We all know how important it is to plan for your retirement and make sure you’ll be able to keep the bills paid in your golden years. If you’re not sure how to do that, you may want to study the case of Edgar J. McManus, a retired professor from Queens College who is collecting a pension in excess of half a million dollars a year.

Retired Queens College history professor Edgar J. McManus, 90, gets a city pension of $561,286 a year, newly released figures show.

His payout is the highest by far in both the city and state teachers retirement systems, according to data obtained by the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany-based think tank.

The city Teachers Retirement System, or TRS, administers pensions for 80,300 members, mostly former employees of the Department of Education and some from CUNY.

The city’s second-biggest pension, $308,358, goes to Alvin Marty, a Baruch College economics professor who retired after 55 years in 2008.

While McManus may serve as some sort of symbol for the excesses of the teachers unions and taxpayer funded pension systems spiraling out of control, there are a few facts about his particular case which are worth mentioning in his defense. First, and probably foremost, is the fact that the guy worked at that job for more than half a century until he was nearly ninety, teaching history and constitutional law. Given the structure of the pension system, it’s at least partially based on how long it is expected that the recipient will be collecting. In this case, the typical projection would be that these payments won’t be stretching out for all that long.

Also, the professor gets credit for military service on top of his work as a teacher. (He is a World War 2 veteran.) And finally, not all of this money is externally generated. A portion of it comes from retirement accounts which contain contributions from McManus as well as his employer. (Yes, I understand it’s all tax dollars, but kicking in from his own pay is still a mitigating factor.) But even with all that said, it’s a pretty staggering pension.

Actually, McManus draws attention away from the rest of the teachers who are listed in the big pension club. Apparently these figures had been hidden from the public for a time – even though these are all tax dollars – until a FOIA ruling forced their disclosure. Some of the other recipients are nearly as surprising as the King of Pensions.

Fifteen other retirees collect more than $200,000 a year — including city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who gets $208,506.

And 1,796 retired educators get more than $100,000 a year.

The highest payment to a DOE employee, $287,625, goes to James D. Rosen, a teacher who retired at top pay, $100,049, in 2010.

The next time that voters are told that they need to pony up yet another tax increase to fund the education system, they should all break out a copy of this report and hand it to the politicians who are pushing for it.