Part 2: Are FDNY & NYPD Pensions Equal

When determining final average salary (FAS), the answer is no.  As many are aware, FAS is the starting point when calculating a pension.  There are different definitions of FAS based on Tier and appointment date.  This blog post will review the definitions of FAS used by the NYC Police Pension Fund (Police) vs. the definitions of FAS used by the NYC Fire Pension Fund (Fire).  There are distinct differences between the definitions and Fire’s definitions are more favorable.  Police members should be asking why Fire uses the more favorable definitions.  Additionally, Police members should be asking why FAS is not provided on pension estimate documents at retirement.

Tier 2

Police FAS Definition 

Appointment date prior to July 1st, 2000

FAS is calculated based on the greater of the following:

  1. Final 12 months
  2. Final 36 months
  3. Any three (3) consecutive calendar years

Appointment date on or after July 1st, 2000

FAS is calculated using only the following:

  1. Final 12 months
Fire FAS Definition 

Appointment date prior to July 1st, 2000

FAS is calculated based on the greater of the following:

  1. Final 12 months
  2. Any consecutive three (3) year period based on the month and day of retirement

Appointment date on or after July 1st, 2000

FAS is calculated using only the following:

  1. Final 12 months

Tier 3

Police FAS Five (5) Year Definition 

FAS is calculated based on the greater of the following:

  1. Average wages earned by a member during any five (5) consecutive calendar years
  2. 60 months immediately preceding the member’s retirement date
Fire FAS Five (5) Year Definition 
  1. FAS is the average total pensionable compensation earned by a member during any five (5) consecutive years based on the month and day of retirement that provides the highest average wages.

Note: The NYC Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) Tier 3 Uniformed Corrections Force also uses the same five (5) year definition as Fire.

Blog post 9/20/2018: Are FDNY & NYPD Pensions Equal?

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