PENSION TENSION

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FYI: The city’s pension costs doubled between fiscal years 2001 and now, and will grow by nearly 30 percent a year until 2007, the Independent Budget Office said in its weekly report released today. By 2007, IBO said, pension costs will account for 12.4 percent of all city spending; currently they account for just over eight percent. IBO argues that, while some blame for the growth can be pinned on the pension fund’s stock market losses, much also goes to increased salaries and retirement benefits won by union negotiators and to the cost of living adjustments mandated by the state legislature in 2000. While investment losses are temporary, IBO warns, these salary and benefit enhancements are here for good. [8/13/03]