New York

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.

Shame on New York: Pensions Kept in the Dark!

View release as a PDF
NEW YORK—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) released a report this week revealing top government employee pensions with estimated lifetime payouts, for several New York counties as well as New York’s state government retirees, and statewide government teachers. Several New York cities, including NYC, have refused to provide the data requested.
“Many government retirees make more in pension payments than the private sector taxpayers make in salaries,” stated Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President and Founder and Chair of Free And Equal. “The public has a right to review ‘public’ payments and to whom the payments are made. Retirement benefits should be open to review like any vendor payment.”
“According to the Empire Center, ‘NYSTRS and NYSLRS are ‘fully funded’ by government actuarial standards, but we estimate they have combined funding shortfalls of $120 billion when their liabilities are measured using private-sector accounting rules’. Pension liabilities continue to be the number one budgetary concern for states, counties and municipalities,” added Tobin.
“I have hand delivered a letter to Gov. Cuomo and will mail 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.”
“Private sector New Yorkers are struggling in the ‘Great Recession,’ with an average personal income of $36,000.
The unemployment/underemployment rate (U6) is 14.9%, and New York State is still the second highest tax state in the country. The maximum Social Security annual payout is $22,000, regardless of how much one may have earned in their working career.”
Phillip W. Wood, retired from the State University of New York, has an annual pension of $186,295 with an estimated lifetime payout of $6,986,069*.”
“Retired state employee, Venkata S. Satti, has a lifetime estimated payout of $6,511,907* based on his actual annual pension of $173,651.”
“New York’s government pension systems are crushing middle class New Yorkers. Replacing defined benefit pensions for all new government hires and with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If current government employees would just increase their pension contributions, they would preserve their pension benefits. We need a stable system that is fair to both taxpayers and beneficiaries or pension check will just stop coming.
“This is the time for the political courage to do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers, rather than the union bosses. Lawmakers seem to think they answer to unions and corporations. Let’s knock any politician out-of-office, who cuts deals with bad union bosses and bad corporations!
View pension amounts below:

*TUA submits FOIA requests for actual pensions. Since personal information is not available, lifetime pension payouts must be estimated based on retirement at 55, life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590), and 1.5% COLA.

New York: Government Pensions Revealed, Not Yet Relieved!

View release as a PDF
ROCHESTER—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today revealed retired government employee pensions for Monroe, Erie, and Onondaga Counties. Many New York government employees are becoming pension millionaires when retired.
“Many government retirees make more in pension payments than the private sector taxpayers make in salaries,” stated Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.
“According to the Empire Center, ‘NYSTRS and NYSLRS are ‘fully funded’ by government actuarial standards, but we estimate they have combined funding shortfalls of $120 billion when their liabilities are measured using private-sector accounting rules’. Pension liabilities continue to be the number one budgetary concern for states, counties and municipalities,” added Tobin.
“I have hand delivered a letter to Gov. Cuomo and will mail the Legislature, calling for additional pension reform that will be both fair and sustainable. TUA is ready to work with legislators to implement reforms that will preserve the system for those that are relying on it, and bring relief to the taxpayers who are obligated to fund it.”
“Private sector New Yorkers are struggling in the ‘Great Recession,’ with an average personal income of $36,000.
The unemployment/underemployment rate (U6) is 14.9%, and New York State is still the second highest tax state in the country. The maximum Social Security annual payout is $22,000, regardless of how much one may have earned in their working career.”
Howard R. Relin, retired Monroe County government employee, collects an annual pension of $103,675. His estimated lifetime payout is $3,887,813.*”
John J. Defranks, retired from Erie County, has an annual pension of $114,283 with an estimated lifetime payout of $4,285,611*.”
“Retired Onondaga County employee, Edward Kochian, has a lifetime estimated payout of $3,820,369 * based on his actual annual pension of $101,877.”
“New York government pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Replacing defined benefit pensions for all new government hires and with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If current government employees would just increase their pension contributions, they would preserve their pension benefits. Anything less will not ensure benefits for those counting on them. We need a stable system that is fair to both taxpayers and beneficiaries.”
“Every employee deserves a fair wage for the work they do at the time they do it so they can plan for their own retirement, rather than counting on the bureaucrats who helped create such an unstable situation.”
“This is the time for the political courage to do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers, rather than the special interests. Let’s knock any politician out-of-office, who cuts deals with bad union bosses and bad corporations! Republican or Democrat, what’s the difference, with numbers like these?”
View pension amounts below:


*TUA submits FOIA requests for actual pensions. Since personal information is not available, lifetime pension payouts must be estimated based on retirement at 55, life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590), and 1.5% COLA.

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Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.

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