Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has expressed his regret over not securing a government pension following a $148 million civil court ruling and the ensuing unpaid legal bills.
Giuliani, at 79 years old, acknowledged his oversight in not applying for pension benefits, unlike most former mayors of New York. This information comes from city payroll records, as revealed by the Empire Center for Public Policy and Giuliani’s own official disclosure filings.
Eligibility for Giuliani’s pension would have begun after he turned 62, following his two terms as mayor, which concluded at the end of 2001. The pension would have amounted to approximately $26,000 annually. Over the past 17 years, this could have summed up to around $442,000.
When asked about his decision to forego the pension, Giuliani told the New York Post that he was “giving back to the city I love. Although I would like to take it now. I don’t know how to go about it.”
A former top city official commented on Giuliani’s financial planning, suggesting that the potential pension payments, which might have seemed insignificant to Giuliani at the time, would be greatly beneficial to him now.
“This might have seemed like chump change to someone like him who left City Hall with multi-million-dollar book deals, but I bet he wishes he had [pension payments] now. In his situation, every penny helps.”
Despite not opting for a pension, Giuliani did contribute to the city’s deferred compensation plan. In 2007, during his unsuccessful presidential campaign, he reported this plan as an asset valued between $50,000 and $100,000 in his disclosure filings.
In contrast, former Mayor Bill de Blasio receives a yearly pension of $113,131, having served two decades in various elected positions, including public advocate and on the city council. The New York City Employees’ Retirement System records show that former mayor and Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins received an annual pension of $59,657 before his death in 2020, and former Mayor Ed Koch received $49,065 annually before his passing in 2013. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who served as mayor from 2002 to 2013, neither accepted a salary nor a pension during his tenure.
Giuliani, once celebrated as “America’s Mayor,” faces a dire financial situation. According to Manhattan federal court filings, he owes an estimated $153 million against assets of up to $10 million.
He filed for bankruptcy on December 21, shortly after being ordered to pay $148 million in damages to two former Georgia election workers. These workers accused Giuliani, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, of falsely alleging their involvement in voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. Giuliani’s attorney, Joe Sibley, described the ruling as “the civil equivalent of the death penalty” and warned that it “will be the end of Mr. Giuliani” if an appeal is unsuccessful.
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