The story "Top pensions in NY State" [News, March 11] implies that state pensions are financed solely by taxpayers. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the New York State Teachers' Retirement System, which is one of the best-funded public pension plans in the nation.
Investment earnings accounted for 87 percent of the teachers' retirement system income between 1994 and 2014. Another 2 percent came from member contributions, and the remaining 11 percent from employer contributions, which are taxpayer-funded. In 17 of the past 20 years, employer contributions to the pension fund were in the single digits by percentage.
Employers contributed $16.3 billion, and the retirement system paid out $78.1 billion in benefits over this period. This is a remarkable ratio in itself, if it were not for the fact that the market value of our assets also increased from $40 billion to $108 billion.
We hope this information clarifies the sources of the teachers' retirement system funding.
Thomas K. Lee, Albany
Editor's note: The writer is the executive director and chief investment officer of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System.