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Pension reform draws mixed reviews

— In fact, from 2009 to 2011, 43 states changed retirement plans for public employees and teachers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

But Cuomo didn’t gain his pension reforms without more Albany deal-making.

Specifically, the governor had said while campaigning for governor that he would not approve redistricting maps unless they were drawn by an independent body. But he approved the Legislature’s districts, making court revisions more difficult and paving the way for what many see as unfair elections for the next 10 years.

“Legislators made a deal with the governor,” Sherman said. “He wanted pension reform, and they wanted district lines to assure their re-election. They traded with the governor, basically by saying we will give you the pensions of future workers of the state of New York and you give us our election district lines so we can get re-elected.

“They are hurting the very same children they are hurting right now.”

Sherman said there are misunderstandings between the pensions public workers have and the 401k that some in the private sector have.

“They have to move all their money into a low-risk percentage return pool of money managed by somebody, and the kind of money you get on return is low on that,” he said. “You have to plan to live to be 99.”

Last year, he explained, the New York state teacher retirement system earned more than 20 percent on its investments. More than 80 percent of what the state retirement pays out comes from investment earnings.

“The pension system that has been run by the state of New York is a very efficient system and a low cost system.”

He understands that local governments have been complaining because the amount they put into the system has increased, but what they forget is that it has been as low as .3 percent. It’s easy to cherry-pick the year contributions went up the most to bolster your argument that the system is costly, Sherman said, adding that he could pick out dates where there was hardly any contribution.

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