Defenders of public employee pension systems often make the case that pension benefits are not all that generous. The outrageous cases you see on the news — Long Island police retiring in their 40s with pensions in excess of base pay, administrators “retiring” with six-figure pensions and then going back to work with another government agency, one ex-FDNY firefighter running marathons on his $86,000 “disability” pension — are the exceptions, they say.
The data, however, tells a different story. According to the Census Bureau, the average New York retiree receiving a corporate or union pension — a retiree from the private sector — was receiving an annual benefit of $13,100 in 2009. For state and local government retirees, that figure was more than twice as high: $27,600. And that average figure includes retirees who were part-time workers or only spent part of their careers in government; full-career retirees often do far better.
Watch: 60 Minutes Report on the state budget crisis
To understand what sort of public pension you might be eligible for, the Empire Center for New York State Policy has created a Pension Calculator, available at nypensionbomb.org. Simply enter your age at retirement, years worked and final average salary — typically, the average of your wage earnings in your last three years worked — and you can see what benefit you would be entitled to, if you were lucky enough to work for the government.
Full Story: Public vs. private retirements – NYPOST.com