Malverne Superintendent Tops Highest Pensions List

Dr. James Hunderfund, the superintendent of the Malverne school district, has a maximum annual pension of more than $300K, reports Newsday.

The number of retired public school superintendents in New York State with $100,000-plus government pensions jumped 45 percent in the past year in New York State, Newsday reports, and one of the top 10 recipients is none other than Malverne schools Superintendent James Hunderfund.

Dr. Hunderfund, who is retired from the Commack School District but currently works as Malverne's top adminstrator, has a maximum annual pension of $316,497, according to an article published in Newsday on Jan. 28.

The report used information obtained from the New York State Teacher Retirement System through the Freedom of Information Law to determine that 63 percent of retired school administrators earning six-figure pensions come from Long Island.

During his State of the State address earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that by next year, pension costs for schools, state, and local governments will have increased more than 100 percent since 2009. An analysis by Newsday showed that pension contributions for employees of the Malverne school are expected to go up by 220 percent from 2010 to 2013, 90.5 percent for teachers alone. West Hempstead's are projected to rise by 148 percent for employees (84.3 percent for teachers) during this same time period, according to the study.

Cuomo is calling for reforms to be made to the state's pension system including the creation of a Tier VI retirement plan. 

"I understand the politics and...the political opposition," Cuomo said during the Jan. 4 speech. "When we are talking about pension reform for union employees, we're talking about union employees who don't even exist at this point in time because current employees are covered by current pension system. No one ever said a pension system was a legacy or inheritance."

Cuomo expressed the need for more mandate relief too.

"We need a government that performs better and costs less," he said, pointing out that although New York spends the most on education, it's ranked 38th for its graduation rates.

"A government that works for the people must make a long-term commitment to fiscal discipline," he stated. "Our state is better able to compete when we keep taxes down."

Do you think the pension system needs to be reformed? Vote in our poll or share your comments below.

Level January 29, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Looks like public school employees put in 30+ years and had a the benefit of smart fund managers. This is what pensions are SUPPOSED to do. There is no problem here. A pension is not a legacy or inheritance, but it is a contract. If Gov. Cuomo wants to bait-and-switch working people, he can count on losing the election next time around
Concerned Resident January 29, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Malverne wake up!! This is a small school district that is too top heavy!! It is time to demand a change. Our taxes are too high and our schools are a disgrace. Ever ask your kids what goes on during the school day? I have and maybe it is time to hold the administration accountable. They lay off the staff that take care of the buildings and the staff that are the lowest paid but do the most work. Teachers that were laid off were rehired not other staff! Where is the common sense. What does the overpaid administration do???? Their staff does all the work. We need to combine with another district if they would want to be associated with Malverne. Stop by the schools and demand to walk thru the halls between classes, stop in the bathrooms to see how disgusting they are, stop in the cafeteria during lunch, check the kitchens etc. talk to your kids. I have and maybe it is time to demand change. They cut business, computers, art and music. Students are not learning basic life skills. From what my children are telling me they don't think our schools are safe and are disgusting. What a shame!!!
Mile Bloom January 29, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Long Island has some of the best school districts in the state and the country and its because education is important. If you invest in good education it will come back 100 times.
CS January 30, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Susan Britt January 30, 2012 at 06:33 AM
This is why we cannot sell our homes on Long Island. Our taxes are too high paying for pensions like this.
Chris Wendt January 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I added a photo of Dr. Hunderfund from his former job, the one from which he retired, before he was hired again.
Jack Tulley January 30, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Yes I think the pension system has gotten out of hand but it's not the employees that did it, it was the State legislature that gave them the benifits. Dr. Hunderfund did nothing illegal or underhanded. He just took what our past politicians gave him.
Jack Tulley January 30, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Just to make everyone aware, Malverne School district does not pay any pension benefits for Dr. Hudnerfund at his present position, which saves our district probalby 10% to 15% in costs if we had hired a superintendent that was not retired. On that same note such a guarnteed pesnion plan as it exists now can not and should not be sustained for any NYS employee. Write the governor or your congressman not your School board members or superintendents if you want change.
sharon gofberg January 30, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Some do, Some Do Not. the Do Not's Need to be eliminated. Good Teachers are far more Important and worthy of all the benefits. Just to blanket all of them is wrong. Mr Hunderfund, what do we know about you? and why do our taxes have to be so brutal just to have an Obvious Team Player calling the same old.....It Just Keeps on Going.again, one wonders How a retired person was hauled out of Mothballs to fill this spot. why not a dynamic young person, with no political affiliations?
sally January 31, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Isay we do what chris Christie just did, although not pensions, and I realize that is another can of worms. But a salary cap. No Superintendent can earn higher than $175,000 per year. Now NY will get a flood of disgruntled NJ superintendents that will be leaving because of a sensible governor. As Christie said when asked about all of them leaving to go to other states, "I will help them pack"
algor February 01, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Paid like a rock star. With salary, he gets over $500,000 per year (and I doubt he does much during the summer either). Malverne has less than 1,800 kids in the entire district - about the same as typical single schools in NYC, yet this guy is paid way more than the administrators of the entire NYC school system. With that kind of pay, residents should get commensurate school performance. Rock star performance. And what do we get? CLOSE THESE SCHOOLS IMMEDIATELY, SPLIT UP THE DISTRICT AND MERGE WITH OTHER DISTRICTS - IT IS THE ONLY SANE THING TO DO!! DISTRIBUTE KIDS TO RVC, WH, LYNBROOK and VS - THEY'LL TAKE THE DISCOUNTED TAX REVENUE.
Susan Britt February 01, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Algor, you hit the nail on the head in your response. 1800 kids in entire district? Did they all get accepted to Harvard and Yale?? With that kind of salary they should have education geared to the Ivy League schools. Chances are this superindendent has the same statistics of any other district. It is an outrage and it has to be stopped.
Jack Tulley February 01, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Merging with other districts is a great idea and has been looked at but nobody wants us in their districts. Unless the State mandates and forces the merging of school districts no such mergers will ever happen. It all goes back to the State governor and legislature.
CS February 01, 2012 at 09:35 PM
smart fund manager? THIS JOB ISNT WORTH 1/4 THAT PAY
Gina Genti February 02, 2012 at 03:08 PM
The market for Superintendents is self correcting due to Cuomos proposed salary cap and the financial climate. Valley Stream recently hired 2 Superintendents for under $200,000.
Gina Genti February 02, 2012 at 03:09 PM
The NYS Public Employees Pension Fund is supplemented by the taxpayers. Every year the state mandate a % of each districts budget for contribution. The contribution is based on the performance of the stock market.
Gina Genti February 02, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Jack can you please elaborate on "nobody wants us"?
Jack Tulley February 02, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Please don't try and bait me Gina, or set me up for stating the obvious. If you can't see the elephant in the room then shame on you for wearing such blinders. Can you explain to me why when the original school district lines were drawn that students that are closer to the Rockville Centre and West Hempstead then to Malverne and Lakeview were placed into our school district boundaries and not Rockville Centre's? Explain to me why students form Island Park choose bwtween Long Beahc and West Hempstead High School when our schools are closer to them?
Gina Genti February 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Jack I'm sorry if you feel as if I'm leading you. I was simply asking you to back up your statement. It was a strong statement and in addition I have no knowledge of mergers being investigated. As for your questions I don't have those answers.
fredo August 02, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I think it's time for raises all around!!
Jan Kasal December 13, 2012 at 07:17 PM
If you follow the Malverne school district news on a regular basis you are aware that the board of education has recently become an agenda of its own, not leaving much room for any other business. Its conduct has been divisive, obscure, and poisonous. The current school board is a burden and embarrassment to the school district residents. If you are ready to dedicate some time to prepare for the upcoming May 2013 school budget and school board member elections and to change the course, please join others by contacting me at vevajanka@hotmail.com


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