New N.Y. Pension Plan Puts Workers Between Rock and Hard Place

A proposed new pension system puts the retirement security of New York firefighters, teachers, police officers and other public employees at risk, and the New York State AFL-CIO is fighting back.

In this new video and in state-wide radio ad and newspaper op-eds, the state federation urges lawmakers to "rebuild the middle class, not attack what's left of it.

A proposed new pension system, known as Tier 6, puts workers between "a rock and hard place," says New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento. In a column in Journal News, he writes the system would force new state and local workers to:

choose between a dramatically diminished defined-benefit pension plan and a defined-contribution 401(k)-style plan.

Strong defined-benefit pensions offer a reliable, predictable benefit based on a retiree's number of years worked and salary. It allows workers to plan for the future and provides retirees with predictable income. It also pools risk for all members of the plan. Defined-contribution, 401(k)-style plans base a retiree's benefit on how much he or she can save in an individual account.

He also warns that private employers will see the state's shift "as an invitation to reduce or eliminate benefits." If you're a New Yorker, click here to send a message to your state legislators to oppose the Tier 6 plan.

afl-cio now blog, Wed Feb 22 2012

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