TUA Receives Excellent Press Coverage With Release of New York Pension Info

NEW YORK – Taxpayers United of America has released the top pension estimates for New York State government teachers and employees. “We are shedding light at last, on the problems with New York’s government pension system,” said Christina Tobin, Vice President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), and founder and President of Free and Equal Elections. “Minimal reform has occurred in New York as legislators consider measures that do little to actually solve the problem. Much more pressure is needed from taxpayers,” she said.
“The broken government pension system desperately needs reform, and revealing individual names and pension amounts illustrates the problem very clearly,” said Tobin. “The current system, designed to keep the wrong people in power, is corrupt. It is a system that makes government, and those with whom government negotiates — union bosses, politicians, and administrators — wealthy on the backs of taxpayers.”
“There is no fair representation of taxpayers. This is a nationwide problem that burdens the Left and Right alike, and has fueled the financial crisis facing taxpayers and retirees. The urgency of this crisis is illustrated by the excellent press coverage that our government pension reports have received throughout New York.”
Tobin, who toured through New York state revealing top government pension estimates to the public, received coverage from Metro New York, TimesUnion.com, and Capitol Confidential. Of particular note was the following story from reporter January Keaton at ABC 10 News.

Tobin stated that while the individual pension amounts have been eye-opening in the communities that have followed the law and released the pension information requested by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, TUA will be exploring all options to obtain the information still being withheld by the city government bureaucrats of New York City.
“I have hand delivered a letter to Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature, calling for additional pension reform that will be both fair and sustainable. Until pension plans eliminate the possibility of unfunded liabilities that crush taxpayers and threaten payments to the retirees counting on them, pension crises will continue to escalate. TUA is ready to work with legislators who want to do what’s in the best interest of the constituency and not the union bosses who fund their reelection.”
TUA will be revealing more States’ pensions across the nation, including those of Colorado and Minnesota in the coming weeks.

ABC News 10 | Pension study reveals gov't officials making millions

Findings from TUA’s pension project on New York State are featured in this piece from ABC News 10. Click on the image below to watch the video.
ALBANY, N.Y. – A press conference was held Tuesday to discuss the results of a new pension study. The study exposes the top pensions for retired government employees of Albany County, New York State government retirees, and statewide government teachers.
The top 100 state employee pensions each exceed $4.1 million, while all 100 of the top teachers exceed $5.5 million. One former SUNY employee’s pension is $11.8 million.
At the conference, Christina Tobin, Vice President for Taxpayers United of America (TUA), discussed the letters she delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of the New York Legislature. Tobin wants them to expand the pension reforms passed last week, which don’t apply to present employees.

Capitol Confidential | Here’s your Top 100 state employee pensions and for schools too

Findings from TUA’s pension project on New York State are featured in this article at Capitol Confidential.
We’ve had lists for some time now of state and local public employee salaries and pensions, starting first with the Empire Center and then followed by newspapers including our own.
The phenomenon has spread over the past few years, thanks to digitization of payroll data, the growing ease of putting documents on the web, and a growing awareness of the cost of government.
The latest twist comes from the Illinois-based Taxpayers United of America which is looking to expand membership to other high-tax states like New York and Pennsylvania.
The group’s vice-president Christina Tobin and outreach director, Rae Ann McNeilly, came through Albany this morning and they were equipped with their version of Top 100 government pensions list. Rather than listing individuals with fat pensions, they use actuarial predictions to attach an overall cost per person.
Philip W. Wood, SUNY’s former vice chancellor for capitol facilities, for instance, gets a $186,295 pension, and put in actuarial terms his estimated payout is $6.9 million — based on a model that assumes retirement at age 55 and a lifespan to age 85.
A brief look at the costliest retirements suggest that K-12 public schools, SUNY, the health care and legal fields pay the most.
In the school system, the highest cost comes from former Commack Superintendent James Hunderfund, whose actuarial cost is a eye-popping $11.8 million.