Today’s budget presentation given by Governor Cuomo included important steps toward the real, effective pension reform that taxpayers in our state so badly need. It makes a number of adjustments that would save taxpayers money, and as I have advocated for years, includes the option for state employees to enter into a 401(k)-style defined contribution platform that would allow employees maximum freedom and flexibility when it comes to their retirement savings.
I strongly believe that the governor’s proposal will go a long way toward reducing the unsustainable cost of the defined benefit system for Long Island and New York State taxpayers. However, we must go further and remove the ‘political class’ from the defined benefit system to change the culture of politics in New York State. By immediately transitioning all elected officials and political appointees to the defined contribution platform, we will remove the current strong incentive to take the path of least resistance when dealing with the difficult issues we must address.