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May 28, 2024
Abbate: Another tier? So Soon? 5-18-2011
Posted On: May 19, 2011
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I spoke yesterday to Assemblyman Peter Abbate, a Brooklyn Democrat who chairs the chamber’s Governmental Employees Committee, about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s as-yet-unveiled plans for a new pension tier.

Abbate’s support would be a precursor to the passage of any bill.

He hasn’t seen or been briefed on the bill, he said (Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said much the same thing) but seemed skeptical about enacting a new pension tier within two years of the last one, and about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statements on pension padding as a justification. (Today, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released his own plan to crack down on pension fraud.)

“That’s something they can handle internally,” Abbate said. “That’s not a pension issue, that’s a management issue.”

“It’s very dangerous to, every one or two years, do a new tier for budget purposes,” he continued, noting that other tiers have endured for decades. “We haven’t even implemented Tier V yet.”

Indeed, here’s a chart from the Office of the State Comptroller showing the number of retirees (This excludes pensioners from NYC) in each tier of the employee retirement system:

RET          IND
SYS          TIER       COUNTS
—          —-  ———–
1           1           11,795
1           2           14,072
1           3           78,168
1           4          509,491
1           5           28,924


And here, a chart of pensioners in the police & fire retirement system

2           1              336
2           2           33,351
2           3              301
2           5              899

TOTAL           677,337

New York Police & Fire Retirees
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