Tier Equity/Fix Tier 6
As a constituent and a union member, I urge you to support legislation to provide pension equity for our dedicated educators, nurses, school related professionals and all other public employees across New York state.
It has been over a decade since the creation of Tier 6 within the New York state public pension systems. In that time, new public employees have entered service with a significantly decreased benefit when compared to their co-workers in previous tiers. Last year, with your help, we were able to secure the first change to Tier 6 by lowering the vesting requirement from 10 years back down to five years. However, there is still work that needs to be done to Fix Tier 6.
New York will need more than 180,000 new teachers in the next decade. The teacher shortage is already hitting selected subject specialties and geographic areas, while the overall shortage of public employees in general is causing gaps in critical public services. The pension changes enacted under Tier 6 have only exacerbated these problems by making it harder for public employers to both hire new personnel and retain existing employees who are leaving in record numbers.
Providing public employees with a sound retirement is a way to incentivize the recruitment and retention of public employees and fill vacancies that currently exist in schools, public hospitals and all levels of government. Unless corrective measures are implemented, such as pension reforms that will enhance benefits for Tier 6 members, New York will continue to be plagued by a shrinking public workforce and an inability to recruit new public employees in the future.
I urge the Legislature to work with the governor and unions representing public employees to address tier equity as part of the 2023-24 enacted budget.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I look forward to a reply to my email.