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September 6, 2012

Maragos: Skyrocketing NY State Pension Cost May Bankrupt Municipalities

Nassau County Contributions Rise 118% from 2010-2014

Mineola, NY: Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos received the startling pension contribution estimates for 2014 and is again sounding the alarm that the continuing double digit increases are unsustainable and may bankrupt every municipality across the State. The State Comptroller estimates that Nassau County will pay $210.9 million in 2014, up from $184.6 Million in 2013 and up from $96.9 Million in 2010. This latest increase of 14.3 percent in 2014 will bring the total increase since 2010 to approximately 118%. Even more shocking is that the County pension costs, as a percentage of payroll, will be increased by about 125%, from 10.9% to 24.5% of overall payroll.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli have not given any assurances that these double digit increases will not continue and in fact may actually go even higher if the U.S. and global economies weaken. The latest Tier 6 pension level for new hires will provide little if any relief. A more comprehensive solution needs to be found by the Albany lawmakers that will guarantee the pensions promised to our municipal employees without bankrupting the municipalities.

"Pension contribution costs are increasing at an alarming rate,” Comptroller Maragos said. “These types of increases are unsustainable, may bankrupt every municipality and will cause even further job losses. The new Tier 6 level is not enough to solve the current problem. Again, I call on State lawmakers to immediately address the skyrocketing pension contribution issue that they have been aware of and avoided for the past 3 years since 2010.”