ALBANY — Two state elected officials have introduced another proposed early retirement incentive. According to an analysis by CSEA’s Political Action Department, this new bill is defective at this time. Any bill that amends the retirement and social security law must have a fiscal note prepared by the state comptroller that outlines how much employers will have to pay for an incentive. This bill doesn’t currently have a fiscal note and cannot be considered by the legislature without one.
In addition, this bill does not grant additional service credit. It allows those who are 50 with 25 years of service or those that are 55 with 10 years of service to retire without a penalty. Also, any employee deemed necessary or critical for the maintenance of public health and safety will be excluded.
The State Legislature is in session this week and this bill is not currently under consideration. Usually any early retirement incentive is introduced as a Governor’s Program bill, at it imposes costs on state and local governments and the Governor must be on board. As of today, the Governor has not proposed an early retirement bill.
Also, as a refresher, while the retirement system is funded at around 190 billion dollars, the money in the fund cannot be used to pay for any early retirement incentive. That is both illegal and amounts to a raid on the pension system. Currently, over one billion dollars is spent every month to fund retiree pensions. The money in the fund can only be used to fund pensions at the time a person retires. Any early retirement legislation must be paid for by the state or local government employer that opts to participate.