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DiNapoli LTR

DiNapoli LTR

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Published by: Michael Gareth Johnson on Feb 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/27/2012

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February 23, 2012The Honorable Thomas DiNapoliState Comptroller110 State StreetAlbany, NY 12236Dear Comptroller DiNapoli:We write with great concern over your repeated opposition to enacting the vitalpension reform that New York State taxpayers desperately need.In the past 30 years, public and private pension systems have becometransformed. This is in part because of fiscal need, and in part because of thedesire of the workforce. Now is the correct time for New York to amend itscurrent pension offerings and provide the workforce with options while alsocharting a fiscally sound course.The newly proposed Tier VI is not a radical plan. It would give state and localemployees the choice of joining a defined-contribution plan, or the traditionalpension. The proposal would affect only the future workforce.Some have argued that since New York had pension reform in 2009, it’s too soonfor further adjustments. Governor Paterson's Tier V, however, did not go farenough. In the last two years, a majority of other states have enacted significantrevisions to at least one state retirement plan.Rhode Island enacted the most dramatic revision of a statewide plan in 2011.Legislation passed in November will close the defined-benefit plan that coversstate employees (except for judges and some public safety members), teachers,and many municipal employees in the state. Rhode Island had to adopt a radicalplan, because the state could no longer meet its obligations. New York must actto prevent that from happening here.We support giving the state workforce a choice, but what we care most aboutwith pension reform is simple: a dollar saved in the pension system is a futuredollar our government won’t be forced to either cut in services or tax us toobtain. Tier VI is projected to save taxpayers $123 billion over the next 30 years.By not publicly supporting this reform, you are helping those that are worriedabout their personal or parochial interests and not the interest of the public at-large.If a new Tier VI is not adopted, New York taxpayers could be exposed to $123billion more in taxes. Given the limited options municipalities have to obtain

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