June 2011 Issue
June 01, 2011

On heels of Tier 5 comes a Tier 6 plan

Author: Betsy Sandberg
Source: NYSUT United

Saving state taxpayers billions through Tier 5 was not enough. Now Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a Tier 6.

The governor's proposal for a new pension tier — a Tier 5 was enacted in 2009 — would leave future state, local and school employees with even less in their pensions.

• The retirement age would rise to 65 for all public employees, forcing employees to pay twice as much toward their pension.

• Vesting would increase to 12 years.

The plan is projected to save taxpayers an additional $93 billion over 30 years. Current employees and retirees wouldn't be affected.

Brooklyn Democrat Peter Abbate, chair of the Assembly's Committee on Governmental Employees and a champion of workers' rights, is skeptical about the plan. "It's very dangerous to, every one or two years, do a new tier for budget purposes," he told the Times Union. "We haven't even implemented Tier 5 yet."

While no legislation had been officially released at press time, NYSUT will continue to work with the other public sector unions and the AFL-CIO pension task force to forcefully advocate against a Tier 6 proposal and closely monitor this situation as it progresses.

Watch http://www.nysut.org/ for more on this issue as information becomes available.