Albany, NY — Average pension benefits for newly retired public educators outside New York City who worked at least 30 years reached a record high of $73,552 last year, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net.

The figures are from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), which covers school professionals across most of the state.

The 2,685 members of NYSTRS who retired during the 2020-21 school year with at least 30 years of credited service time are eligible for a maximum pension benefit averaging $73,552. The average maximum benefit earned by the 2,203 members of NYSTRS who retired during the 2019-20 school year with at least 30 years of credited service time was $71,074.

More than ten percent of these new retirees (289) are eligible for six-figure pensions, the highest being the $271,275 maximum benefit earned by former Locust Valley School District Superintendent, Dr. Anna Hunderfund.

Reflecting regional salary differences, average pensions among the new retirees are highest among those retiring from New York City suburban districts. The Long Island region had the highest average pension at $94,108, as shown in the table below. The top five individual pensions also belong to retirees from schools in either Nassau or Westchester counties.

Average Eligible Benefit for 2020-21 NYSTRS Retirees with Over 30 Years of Experience
Region Number Avg. Benefit
Capital 271 $63,592
Central New York 224 $56,670
Finger Lakes 263 $61,754
Long Island 713 $94,108
Mid-Hudson 520 $83,668
Mohawk Valley 118 $57,785
North Country 108 $54,946
Southern Tier 196 $55,148
Western New York 272 $63,060
Total  2,685  $73,553

The average maximum pension for the entire cohort of 5,461 newly retired NYSTRS members is $55,017. That broader average includes both part- and full-time public school teachers, many of whom attained only a minimum five-year vesting requirement before leaving the system.

Among all NYSTRS members earning benefits in 2020-21 (both new retirees and earlier ones), 4,061 are eligible for six-figure pension benefits. Other six-figure pensioners included 50 retirees eligible for benefits of $200,000 to $300,000, and four eligible for pensions exceeding $300,000.

These data are made public thanks to the Empire Center’s successful court challenges against efforts by public agencies to conceal information from taxpayers. The Center remains involved in litigation to protect and expand the public’s ability to examine public pensions and spending.

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

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

Average Pay Spiked at Port Authority in 2021

Average pay for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) employees increased nearly 10 percent last year, to $123,000. Read More

Over 700 MTA Employees Earned More in OT than Regular Pay in 2021, Data Show

More than 300 employees were paid at least $100,000 in overtime and at least 734 earned more in overtime than in regular pay at the MTA last year Read More

Legislative Spending Unevenly Divided Among Members

Spending by state lawmakers on office personnel and administrative costs varies widely, with some paying out nearly twice as much as others 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

New Data Maps District-by-District NY School Enrollment Change

New Yorkers can now view a district-by-district comparison of public school enrollment rates, thanks to new data mapped by the Empire Center. Read More

State OT, Salaries Up in 2021

Overtime pay for state employees rose to nearly $1 billion, and salaries increased by six percent during the 2021 calendar year, according to data posted today to SeeThroughNY.net Read More

Empire Center Previews State of the State: People are Leaving

Albany, NY — New York suffered a net loss of about 1.4 million residents to other states during the past decade. With those residents went businesses and jobs, perpetuating a cycle of loss for the Empire State. “The State of our Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

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

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@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.

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!