NYS, Mother Cabrini Fund may restore St. Clare's Hospital pensions

February 08, 2019 07:02 PM

ALBANY - Bishop Edward Scharfenberger met with lawmakers and St. Clare's Hosptial retirees on Friday afternoon to find a way to fund their pension plans.

Though the bishop didn't stay for an interview, NewsChannel 13 spoke with lawmakers and a retiree about a potential solution.

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"We need to provide for these individuals in some way," Senator Jim Tedisco (R, Glenville) said. "We can't allow 1,100 individuals to go without their pension."

In October, the retirees received a letter explaining their pensions would either be canceled or cut in February 2019.

Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D, Rotterdam), told reporters they're looking for a collaborative solution. The problem is they're still not sure how much is needed to make the pensions whole.

"We don't really know the number which exists right now, the pension company, I think, is talking about privacy and won't give us the numbers," Tedisco said.

Though a number has not been confirmed yet, Tedisco said it's believed about $42 million is needed.

Lawmakers are looking to have $20 million set aside in the state budget this year and the other $20 million may come from the Mother Cabrini Fund.

Santabarbara said they're focused on finding a solution as soon as possible, but they probably won't know if the state funding will come through until the budget is passed around April 1. After that's resolved, he's hoping they'll get a chance to look into how this happened.

"What you're talking about now is going to require some involvement by the comptroller's office the office of the Attorney General -- some other legislation that may come out of this that will take far more time than we have," Santabarbara said. "So I think that the answer is most likely a 'yes', but this is legislation, an activity that will take place after the priority which is to make sure these peoples' lives are not turned upside down like this."

Santabarbara said everyone has homework going forward. They need to work on getting the votes and getting this included in the budget and the bishop needs to work on coming up with the other half of that money.

Santabarbara also said they're looking to include NYS Department of Health officials and Prudential representatives in their next meeting.

Stay tuned to NewsChannel 13 for the latest on this developing story.


Emily Burkhard

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