The soaring cost of New York State’s public pension systems can be permanently controlled by shifting to the sort of employer-subsidized individual retirement plans now popular in the private sector, according to an updated study of the state’s pension structure by the Empire Center for Public Policy.

The study — “Defusing New York’s Pension Bomb: A Fair Approach for Workers and Taxpayers” — documents a $5.6 billion increase in tax-funded contributions to the retirement funds for public workers over the past five years.

“The pension problem is not simply a function of the 2000-03 stock-market slump or Albany’s increases in pension benefits six years ago — although both helped precipitate the latest crisis,” the study says. “The real cause is the fundamental design of the pension system itself, which obscures costs and wreaks havoc on long-term financial planning.”

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Double-Dippers Increase by Nine Percent in 2018

The number of government retirees allowed to collect both a paycheck and public pension has grown by 9 percent, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Of the 933 active “double-dippers,” eight are eligible to take home more than $300,000, and at least 30 can take home more than $200,000. Read More

NYS School Pension Data Available at SeeThroughNY

Maximum pension benefits averaged $68,902 for the 2,598 members of the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) who retired last year with at least 30 years of credited service time, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Following Years in Court, Empire Center Wins Access to Full NYC Pension Records

After a two-year legal battle followed by two years of additional delays, the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS) has released the full pension records for its retired members. Read More

Inside the Legal Battle for Transparency

This new timeline traces five legal battles the Empire Center has fought since 2009 against public agencies that refuse to allow taxpayers to see where their money is going. Read More

Three in Five New FDNY Pensions Hit Six-Figures

Nearly two-thirds (264) of the 420 firefighters and fire officers who retired from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) during 2016 are eligible to collect pensions of at least $100,000, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Taxpayers On Hook For More Six-Figure Pensions

The number of retirees receiving pensions over $100,000 from the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) continued to increase during the system’s 2017 fiscal year, according to data uploaded today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. A total of 3,817 retirees collected pensions over $100,000 during the fiscal year ending March 31. Read More

More than 800 Double-Dipping From Public Pensions

At least 849 public employees have received special permission to collect government paychecks while also collecting public pensions, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Career School Pensions Average Over $68,000, Higher in NYC

Pensions averaged $68,334 for teachers and other professionals who retired in school year 2015-16 after working at least 30 years in New York State public schools. Read More

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

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.