Mayor Bloomberg calls pension system ‘ticking time bomb’

Mayor Bloomberg called the city’s pension system a “ticking time bomb” that costs six times more than it did 10 years ago.

The city will have to shell out $8 billion to cover pension costs this year – with $1 out of every $6 from taxpayers going toward it, he said on Thursday.

“Imagine what would happen to your family budget if the rent went up six times over the course of a decade, or your grocery bill or the cost of a Metro card,” he said as he unveiled the city’s 2013 preliminary budget.

The mayor compared the skyrocketing expense to a $2 slice of pizza in 2002 costing $12 today.

“We just cannot afford to pay such costs for future city workers,” he said, calling for a new hiring tier for union workers that would lower the city’s contribution to their retirement funds. “We have an obligation to pay for those who are with us now. … We just cannot afford to grant new people those size benefits.”

While he painted a gloomy portrait of the pension system, Bloomberg presented a far rosier preliminary budget than in recent years. The $68.7 billion plan contains no anticipated teacher or uniformed worker layoffs — and no tax hikes.

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