Declares War on New York’s Ruling Class of Poltical Elites
7/26/2010 - “Political lottery at taxpayer expense,” that’s how Assemblyman Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) routinely describes the taxpayer-funded defined-benefit plan (DBP) enjoyed by New York State’s politicians.
“This pension scheme, benefiting the political class in Albany, the land that commonsense forgot, directly threatens New York’s long-term fiscal solvency. We must embrace a new tier for new hires while capping public officials’ defined-benefit plans. What folks don’t understand is that these plans run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and are guaranteed for life. It’s time for those living in Albany’s ivory tower to pay their own way.”
“This Cadillac plan for elected officials and political appointees is paid for out of the pockets of hardworking and already beleaguered taxpayers. Most of the seniors, small business owners and moms and dads paying the bill for these extravagant pensions could never dream of finding a similar deal in the private sector,” said Ball. “As I talk to people throughout the Hudson Valley about my plan to end this utopia pension for political insiders the response has been overwhelming.”
According to Ball, Albany is full of career politicians looking to “pension spike.” This creates a system of patronage allowing “the political class” – elected officials and patronage (and political) appointees — to move to high-paying jobs for the last three years of their careers to boost their guaranteed-for-life personal pensions.
Ball’s bill, A. 06932 would also eliminate the nefarious practice of double dipping by elected officials. The “Double Dipping” loophole, which allows former officials who begin new careers to continue to collect their pensions, also would be eliminated.
Ball said, “Double dipping and pension spiking are draining taxpayer resources and expediting the transition of New York from the Empire State to the Vampire State, a State where taxpayers who are already voting with their feet are being forced to pay extravagant pension plans for an out of touch group of political elites and are doing so at a rate that we simply cannot afford.”
Ball’s bill, A.06932, would eliminate this practice by capping existing pensions for all elected officials and political appointees and replacing the DBP with a defined-contribution plan, which would require the political class to contribute to their own retirement throughout their service with a reduced employer contribution percentage of 3 percent, rather than the 7.4 percent contribution currently and rising to 11.9 percent next year.
“The bottom line is that Hudson Valley taxpayers should no longer be forced to singlehandedly fund the extravagant pensions of elected officials and political employees,” concluded Ball.