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City Plans Major Overhaul Of Public Pension System

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Mayor Bloomberg joins Comptroller Liu and labor leaders to announce major pension investment governance and management reforms. (Credit: Edward Reed/Flickr)

Mayor Bloomberg joins Comptroller Liu and labor leaders to announce major pension investment governance and management reforms. (Credit: Edward Reed/Flickr)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – City officials are hoping to get a bigger bang for their buck with a major overhaul of New York City’s public pension system.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Comptroller John Liu announced a deal Thursday that could save taxpayers billions of dollars.

The plan is to consolidate management of the city’s five pension plans into one unified board with about a dozen directors. The current five boards have 58 directors.

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“This is a game changer,” Liu said. “I applaud and thank our labor leaders and trustees for delivering a solid win for taxpayers and city workers alike.”

Bloomberg said the main features of the overhaul include “depoliticizing pension investments, further professionalization of management staff and the implementation of industry best practices.”

“Those reforms we think will make a big difference in the management of city pension assets,” Bloomberg said. “They’ll overhaul an antiquated pension management system that has needed restructuring for generations.”

This will be the first major reform of the system in 70 years.

The funds have separately served retired teachers, police officers, firefighters and other city employees.

Steve Cassidy, head of the firefighter’s union, supports the plan.

“It’s going to generate additional returns which is better for taxpayers, it’s better for New York City firefighters,” Cassidy said. “We’re going to move it to the 21st century with a really professional pension investment system.”

Officials hope a more streamlined pension system will generate more returns and the city will get some relief.

The overhaul will need Albany’s approval.

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