ALBANY — The average state pension for full-time teachers, administrators and other public school employees who retired last year after working at least 30 years was $86,600 on Long Island, according to a new analysis by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
Long Island was also home to the top pensioner who retired in 2014-15 from the school pension system: Former Lindenhurst Superintendent Richard Nathan, who can collect $211,585 a year in retirement, according to the study. He worked 46 years in public education. He retired in 2014 from the superintendent’s job, which he assumed in 2009, and was making more than $277,000 a year.
For those who worked in New York City schools, the average pension was $70,702, while the statewide average was $67,476 statewide, according to the fiscally conservative, nonpartisan think tank.
The Empire Center also found that 2,664 school retirees were eligible for tax-free pensions of more than $100,000 a year, up from 1,255 in 2010.
“It’s important to recognize these pensions are earned by educators over three or four decades,” Carl Korn, spokesman for the New York State United Teachers union, said in an interview Friday. “The promise of a dignified retirement after three decades of service helps ensure stability for school districts and ultimately that benefits students.”
The New York State Teachers Retirement System stated that less than 2 percent of the nearly 156,000 receiving its pension get more than $100,000 a year. Those pensioners also worked an average of almost 40 years to accumulate the credits needed for the payout, according to the system.
The analysis covered full time workers. The average for all full- and part-time school workers statewide was $46,715, according to the nonpartisan think tank’s website http://seethroughny.net.