While Mayor Bloomberg and his staff have warned that the city's pensions could cripple the city's finances, the NY Times reports, "Interviews and budget records show that the Bloomberg administration itself is responsible for much of the growth in city pension costs over the last eight years, and has repeatedly missed opportunities to rein in the spending. A major reason: the mayor has given the city’s 300,000 workers generous pay increases, guaranteeing that they retire with bigger pensions, which are typically 50 percent of salary. Such raises force the city to make heftier payments to the pension system now." The city's contribution to the pension system is $6.2 billion, up from $1.4 billion in 2002. The mayor's office defended the pay raises as incentives for workers to be more productive and pointed out that the stock market's downturn means the city pays more. In other pension news, Bloomberg negotiated a new pension deal with the teacher's union that saves $2 billion over 20 years.