Tax Payers on the Hook for Almost 5,000 NY Teachers with Six-Figure Pensions

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

A new report finds that nearly 5,000 New York teachers are being paid six-figure pensions courtesy of tax payers.

The survey of New York teachers pensions conducted by the Empire Center for Public Policy found that 4,800 teachers are eligible for pensions of over $100,000, up from only 1,600 who were eligible for such a windfall in 2009.

Some of the recipients who hit the pension jackpot are Queens College history professor Edgar McManus, who receives a $561,286 yearly pension, and Madeleine Brennan, who receives $417,466 a year.

The think tank also found dozens of other pensioners who make over $200,000 a year.

Unlike pensioners in the private sector, these winners of life’s lottery never have to pay city or state taxes, though they still have to pay federal taxes.

Also unlike the recipients of many private pensions, there are no limits or caps to the teacher pensions, and they must be paid in full until a pensioner’s death.

“We’re on the hook for these people long after they’ve retired,” Empire Director Tim Hoefer said. “Putting the data out there gives us the avenue to ask the right kinds of questions.”

The Empire Center created a website called “New York’s Pension Bomb” for New Yorkers to find out more about the mess that their public pensions are placing the state’s tax payers in.

Sadly, New York is hardly alone. Every state in the union has a pension bomb that threatens to sink their budgets. But the pensions themselves are a bad enough burden without the underfunded healthcare obligations that are in an even more precarious condition.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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