Fight back Friday!

I like facts. I’m going to start featuring them on Fridays to fight back the distortions and misinformation out there about what we do and who we are.

This week: the lie that pensions are bad for business and are bankrupting our state. Our governor really went after them earlier this week and wants to offer public workers a 401(k)-type of plan . State Comptroller  Tom DiNapoli spoke at a national pension conference about how dismantling current defined benefit plans “is not a solution,” noting that it would actually cost the state more to go to defined contributions and hurt the state’s economy.

Here’s a link to the actual press briefing. Perhaps the most interesting fact is that the current pension system actually costs 46 percent less than the defined contribution plan Gov. Cuomo wants.

Here’s the Albany Times Union report  about DiNapoli’s warning.

Lawmaker Peter Abbate, who chairs the Assembly’s Governmental Employees Committee, told the New York Daily News the 401(k) alternative would have left workers in dire straits if it had been in place when the Great Recession struck a few years ago. Governments “might save a fortune on pensions in 30 years, but they might spend a fortune on food stamps because people don’t have enough money to live,” he said. Here’s a full link to the article.

More facts: Don’t think a Tier 6 only affects future employees. If approved as the governor  outlined, it would undercut the stability of the current pension system. How? Because every new hire who chooses a defined contribution plan (and there would be many, as I can hear the pep talk now: ‘You vest immediately. You get to take it with you if you go work somewhere else and then can bring it back.’) means less support for the defined benefit plan.

The state AFL-CIO rolls out a campaign today to tell our legislators why they must say “no” to this Tier 6 plan. A number of brave retirees have agreed to put a personal face on what retirement security means to them. Several are NYSUT members. Here’s one of the fliers (click for larger view). To support that campaign,  NYSUT is developing a video and other materials to press the cause.