“It’s definitely an outmoded way to fund retirements when you look at how the private sector has moved toward defined contribution retirement plans,” Girardin said. “Every year we remain in the pension business, we’re putting taxpayers who haven’t even been born yet on the hook for paying benefits 50 or 60 years from now.”
Pensions averaged $68,334 for teachers and other professionals who retired in school year 2015-16 after working at least 30 years in New York State public schools.
The New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS) will reduce its pension contribution rates for a third consecutive year in 2017-18, even though the pension fund's investment returns came in well below its target rate in fiscal 2016.
The Empire State's largest public pension plan still has not fully recovered from the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2008-09, a new report from the state comptroller's office confirms.
Fiscal watchdogs note many elected officials initially didn't have to worry about pension costs a decade ago. Now the rates are closely watched for what they could mean for property tax bills.
"Pretty much the entire generation of state and local elected officials took office and came into their own during a period when pension costs were artificially low or rock bottom," said Empire Center President EJ McMahon.
The number of retirees receiving pensions over $100,000 from the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) exceeded 3,000 for the first time during the system’s 2016 fiscal year, according to data uploaded today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
New York's largest public pension fund earned 2 percent in its first fiscal quarter—which isn't necessarily good or bad news for taxpayers.
New York City firefighters and fire officers who retired during the 2016 fiscal year were eligible for average pensions of $119,863, a 6 percent increase over the previous year, according to data gleaned from 15,557 Fire Department pension records updated today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.