State’s total pension obligations over $5.2 billion

Tens of hundreds of state pensions of as much as $350,000 a yr are straining the retirement system, forcing the Legislature to ask taxpayers for more money to keep the system afloat.

A staggering 1,000-plus retirees earned $one hundred,000 or extra in pension pay last yr — with former troopers, judges, provosts and faculty superintendents leading the best way — with the entire pension-fund legal responsibility at a finances-busting $5.21 billion.

It’s a development one watchdog stated is heading into the danger zone.

“These pensions are putting an unlimited burden on the state finances,” stated Greg Sullivan, a former state inspector common now with the Pioneer Institute. “It’s taking away cash we’d like for roads, bridges and to fix the MBTA.”

Sullivan stated the cost of footing the invoice for these golden years has “skyrocketed” — forcing the state Legislature to pump $2.4 billion into that price range in 2018. He warned that the tab for this legal responsibility will climb to $11 billion by 2033.

“That is such a significant issue,” Sullivan added, “it’s turn into virtually unrealistic.”

The 124,000-plus pension payouts studied by the Herald present former provosts, professors, prosecutors, academics, social staff, toll collectors and jail guards amassing hefty checks:

  • Two former UMass Medical junior chancellors pulled down $347,000 and $338,000, respectively, last yr. Each retired lately.
  • Ten retirees have been close behind at greater than $200,000 every final yr, together with William “Billy” Bulger, the brother of slain Southie mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. The former UMass president and onetime state Senate president took house $201,656 final yr.
  • One man who retired in 1953 from “state service” was listed as accumulating $12,200 final yr. Others left state work in the Nineteen Sixties, ’70s and ’80s and are still accumulating checks.
  • Most retired public faculty academics have been paid about $50,000 final yr, but the prime earner in this category chalked up $149,000.
  • Faculty superintendents and academics from Athol to Wrentham had annual pensions of $209,000 to $400. (That was a instructor on Nantucket.)
  • Retired toll collectors, who had their jobs eliminated as a consequence of digital tolling, clocked in at $61,000 and $56,000 a yr, on the high aspect, to $9,959 in the sluggish lane.

Sullivan, who collects a $ninety one,000 annual pension for his stint as an inspector basic, stated the offender is the state’s growing payroll.

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