Cops dominate latest list of six-figure pensions

Police officers line Fifth Avenue outside St. Patrick's Cathedral for the funeral service of Joseph Lemm, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in New York. Lemm, who was a technical sergeant in the Air Guard's 105th Base Security Squadron and a 15-year veteran of the New York Police Department, was killed on Dec. 21 when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber outside Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Most of the newest retirees eligible for pensions over $100,000 from the New York State and Local Retirement System were retired police officers, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

At least 362 of the system’s 702 six-figure pensioners who retired during 2019 were police officers employed by the New York State Police, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, or a local police department. More than one-third of all new six-figure pensions (235) went to retired Long Island police officers.

The largest new pension went to retired Port Authority police officer Kevin Cottrell, who is eligible to collect $201,468. He joins 28 other new and existing retirees eligible for pensions over $200,000 this year.

The number of retirees eligible for six-figure pensions from the New York State and Local Retirement System has doubled from 2,931 during the system’s 2015 fiscal year to 6,178 in 2020. By comparison, NYSLRS had just 1,378 six-figure pensioners at the end of fiscal 2010 when the Empire Center first made the list available on the internet.

The Empire Center continues to litigate with the New York City Police Pension Fund to make the recipients and amounts of NYPD pensions publicly available.

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