Nearly two-thirds (264) of the 420 firefighters and fire officers who retired from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) during 2016 are eligible to collect pensions of at least $100,000, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

Pensions for 2016 retirees averaged $117,914, down slightly from the average among 2015 retirees, whose pensions averaged $120,799. Seventeen new retirees are eligible for pensions over $200,000.

Out of 15,606 total FDNY retirees, the number with six-figure pensions has risen to 20 percent (3,184), up from 8 percent (1,267) in 2011. A total of 102 FDNY retirees are eligible for pensions over $200,000.

The 2016 FDNY retirees had an average of 23.1 years of service credit, up from 22.7 among 2015 retirees. Service credit averaged 22.4 years for all retirees now eligible for pensions.

The high average levels of firefighter and fire officer pensions largely reflect a high percentage of retirees receiving line-of-duty accidental disability pensions, which are 75 percent of salary as opposed to the 50 percent available to normal service retirements. Higher benefits also include payments from an optional, guaranteed-return supplemental account supported by additional savings contributions by firefighters and fire officers who choose to participate in that plan. Given those factors, the slight decrease in pensions for the latest group of retirees may reflect a decrease in disability retirements, which surged in the years following the 9/11 attack.

The Fire Department retirement system is financially the least robust of New York City’s five municipal employee pension funds. As of fiscal 2016, the FDNY funds reported a net liability of $8.9 billion, with financial assets equal to only 57 percent of liabilities. 

The database providing names of retirees as well as pension benefit levels is available to the public thanks to five years of legal action by the Empire Center. In April 2015, following a legal intervention by the Empire Center, a Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn blocked efforts by the New York City Fire Department unions and the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund to conceal pension payments from the public.

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 do business.

You may also like

Most Long Island Educators Paid at Least $100,000 Last Year

18% of all public-school teachers and administrators employed by school districts outside New York City were paid over $100,000 last year Read More

$139K Average Pension for New Full-Career FDNY Retirees

Nearly three-quarters of those retiring last year from the City of New York’s Fire Department (FDNY) were eligible for six-figure pensions Read More

NYC Public Educator Pensions Rise Again

Average pension benefits paid to newly retired public educators in New York City rose again in 2020, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net for New York City Teachers’ Retirement System (NYCTRS).  Read More

FDNY Pensions Average More Than $129,000

The 471 Fire Department of New York (FDNY) officers and firefighters who retired in calendar year 2018 are eligible for average pensions of $129,259, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Corrections Retirees Had Highest Average NYCERS Pensions

Corrections Department employees qualified for average pensions of nearly $70,000, the highest average benefit for any agency grouping among the 7,990 New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS) members collecting their first full year’s worth of pension benefits in 2018, according to data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Double-Dippers Increase by Nine Percent in 2018

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

NYS School Pension Data Available at SeeThroughNY

Maximum pension benefits averaged $68,902 for the 2,598 members of the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) who retired last year with at least 30 years of credited service time, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Following Years in Court, Empire Center Wins Access to Full NYC Pension Records

After a two-year legal battle followed by two years of additional delays, the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS) has released the full pension records for its retired members. 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!