New York City firefighters and fire officers retiring last year after full careers were entitled to average annual pension benefits of $149,783, up 11 percent from the prior year, according to new data added to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. 

Out of a total of 15,796 FDNY retirees, the average pension as of fiscal 2023 came to $89,560, up $29,917 (50 percent) from $59,642 a decade ago. Both amounts include in-service disability payments for some. 

Looking at the most recent data for all New York City Fire Pension Fund retirees, 464 retirees were eligible for pensions over $200,000, and seven were eligible for pensions over $300,000. The highest pension among all retirees went to retired Captain Patrick W. McEvoy, who was eligible for $364,162 after retiring in early 2022. 

The figures include benefits from an optional program that allows members to make extra contributions to the plan, and the pension fund’s “Variable Supplement Fund,” a $12,000 payment to uniformed employees also known as “the Christmas bonus.” 

Even assuming a generous 7 percent average rate of return on its investments, the Fire Pension Plan has an unfunded liability of more than $7 billion—equating to $700,000 per firefighter and fire officer on the job today. A 2021 Empire Center analysis of state retirement funds warned the Fire Pension Fund was “especially weak.” 

The pensions are constitutionally guaranteed by New York taxpayers and are exempt from New York state income tax. New York City government retirees also receive city healthcare coverage at no cost. 

The data are only publicly available thanks to the Empire Center’s successful 2014 lawsuit.

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.

You may also like

$5.5 Billion NYCERS Pension Payments Include $70 Million in Back Pay

The pension plan covering most New York city government agencies, including the City’s subway system, had 47 members with pension payments of at least $200,00 last year, 11 more than in 2021, according to Read More

New York City Teachers’ Retirement System Adds More $200K Retirees 

The number of retired New York City educators who received pensions over $200,000 continues to grow, reaching 117 last year. Read More

Six-figure NYSLRS pensions quadruple in ten years

The number of New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) retirees eligible for six-figure pensions quadrupled over the last seven years. Read More

Forty-five Percent Increase in Six-Figure Pensions for Retired NYC Educators in 2021

The number of retired New York City educators who received six-figure pension payouts rose forty-five percent in 2021. Read More

Public School Retiree Pensions Set New Record

Average pension benefits for newly retired public educators outside New York City reached a record high last year Read More

Most Long Island Educators Paid at Least $100,000 Last Year

18% of all public-school teachers and administrators employed by school districts outside New York City were paid over $100,000 last year Read More

Newest Pensions for Retirees of Police and Fire Careers 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.  Read More

$139K Average Pension for New Full-Career FDNY Retirees

Nearly three-quarters of those retiring last year from the City of New York’s Fire Department (FDNY) were eligible for six-figure pensions Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!