Nine New York workers retired with $100k+ public pensions in their 30s 

Coverage of the public pension problem was fit to print a long time ago, but better for the New York Times to weigh in late than never:

In Yonkers, more than 100 retired police officers and firefighters are collecting pensions greater than their pay when they were working. One of the youngest, Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with a base pay of about $74,000 a year. His pension is now $101,333 a year.

It’s what the system promised, said Mr. Tassone, now 47, adding that he did nothing wrong by adding lots of overtime to his base pay shortly before retiring. “I don’t understand how the working guy that held up their end of the bargain became the problem,” he said.

Despite a pension investigation by the New York attorney general, an audit concluding that some police officers in the city broke overtime rules to increase their payouts and the mayor’s statements that future pensions should be based on regular pay, not overtime, these practices persist in Yonkers.

The article also contains one of the more outrageous facts about Public pensions I’ve seen in a while:

Some will receive the big pensions for decades. Thirteen New York City police officers recently retired at age 40 with pensions above $100,000 a year; nine did so in their 30s. The plan’s public information officer said that the very young retirees had qualified for special disability pensions, which are 50 percent larger than ordinary police pensions. He said several dozen of the highest-paid New York City police retirees had disabilities related to 9/11 and the rest of the disabilities resulted from injuries in the line of duty.

I would really like more information on how exactly you get a $100,000 inflation-adjusted-for-life pension when you’re in your 30s. I understand disabilities might be involved, but that’s not a pension — that’s a trust fund.

The Times also published online a searchable list of the 3,726 New Yorkers receiving six-figure public pensions. Wow. The Times really did a bang-up job with their coverage of this. I hope they stay on the story.

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Mark Hemingway

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