Despite Reforms, Retirement Costs For Governments Set To Skyrocket
WGRZ.com | by Joseph Spector | March 24, 2012
ALBANY -- Pension costs for local governments and agencies in New York are expected to skyrocket 59 percent in 2013 compared to last year as officials warn that recent reforms will provide no immediate relief to the mounting expense.
A review by Gannett's Albany Bureau of pension expenses for more than 3,400 governments and authorities in New York shows staggering growth in retirement costs for towns, village, counties and even local libraries since 2011.
While Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week reached an agreement to limit pension benefits for new public employees starting April 1, local leaders say it will do little to limit the big bills they face to fund workers' retirement in the coming years.
"It is going to be the downfall of certain communities," predicted Susanne Donnelly, supervisor of the town of Ossining in Westchester County.
The pension tab for taxpayers in New York soared from $2.2 billion in 2011 to nearly $3 billion this calendar year, an increase of 36 percent, Gannett's review of data obtained from the state Comptroller's Office found. The cost is estimated to grow to $3.5 billion by next year.