There’s a reason why even New York State legislators managed to pass major pension reform months ago. Overly generous and easily abused public pension programs are a threat to the financial stability of state capitals and municipalities around the nation. If you think that’s an exaggeration, just remember how Greece managed to stumble into near-bankruptcy.
Reforms passed in late 2009 in Albany were a major step toward fixing the abuses written into the system. The changes reduced outrages like six-figure payouts for unused sick time or vacation days. But those changes did not apply to city firefighters and police officers. So we will continue to hear about cases like that of the Fire Department’s retired second in command, Frank Cruthers. The Post reported that Mr. Cruthers was paid nearly $200,000 in unused comp time when he retired earlier this year. That’s in addition to an annual tax-free pension of $242,000.
Mr. Cruthers didn’t do anything wrong. But that’s precisely the problem.