• New York’s pension fund is fully funded and is protected from financial manipulations that have led to problems in other pension funds.
• Our pensions are not overly generous. The average pension benefit payment for a New York State and Local Employee Retirement System (ERS) retiree for State Fiscal Year 2009-10 was $18,300.
• As of March 31, 2010 there were 290,979 pensioners or beneficiaries of the ERS.
• New York’s pension fund has been recognized as the “nationwide pension leader” by Governing Magazine. Also, the Pew Center, an independent national research center, and Institutional Investor magazine cite New York’s pension fund as one of the strongest in the country.
• State and local pension funds in New York and other states paid a total of $17 billion in benefits to New York residents in 2006. Retirees’ expenditures from these benefits supported a total of $24 billion in total economic output in the state supporting an estimated 136,914 jobs.
• In 2009 the legislature adopted a Tier 5 pension reform that will save taxpayers $35 billion over the next thirty years. These savings will increase over time.
• The current increase in pension costs for state and local government is due mainly to the sharp decline in the stock market. After the market recovers over the next few years these costs will level out and may decline.