Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) today loudly applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Tier VI pension proposal but added that comprehensive, long-term reform of the state’s retirement system must include a defined-contribution plan as well as the end of taxpayer-funded pensions for public officials and political appointees.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking a decisive step forward in trying to fix Albany’s bloated pension system with Tier VI,” said Fitzpatrick. “If we are to truly avoid the massive fiscal iceberg ahead we must pass my legislation to remove the political class from our $140 billion state retirement system and keep it solvent for future retirees by adding a defined-contribution component for future hires. Until we work to remove the political class who stand to benefit from the exorbitant luxuries of the tax-payer funded pension system, we will not realize true and lasting pension reform in this state.”
Initially recommended in March as part of the Mandate Relief and Redesign Team’s proposals to reduce the cost-drivers responsible for record property tax hikes, the Governor’s plan would increase the retirement age to 65 for all public employees hired after the law passed. It also would end early retirement, require employees to pay more toward their pension, and end “pension spiking” with sweeteners such as overtime pay and sick time.
Assemblyman Fitzpatrick has re-introduced Assembly Bill 5141, legislation which would remove the political class from the pension system, freeze their current pension, and start them in a 401(k)-type defined-contribution plan.
Said Fitzpatrick, “It is promising to see the Governor put a real effort toward pension reform, and I look forward to working with him on achieving a truly sustainable state retirement model that empowers workers instead of enriching politicians and Albany insiders.”