Two weeks ago, The Empire Center offered a glimpse into MTA employees' payroll data, like the one train conductor who was paid $239,148. Now the non-profit think tank has added a pension search system to its government transparency website SeeThroughNY, allowing us peasants to see just how much state and local government retirees are raking in.
According to the Empire Center, the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) includes most state and local government and school employees outside of New York City (city employees belong to separate municipal pension plans). Out of the 342,543 searchable retirees, 1,378 collect annual pensions exceeding $100,000, and 68 receive over $150,000. And lest you forget, in New York these government pensions are exempt from state income taxes. Big Brother takes good care of its own.
The former executive director of the NY State Teachers' Retirement System, George M. Phillips, heads the list with a whopping $261,037 annually. According to a list of 3,726 records published by the NY Times last month, the only city pensioner that comes close is Alvin Marty, who was an economics professor at CUNY Baruch College and receives $214,823 per year. Several people who last worked at Nassau County, Port Authority, and the NY Public Library also appear among the top pensioners and retired police and firefighters account for "two-thirds of these six-figure allowances."
As of April 13, the total maximum benefits for NYSLRS retirees added up to nearly $7.2 billion per year. If only British pensioners were as fortunate.