Cuomo’s Pension Reform Bill That Makes It All So Much Worse

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“I think our pension reform greatly helped public employees.”

~ Governor Andrew Cuomo

The pension reform bill that isn’t a reform is actually a sleight of hand by Governor Cuomo. It isn’t good for taxpayers and the unions don’t like it.

Cuomo’s bill is a boondoggle that kicks the can. He was able to slide through this 45 page reform bill that helps further unsustainable union pensions rather than reform them. It does nothing to relieve the here-and-now which is the complaint unions have. It helps non-uniformed union workers so police and firefighters are out of luck.

It allows Cuomo to approve early retirement for non-uniformed workers, giving them full benefits at age 57, and he can do it without having to get approval from the legislature. Cuomo is becoming godlike.

The worst part of the bill is that we the taxpayer are on the hook for a guaranteed return. While employees will have projected costs deducted from their paychecks, they are guaranteed a return of 7.5%. When (not if) that return doesn’t happen, we the taxpayer will have to make up the shortfall.

It is going to happen, the shortfall I mean, the stock market will tank.

No returns are going to get 7.5% every year unless we can get Bernie Madoff out of jail.

We the taxpayer are going to pay!!!

Currently, NY taxpayers certify many pensions, no matter what happens to our economy, and it will be to our future financial ruin. It is about to get a whole lot worse and Cuomo is not the man to make anything better.

Daily News:..Buried inside this complicated, 45-page piece of legislation were clauses and loopholes that undercut the stated purpose of reforming a broken pension system — and that no one outside of Albany’s back rooms had a clue about until the deed was done.

The nastiest surprise was language empowering Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg to enhance benefits in certain ways on their own say-so — without consulting either the Legislature or the City Council.

You read that right. A bill that was supposed to crack down on pension sweeteners actually short-circuits the process for creating more of them.

Cuomo gets the unilateral right to approve an early-retirement program that lets nonuniformed workers with at least 30 years’ experience collect full benefits starting at age 57.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, can authorize similar upgrades for city workers (other than police and firefighters) with a stroke of his mayoral pen.

The only restriction is that the relevant unions must agree to have the projected costs deducted from members’ paychecks. The Legislature — which otherwise has to approve any and all changes in the pension system — gets no further say about these maneuvers.

As for those projected costs: They’ll be calculated by actuaries who work for the pension systems — who will assume, as usual, that the employees’ contributions will earn an average return of 7.5% over time. If pension fund managers miss that mark, the state and city are constitutionally required to make up any shortfall.

As with the rest of this still-flawed pension system, taxpayers will bear 100% of the downside risk…Read more: NY Daily News

 

 

 

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