Pension Reform


(NY) Comptroller Releases 2012-13 Employer Pension Contribution Rates


NYSAC: Achieving Balance With Pension Reform (PDF REPORT)

For more than a decade county government officials have also raised significant concerns about high pension contribution cost increases.These increases largely stem from a combination of generous pension benefit expansions enacted by the State Legislature in 2000 and inconsistent investment returns over this same time frame.
                                                         read more…

Achieving Balance With Pension Reform

Less than a year after the Legislature significantly expanded pension benefits in 2000, largely based on the assumption that record investment returns from the booming 1990’s would continue (or the gains would be preserved), the bubble burst on Wall Street, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 occurred, the country slipped into recession and the common retirement fund experienced three consecutive years of negative returns.

Since then, county pension costs will increase nearly 2,400 percent by 2014, rising from an annual contribution of $47 million to nearly $1.2 billion. The average annual increase in pension costs for counties will exceed 30% between 2009 and 2013 and for the time being represents the fastest growing segment of county budgets.

NYSAC is calling for pension reforms that will effectively balance the important benefits of the State’s pension system in a way that is more affordable for the property taxpayer.  (Dave Lucas)

Pension impact UPDATE

August 26, 2011 E.J. McMahon

Pension bills for New York’s local governments and school districts will rise by a combined total of at least $359 million as a result of the rate increase announced by the state comptroller this week, based on the latest available salary data from the state pension system. The increases are payable by February 2013, but most counties and municipalities will accrue the added cost next year, while schools will pay the higher rates in their 2012-13 budgets. (New York City, which has its own pension funds, is excluded from the total.)

The following table estimating the impact of 2012-13 increases tax-funded contributions to the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System (ERS) and Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) updates the one in yesterday’s post here, which did not include schools.




How public worker pensions are too rich for New York’s – and America’s – blood

Published op-ed on New York public pensions in the New York Daily News.

From Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution

Scott Beaulier | Sep 26, 2011

This paper explores the current state of public pensions across the United States and addresses transition cost and capital flight concerns.

Podcasts: Getting it Right: State Pension Liabilities

Eileen Norcross | January 13, 2011

State governments have reported unfunded pension liabilities of $452 billion as of June 2009. Recognizing the unsustainable future of current public pension plans, many state legislatures are considering pension reform. Unfortunately, most proposed reforms are insufficient to fill the funding gap because government accounting standards continue to underestimate the true debt.

Managing the Crisis in Public Pensions

Public pensions are radically underfunded, and fundamental reform is no longer an option, but a necessity. State policy makers can no longer avoid addressing this shortfall, with many public…
N.Y. Needs Real Pension Reform

Dec 08, 2010

Senior Research Associate Maria Doulis pens an op-ed on the need to reform public employee pensions that costs state and local governments nearly $1.5 billion.

8 Things New Yorkers Should Know About Public Retirement Benefits in New York State

Oct 20, 2010

This report presents eight facts about retirement benefits for New York State and local employees intended to stimulate a substantive discourse on pursuing changes to prevent underfunding of the pension systems and to make retirement benefits more fair and affordable.

The Explosion in Pension Costs: 10 Things New Yorkers Should Know About Retirement Benefits for New York City Employees

Apr 06, 2009

In recent years, one of the fastest growing expenses for New York City government has been retirement benefits for municipal workers. This growth is driven mainly by investment losses in the pension funds and the enrichment of retirement benefits. As New York taxpayers have a critical interest in understanding the reasons behind the explosion in retirement benefit costs and what can be done to limit future liabilities, this report summarizes 10 facts about retirement benefits for New York employees.