NYSLRS Retirees Build a Strong New York
As baby-boomers hit retirement age, a growing segment of our population is giving back to our state: public service retirees. NYSLRS Retirees are our neighbors, our friends and members of our family, and the pension money paid to retired state and local employees flows directly back into our communities, stimulating and growing our local economies.
Approximately 80 percent of the cost of pension benefits comes from investment earnings of the Common Retirement Fund rather than the contributions of taxpayers.
During 2012, retirees of the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) were responsible for $11.1 billion in economic activity in New York State. The goods and services NYSLRS retirees use create opportunities for new businesses in New York, help grow existing companies and create jobs. Public service retirees are particularly important to merchants because their retirement income provides a stable foundation of customers for local businesses.
After a career working for the people of New York, public service retirees continue to contribute — not just as engaged citizens, but as individuals who bring value to the communities where they live.
NYSLRS Retirees Live in New York State
In 2012, 302,954 NYSLRS retirees and beneficiaries lived in New York State (outside NYC).
As of March 2013, there were 413,436 NYSLRS retirees — 78 percent of whom have chosen to live here in New York. They are former employees of New York State, the university system, public authorities, local governments and schools, and many of them give back to their community as volunteers and supporters of charitable causes.
NYSLRS retirees are widely distributed across different regions of New York. They make up 2.7 percent of the general population, but in some areas of the state, they account for nearly 5 percent of the residents.
NYSLRS Retirees Pay Taxes in New York
Retirees and their beneficiaries paid $1.4 billion in real property taxes — nearly twice their share of the NYS population (excluding New York City) 2012 – 2013 Fiscal Year.
Schools, roads and government services of every sort — they all have something in common: public service retirees help make them possible.
In 2012-2013, NYSLRS retirees paid $1.4 billion in real property taxes — that’s 4.6 percent of the total collected in New York. In some areas of the state, this figure is even higher. In the North Country, NYSLRS retirees pay nearly 8 percent; in the Capital District, nearly 7 percent of the property taxes collected.
Additionally, NYSLRS retirees paid an estimated $488 million in state and local sales tax in 2012.
NYSLRS Retirees Create Jobs
Spending by NYSLRS retirees and their beneficiaries generated an estimated $246 million in state sales tax in 2012.
Business sectors that cater to the needs of retired consumers are booming. In the coming decades, industries such as health care, restaurants and entertainment are predicted to be areas primed for growth — and retired public employees will be an important part of its customer base.
NYSLRS retirees spend a larger than average share of their income on industries that benefit local businesses and they are responsible for an estimated 61,000 jobs as a result of this spending.
The Foundation of a Strong New York
NYSLRS Retirees and their beneficiaries spent $8.9 billion within New York State in 2012.
The pensions earned by public service retirees are a sound investment in New York’s future. These funds don’t just benefit those who receive them, but pay dividends to local businesses, build strong communities and create jobs. As the number of retired public service employees in our state grows, we can look forward to their help in building a stronger New York.
Source: NYSLRS Comprehensive Annual Financial Report; US Census Bureau; OSC Analysis; OSC Annual Report on Local Governments (Rev. 1/14)