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Municipalities could save big with Tier V reform

New York State Association of Towns Executive Director Jeff Haber said that the Tier V reform is a huge step in easing the burden on local governments, who are typically faced with skyrocketing retirement and medical insurance costs.

"The Association of Towns applauds Governor Paterson's actions in proposing and enacting Tier V. For the first time in decades, legislation could actually reduce current local pension bills, and will definitely provide significant long term savings and property tax relief," Haber said.

The association is often critical of the state for overburdening local governments with costly mandates.

The legislation also tightens the reigns on teacher's pensions, raising the retirement age two years to 57 and increasing the personal contribution from 3 to 3.5 percent.

The budget office predicts a 30-year savings of $13.8 million for the Saranac Lake Central School District and $7.9 million for Lake Placid.

The Tier V legislation excludes municipal employees in New York City.

The largest municipal savings will surface once the current generation of public employees has retired and are replaced by employees who are subject to the new pension system.

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