New York City firefighters and fire officers who retired during the 2015 fiscal year were eligible for average pensions of $113,341, a nine percent increase over the previous year, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
“New York City’s pension costs consume more than 15 percent of the city’s tax receipts,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “It’s more important than ever that taxpayers be able to see exactly what kind of commitments their elected officials have made to current and former employees, because they’re going to be paying for them for a long time to come.”
The 419 pensions analyzed were received by fire officers and firefighters who retired between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Eleven of the recent retirees are eligible for pensions over $200,000, while the fiscal 2014 retirees included only three pensions above that level.
A total of 15,574 fiscal year 2015 pensions, worth an annual entitlement of up to $1 billion, has been posted at SeeThroughNY. The database includes the recipients of both service benefits and disability benefits.
The data is available to the public thanks to five years of legal action by the Empire Center. In April, following a legal intervention by the Empire Center, a Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn blocked efforts by the New York City Fire Department unions and the Pension Fund to conceal pension payments from the public.
The Empire Center is a non-partisan, non-profit independent think tank based in Albany. SeeThroughNY includes payroll and pension data for state and local government employees and retirees; detailed expenditure data for the state Legislature; comparative statistics on local government spending; a searchable database of state revenue and expenditures; and copies of all teacher union contracts and superintendent of schools contracts.