New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday told state lawmakers he backs Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposals to offer a 401(k)-type retirement plan option for future government employees instead of participating in a defined benefit plan and raising the retirement age for new workers to 65 from 62.
Mr. Bloomberg told a joint session of the Legislature in Albany of his “strong support” for many of Mr. Cuomo’s priorities in the $132.5 billion proposed budget.
“The governor has set an agenda for this session that is both far-ranging and ambitious,” Mr. Bloomberg said, citing as his top two points of agreement the pension changes and another proposal to impose evaluation standards on teachers.
Over the next 30 years, the city would save $30 billion if Mr. Cuomo gets approval for his plan to raise new workers’ retirement age and the 401(k)-type retirement plan option, budget documents said. Pension costs account for more than 12% of the city’s budget after rising to $8 billion annually from $1.5 billion in 2002, Mr. Bloomberg said.
“That’s something that city taxpayers and city workers should all want to see happen,” Mr. Bloomberg said.
Public-worker unions say they don’t want it and have been fighting the plan since Mr. Cuomo announced it Jan. 17.
“The proposal for a new public employee pension tier is an assault on the middle class and a cheap shot at public employees,” Danny Donohue, president of the Civil Service Employees Association, the state’s largest public-workers union, said in a statement e-mailed Jan 17.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.