Six-Figure State and Local Pensions Up 20 Percent

| Press Releases

The number of retirees receiving pensions over $100,000 from the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) increased by 20 percent during the system’s 2018 fiscal year, according to data posted today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

A total of 4,573 retirees collected pensions over $100,000 during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. Among them were 2,785 retired uniformed police officers or firefighters, including nearly two-thirds of newly retired county police officers on Long Island. In fiscal 2017, there were 3,817 NYSLRS retirees—including 2,352 former police officers and firefighters—eligible for $100,000 or more. These pension amounts do not include any separate payouts received for accumulated sick or vacation time.

The average pension for all NYSLRS-member police and firefighters retiring in fiscal 2018 after at least 20 years of service was $79,151. For all other NYSLRS members retiring in 2018 after at least 30 years of service, the average was $49,085. The figures do not include Social Security benefits, for which NYSLRS retirees are also eligible once they reach the Social Security retirement age.

The highest pension benefit among new retirees went to Paul Scott, a surgeon at Nassau University Medical Center, who was eligible to collect $321,065. Statewide, another 19 pensions exceeded $200,000 this year.

The data include maximum pension allowances for 426,473 retirees from state government, public authorities, counties, towns, villages, cities not including New York City, special districts and school districts.

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.