Tag: Public Pensions

ne out of every six police officers and firefighters retiring from state and local agencies outside New York City last year qualified for annual pensions of $100,000, according to state pension fund data posted at SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. The proportion of 2012 Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) retirees with six-figure pensions–a total of 202 out of 1,225 individuals–was the largest ever, according to an Empire Center analysis of data stretching back to 2000. As in previous years, the proportion of Employee Retirement System (ERS) members qualifying for $100,000 was much smaller—just 80 out of a total of 17,156, or 0.5 percent. Read More

The state’s highest court will hear a case brought by a conservative think tank challenging the refusal of the state Teachers Retirement System to provide data about pensioners, the Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The Empire Center, an offshoot of the Manhattan Institute, filed suit last year when the TRS refused its Freedom of Information Law request for the data. The Empire Center publishes public spending data on its SeeThroughNY.net website. Read More

The state Court of Appeals said it would hear an appeal of the Empire Center for Public Policy’s case against keeping public pension information private. The fiscally conservative think tank in Albany sought an opinion from the state’s highest court after an appeals court in Albany ruled in February to keep private the details of teachers’ pensions. Read More

New York’s highest court appears set to correct some very bad judging by a passel of lower court jurists who haven’t a clue as to how read a law. If so, the Court of Appeals will come down on the side of the public’s ability to monitor how tax dollars are spent. Read More

Shawn Morse is a busy man. He’s a Cohoes city firefighter and also chairman of the Albany County Legislature, where he’s tasked with focusing the priorities of 38 fellow lawmakers who, like Morse, claim their legislative work is a full-time job. Their elected positions have some benefits, though. The Albany County Legislature, like several thousand local government bodies statewide, passes a resolution every year or so declaring that a standard workweek for a select group of elected and appointed officials, including themselves, is just 30 hours. The declaration is required under state regulations for the public officials to earn full-time pension credits in the state retirement system. Read More

DESPITE the improving national and regional economy, New York City's budget remains stuck in a hole. With operating expenses momentarily in check, the city's continuing fiscal imbalance stems mainly from big projected increases in the cost of Medicaid, debt service, employee health benefits - and, seemingly out of nowhere, pension contributions. Read More