: An early retirement incentive for public employees.
The legislation, S. 9041/A11089, would allow certain eligible members of city retirement systems to retire with extra pension credit or to retire at age 55 with 25 years of service without an early age reduction. Normally there is a substantial benefit reduction for early retirement.
This program has similarities to New York’s 2010 Early Retirement Incentive program, estimated to have saved state and local governments $681 million over two years. The city is facing massive budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 crisis and this is an important first-resort option to avoid any layoffs of public employees.
“A public health crisis has caused a fiscal crisis, and to fight it, we need to be resourceful and use every tool available to us to prevent layoffs. Our dedicated public employees got us through this crisis and they deserve to have job security. An Early Retirement Incentive saves jobs and while providing public employees an option to retire early that they may wish to take. This is a good policy that will protect the financial future of our great city while protecting the jobs of the public workers who make New York City run,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.
“The COVID -19 global pandemic has crippled our city’s economy. It has ravaged our communities, costing many New Yorkers their lives and livelihoods. Municipal workers, who guided this city through the darkest days of the pandemic, are now in danger of losing their jobs at the worst possible time. That is why this Early Retirement Incentive legislation is so important. It will save worker’s jobs while providing others an opportunity to retire early with dignity. This is good public policy that has proven to save the city hundreds of millions during previous economic crises,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director, District Council 37.
“In times of fiscal stress, measures like this have helped local governments maintain services even as they reduced spending. The legislation introduced by Senator Gounardes and Assemblymember Abbate would provide a welcome additional incentive for educators who want to retire early, and at the same time help our city and school system deal with the current financial crisis,” said Michael Mulgrew, President, United Federation of Teachers.
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“Senate Bill 9041 provides an early retirement program for New York City employees. The purpose of this program is to provide an alternative to layoffs. Employee layoffs are detrimental to the City economy, the provision of services, and the workers. The MLC is in full support of this bill and hopes that action can be taken as soon as possible,” said Harry Nespoli, Chair of the Municipal Labor Committee.
“I am in full support of this legislation that will prevent layoffs of New York City’s essential workers by creating other avenues of achieving cost savings that are more effective,” said CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton, who represents more than 8,100 New York City administrative and supervisory employees. “After so many of my members and other City workers who were classified as ‘essential’ continued to report to work every day, even during the peak of the pandemic when most others remained at home, would even have to think about losing their jobs is beyond comprehension. I applaud Senator Gounardes for his commitment to the labor movement and his efforts in stepping forward to do what few others would — introduce a bill for an Early Retirement Incentive that thousands of City workers are waiting for and would ultimately save the City money by reducing the payrolls,” said Marci Rosenblum, CWA Local 1180 Communications Director.
“CSA commends and thanks Senator Gounardes and Assembly Member Abbate for introducing this NYC ERI bill to help the city stave off layoffs. Incentivizing certain city employees to retire early will certainly be valuable as we collectively do all we can to protect our working families during these unparalleled and challenging times,” said CSA President Mark Cannizzaro.