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A Billion Here, a Billion There: New York City and Pensions Coming Due

Cities, Cities, Governance Public Sector Reform, New York City, Pensions

Editor's note: This editorial is based on a new report by E.J. McMahon and Josh B. McGee, The Never-Ending Hangover: How New York City's Pension Costs Threaten Its Future.

Little in life is guaranteed, but this much is certain: city government retirees by the hundreds of thousands will receive pension payments until they die, with every penny funded either by gains on investment portfolios or by you, lucky taxpayer.

A nerve-wracking new analysis from the Manhattan Institute reveals just how much we’re on the hook for — as much as $142 billion to make good on obligations, or more than twice as high as the city’s official estimate.

As it is, the city injects nearly $10 billion a year, in part to fill the gap when investments perform below the too-generously-assumed 7% annual rate of return.

Payments to prop up pensions amount to a hefty chunk of the city’s swelling $85.2 billion budget, creaking further with the weight of 17,000 full-time jobs added to the city payroll by Mayor de Blasio.

More pensions, more problems. But who’s counting?

This editorial originally appeared in the New York Daily News


This piece originally appeared in New York Daily News