ALBANY, NY – Newest Pensions for Career Police and Fire Retirees Average $86,852 

Full career police and firemen (those serving 20 or more years) enrolled in New York’s Police and Fire Retirement System (PRFRS) who became eligible to start receiving a pension during 2020 are eligible for an average award of $86,852 annually. 

Although PFRS retirees are only nine percent of the most recent cohort of pensioners in the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), they constitute at least 60 percent of those eligible for six-figure pensions, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. 

At least 535 of NYSLRS 890 six-figure pensioners who retired during 2020 were members of PFRS. Many were employed by the New York State Police, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, or a municipal department. 

More than one-third of all new six-figure pensions (340) went to retirees who were employed on Long Island. 

The largest new pension went to retired Port Authority Chief Maintenance Supervisor Stephen Vendola, who is eligible to collect $229,140. He joins 36 other new and existing retirees eligible for pensions over $200,000 this year. 

The number of NYSLRS retirees eligible for six-figure pensions has more than doubled from 2,931 in 2015 to 7,452 in 2021, including an increase of 1,274 in the past year.  NYSLRS had just 1,378 six-figure pensioners at the end of fiscal 2010, when the Empire Center first made the list available on the internet. 

The Empire Center continues to litigate with the New York City Police Pension Fund to make the recipients and amounts of NYPD pensions publicly available. 

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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