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Dramatic projected increase for county's mandatory retirement payments

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneida County's mandatory retirement payment is projected to increase from $1.7 million to $7 million, according to the Oneida County Comptroller Joseph Timpano.

Timpano warned that the 2010 retirement payment is projected to jump from $1.7 million to $7 million, and that in addition, the 2011 total disbursement is expected to reach $9.6 million, resulting in a two year increase of 80%, or $4.3 million. Timpano said that, in theory, this alone could result in a tax levy increase of 7.0%, assuming all other revenues and expenses stabilize during the next two years.

Comptroller Timpano's concern came about as he learned that the New York State Retirement Fund shrunk by $44 billion during the last state fiscal year, plunging from $153.9 billion to $109.9 billion.

"This fund currently pays retirement benefits to approximately 360,000 retired public employees and their beneficiaries," Timpano said in a Tuesday statement. "that includes state, county and municipal employees. These pensions are guaranteed by law, and therefore, cities, towns, villages, and counties are obligated to make up the difference between projected benefits and the plan's asset value."

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