Nearly five billion dollars in pension payments were made in 2020 to more than 150,000 members of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), according to new data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

Among newly retired members (defined as those who retired in 2019 and collected their first full-year pension in 2020):

  • 5,880 had 20 or more years of service credit and an average pension of $53,539;
  • 545 retirees from the Department of Corrections had the highest average pension, among agencies with more than five retirees, of $73,109;* and
  • the Transit Authority had the most new retirees with 1,880 and an average benefit of $52,751.

Among all 150,563 NYCERS retirees, 1,609 received six-figure pensions. The largest individual payouts (some of which include back pay along with the pension benefit) were:

  • Nicolas Audi, retired from the Department of Environmental Protection in 2018, at $639,057, including $267,358 in “back pay”;
  • Clifford Clark, retired from the Department of Transportation in 2010, at $453,404, including $393,030 in “back pay”;
  • Roger Smoke, retired from Health and Hospitals Corporation in 2014, at $291,425;
  • Eugene Egan, retired from the Department of Sanitation in 2015, at $288,436; and
  • Elizabeth Harris, retired from Health and Hospitals Corporation in 2017, at $276,785, including $190,074 in “back pay”.

Among newly retired members, the highest payouts were:

  • Susan Lukin, retired from the Administration for Children’s Services, at $251,941, including 82,754 in “back pay”;
  • Todd Riben, retired from the Department of Environmental Protection, at $251,179;
  • John Zarnitz, retired from the Department of Environmental Protection, at $248,619;
  • Salvatore Montanino, retired from the Transit Authority, at $238,256, including $82,251 in “back pay;” and
  • Stacey Moriates, retired from the Department of Environmental Protection, at $237,355.

* Pension benefits for certain Corrections and other retirees include a year-end Variable Supplements Fund (VSF) payment of $12,000 per retiree—aka “Christmas-bonuses.”

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

You may also like

Six-figure NYSLRS pensions quadruple in ten years

The number of New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) retirees eligible for six-figure pensions quadrupled over the last seven years. Read More

Testimony: Build Public Renewables Act Undermines an Effective Market

The Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) threatens to do far more harm than good to New York’s energy landscape Read More

CLCPA Renewable Energy Targets can be met only at Great Cost, Report Shows

New York can increase its use of renewable energy and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, but it cannot do so cheaply or safely. Read More

Statement: Independent Pandemic Research Commission is Needed

Today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she is issuing an RFP for a review of the state's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic Read More

Empire Center Adds Three Policy Fellows

The Empire Center is expanding its research operations with the addition of three research fellows. Read More

$68 Million in DASNY Pork Projects Range from Recreation to Legislative Drafting

A total of $68 million in grant awards was steered to 276 local projects between November 2021 and March 2022 by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York Read More

Average Pay Spiked Last Year at Some NY Public Authorities

ALBANY, NY — 2021 for 82,513 New York public authority employees working at 320 different agencies is newly posted on , the Empire Center’s transparency website. The site now contains 2021 payroll data for a total of 172,947 emplo Read More

Report documents growing use of ‘related companies’ by New York’s nursing home operators

New York's nursing home operators are increasingly outsourcing expenses to separate companies that they also own or control. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!