bonue to replay a portion of it?, This Mayor likes to change laws to suit his agenda, mostly his OWN. I.E term limits.

  • john

    how many of you idiots that agree with the mayor worked weekends and holidays over the last 25 years

  • Jets Fan

    Bloomberg is a jerk

    • john

      maybe the mayor should try and live on my pension than have about 25 percent of it taken away i really dont think he is thinking straight . with all that is going on he wants to take more money out of the peoples pockets that helped the city all these years what else is new

  • deedee

    Let’s be real people. Some people wouldn’t even think of becoming a civil service employee because its “beneath” them. Now that I am an unemployed corporate exec I wish I was smart enough or had the courage enough to become a police officer or firefighter.

    Yes – you will lose talent. Its not LOL, it the laugh will be on us. You have several people who can retire that stay on the job well pass the years they are obligated to do so. Once you start changing pensions you will have a mass exodus. Think about it people… they can retire, receive their pension and get another BS job to supplement their income just to be done with the BS.

    My husband is a NYC police officer and we are both counting the days, hours and minutes until he can retire. So yes – LOL, but the retired police officers and firefighters will be the ones laughing when they move out of NYC and leave the people complaining with rookies who do not know what their doing…

  • zep

    Walter, I wouldn’t waste my time, reading your reply. The emperor is the one that is bluffing. He has nothing to lose, he wont be around, to see the damage he caused. He’ll be in Bermuda, laughing. He want’s to be remembered as the greatest mayor in NYC. He’ll be remembered as the one that tried to break the unions, change labor law, and upset, and overturn, all gains made by the men and women of this great city. If a lie is told often enough, people begin to think it’s the truth. He is not even a great liar. It is so sad


    Cut the corrupt politician’s salaries, perks and slush funds.

    Let them work nights, wekends and holidays away from their families like cops and firemen.

  • mikeny

    The 12,000 dollars a year is not a bonus. It was negotiated in good faith. NYC got to use money loaned from the Pension System of FD and PD. The payback for this loan is 12,000 a year for each retiree. NYC negotiated this loan . Now they do not want to pay back!!!! For all the private sector persons let me explain and see if you have no problem if it was going to happen to you. All employees of a company let the company take a loan of money from all employees 401 K accts. Pay back is for argument sake 12,000 a year to each retiree. Now your boss 25 years later has to pay up and goes you know what – forget it iIt is too much to pay!! Get it now people!! Who squandered the $$$$ not the Cops and Firefighters !!!

    • Howard Sprague

      100% Correct ‘mikeny’. Bloomberg is fully aware of this fact but has chosen to mislead the public as part of the all out war that CEO’s turned elected officials are waging against unions and pensions. They want to divide and conquer the middle class. They are doing it by waging a hate campaign based totally upon outright lies. They hope to end pensions completely so that investment companies can get their hands on every middle class person’s money via 401K’s. Remember that due to corporate America many older Americans will never be able to retire because of the massive failure of mutual funds, etc.

  • BILL

    Its beyond easy for the anti-union and anti civil service workers to hate on us union backed workers. We pay our own paychecks, we pay our taxes. More often than not we’re the ones attacked, sorry kids but end of the day it isnt us the workers who created this debt, it was the politicians… Do you see them suggesting paycuts for THEIR WORKERS AND THEMSELVES? No.. Its not just the workers who are the problem its everyone. Soley focusing on us is not fair and secondly, we pay for our own pension.. when was the last time new york and new jersey has paid into it? 14 YEARS… Thanks NY/NJ your 0 contributions are appreciated.

  • Robert

    Hey Ron
    255 / 157
    see you in March

  • ron darcy

    Here is the deal..i retired as a fireman after 25 years of service, i paid into my pension the whole time, the 12,000 vsf is not a gift, it was contractually negoticated years ago and the city made billions of dollar from the union giving them tens of millions to invest…the deal was that we would get the 12000 A YEAR IN RETURN… if we kept the origional money and not let the city have it we would have more in our pension today….this money was no “Christmas bonus” it was our money…the city and state is broke and the dedicated workers did not do it, the polititions did and now they want to blame us….

  • Robert

    Has anyone thought about why the city gives the FD and PD members 12,000. a year? Well I’ll tell you in a brief summary. Both agencies gave hundreds of millions of dollars of their money to let the city use, in return they were to be given a percentage back, which is what the 12,000. represents. So the city and this idiot Mayor want to stop this deal. Fine, just give back the money that both agencies gave you. This way those members would get a better rate of return then the city is paying them.

  • Walter

    I hope Bloomberg calls the unions bluff and pushes this through. There are many people who would love to have a job with even half the benefits these people get. Yes, training would be required: but I highly doubt we’re going to lose all our good people. They can’t go anywhere else because everybody’s in the same boat!

    • johnny


    • Trishe

      I agree. I am sick and tired of all city workers’ midiocre performance and their attached attitudes. They get so much as it is and they are still crying. They can’t go anywhere else because nobody will put up with their nonsense.


      Well Walter I can see that you do not know what you are talking about. Remember when Bloomberg lowered the starting salary for Cops and no one applied for the job…..maybe you forgot that!!??The retirement was apparently not a deciding factor for those people who did not apply. I think, Walter, it was because they did not want to take the risk of being killed on the job while collecting food stamps. Bloomberg had to increase starting salaries to get ANYONE!! Gee Walter….why did you not become a fireman or police officer…….since their pensions are so good. The 12,000, I am sure is something the retirees depend on and it is something owed them by the city for borrowing their money.

      • howard

        wasn’t that many years ago my nephew was a rookie in NYPD and had many in his class that were collecting Food Stamps….He didn’t because he lived at home and had no children….but I do know they had plenty of people taking the job…..U make a choice to take a career with danger…stop crying and just do it…..or go to mcdonalds…..what NY needs is more bleeding heart liberals and vote more of them into office…..NY has turned into a funny farm…..

  • Lisa

    seriously dodiny when you retire how the hell will you pay your bills monopoly money? no matter what sector of the city you work in when you retire you should be able to collect your pension after all they do pay into it you moron its there money that gets taken out of there checks every 2 weeks!!!!

  • vengeance

    Everything the mayor does these days is about taking money away from the working class.

    He never goes after his own kind … those with overstuffed bank accounts who live off greed and corruption.

  • JB

    I fully support our brave firefighters and police. They are the backbone of the middle class. $12,000 extra a year for running into burning buildings ar shooting it out with some very nasty BAD GUYS? sEEMS LIKE A BARGIN TO ME. Sorry Mr dodiny…sitting in a nice safe office simply does not count.

  • miker

    For those of you who wonder. Salary compensation for the city employees are substantially less than of the same qualification in a private sector. For example; computer programmer with 20 years of experience can only hope to get $65,000 per year. Teacher can make $45,000 and up. In addition your weekly deduction and fees will chock a horse; union dues, health insurance, retirement fund and so on. These salary levels will be satisfactory in Nebraska but not in NYC. NYPD starting salary $30,000???!! With a chance of being killed!

  • dodiny

    It’s about time. How can they say this is an attack on the middle class. What middle class person receives a $12,000 check from there former employer every year after retirement. I won’t. The only thing I know is my NYC taxes are crazy doling out these ridiculous benefits to someone who retires 10 plus years before most of us could dream of retiring.

    • Greg

      When was the last time you worked in a drug and crime infested area for 20 years or run into burning buildings in freezing temperatures or scorching heat. When have you ever run towards a shooting scene when others are running away from the bullets. Your levels of stress don’t nearly come as close to that of a NYC Police Officer or Firefighter.

      • johnny

        The job is your choice and don’t see why the private sector has to be subjected to outrageous demands by your unions. Nobody forced you to become a civil servant or asked for your service. I can easily list private sector jobs that are far more dangerous and don’t get anywhere close to what NYC public employees receive as far as benefits are concerned.

        As far as losing talent due to pension cuts? lol There are plenty of people that would line up and be happy with half of what public employees receive.

      • Tommy

        If the job is so bad how come every time there is a test for FDNY and NYPD the line is out the door?

      • Jimmy

        And by that logic we should our soldiers how much?

    • Gina

      dodiny – you have it all wrong-people work overtime because they have to -not because they want to-everything keeps going up ex: gas, food, healthcare,- whose ahead esp in a state job -where the pay is the lowest? I am one of four children that were orphaned by the job, at an early age-my brother was just a month old! Mom had to learn to drive, to go to work and my Grandmother moved in to help raise us. These men and women work a dangerous job -they deserve far more then what they get. The next time you need help who are you going to call?

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