Cuomo Takes Aim at Pension Padding

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2010 at 2:28 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

...

Cuomo Takes Aim at Pension Padding

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2010 at 2:28 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW/RELEASE) -- Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo Thursday released a preliminary report in his ongoing investigation into pension padding that shows some workers across the state are significantly inflating their pensions by dramatically increasing their overtime hours in the final few years of employment.

Cuomo also launched this website, that contains the preliminary report, examples of data collected, and suggested best practices to help curb overtime abuses, along with other information related to the investigation.

As part of the investigation, Attorney General Cuomo's office requested payroll data from 64 state agencies, local agencies, municipalities, and authorities that participate in the Common Retirement Fund.

The preliminary report analyzed data from 50 of those 64 employers, representing 3,688 retirees from 2009. The data indicates that employees are boosting their overtime to inflate their pension benefits, which are based on an employee's total income, not their base salary.

"This investigation has uncovered problems that go beyond titles,
regions, or job responsibilities," said Attorney General Cuomo.

"That's why we have put forth practices that can reduce the abuses
of the pension system and protect taxpayers. While we expand our
inquiry, I urge all public employers to determine how they can more
efficiently operate in our new economy."

As a result of these rising pension costs, state and local employers will
be required to make significantly higher contributions to fund the state
pension system starting in 2011. For public employers participating in
ERS, their mandated contributions will increase from 7.4 percent of
payroll to 11.9 percent of payroll; for those participating in PFRS the
costs will go from 15.1 percent to 18.2 percent.