Average pension benefits for newly retired public educators in most of the Empire State hit a new record high in 2019-20, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), which covers public education professionals outside New York City. 

Among the 2,203 members of NYSTRS who retired during the 2019-20 school year with at least 30 years of credited service time, maximum pension benefits averaged $71,074—an all-time record.  

In calendar year 2020, 4,027 NYSTRS members were eligible for six-figure pension benefits. There were 228 new NYSTRS retirees with six-figure pensions, the highest of which was the $184,779 maximum benefit earned by former Eastchester Superintendent, Dr. Walter Moran. 

Other six-figure pensioners included 46 retirees eligible for benefits of $200,000 to $300,000, and four eligible for pensions exceeding $300,000. 

Reflecting regional salary differences, the average pension for the NYSTRS members with 30 years or more of service was highest among retirees from New York City suburban districts. All top three pensions of 2019-20 came from retirees of schools in the Mid-Hudson region, while Long Island had the highest average at $91,203, as shown in the table below. 

The average maximum pension for all 4,858 newly retired NYSTRS members was $51,017. The total includes both part- and full-time public school teachers, many of whom attained only a minimum five-year vesting requirement before leaving the 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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