U.S. Rep.-elect Tim Kennedy, who was recently elected to New York’s 26th Congressional District, joins CSEA Western Region activists to support pension reforms. From left to right, Western New York DDSO Local Executive Board member Torri Gallivan, Buffalo Psychiatric Center Local Secretary Keith Harwell, U.S. Rep.-elect Tim Kennedy, Niagara DOT Local President Jimmy Jones and Buffalo Psychiatric Center Local activist Kayla Mootry. (Photo by Chris Rackl)

ALBANY — Our union is celebrating the inclusion of reforms to the Tier 6 pension plan in the FY 2025 State Budget.

As this edition was going to press, Gov. Kathy Hochul and state legislators had recently finalized the spending plan.

The budget includes several wins for CSEA members, most notably the reforms to Tier 6 that pose another major step in pension

“We applaud Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for their strong leadership in fighting for pension equity for Tier 6 members,” said CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan.

The enacted state budget includes a change to how pensions are calculated. Under the new law, a Tier 6 employee’s pension will be based on their top three years of earnings instead of five years. Any overtime earnings will continue to excluded from pension contribution rates for two more years.

These changes will increase retirement security for Tier 6 employees and make Tier 6 lookmore like earlier pension tiers.

“The state, local governments, school districts, and other public employers are finding it extremely difficult to recruit and retain employees – Tier 6 is a big part of the problem,” said Sullivan. “The reforms in this budget will make the pension more valuable and appealing to New Yorkers considering a career in the public sector.”

CSEA members across the state have been urging lawmakers to include Tier 6 reforms in the budget.

Since January, CSEA members have sent more than 10,000 emails and made thousands of phone calls to state legislators and the Governor. Members also participated in rallies across the state urging for reforms.

For more information about the final FY 2025 State Budget, visit cseany.org/issues.


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