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. Read More
Full career police and firemen (those serving 20 or more years) enrolled in New York’s Police and Fire Retirement System (PRFRS) who became eligible to start receiving a pension during 2020 are eligible for an average award of $86,852 annually. Read More
DiNapoli announced today that he's approved a recommendation by the State Retirement System Actuary to reduce, from 6.8 percent to 5.9 percent, the assumed rate of return (RoR) on investments by the $268 billion Common Retirement Fund, which underwrites the New York State and Local Employee Retirement System (NYSLERS) and Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS), of which the comptroller is the sole trustee. Read More
The number of government retirees allowed to collect both a paycheck and public pension has grown by 9 percent, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Of the 933 active “double-dippers,” eight are eligible to take home more than $300,000, and at least 30 can take home more than $200,000. Read More
In what's become an annual tradition, New York state lawmakers have re-introduced bills designed to prohibit or restrict changes to expensive continuing health insurance coverage for current and future government retirees—which would effectively lock in a growing unfunded liability of more than a quarter trillion dollars for taxpayers across the state. Read More
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!