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176 Massachusetts state retirees collect $100K pensions

Posted March 21, 2011 12:25 PM

The number of state retirees collecting pensions of at least $100,000 has climbed more than 20 percent in the past year, jumping from 145 to 176, with the top pensioner receiving more than $240,000.

State Police retirees represent the largest group of six-figure earners, with 50, followed by faculty and administrators from the University of Massachusetts Amherst at 42, and employees of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, at 19.

Eight years ago, only 33 state employees made more than $100,000, but as state salaries have increased through the decades, so have pensions, which are calculated in part based on employees’ income in their three highest-paid years of work.

“There is an urgent need for comprehensive pension reform,’’ said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Soaring pension and health care benefits are cannibalizing municipal services.’’

Read the rest of Matt Caroll's article here.

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