“,,,Taxpayers on Long Island will ante up $1.25 billion for the New York State pension system during the next 12 months, a nearly 40-percent increase over the previous yearlong period.
And that jump could be just the beginning of hefty spikes in contributions.
The soaring costs have been largely triggered by stock market losses during the depths of the recession in 2007 and 2008. By law, the pension system, which is constitutionally guaranteed, must be fully funded – able to cover the retirements of all workers. When pension funds take a hit, it can take years for taxpayers to replenish them, even if the market is rebounding.
To supporters, the public pension system – covering workers in villages, towns, police and fire departments, libraries and schools – is an unchangeable pact between government and its workers. Historically, the appeal of many public-sector jobs was not high salaries, but the generous benefits that came with them.
But, as private employers have reduced retirement options for their workers, critics nationwide have seized upon public pensions as unsustainable and in need of reform. Their calls come as states and localities struggle with lower revenue and outrage over high taxes.” Read more here: LI Pensions Soar