One Third of MBTA’s New Pensioners Are Under Age 55

FROM MERLIN ARCHIVE DO NOT RESEND TO LIBRARY Color Advance -- Boston, 7.29.2001: 'Exploring the T': A Green Line train accelerates as it leaves the Park Street Station. Globe Staff Photo, David Kamerman Library Tag 08092001 Calendar Library Tag 10202002 City Weekly Library Tag 09192004 Metro
The Boston Globe

A third of MBTA’s retirees in 2013 were under the age of 55, according to records obtained by the Boston Business Journal.

Those recent young retirees (54 people in all) joined the 2,246 people on the MBTA’s pension payroll who retired at 54 years old or younger. Twenty-seven of the new retirees aren’t yet able to join the AARP, as they are under the age of 50.

The MBTA released its pension data for the first time last year, and the average age of retirement was a relatively youthful 55.

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Not all of MBTA’s recent retirees are whippersnappers, however: when Polina Mendeleyev retired on June 1, 2013, she was 81 years young. And five more people were 70 and older when they retired last year.

The MBTA has been criticized for the age of its pensioners before. In 2009, the transit authority ended a program allowing employees to retire after 23 years of work. That was enough for Boston-based think tank Pioneer Institute, which earlier this year released a report that recommended raising the MBTA’s minimum retirement age from 55 to 60 and also replacing the entire pension board.The Boston Globe noted that there are more retired people on the MBTA’s payroll than there are active employees, and that pension benefits had more than doubled between 1996 and 2012.