The number of teachers and administrators raking in six-figure annual pensions in New York state nearly tripled between 2009 and 2014, according to a new report.
Data from the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany-based think tank, show that more than 4,800 school retirees were eligible to receive pensions of more than $100,000 in 2014, up from 1,600 in 2009.
More than 4,100 retired educators received six-figure pensions in 2013, according to the data.
Although most of the pension jackpot winners are from suburban school districts, a few come from within the five boroughs.
That includes pension king Edgar McManus, 90, a retired Queens College history professor who took in $561,286 last year, and Madeleine Brennan, 88, who raked in $417,466 last year after 50 years as a principal in Brooklyn.
Brennan, who retired from IS 201 in Dyker Heights in mid-2013, didn’t want to discuss her pension other than to say, “My retirement is going fine.”
More than a dozen other retirees collecting from the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System receive more than $200,000 a year — including city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
She collects $208,506, which she started receiving upon retiring in 2006 after a 40-year career in the city schools.
That’s in addition to the $212,000 she receives as chancellor, a double dip she is allowed because she has reached age 70.
Under state law, government employees 65 and older can collect their salary and pension at the same time.
With the two income sources, Fariña receives nearly twice what her boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is paid. He gets $225,000.
Retirees are spared city and state taxes on their pensions, but still have to pay federal taxes.
The numbers are a warning to the city and state to overhaul the pension system before it’s too late, said Empire Center executive director Tim Hoefer.
Unlike many pensions from private companies, public pensions in the city and the state have no caps, so the pension systems are required to pay retirees until they die.
“We’re on the hook for these people long after they’ve retired,” Hoefer said. “Putting the data out there gives us the avenue to ask the right kinds of questions.”
Pension costs for retirees, as well as health insurance costs, are often cited by school districts as some of their biggest expenses.
Union leaders said retirements are now on the rise because many staffers put off leaving their jobs during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009.
© 2015 New York Post