The city’s $56 billion Teachers Retirement System will explode with mushrooming costs that taxpayers cannot sustain, the Empire Center for Public Policy warns.

The nonprofit think tank obtained updated teacher retiree rolls showing a dramatic increase in pension payouts over the last five years.

“This is an unsustainable model that gets more expensive year after year,” said Empire Center Executive Director Tim Hoefer.

The city’s pension systems — also for cops, firefighters and other employees — guarantee a level of benefits, which taxpayers must cover when investment earnings fall short. That makes the cost unpredictable.

The TRS is the costliest of five city pension systems. It has run in the red for the past 14 years, and is only 51 percent funded to cover its liabilities.

TRS spokesman Matt Laskowski was optimistic, saying investments earned 17.62 percent in fiscal year 2014.

•TRS pension payments and benefits:
2008: $3.8 billion
2013: $4.7 billion
•TRS retirees collecting city pensions:
2008: 57,495
2013: 74,884
2014: 80,300
• TRS retirees with pensions greater than $100,000:
2008: 856
2013: 1,796
• TRS retirees with pensions greater than $200,000:
2008: 3
2013: 17
• City taxpayer contributions to the TRS :
2008: $1.9 billion
2013: $2.8 billion

© 2014 New York Post

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