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Cuomo Proposes (Phony) Limits On Pensions

Buried in the ‘NY Region’ section of the New York Times:

Cuomo Urges Broad Limits to N.Y. Public Pensions

June 8, 2011

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, joining a parade of officials from across the country who are seeking to rein in spending by limiting public employees’ pensions, proposed Wednesday to broadly limit retirement benefits for new city and state workers in New York.

Mr. Cuomo said New York State and New York City simply could no longer afford to offer new employees the generous benefits their predecessors received.

So naturally Mr. Cuomo will get the Scott Walker treatment. – Just kidding. He won’t. He has a ‘D’ after his name.

Among the most significant changes the governor proposes is to raise the minimum retirement age to 65 from 62 for state workers, and to 65 from 57 for teachers

The scandal is that this was ever allowed in the first place.

Mr. Cuomo’s proposal escalates a battle between the first-term Democrat and a major Democratic Party constituency: public-sector labor unions.

Unions have been fighting pension changes around the nation, particularly in states like Wisconsin and New Jersey, which have Republican governors…

Not really. They have been going through the motions on "pension changes." What they have really been fighting is any attempt to limit their collective bargaining powers.

Since they know as long as they retain those powers, anything else they give away can always be gotten back when nobody is looking.

Under his new proposal, the governor would require state employees to contribute 6 percent of their salaries into the pension system — up from 3 percent currently.

The horror!

And in an effort to curb rampant padding of pensions by workers who step up their overtime in their final year of employment, Mr. Cuomo would exclude overtime from pension calculations.

What a gangster!

The changes would affect newly hired workers in a pension system that covers 175,000 state employees and hundreds of thousands of employees of local government and teachers, as well as 300,000 New York City employees.

But given that there is supposed to be a "hard" hiring freeze in New York State, these new rules are practically meaningless. They are just window dressing.

Labor officials immediately expressed strong opposition.

“Congratulations to Governor Cuomo for another grandstand play for the attention of his millionaire friends at the expense of the real working people of New York,” Danny Donohue, president of the largest union of state workers, the Civil Service Employees Association, said in a statement.

“Governor Cuomo’s proposal can only be viewed as an attack on working people to score some cheap political points.”

The president of the New York State Public Employees Federation, Kenneth Brynien, attacked the proposal as “draconian pension cuts that would inflict permanent damage on middle-class workers such as nurses, parole officers, bridge inspectors and cancer researchers for what is a transient problem.”

“This is about politics and placating big-business special interests, plain and simple,” Mr. Brynien added.

The public sector union bosses have to shed a few crocodile tears to make the play-acting seem more real.

Pensions for new workers would still be enviable by the standards of the private sector, and Mr. Cuomo is not going as far as he has talked about in the past, when he raised the idea of shifting from a traditional pension to a defined contribution plan, similar to the 401(k)’s that have proliferated in the private sector.

But Mr. Cuomo’s proposal would still cause significant changes to worker retirement plans…

That is, until they are watered down when the current recession bump in the road is over.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 9th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Cuomo Proposes (Phony) Limits On Pensions”

  1. River0 says:

    The accountant’s ledger book has no agenda. The crisis will come, and ‘progressives’ will be forced to accept severe cuts, one way or the other. Republicans and conservatives MUST make it clear that they are the party of responsibility, not the whipping-boys of phony liberals.

    This has been the biggest GOP blunder so far, and it started when Boehner saved the democrats over the expiring Bush-era tax rates. He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after the November election, and Obummer was seen as the winner. Democrat policies must be seen as the bankrupt ideas of a failed party, leading us to Carter-esque ruin.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    “to 65 from 57 for teachers”

    He’s a dead man walking.
    The teachers union will not accept reality being forced on them like this.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    ANDREW CUOMO – where’s our missing $59 BILLion????


    This man is a criminal.

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