piggybankstny-4604442Another 259 retired New York government employees qualified for starting pensions of $100,000 or more in 2013, according to New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s government transparency website.

The total number of NYLSRS retirees with six-figure pensions has more than doubled in the past five years, reaching 2,700 as of the end of 2013. The majority of the largest annual pensions are owed to members of the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) the data show. Seven of the top 10 new pension allowances in 2013 went to retired employees of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including members of the Employee Retirement System (ERS) and PFRS.

Pension benefits for the 385,947 total retired NYSLRS members in the SeeThroughNY database through fiscal 2014 came to nearly $9.3 billion – up 4.5 percent from the $8.9 billion total paid in fiscal 2013, according to the latest data.

The PFRS and ERS systems cover most employees of the state government, public authorities, counties, cities, towns and villages outside New York City, whose employees belong to separate municipal pension plans. The state systems also cover school district employees outside the city other than professionals belonging to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System.

Tables listing the top 100 pensioners and average pensions by retirement year. As shown, the average number of new retirees with pensions of $100,000 or more peaked in 2010, which largely reflected a wave of early retirements among highly paid PFRS member in downstate suburbs are available here.

SeeThroughNY was launched in 2008 as a project of the Empire Center for Public Policy Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit policy research organization based in Albany.  Users of SeeThroughNY can search the pension database by name, pension system, last known employer, year, and benefit amount.

SeeThroughNY also includes searchable databases of all state and local government payrolls in New York; legislative expenditures by type, purpose and member; teacher and superintendents’ contracts. It also features tools for searching and comparing local government spending and taxes, and for searching details of the state budget.

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