NY Gov. Cuomo Pushes Lower Benefits for New Public Workers

Thursday, 09 Jun 2011 02:23 PM

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Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants new state and city hires to accept less generous retirement benefits than their predecessors have received, The New York Times reports. Cuomo, who has called himself “a progressive Democrat who’s broke,” said on Wednesday that existing benefit packages for public employees are contributing to New York’s financial woes.

Andrew Cuomo, benefits, public workers
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Union leaders denounce his plan to lower benefits to ease government financial woes. (Getty Images Photo)
“The pension system as we know it is unsustainable,” Cuomo said in a statement that also called for “common-sense reforms to bring government benefits more in line with the private sector.”

Cuomo proposed measures such as raising the retirement age for public hires by three years, to 65, and requiring employees to work 12 years instead of five to become fully vested in their pension plans. He also wants to expand these revised standards to employees of New York City, who were exempted from a pension reform package signed that his predecessor, David Paterson, signed into law.

The proposal “escalates a battle between the first-term Democrat and a major Democratic Party constituency: public-sector labor unions,” The Times reports.

Union leaders immediately denounced Cuomo’s plan.

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