The PBA boss’ pension game

Pat Lynch

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association boss Pat Lynch is right to disagree with Mayor de Blasio on plenty of issues — but disability pensions isn’t one of them.

Last week, the union boss asked Gov. Cuomo to help boost pensions for injured cops hired after 2009.

Since a veto by then-Gov. David Paterson, newly hired police hurt on the job have been eligible for pensions of just 50 percent of their final salaries, though older hires can still collect 75 percent. Lynch wants state leaders to make it 75 percent for everyone.

Thing is, de Blasio was able to strike deals with the firefighters, corrections officers and sanitation workers on this issue. And he offered cops a similar (generous) deal — but Lynch turned it down, apparently figuring he can do better by Cuomo, who jumps at any chance to zing the mayor.

Yet this is no time to boost retiree pay for anyone. Retirement costs are at obscene highs. As The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon has noted in The Post, they hit nearly $9 billion last year, up from just over $1 billion in 2001. Meanwhile, the pension systems themselves are woefully underfunded.

So why aren’t de Blasio and Cuomo lowering costs? That would free up money for schools, transit and, uh . . . more cops.

Remember: Many retirees, notably firefighters, have abused these pensions. From 2002 to 2013, 73 percent of retiring firefighters got disability pensions. In 2009, 40 percent of retiring cops got them, though that fell to 20 percent in 2013. Elsewhere in the state, only 6 percent of police and fire retirees qualified for disability pensions in 2014.

Cuomo would do well to tell Lynch to settle with de Blasio. If Albany sidesteps the mayor and gives away the store, New Yorkers will be the ones who lose.

http://nypost.com/2016/07/01/the-pba-boss-pension-game/