Since 2010, newly created pension tiers (Tier 5 and Tier 6) have been enacted that reduce the retirement benefits for newly hired public employees, including public school teachers and School Related Professionals.
Tier 6 requires public employees to work until age 63, up to 40 years, in order to retire without penalty. Public employees in Tier 6 can no longer retiree at age 55 with 30 years of service without suffering from significant penalties that reduce their overall pension.
Tier 6 was imposed on our members by Gov. Cuomo in 2012, one of his many attacks on our members, public education, and public employees in general.
While still a defined benefit pension that our members cannot outlive, how much a member will receive in retirement, how long they are required to work for this lesser amount, and how much they must pay for it is far different than their Tier 4 and Tier 5 co-workers.
Thirty years is a career: public employees should be able to retire with a secure retirement after 30 years of service, without penalty.
Fix Tier 6 campaign: NYSUT is launching a long-term advocacy campaign to improve retirement benefits for public employees under Tier 6. It took us over a decade to reform Tier 4, we’re going to keep fighting until we reform Tier 6 and restore a secure retirement for all public employees in New York.
Fight for tier equity: We did it once and we can do it again! In the year 2000, after many years of lobbying the state, NYSUT and the other public employee unions won the battel for tier equity for Tier 4 members. Tier 4 members saw their employee contributions reduced to zero after 10 years of the service and service credit calculations were adjusted benefiting employees across all public pension systems.
We’re already seeing progress: Last year, the first year under Gov. Hochul, we won the first battle in this fight. The number of years required to vest in the pension system for Tier 6 members was reduced from 10 year to five years — the same amount required for Tier 4. 85,000 Tier 6 members are now vested in the retirement system thanks to NYSUT’s advocacy.
This is a long-term fight: We will continue this fight until the benefits for our Tier 6 members match the benefits for our Tier 4 members.