Two retired Western New York superintendents have landed on the Empire Center's list of education retirees with the highest annual pension benefits.
Former North Tonawanda Superintendent John H. George's $206,493 annual pension benefit ranked 24th on the list of retired educators with the 100 highest annual pension benefits.
Howard S. Smith, who retired as superintendent of Williamsville in 2011, came in at 79, with an annual pension of $171,887.
See the entire list here.
The Empire Center last week updated its pension database for state teachers and school administrators after the state Court of Appeals ruled that information must be made public. The think tank had sought the information under the state's open records law.
Most of the 100 top pension earners retired from school districts downstate, according to the Empire Center.
A 2008 story in The Buffalo News by Staff Reporter Mary Pasciak explained why George was able to retire with an annual pension that was larger than his salary. The story, "Educators hit pay dirt with pensions," noted that George cashed in on hundreds of days of unused vacation and sick time that he had earned during his 17 years as superintendent.
Search the entire pension database at Empire Center's seethroughny.net.
-- Denise Jewell Gee