ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul has expressed a willingness to meet with St. Clare’s pensioners who lost their benefits when their pension plan was terminated in 2019.
State Sen. Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, announced on Tuesday that in a brief meeting with Hochul before her 2023 State of the State address the governor she would “certainly” agree to meet with the 1,100 former St. Clare’s employees who lost all or some of their benefits when their plan was terminated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany in February 2019.
“I appreciate Governor Hochul’s willingness to give the St. Clare’s pensioners a few minutes of her busy schedule, and listen to how these dedicated former health care professionals, who cared for some of our most vulnerable citizens, have been coping with economic uncertainty and desperation with no end in sight as their pensions evaporated in the snap of a finger through no fault of their own,” Tedisco said in a statement. “I hope this request for a meeting is fulfilled.”
The retirees of the now-closed St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady would require an estimated $55 million to make up for their lost benefits.
@dgazette Hochul open to meeting with St. Clare’s pensioners – 1/10/23 More at DailyGazette.com – Daily Gazette
In May 2022, state Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the diocese, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger; his predecessor, Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard, The Very Rev. David LeFort, vicar general; the St. Clare’s Corporation, successor entity to the hospital that merged in 2008 into what is now Ellis Medicine; and Joseph Pofit.
The suit alleges that the defendants violated their fiduciary and legal obligations under state law.
The suit claims that Scharfenberger, LeFort and Pofit decided to terminate the pension plan based on their own economic interests and not those of the pensioners.