Gov. Cuomo unveils plan to overhaul pension system

In an effort to make the state's pension system cheaper for taxpayers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) has proposed raising the retirement age for public employees

AMYTIVILLE - In an effort to make the state's pension system cheaper for taxpayers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) has proposed raising the retirement age for public employees from 62 to 65.

In addition, the governor wants workers to contribute 6 percent of their salaries to their pension plan. Currently, most pay 3 percent.

Under Cuomo's proposed plan, overtime will be excluded when a retiree's pension is calculated.

Nassau CSEA President Jerry Larrichuita says employees should have a say in any changes in the pension system. He would like to see Cuomo hold a labor summit with all of the union leaders in the state.

Pension costs have become a major cause for concern for any municipality that has public workers.

"Just 10 years ago, we were paying less than 1 percent of our total payroll into the retirement system," says Amityville School Superintendent John Williams. "Next year, that number is going to be over 11 percent."

It is unlikely legislators will vote on the bill before the summer recess. If passed, the proposed changes would only affect newly hired public employees.

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