Contained in this column are two articles from the Patriot-News.
The first was published May 6 by reporter Jan Murphy.
It is titled “Set for Life –Browse the database to see who is getting a six-figure annual pension” Click here to view it.
The second article was published May 7 by reporter Charles Thompson. It is titled – “How PA state workers and teachers calculate their pensions” and can be read here.
The first article exposes the six-figure annual pensions of many retired Pennsylvania state government and school district employees.
Number one on the list is a retired Pennsylvania State University employee who is receiving $39,799.23 per month for a total yearly annuity of $477,591.
Number two on the list is another retired Pennsylvania State University employee who is receiving $36,989.98 per month for a total yearly annuity of $443,880.
These numbers do not reflect the health benefits that retired state employees are also receiving.
Please take note that of the top 25 people on the list, 13 are Penn State University retirees.
I have reported in the past that I serve on the Senate Appropriations committee and our committee is in the process of reviewing the governor’s budget.
I am scratching my head wondering why last year the State of Pennsylvania contributed approximately $230 million dollars from the general fund to Penn State University and this year Governor Wolf’s budget is proposing a $50 million dollar increase this year to Penn State for a total of approximately $280 million from the general fund to Penn State.
During Appropriations hearings last month I specifically asked the President of Penn State University for their financial statements to allow our committee to understand how much cash Penn State currently has in its various bank accounts and endowments.
Here is the head scratching thought – why is the state giving Penn State any money when it appears the money is going to subsidize breathtaking lifetime pensions when in fact the money should be going towards the education of their students?
I am not trying to single out Penn State University – I am just stating the facts.
I have mentioned in previous email blasts that retirement and health benefits state employees receive are completely out of line with the private sector and they are virtually unsustainable.
For anyone wondering why Pennsylvania taxes are so high, these articles are crystal clear examples.
The second article explains how pension benefits are calculated stating that, “So as the plan exists now, a PennDOT foreman with 35 years of service could retire with pension income equal to 87.5 percent of their average pay for the last three years on the job.”
Excuse me – did I read that right?
In the last 3 years of a PennDOT foreman’s employment it is not unreasonable that this person could spike their gross income to $100,000 annually or more for the last 3 years of their employment so that an average of the 3 years could very well be $100,000 or more.
At $100,000 per year average for the last 3 years this person would retire with $87,500 per year to start for the rest of their life, plus lifetime healthcare benefits.
So a foreman could tell his wife – “Hey honey, I’m going to spend the next 3 years working as much overtime as I can so I can drive my annual compensation up as high as possible so I’ll get a gold-plated pension when I retire – I’ll be back in 3 years!”
Reading articles like this combined with what I have learned since taking office makes me sick to my stomach.
This is the exact reason why I have introduced legislation such as my Taxpayer Fairness in Compensation Act.
These articles are more examples of how working class families are the ones who continue to get exploited in Pennsylvania.
Below is a graph from PennLive of the Top 40 highest pensions, but to view and search the full database of the thousands of retired state government and school district employees receiving over $100,000 per year in pension benefits, click on this link or look below.
|Last Name||First Name||Yearly Annuity||Monthly Annuity||Total Years Of Service||Last Employer|
|Erickson||Rodney||$477,591||$39,799.23||37||Pennsylvania State University|
|Benkovic||Stephen||$443,880||$36,989.98||43||Pennsylvania State University|
|Mitchel||Irene||$332,017||$27,668.12||48||State System-Higher Education|
|Schultz||Gary||$330,699||$27,558.25||38||Pennsylvania State University|
|Willey||Richard||$314,658||$26,221.49||25||Pa Higher Educ. Assist Agcy|
|Oliver||Frank||$286,118||$23,843.13||54||House Of Representatives|
|Kuo||Kenneth||$277,440||$23,120.01||39||Pennsylvania State University|
|Pierce||William||$254,362||$21,196.85||27||Pennsylvania State University|
|Racculia||Phillip||$249,902||$20,825.13||35||Pa Higher Educ. Assist Agcy|
|Kiely||Daniel||$242,169||$20,180.75||47||Pennsylvania State University|
|Costello||Anthony V||$222,685||$18,557.10||39||Garnet Valley Sd|
|Pell||Eva||$222,549||$18,545.76||36||Pennsylvania State University|
|Hershock||Michael||$222,174||$18,514.49||34||Pa Higher Educ. Assist Agcy|
|Marciniak||Robert||$219,221||$18,268.39||56||Pennsylvania State University|
|Parizek||Richard||$217,550||$18,129.13||52||Pennsylvania State University|
|Vesell||Elliot||$212,284||$17,690.34||39||Pennsylvania State University|
|Ohmoto||Hiroshi||$208,576||$17,381.36||44||Pennsylvania State University|
|Porter||Jack||$204,818||$17,068.20||39||State System-Higher Education|
|Anderson||James||$199,070||$16,589.15||40||Pennsylvania State University|
|Reddy||Channa||$196,173||$1,6347.74||28||Pennsylvania State University|
|Mcnairy||Francine||$194,408||$16,200.69||40||State System-Higher Education|
|Meyers||Ronald||$193,592||$16,132.67||47||State System-Higher Education|
|Summers||Edward||$189,844||$15,820.30||27||Administrative Off.-Pa Courts|
|Mazur||Lee||$189,690||$15,807.52||39||Administrative Off.-Pa Courts|
|Klein||Richard||$188,181||$15,681.74||42||Administrative Off.-Pa Courts|
$477,591 Public Pension In Pa