By a vote of 49 to 11, the Senate has passed the 55/25 early retirement option bill. The Assembly, in recess for the holidays, has already indicated its strong support for this cost-saving measure and is expected to take up the bill when the Legislature reconvenes April 7. Once the bill is delivered to Gov. Paterson, he has 10 days - not including Sundays and holidays - to sign it.
In early March, Paterson introduced a program bill to create a one-year 55/25 early retirement option to provide NYSUT members in both TRS and ERS who are 55 or older and have at least 25 years of service with a 90-day window to retire without incurring a penalty. The bill was part of an agreement to create a new retirement benefit tier.
NYSUT local leaders have said the option will allow more veteran, higher-paid educators to retire, opening the way for districts to preserve positions for those at the beginning levels. Schools, colleges and universities face more than $1.7 billion in cuts; projections show more than 20,000 education professionals could receive pink slips.