It should come as no surprise to those that follow our work to read this articleby Joe Spector of Gannett.  We have said for years now that the pension system in New York needs to get fixed and that there are viable options.  It is why we pushed so hard for the cap.  The cap no forces the tough conversation about those…wait for it…MANDATES…that drive up the cost for local governments.

So how do we make this better?  Here are a few that should be done ASAP:

  1. All current employees should start contributing 3% again
  2. Elected officials, at all levels of government, and all non-civil service employees should have their current defined benefit plan frozen and be moved into the SUNY/CUNY defined contribution plan
  3. Tier VI needs to be created and all new employees moved into a 401K type of program (see SUNY/CUNY above)

But of course, those will all be resisted and opposed by the leadership of the public employee unions.  Already the head of the CSEA is on record that they will oppose a new Tier VI.  You can read his comments here. You can also watch an interview here. But as you read and watch, think about this:  How can you say that a retirement plan for PEOPLE THAT AREN’T CURRENTLY EMPLOYED is a “crazy option”?  You can’t represent people that at this point don’t exist on the payroll.

It is clear that they want the status quo…for our taxes to go up and up and up.  We have offered several commonsense proposals, http://www.unshackleupstate.com/news/index.cfm?page=357, that can be implemented to help give local governments more control of the taxes they collect from us to pay their bills.  It is time to deliver real mandate relief to our local governments.

The battle is heating up and 2012 is still months away.  Stay tuned.