Friday, August 03, 2012

Pension Perk Sure To Irk Some ...

Anonymous said...
One of the local news stations is reporting that while private pension recipients pay state income taxes on income above $20,000, those receiving a state pension pay no taxes at all on their pension income. Maybe a public outrage can help eliminate this unbelievable disparity on the state tax code. C'mon already! Most of the private pension recipients get a lower amount to start with, then they pay taxes on most of it while their puiblic retiree neighbors get a free ride on state taxes??? What gives???   8/03/2012 7:42 PM


"Currently, anyone over the age of 59 1/2 from the private sector will pay state income tax on a pension above $20,000.

But I-Team 10 has learned that retired government workers and teachers pay no state income tax at all on their pensions...something that got us wondering why they're entitled to special tax breaks that aren't available to everyone else.

So we went to the state's top fiscal watchdog for an explanation. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli oversees the state pension fund. He says the tax break is an incentive to keep New Yorkers from migrating to other states.

"I think we need to keep in mind that 80% of the retirees from our system choose to live in New York. Perhaps having that tax break is one reason why they live here," says DiNapoli.

But if that's the argument, why not make that break available to everyone?"

More on this during the news after the Olympics Friday night.


Anonymous said...

oh boy, let the bashing begin! I guess Karen Klein can breathe a sigh of relief- it's time to move on to other things to be outraged about. as for me, I will take my oh-so-hefty $700/month state tax free pension and fill my gas tank a couple times and pay a bill or two. That tax free stuff sure puts a lot of extra money in my pocket!! (BTW- tax free pensions are old news)

Anonymous said...

Whoopie doo!

The Feds give Union "Teachers" how much of a writeoff on Income Tax?

SCATS said...

To 9:51PM ~~ You must have worked a very low paying job. The NY Comptroller says the average state pension is $19,000/year.

Anonymous said...

So if the Average pension is $19,000 I ask you this Scats. Can you live on 19K.... With or without taxes withheld??

Anonymous said...

This is just another example of how our NYS public employee unions think they deserve to be treated better than everybody else who lives here. WE pay their salaries and benefits while they are working and then we get to pick up their tab for taxes too when they retire. Nice gig they have going.

To 8/3/12 @ 9:51PM....this might be old news to you but I am sure there are many here who do not know of this perk and I am glad Channel 10 brought it out in the open.

People and businesses are leaving this state in droves because of the crushing taxes at all levels. Our schools in this state suck for the billions we shell out and our young people go away to college and don't come back.

Time to do away with this pension perk or give the tax break to all of us who live and retire in NYS.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone realizes that it's only the "state-paid" teachers that will undoubtedly receive your rage, unlike most teachers who are "locally-paid" and therefore pay taxes on their pension income, just like the rest of you.

Anonymous said...

The point is, why not give the tax-free pension to everyone?

SCATS said...

To 1:56AM ~~ Let's not forget they collect Social Security, too ;) So yes, I could.

To 7:36AM ~~ I do not see mention of that in the news reports. Can you provide a link to something to show us that's so?

To 8:08AM ~~ BINGO!!!

Of course, the next time the school district cries poverty, we should ALL REMEMBER that: "if government and teacher retirees in New York were fully taxed on their pensions the state would haul in an extra $862 millions a year."

Anonymous said...

I was credited with 23 years with a FAS about $22,000 per year. That average of $19,000 seems high, where did you get that figure?

SCATS said...

To 11:12AM ~~ It's in the investigative report done by WHEC-TV.

Anonymous said...

Ya know what else?
Holders of Bonds issued by NY State and all the political subdivisions thereof as well as all the authorities in the State DON'T pay State Income Tax on the interest those Bonds pay.

Them bondholders are rich people and if only that interest was taxed NY could fund more welfare payments to people who don't have to work.

We need more taxes in NY. Just look how well the ones we have in placce now are working.

Anonymous said...

Holdon a damn minute here. Did you know that their former employees still living in this town who retired 30 years ago. Their average yearly salary was about $14,000 .
Some retired at half of final year salary. Some retired with half pay for the highest salary of their last 3 years.Still others had a pension based on the average of their last 3 years People, we're talking about a yearly pension for these former public servants of about $7000 or less per year. Can you picture yourself trying to get by today with a monthly check for less than $500 per month after Federal with holding tax deducted? I didn't think so. Even though they are collecting a SS benefit which is less than the pension amount, it s not easy. Add to this that 85.pct of the yearly SS amount is taxable income. I might as well tell you the rest of the story as this will probably add to your anger unless you are already SS eligible. SS payments are not subject to state tax either

I would like to make a couple more points. The $19,000
Average being reported is very misleading This is true because most of us "older" pensioners collecting pension amounts of "$5 000; $6000; $7000 ect. Have died. So when the State calculates the current average pension does not reflect those figures. The figure being put out is the average of more recent retirees withint the past number of years. So in order to understand that figure uyou would have to know a few things relevant to that amount,.One,how many years where used to arrive at $19000 .The lowest rate of payment vs the highest.
Only then would it be ables fairly assess pension amounts.

Another relevant point is essentially this. Where were some you complainers when public employee jobs were shunned and considered nothing more than slave labor and low paying jobs ? Kodak and other better paying jobs right.? Those of us took these jobs by choice because this was the career we wanted even though the hours were long and the pay was short. Benifits did not exist. I began my public service for $ 5'200 per yr with a 48 hr work week with no overtime or Benifits This amount was $2500 per year less the average in the private sector at the time .
It wasn't until public employees wereb granted the right to for unions as did the private sector , were we able to enter into collective bargaining with our employers and receive wages and benefits that existed in the private sector.
This relentless attack on public sector retirees is viewed by most of us in this category as no more than"sour grapes" on the part of some of you that made a different choice years ago and finding yourselves in a difficult situation, as the company that you were loyal to for years has cast you a drift into a sea of sudden uncertainty about your financial well being.
I'm sorry for you but what it comes right down to is a matter of the choices we made years ago. I made the right choice and took a gamble that things would become better which they did. Unfortunately your choice at the time was the logical choice to make , has now become a nightmare for most of you

As for myself, I offer no apology . I worked hard at my job and deserve every dime and benefit attached to it as I earned it. I feel no guilt what so ever when I cash my State tax free check every month.

Anonymous said...

Channel 10 is living up to reputation of being grossly involved in making news and not reporting news. What better way to stir the pot of simmering attacks on public employees. Judging by what I'm reading here they found some support on this site.

You can say all you want about reform because it will never happen. It would be political suicide for State Legislators from the down state areas as they would be crucified by our downstate powerful unions. The unions upstate are wimps and have zero polical clout.

Truthfully, I don't understand the venom directed at unions of any kind. Nationwide , union membership has reach an all time low as only 10pct of working America belong to unions. Hardly a significant number to be effective or get crazy about.Some of you desperately need to get a life.

SCATS said...

To 2:16PM ~~ Of course it doesn't include figures for those who have died!! They no longer get paid a pension!! (I hope!!!!)

3:03PM ~~ Why don't you call WHEC-TV and complain to them if you believe the numbers are off? Please pinpoint and quote the exact words you are calling "venom."

Anonymous said...

Scats. this is 3:03. I just read your response to my post
My first impression was that you believe the only good recipient of a public pension is a dead one. On that comment allow me to dash your HOPES. Would it surprise you to know that monthly checks are still in the mail for pensions earned by the faithfully departed? Well it's true.
Here again you and channel10 put forth false statements that were not factual.

I could take the time to enlighten you as to the true facts about why this is a fact that is taking place every month of every year. But, I have neither the time or desire to explain it to you. Based on your past comments, you are more than capable to do your own research and find out what I state here is factual.

Then again, perhaps one of my "living" fellow public pensioners would post a comment and explain it to you.

Anonymous said...

I would like to propose a task for you anti public employee's and their unions.

Sit down and make list of all you daily activities and your individule life styles and essential services that contribute to your ability to successfully and safely enjoy them.

Now make a list of the services provided to you by public employees that provide these essential services that enable you be able to make it possible .

Now take a black marker pen and draw a line through all services you take advantage of during the course of your daily lives. When you do that, you are in effect illuminating those who provide those services to you.
Now , examine,if you will,the impact this void would have on your existence as it is today.

Now reexamine your lack of respect you portray to those of us who serve you if you are capable. It's quite possible some of you might have a better appreciation of how we work for you and help make things happen for you and yours.

SCATS said...

To 7:17AM ~~ HUH!? What do you mean by: "My first impression was that you believe the only good recipient of a public pension is a dead one."What words did I use in response to you at 3:03PM that gave you THAT idea??? If you want to complain that the facts are wrong but then not bother to set us straight, then I guess maybe you are just lazy. But then some people carry that impression of those who lived under a union bnner.

To 10:27AM ~~ Your response is more of the typical union poppycock intended to divert attention away from the ISSUE AT HAND: TAX-FREE PENSIONS FOR NY STATE RETIREES & TEACHERS. You make it sound like you do volunteer work. You didn't/don't. You got paid!

We could ask you to do the same for all of the non-union jobs performed by those whose services you have used. Let's start with your doctor, dentist, accountant, grocer, pharmacist, insurance agent, plumber ... get the idea?

Charlie Hubbard said...

The problem with state pensions can be put under the umbrella of goverment incompetence both local and state.
For years local union contracts having been approved by local boards and school boards and paid no attention to the cost of pensions - why? - because 'those' were paid by another government entity - N.Y.S. and had little to no effect on local budgets. Now that the well is dry the state is making 'locals' pay up.
I have said many times don't blame the unions for these give/away, worthless, do/nothing contracts that continue to drive the costs up - put the blame right smack onto the boards who approved them WITHOUT knowing the cost and or potential cost.
Is there any better example than the 'lifetime medical' given to the school super in 2004. A family plan given to a then 53 year old man approved by the school board that we are still paying for and had NO IDEA of the cost - THAT is the type of incompetence i'm talking about.
How about a teachers contract that expired 6 years ago giving 4% raises with NO performance expectations - yep - we are still paying for it and - yep - the pensions associated with it are still being passed on - to the TAXPAYERS.

Anonymous said...

Scats I stand by my comment about the departed.
On the issue of me being to lazy to enlighten everyone about my revelation concerning checks " Pension Law, this is a subject that I have gained considerable expertise in over the years. In fact on this subject , I could quote you the language in the variuos subdivisions contained in the New York State Public Employee Retirement Law that governs the pension computation and disbursement of
Benifits. I'm not going to do your work for you. As blog master I believe you have obligation research a topic before you post an opinion on such topic. Your failure to do so can be misleading and result in less than factual information that you may post. You know how to do it.
Whether you do or not is up to you but but if my read on you is right you will do it to satisfy your curiosity if nothing else. Whether or not you post your findings is another matter.
The other reason I choose not to enlighten your followers is that I view it as a waste of time on my part as most of them our not worth my time. I'd rather it come from you. 7:17

SCATS said...

To 1:48PM ~~ Your failure to tell us is quite telling! So is your preference to leave it to me, an unpaid, non-unionized community volunteer. Guess what? I just decided to go on strike :D

Anonymous said...

I rest my case Scats. ignore the truth when it doesn't fit into your agenda. I seriously doubt that you will go on strike. We couldn't get that lucky. By going on strike what do you hope to gain. As you said, you are a non paid non union community volunteer.
I still think you will do the research if you haven't already done so. It's too challenging for you to ignore. Plus in the process it will be a learning experience.

Anonymous said...

But, as has been asked before, why don't private retirement recipients also receive this benefit?

Anonymous said...

12:10 you just MIGHT want to do some learning before you go to posting.

While pension checks are issued by NY from the State & Local Retirement System run by the Comptroller's office, income to that fund comes from every participating local entity offering pension benefits to employees. You'll even find a line item for Pension Cost in every local budget.

For the youngsters this crap all got going in the 60s when firemen and cops got the ball rolling with 20 and out at half pay. By 66 most municipal governments gave all employees pensions at more or less 20 years to half pay, and by 70 that usually included lifetime health care.

The politicians approving the cost back then weren't bothered by cost for two reasons. First covered employees amounted to a very small number, and second they would be retired when the bill came.

As to checks continuing after death, NY Pension system allows a retiring employee to elect 1 of 3 options. Many choose to take a lower monthly payout that continues to pay a surviving spouse for life. That payout is calculated on the ages of both retiree and spouse.

Over the years the system has been modified, and employees joining today will not see the benefits Tier I employees from the 60s and 70s got.

The system's shortfall has been known since the 80s, and politicians from School Board to Governor have failed to address it.

SCATS said...

To 2:58PM ~~ PLEASE tell me what "my agenda" is! So many have accused me of having one. I think it's about time I know what it is.

To 3:31PM ~~ That's the FOCUS all of the other distracting crapple spewed by 4:07PM and company wants us to ignore. They feel ENTITLED to some special treatment. The hell with the rest of us who must foot the bill while going without ;)

Anonymous said...

4::07 thanks for explaining death Benifits options plan to Scats and others
However I must disagree with you on the pension fund shortfall,at least where it applies to police and fire. If anything it's overfunded and self sustaining standing at
154 billion presently. The comptroller has the authority to invest a portion of these funds in various stock market venues. In fact there was a period of 7 years back in the late 70's and early 80's when funding municipalities were given a holiday from contributing anything to the fund and a break for taxpayers. The fund was able to do this because investments were yielding in excess of 8pct on all investments. As usual, the municipalities including Greece, found another way to spend that amount of tax payer dollars. Poor budget planning by them back then. Instead of spending the savings, they should have placed a portion of that savings in a special rainy day fund just in case the bubble burst and the holiday was over.As you must know it did a decade or so ago the Icon created financial scandal sunk the stock market
Police and Fire lost billions as their investments went south. To make up for the shortfall that did indeed take place at that time, Comptroller Hevesi proposed that a participating community would be required to pony up a budget busting 12pct in one year. this was later modified and spread out over a number of years. If Greece had been smart and set up the special fund,the hit to the taxpayers would have minimal effect. But this is Greece after all.

SCATS said...

So the "true fact" is that we are NOT paying pensions to the dead as8/04/2012 2:16 PM attempted to mislead us into believing! They call those "DEATH BENEFITS" or "SURVIVOR PENSIONS." I'm glad I didn't waste my time trying to decipher what he really meant, geesh.

Anonymous said...

that's 154 million,sorry.

Anonymous said...

OK I will help you out here. I can think of a dozen so words and phases that could be used to describe your agenda.

I think I will go with what I consider a few of the most obvious .How about SPITEFULL,HATEFULL, VENGEFUL ,
VINDICTIVE and SELF SERVING. In my opinion anyone of them could accurately describe your agenda. I hope this was helpful .

SCATS said...

To 10:09AM ~~ That is very "helpfull". Quite amusing too! If I ever in any way actually BENEFITTED from the time & effort I devote here, I might take you seriously. But I don't ;)

Besides, if you meant what you said, you wouldn't waste your time here, unless you were trying to promote YOUR OWN AGENDA! Gotcha ;)

Anonymous said...

Scats check your spam folder for my response to your 11:55 comment. it never got posted because you missed it or maybe you disagreed and couldn't come up with an appropriate response and flushed it along with many others that were critical of your performance on your site.

SCATS said...

To 6:18PM ~~ I've checked. Unless you wrote the comment that began with "SCATS... "Aparently" you aren't "snart" enough to be part of any union." then your comment was not posted for name-calling, swearing or foisting some other form of hate on the BLOG and/or its readers. The comment quoted above made NO SENSE, was riddled with misspellings and seemed to lack any cogent point. My attitude is: MY BLOG, MY opinion, MY freedom of speech.