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Gov Cuomo: Plan to Stabilize Pensions Costs Could Save Peekskill, Westchester Millions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his proposed Stable Rate Pension Contribution Option could save the City of Peekskill more than $7 million over a five year period.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his plan to allow municipalities and school districts to lock into pension rates could save Peekskill millions.

Cuomo said his  Stable Rate Pension Contribution Option proposal could save the city and estimated $2 million in the 2013-2014 fiscal year and $7 million during a five year period. Westchester County would save $40.1 million in the 2014 fiscal year and $140.3 million during a five year period.

Cuomo said the plan which he announced during his budget presentation earlier this week, would allow localities to immediately access savings from the Tier VI pension plan by locking into a stable pension contribution rate that reduces near-term payments.

Districts and municipalities who opt in would avoid spikes in contribution rates, receive relief in the near future and have the ability better to plan for the future.

The total amount paid into the pension fund would not be diminished over the life of agreement, thereby maintaining the fiscal stability of the pension fund, according to a release sent out by Cuomo.

"The difficult financial pressures facing localities are well-known here in Albany, and my administration from day one has been committed to helping local governments meet their budgetary obligations as well as continue to provide critical services to their residents," Cuomo said in a statement. "While the Tier VI reforms were a major step toward helping local governments deal with the pension crisis, we understand that more help is needed. For this reason, the Executive Budget proposed the Stable Rate option to offer local governments and schools a bridge to the long-term savings of Tier VI, as well as greater predictability."

In an article that ran in the Times Union earlier this week, E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for New York State Policy  said he believed the plan will end up costing municipalities more money in the long run, especially as the lower-cost Tier VI pension obligations kick in during future years.

Stephen Madarasz, a spokesman for the Civil Service Employees Association, also voiced his doubts in the same article.

"It's like a wink and a nod, giving them an opportunity to put in less than they should," he said.

Correction: Governor Cuomo's pension plan could save the City of Peekskill $2 million in fiscal year 2014. An earlier version of this story said otherwise.

Ray Adamick January 27, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Now maybe the Celebration can be saved!!!
Liz Claire January 27, 2013 at 11:05 PM
I guess this policy confirms Cuomo isn't seeking to run for president in 2016 -- or if the opposite in true, he hasn't learned anything from history. It's this sort of a Profile in Political Cowardice, this save my own azz mentality that is bankrupting the Country. No one in the majority seems to want to plan for the future we know is coming. Cuomo must have flunked out of the family mafia. Imagine him as the collection agent for a loanshark. "Sure. You don't have to pay me today, just pay me what you want at your convenience." Or maybe that's it. His family is akin to the Lost Tribe of Israel and they've lost all common sense trying to find the Promised Land.
leesther brown January 28, 2013 at 07:03 AM
@Ray surely you jest!!! 28 people have lost their job and you talking about saving the Peekskill Celebration?...#anotheroneinthewagon..
Emilia January 28, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Liz, While some of your comments make sense, you offended people with your reference to the "family mafia." Would you have made the comment if his name didn't end in a vowel? I think not

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