Assemblymember Steck: Lawsuit over Pension Right Course of Action for Former Employees

“Yesterday, over 100 former employees of St. Clare’s Hospital brought suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany for mismanagement of the St. Clare’s Hospital pension plan. Over 1,100 former employers were adversely affected; most of them will not receive a pension at all, and the pensions of others will be drastically reduced.

“The research our office has done indicates this lawsuit is targeted in the correct direction, though of course more will be learned in discovery in the lawsuit. We have called on the Catholic Church not to avoid the issue but to step up to the plate and address this problem, especially since its Cabrini Foundation just received billions from the sale of Fidelis Care. It should not be necessary for a lawsuit to be filed to address this problem.

“It is important for the public to know that those pointing the finger at the State of New York are wrong. The state, to its credit, provided $28.5 million to the pension plan, which was lost. The taxpayers of the state are victims as well of the disappearance of pension assets.

“At that time, the state had no obligation to fund any part of the pension plan. While the plan may have requested even more money from the state, which was not provided, that does not mean the state has any culpability here.

“This was a pension plan operated in the private sector by persons having nothing to do with the State of New York. Blaming government for all manner of things is disingenuous and misleading to the public.”