We have been supportive of Tier VI since we launched Let NY Work last November. It is a critical component of our future.

We echo the comments below from NFIB. It is apparent to many that if Tier VI as proposed is not a part of the final budget plans from both houses then they have picked their side…and it is not the side of the taxpayers.

It is time for all of our elected officials at the state level to get back at the table and include Tier VI. Send them a note today, here.

Small Business Blasts Legislature for Ducking Pension Reform

Albany (March 8, 2012) – Reports today that the Legislative Leaders have omitted pension reform from their respective budget proposals is a clear indication that there is both a serious disconnect from the needs of a majority of New Yorkers and lack of interest in tackling the major issues our communities and businesses are facing, said the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today.

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have repeated the call for serious mandate relief for months, and I am deeply disappointed that neither Speaker Silver nor Majority Leader Skelos took this opportunity to support the Governor’s call for pension reform,” said a deeply frustrated Mike Durant, state director for NFIB.

Durant reacted to news this morning that Democrats in the Assembly and Republicans in the Senate have each decided to pass a state budget that does not include Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Tier VI pension reform plan.  Under the proposal, which would save taxpayers $113 billion dollars over the next thirty years, future state employees would have the option of choosing an investment-style defined contribution retirement plan, similar to those that dominate the private sector.

“No one in the system now would have been affected, and no one who enters the system in the future would be forced into the new program,” said Durant.  “The goal is to simply give people a choice so that we can start to move away from the completely unaffordable, completely unrealistic pension system that is causing enormous fiscal strain on our communities and forcing taxpayers to carry an unsustainable load.”

Business groups have supported the reform enthusiastically because it brings government worker benefits into line with the benefits that private sector taxpayers receive, and because it would reduce costs over the long term.

“Without reform, the pension system is going to crowd out everything else in the state and local budgets.  Governments will be forced to make massive cuts in both jobs and basic services as well as impose massive tax increases just so they can pay their ballooning pension obligations,” explained Durant.

He said that the bipartisan unwillingness in the Legislature to tackle pension reform shows who really calls the tune in Albany.

“Labor has drawn a line in the sand to protect the gold-plated benefits for workers have yet to even be employed and the legislators in both parties are afraid to cross that line,” said Durant.  “This is very disheartening because it proves that when push comes to shove, politicians in both parties are still putting the special interests ahead of the interest of taxpayers and small businesses.”

Durant noted that recent statewide polling shows that a strong majority of New Yorkers, including union households, support government pension reform.

“There is a fundamental unfairness of a government pension system that very few taxpayers can afford,” said Durant.  “There should be bipartisan support for this in the Legislature, but instead there is bipartisan obedience to the government unions.”

For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.