As it does every legislative session, the business-backed Citizens Budget Commission is keeping track of so-called “pension sweetener” bills that have been introduced. On Feb. 13, Assembly lawmakers introduced eight bills that would enhance pension benefits for public employees and retirees, according to the CBC, which posted a blog on the issue this week.
All told, the legislation would add at least $1.35 billion in costs to state and local government employers, the group said. The most expensive would increase the benefit multiplier from 1.5 percent to 2 percent of the final average salary for service rendered after 30 years. Assemblyman Peter Abbate, D-Brooklyn, introduced the bill, which would impose a one-time cost of $1.1 billion, plus an additional annual contribution of 0.2 percent for employees in tiers 2, 3 and 4 pension plans. As of yesterday, there was no companion bill in the Senate.
The CBC lists the pension sweetener bills in the chart below. All but one are sponsored by Abbate. Several have multiple sponsors.
In March 2012, the Legislature adopted and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation establishing a new, less generous pension tier, CBC noted. Anyone who joins the Employees’ Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement System on or after April 1, 2012 is in Tier 6.
The CBC is developing a 2013 Sweetener Scorecard, which it plans to post in a few weeks.