A total of $5.2 billion in pension payments were made in calendar year 2021 to 152,000 members of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), according to new data posted today at SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website. 

Newly retired members (those retiring in 2020 and collecting their first full-year pension in 2021) included 6,019 individuals who had 20 or more years of service credit. Among those “full-career” retirees: 

  • The average pension received was $57,516, compared to $53,539 for last year’s retirees;
  • Those who had been employed by the Department of Corrections (DOC) had the highest average pension (among the ten largest agencies), with 400 individuals being paid an average of $82,947.* By comparison, the 545 full-career retirees who retired from DOC in 2020 received an average pension of $73,109; and
  • The Transit Authority had the most new retirees, with 1,878 individuals receiving an average benefit of $60,331. That’s compared to the $52,751 average benefit received by the Authority’s 2020 retirees.

Among all 152,117 NYCERS retirees, 1,993 received six-figure pensions, a 24 percent increase from the 1,609 in 2020. 

The largest individual payouts (some of which include payments categorized as “back pay” along with the pension benefit) totaled over $400,000. These were: 

  • Todd Riben, retired from the Department of Environmental Protection in 2019, at $501,738, including $250,559 in back pay;
  • Dominick Provino, retired from CUNY in 2004, at $466,882, including $377,902 in back pay;
  • Joseph Blackman, retired from the Department of Environmental Protection in 2018, at $437,975, including $297,681 in back pay; 
  • Eugene J. Procaro, retired from the New York District Attorney’s office in 2020, at $412,953, including $129,119 in back pay; and
  • Joanna Omi, retired from Health and Hospitals Corporation in 2018, at $410,119, including $290,272 in back pay.

Among newly retired members, the highest payout was Procaro’s. The next-highest were: 

  • Vincent Giaimo, retired from the Administration of Children’s Services, at $380,132, including $125,642 in back pay;
  • John M. Ryan, retired from the Queens District Attorney’s office, at $353,241, including $125,206 in back pay;
  • Edward G. Sawtell, retired from the Transit Authority, at $259,275; and
  • Dereck Oxford, retired from Health and Hospitals Corporation, at $256,425, including $28,277 in back pay.

* Pension benefits for certain Corrections and other retirees include a year-end Variable Supplements Fund (VSF) payment of $12,000 per retiree—aka “Christmas-bonuses.” 

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. 

 

You may also like

Attorney General Must Answer For Data Leak

The New York State Attorney General’s office is being asked to hand over the details behind its apparent leak of a national non-profit’s sensitive financial documents Read More

Number of Educators Paid Six-Figures Jumps Fifty Percent in Ten Years

The number of educators receiving six-figure salaries has increased by fifty percent in the last ten years. Read More

Empire Center Appeals NYSED Attempt to Veil Performance Metrics Until 2023

The legality and appropriateness of the New York State Education Department’s attempt to delay access to important student performance metrics is being challenged in a formal appeal of an Empire Center Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request Read More

$140K Average Pension for New Full-Career FDNY Retirees

Nearly 70 percent  of  of last year’s 470 retirees from the City of New York’s Fire Department (FDNY) were eligible for six-figure pensions Read More

Six-figure NYSLRS pensions quadruple in ten years

The number of New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) retirees eligible for six-figure pensions quadrupled over the last seven years. Read More

Testimony: Build Public Renewables Act Undermines an Effective Market

The Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) threatens to do far more harm than good to New York’s energy landscape Read More

CLCPA Renewable Energy Targets can be met only at Great Cost, Report Shows

New York can increase its use of renewable energy and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, but it cannot do so cheaply or safely. Read More

Statement: Independent Pandemic Research Commission is Needed

Today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she is issuing an RFP for a review of the state's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic 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!