Average pension benefits paid to newly retired public educators in New York City rose again in 2020, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net for New York City Teachers’ Retirement System (NYCTRS). 

The pension benefits collected by 969 teachers, college instructors, and school administrators who retired in 2019 with at least 30 years of service credit and received a full year of pension benefits in 2020 averaged $75,212.  

NYCTRS paid six-figure pension benefits to 3,708 retired New York City teachers. Of those retirees collecting more than $100,000, 104 retired during the 2019 calendar year.  

Seventy-seven NYCTRS retirees as of 2020 received pensions of at least $200,000, including twelve with annual benefits exceeding $300,000 and five topping $400,000. Ten years earlier, only four NYCTRS retirees collected more than $200,000. 

The percentage of City University of New York (CUNY) retirees with six-figure pensions was higher than other entities in the NYCTRS system. More than ten percent of CUNY retirees were eligible for $100,000 or more, including 27 of the top 100 pensions paid by the system. For the ninth year in a row, the highest pension was for retired CUNY professor Edgar McManus, who last year was eligible to receive $562,138. 

Among NYCTRS members who retired in 2019, the top five pension recipients were: 

  • Morton Wagman, professor of History at CUNY, $301,643; 
  • John Tytell, distinguished English professor at CUNY, $288,954; 
  • Caren Z. Moncher, assistant superintendent, $286,287; 
  • Marianne Finn, guidance counselor, $244,445; and 
  • Joan M. Benfatto, educational administrator, $235,307. 

The average pension paid out for all 3,288 NYCTRS members who retired in calendar year 2019 was $47,950. The total includes both part- and full-time public school teachers, many of whom met only a minimum five-year requirement to vest in the pension system. 

These data are made public thanks to the Empire Center’s successful court challenges against efforts by public agencies to conceal information from taxpayers. The Center remains involved in litigation to protect and expand the public’s ability to examine public pensions and spending. 

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. 

 

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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.

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