Friday, June 23, 2017

Budget History at NYCERS

On April 23, 2017 the NYCERS Trustees adopted the FY-2018 Administrative Budget for the agency. It increased the payroll by $645,000 from $31.06M to $31.70 and the OTPS budget by $900,000 from $20.92m to $21.83M. The F/T head count was increased from 401 to 411. The P/T head count stayed at 35.

Interestingly, the Chair, John Adler, voted against the budget primarily because of the increase in the F/T head count. With the Comptroller's vote the increased head count was adopted. It is a hard budget rule that head count drives costs.

The table below charts out the history of the NYCERS admin budget back to 1986. That was before the 1996 passage of the “corpus funded” budget law.

The 1989 NYCERS budget was the high mark for the NYCERS budget while it was still part of the total city budget. As of July 1, 1996 NYCERS’s budget began to be funded through the assets of the system under the control of the trustees and it was no longer an item in the city's budget. The mayor and the comptroller each have a super vote on the budget resolution in so far as at least one of them needs to vote for the budget for it to be adopted.

In 1996, the non-loan agency head count was 154 F/T employees and 30 college aides. The total budget, both PS and OTPS, was $8.77M. The agency was on life support and the Mayor's Executive Budget had set the NYCERS head count at 146 for 1997.

From 1997 to 2005 with the help of "corpus funding" the agency's F/T staff increased from 154 to 342 along with the original 30 college aide positions. That was a radical increase of 186 positions. In addition in 2000, NYCERS moved into modern office space (133,000 sq. ft.) in downtown Brooklyn.

The NYCERS budget in 2006 had a F/T head count of 342 and a total budget of $34.94M, not including fringe benefit costs. FY-2006 was the last budget I prepared. At that point NYCERS was the best staffed agency in the city and the best funded. If necessary, NYCERS could have performed at a top level indefinitely without any increase in head count.

As of July 1, 2017 NYCERS will have a head count of 411. That is an increase of 69 people over the last 11 years. You would think NYCERS must be functioning flawlessly. It is not.

In 2015, I wrote a critical review of a IT upgrade that NYCERS was planning for the five year 2016-2020 budget cycle. The project is two years through the five year cycle with nothing much done. The only good thing is that the trustees have not let NYCERS spend the full $132M that the staff had requested.

Last year the previous executive director resigned. Adler and the trustees are now in the process of appointing/hiring a new executive director. Let us hope that they find an honest competent person for the position.

History of NYCERS Admin Budget 1987-2018
Fiscal YearF/T CountP/T CountCollege Aides / HourlyPS BudgetOTPS BudgetTotal% Increase
1986205030 $5,916,793 $1,423,743 $7,340,536
1987203030 $6,621,803 $1,881,300 $8,167,220 11.2%
1988223030 $6,621,803 $1,881,300 $8,503,103 4.11%
1989243030 $7,849,731 $1,932,351 $9,782,082 15.4%
1990238030 $8,284,883 $2,578,693 $10,863,576 11.06%
1991229030 $6,826,473 $2,475,205 $9,301,678 -14.38%
1992225030 $6,646,549 $2,216,262 $8,862,811 -4.72
1993223030 $6,858,991 $2,198,882 $9,057,873 2.20%
1994194030 $6,778,541 $2,183,101 $8,961,642 -1.06%
1995167030 $6,202,062 $2,080,504 $8,282,566 -7.58%
1996154030 $6,199,709 $2,573,715 $8,773,424 5.93%
1997200030
1998230030
1999270030
2000290030
20013201330
20023201330
20033341330
20043341330
20053421330 $19,737,687 $14851355 $34,589,042 288.6%
20063421330 $20,255,911 $14,683,855 $34,939,766 1.01%
2007364130 $22,616,783 $14,258,471 $36,875,254 5.54%
2008371130 $23,597,857 $17,259,313 $40,857,170 10.80%
2009371130$25,189,842 18,208,861 $43,398,703 6.22%
2010372120$26,046,827 $17,777,228 $43,824,055 0.98%
2011372120$26,046,827 $18,492,228 $44,539,055 1.63%
20123721220$25,756,827 $18,781,428 $44,538,255 0.00%
2013380530$26,623,635 $17,951,822 $44,575,457 0.08%
2014383530$26,813,635 $18,761,240 $45,574,875 2.24%
2015342530$29,131,972 $18,154,572 $47,286,544 3.76%
2016342530$30,233,989 $19,407,619 $49,641,608 4.98%
2017401530$31,056,080 $20,916,796 $51,972,876 4.70%
2018411530$31,701,410 $21,832,718 $53,534,128 3.00%

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