Landmark Pension Reform Figures To Save New York State $80 Billion Over 30 Years

Public Workers Fearful New Hires Will Never Be Able To Make Ends Meet

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Pension reform was signed into law Friday in Albany.

The landmark legislation changes future government workers’ retirement benefits and saves the state billions, reports CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Governor Andrew Cuomo did a victory lap after signing into law pension reform that was years in the making.

“This really is a truly reform landmark. Pension victory is a huge victory for the taxpayers of New York State and for the future of the state,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Reform will not affect current government workers but reduces benefits for future workers, reigning in skyrocketing costs to the tune of $80 billion over 30 years.

“It was exponential, it was ongoing and, literally, it’s not overly dramatic to say if these pension costs were allowed to continue you would see cities and towns across this state going bankrupt, period,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Mayors and county executives hailed the changes as a victory for taxpayers.

The plan:

* Raises state workers retirement age from 62 to 63

* Increases employee pension contributions (workers will contribute 3-6 percent of their salaries)

* And the controversial loading up on overtime before retirement to pad pensions will be eliminated by averaging it over five years

New York City police and firefighters are exempt from the changes.

Cuomo backed off on even deeper cuts but called the legislation a major accomplishment.

“If you’re concerned about the businesses of the state and you want businesses coming and not leaving then you have to do pension reform. It was that clear and that obvious,” Cuomo said.

Union leaders said it won’t help local governments in the short run and picks on the working man. Current workers like John Aloisio wondered how new hires will afford to make ends meet.

“If I was making 20 grand, now I’m making under 17 … to live on that in Nassau County, that’s very hard,” Aloisio said.

Taxpayers said they empathize with the government workers but also worry about themselves.

“Nobody wants to pay more taxes,” one person said.

The pension changes affect workers hired after April 1 and county’s like Nassau and Suffolk, facing hundreds of millions in deficits, will not reap the benefits for years.

The governor said pension costs for New York State have increased 650 percent over the last 10 years.

Do you think this is a good deal for the state? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …

  • ted

    Once again the worst abusers escape. They truly are heroes for defying the odds and continuing to bankrupt governments after 20 years of service.
    “New York City police and firefighters are exempt from the changes.”

  • Steeple Hater

    BC.. Once again, you are wrong. Top pay for a NYC teacher is $109,000 without adding in all their additional perks, not to mention they only work about 7-8 months a year for that salary. Their pay also starts much higher than either FDNY or NYPD and goes up much quicker with educational incentives added in that the taxpayer funds.
    The reason FDNY and PD don’t have to pay more into their pension is because they already pay more than anyone else, which is just over 5%. The maximum contribution under the new plans is 3%-6%.
    Pension reform was not meant to save you anything on your taxes. It was meant to keep the costs from rising from their current level. And, you won’t see anything until 2042 which is when tier 5 people start to retire, and that’s if they do. Realistically, you won’t see anything in your lifetime, especially since all NYS pension funds are OVER-FUNDED and have been this way for decades. If anything, all the politicians did was to increase the amount of money in the system that is ia already over funded. Because of this, you are now going to see COLAs go way up because they will have to do something with all the extra money that was NEVER needed.
    The claim that padding pension has been eliminated is BS. The current pension calculation was based on an average of three years, it’s now been changed to five. This just means people will work more overtime for five years than three, thus boosting taxpayer costs once again.
    You sheeple who think anything has changed have been fooled yet again. If you note, these changes have no effect on the politicians who salaries far outstrip any other civil servant. Haven’t you ever wondered why alsmost EVERYONE elected into the senate or house of state and federal governments come out millionaires?

  • bc

    Oh boy, here we go with the 9-11. Thousands of others died that day and they weren’t first responders. They were just ordinary citizens who ‘push paper’.

    Cops and fireman are still paid more than teachers and other government employees. They get a higher salary because their jobs are more risky. They also get a whole bunch of injury and death benefits should they be injured on the job. HOWEVER, why are they exempt from paying more for their pensions or determining their pension benefit based on the average of last five years of service? Both sound reasonable to me.

    Ray, every time there is an opening in one of the NYC suburbs for a police job, there are hundreds of applicants. There is no shortage of people who want the wages and benefits associated with a police job.

  • mikey eyes

    bc you talk bs

  • Bill Schillinger Retired LT FDNY

    We should never forget the 343 NYC Firefighters, the 23 NYC Police Officers
    and the 37 Port Authority Police Officers who never returned home on
    9-11-01. Have we forgotten their sacrifice so soon?
    Shame on all of you who have forgotten them.
    Since 9-11-01 there have been many others who have given their lives
    in the line of duty and will continue to do so for the protection

    • J.J. From the bronx

      What about the 18 Nyc Ems workers? Oh yea, it was 341 firefighters and 2 FDNY paramedics that dies on 9/11.

  • Tallminglecom


  • dmmd

    I would like to know which previous governors were so generous with my money. Did they think there is an unlimited supply of funds? They should be accountable for their actions and not walk off into a well pensioned sunset.

    • Sheeple Hater

      Despite what you sheeple have been led to believe, the AVERAGE pension in NYS is just under $20,000. Try living off of that in NY. The pension reform that people were too stupid to understand does nothing to reduce your current or future taxes. In fact, you won’t see anything until about 2042 if the first Tier 5 people start to retire. The reform only keeps your taxes at their current rate. All you’ve done is to take money away from your kids and grandkids should they decide to work in NYS. And once again, none of this effects the politican’s salaries or benefits. The SHEEPLE have struck again.

  • Jason

    Too little too late, a smokescreen by Coumo which will backfire on him.
    It s drop in the bucket. We need tax reductions to prosper here not a status quo which is the best his plan would do.
    Look for continued exodus from NY particularly the highly taxed areas

  • Ray

    I would assume because they are first responders. The jobs are risky and can’t be lumped in with other jobs. Cops and firefighters are there to protect the citizens. Who would want to do the job?

  • bc

    Why are police and firefighters exempt from the changes? On average, they are the highest paid group of government employees! I guess that means they have the most political influence.

    • dont hate

      h-a-t-e-r !

    • bc answer

      Cops and Fireman at one time in this society were paid better because of the nature of the job. Where else do you go to work knowing you may not come home…not the 9-5 job where you push paper…is that what you do bc?

      • Sheeple Hater

        NYC school teachers are the highest paid employees by group size in NYC. Top pay is $109,000 and is realistically $120,000 for only having to work 7-8 months of the year. They also start at a much higher rate than anyone else. $47,000 to $80,000 depending on how many credits you have accrued, which the City pays them to earn by the way. And don’t comment until you lookup the current teacher’s contract.

    • Sheeple Hater

      They are only listed as exempt because they already pay the maximum contribution into their pension and have been doing so for decades, which isn’t what politicians must do who get three times as many benefits when they retire and make twice as much.

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