State and local government employees in New York collect taxpayer-guaranteed pension benefits that are far more generous than those available to most private-sector workers. The calculator below shows just how generous those benefits can be.
The cost of public pensions has blown through the roof, with financial consequences that will affect generations of New Yorkers to come. And it’s not just pensions: state and local governments have promised over $250 billion in post-retirement health care — but set aside no money to pay for it.
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Testimony of Edmund J. McMahon
Before the NY State Senate Civil Service and Pension Committee
October 11, 2023
(Text as prepared and submitted)
New York City firefighters and fire officers retiring last year after full careers were entitled to , up 11 percent from the prior year, according to new data added to SeeThroughNY, the Empire
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
Public employee unions — and Governor Hochul — are pressuring state lawmakers to increase hiring at state agencies because, they say, more than a quarter of the state workforce is poised to retire.
The number of retired New York City educators who received pensions over $200,000 continues to grow, reaching 117 last year.
The number of New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) retirees eligible for six-figure pensions quadrupled over the last seven years.
Average pension benefits for newly retired public educators outside New York City reached a record high last year
New York taxpayers have been hit with enormous increases in pension costs for state and local government employees over the past 20 years. From less than $1 billion in 2000, combined annual employer contributions to the Empire State’s public pension funds escalated to nearly $10 billion by 2010, peaking at nearly $17 billion in 2015. Contributions have leveled off at roughly $16 billion in recent years—but under lenient government accounting standards, even that figure conceals the full long-term cost of generous, locked-in pension benefits for generations of retired government employees.