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Building a Stable Future: Enhancing Economic Security for Non-Profit Workers

MEMORANDUM OF SUPPORT: A6839/S8660

MAY 9, 2024

The Mental Health Empowerment Project, Inc. (MHEP) joins advocates across the state calling on the Assembly and Senate to pass A6839/S8660, crucial legislation proposing the creation of a committee to explore viable pension options for non-profit workers in New York State. This initiative aims to enhance retirement security and address broader issues of retirement inequality and workforce equity.

Non-profit workers – especially in human services – perform essential roles yet often receive less compensation than their counterparts in government and private sectors. This legislation seeks to correct the imbalance, providing a pathway to equitable and competitive retirement benefits, essential for attracting and retaining skilled workers.

Defined Benefit (DB) pension plans offer stable, predictable income without the need for active management by employees, making them ideal for promoting economic security. As federal programs like Social Security face financial uncertainties, state-level proactive measures such as A6839/S8660 become increasingly vital.

The employees in this sector have faced significant challenges, exacerbated by factors including the COVID pandemic, without regular cost-of-living adjustments. This has made it difficult for non-profits to offer competitive salaries or benefits, making legislative action critical to ensure these workers can retire with dignity.

Pension benefits would make non-profit positions more attractive, aiding in the recruitment and retention of dedicated professionals. Competitive retirement benefits are crucial for maintaining a committed and experienced workforce, capable of mentoring the next generation of non-profit leaders.

In an environment where economic inequality is rising, and private sector pensions are declining, establishing robust public pensions for non-profit workers not only supports those who serve our communities but also promotes broader societal equity.

A6839/S8660 represents a progressive approach to a pressing social issue. By forming a committee to explore pension reforms, New York can set a precedent in supporting essential workers dedicated to public service. MHEP joins those calling for swift, favorable action on this bill, recognizing the broad positive impacts its passage will have on workforce equity, retirement security and overall economic stability.

Learn more and take action here: https://www.change.org/p/support-the-new-york-state-mental-health-workforce