Pensions averaged $67,476 for teachers and other professionals who retired in 2014-15 after working at least 30 years in New York State public schools, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
Reflecting regional salary differences, the average pension for the latest group of New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) retirees with 30 years or more of service was highest in New York City suburban districts, as detailed below:
The average pension for all 5,333 individuals who retired during the 2014-15 school year was $46,715, excluding New York City educators, who belong to a separate city pension system. However, this figure includes both part- and full-time employees, many of whom met only the minimum requirement to vest in the pension system. The average pension for SY14-15 retirees increased with service length:
The pensions are not subject to state income or federal payroll taxes. Retirees are also eligible for social security benefits, and most receive free or discounted health insurance.
A total of 2,664 school district retirees were eligible for NYSTRS pensions exceeding $100,000 in 2015, up from 1,255 in 2010. Thirty-nine retirees were eligible for pensions over $200,000, and four were eligible for pensions over $300,000. The top NYSTRS pension earner retiring in 2014-15 was former Lindenhurst superintendent Richard Nathan, who can collect up to $211,585 a year.
The data were made public thanks to the Empire Center’s successful court challenge against efforts by pension funds to conceal information from taxpayers. The Center remains involved in litigation to protect and expand the public’s ability to examine public pensions.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies to make New York a better place to live, work and do business.