Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his plan to allow local governments to essentially smooth out their pension costs wouldn’t be mandatory.
“It’s a financing option. If a mayor doesn’t like it, don’t take it,” Cuomo said on 1300-AM (WGDJ).
Cuomo said pension costs are skyrocketing, and his plan would allow them to lessen the immediate burden by paying the costs out over a longer period of time.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli spokesman Jennifer Freeman said in a statement today that the office is reviewing the proposal and has concerns. As the sole trustee of the pension fund, DiNapoli would have to approve Cuomo’s plan.
“We are reviewing the proposal and continue to ask questions of the Division of the Budget,” Freeman said. “We have concerns about the impact on the fund but have an open mind until we finish our review.”
Cuomo responded: “If the comptroller has a better option, I’d like to hear it.”
DiNapoli does have an amortization plan that an increasing number of local governments have agreed to enter. It lets municipalities borrow off the pension fund to pay annual costs, but it doesn’t extend to schools—who have their own pension fund.