By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t taking kindly to some gentle criticism from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli over his plan to help localities save pension costs in the near term in return for possibly higher costs down the road.
Cuomo, on Albany’s WGDJ radio station this morning, said that if DiNapoli has a better idea, “I would love to hear it.”
“Maybe he can increase the performance of the fund,’’ Cuomo said of the massive state and local government pension system that DiNapoli oversees. The investment performance of the fund shapes how much the state and local governments have to pay for their workers’ retirement plans.
The comptroller’s office told The New York Times that DiNapoli has “serious’’ concerns about the Cuomo plan, but that he is still studying the idea. The most interesting concerns have been raised over the past week, including again on Monday, by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is Cuomo’s handpicked co-chair of the state Democratic Party.
“If a mayor doesn’t want to do it, they don’t do it,’’ Cuomo said of his voluntary pension plan.
“If people think that’s not a good option, fine. Do you have a better option?’’ Cuomo said.
The governor's plan has been described as a “kicking the can down the road’’ idea that pushes off short-term pension liabilities for localities to the long term that could lead to massive balloon payments at some unknown time. Critics say it is also based on questionable projections for performance by the pension system on Wall Street over the years. Cuomo said his plan was run by experts who called it, he said, “prudent."
taggedAlbany | Andrew Cuomo