Group: Scale back lavish NY pensions

A report accuses state government employees of getting way too much in theirretirement pensions.

A report released Thursday by the group Taxpayers United of America accuses state government employees of getting way too much in their retirement pensions. One schoolteacher on Long Island, for example, could stand to collect nearly $12 million in retirement, the group alleges.

 

Another retired State University of New York employee has an annual pension of $186,295, and another state employee's annual pension is $173,651, according to data obtained by the group.

 

In the city, a former New York City family court employee receives a pension of $119,731.

 

The group said the numbers are absurdly high compared to $36,000, the average personal income of state private sector workers.

 

"Many government retirees make more in pension payments than the private sector taxpayers make in salaries," lamented the group's vice president, Christina Tobin.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo supported a new pension plan, passed by the Legislature earlier this month, that would decrease benefits for future government employees.

In remarks supporting Cuomo's plan last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that in 2002, pension costs for that year alone were $1.5 billion. Now, they are more than $8 billion each year, he said. "Pension costs are spiraling out of control," he said.

But cutting pensions is not popular -- New York City public workers protested in Zuccotti Park against pension cuts earlier this month.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro

 
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