Risky work fees
The Empire Center for Public Policy analysis showed that 325 out of 491 New York City Fire Department employees, or 75% of the total, received a pension in 2019 that exceeded $100 thousand.
This amount is due to the fact that 381 retired employees have worked for at least 20 years and a disability resulting from working on the World Trade Centre rubble demolition site.
Although, 40 former employees receive over 200,000. Also, the managers who once headed the department's academy have been recognised as disabled, which means that they are paid at least 75% of their salary, rather than the usual 50%.
In 2019, providing for such retirees cost 60% of the total budgeted costs, or $880 million out of $1.4 billion, taking into account benefits for families whose relatives died in the line of duty.
As the Empire Center's Director for Strategic Initiatives said, no one denies the danger of firefighters' work, but taxpayers have every right to be informed about how pensions are calculated. This is all the more true because the funds in the relevant fund are severely underfunded and the validity of the disability is often questioned.
Moreover, the financial situation is almost unchanged. For example, in 2018, a pension of no more than $100,000 was set for 74% of former employees and $200,000 for 37. Although, a spokesman for the department said that a high percentage of those who received disability were related to the diseases caused by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.