April 10, 2017

Report: CT six-figure pension costs multiply

The number of state retirees receiving six-figure pensions has grown approximately nine-fold since 2010, according to a new report by the Yankee Institute.

The state is paying six-figure pensions to 1,030 retired employees at a cost of $120 million a year. Seven years ago, just 110 retirees were receiving pensions of $100,000 or more, the report from the conservative-leaning think tank said.

Yankee said it based its report on figures from the state comptroller's office.

Pension payments to all 52,233 current retirees amount to $1.8 billion per year.

In addition, retirees were expected to receive $731 million in healthcare benefits this year, which would eclipse the value of health benefits for active state employees, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget.

Some of the highest pension payments are going to former UConn physicians and faculty, the Yankee Institute said.

Under contract, retirees receive annual cost-of-living increases that can range from 2 percent to 7.5 percent.

The report said 11 retirees are receiving more than $215,000 per year, which Yankee said violates of the Internal Revenue Service' limit on defined benefit plans.

Those 11 retirees cost the state $2.6 million per year. Comptroller Kevin Lembo tried in 2011 to to cap all new pensions within the federal limit and reported the problem to the state retirement commission. But so far there has not been much progress, the institute said.

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