Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's That Time Of The Year Again

It's Christmas for pensioned employees!  Okay, maybe not Christmas but it's the day that the Sears Christmas catalog arrives at your house showcasing all the toys you could possibly ask for that year.  I got my first pension statement after finally vesting in Tier 4 of the New York State and Local Retirement System.  You may remember me expressing excitement over being tier four because the State has gone on to create two new tiers (5 and 6) since I joined, with less benefits.

So now that I'm vested I'm entitled to a pension and my early retirement dream may become a reality.  Because 24 years from now I am guaranteed an annual income of $25k (assuming a final average salary of $48k).

And yes, I know nothing in life is really guaranteed but in order to snatch away my benefits the state would need to hold a constitutional convention and since the last one was in 1976 and was a total disaster I'm doubting they would try it again anytime soon.  Actually, they did try it in 1997, asking the voters like they are required to do every twenty years if they wanted to hold a convention.  It turns out the people said no.  But enough history for today!

I've said before that I would like to stay in my current position right up to the end of my career because I like it and the benefits are great, but there are some things in flux right now that would change my mind.  On the one hand, change can be exciting, on the other hand you have the Devil You Know and did I mention the pension?

If I leave before my ten year mark I get my contributions back if I don't want to collect a small pension instead.  As of today they total $8,397.