Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) recently voted in favor of the Tier VI pension plan for public employees, which will save taxpayers $80 billion over the next 30 years while honoring contractual obligations to all current and past workers. The assemblyman noted that more immediate savings are needed to bring New York’s fiscal house in order, but that the measure will help reduce costs in the long term.
“State government must take every measure possible to reduce costs to taxpayers and local governments both now, and in the future,” said Hawley. “When I talk to school districts, local officials and other public entities, I’m always told that pension and retirement costs are crippling their ability to provide the programs and services the public relies on. While Tier VI lacks the immediate impact taxpayers need, this measure balances our obligation to current and past public employees as well as future generations of taxpayers.”
The Tier VI plan includes numerous provisions to reduce the burden of pension payments on school districts, local governments and taxpayers. Alterations to the current system include an increased retirement age, protections for local governments from state pension sweeteners, and increased contribution rates for the highest paid employees that more closely mirror rates seen in the private sector.