The University of Connecticut paid one dozen employees large settlements - many over $100,000 - to get them to resign and keep quiet about their time in state government, according to state auditors. Other agencies participated in the practice, too, although less frequently. The Auditors of Public Accounts faulted the practice because the agreements lacked oversight from the governor or attorney general as required by law and keeps potential whistleblowers from speaking out.
525 $100k Pensions in 2012
EAST HARTFORD – A record 525 retired state employees took home at least $100,000 in pension pay in 2012, according to new data from the state Comptroller’s office analyzed by the Yankee Institute. That figure is up from 417 retirees in 2011.
A record 36 retired state employees enjoyed pensions of at least $150,000, which is more than Governor Malloy’s salary. In 2011, 25 retirees received pensions that large. The ten highest pensioners were:
|First Name||Last Name||Agency||Amount|
|JOHN||VEIGA||UCONN PROFESSOR 1||
|JACK||BLECHNER||UCONN HEALTH CENTER||
|ELEANOR||HENKEN||UCONN HEALTH CENTER||
|EDWARD||BLANCHETTE||DOC – CENTRAL OFFICE||
|HARRY||HARTLEY||UCONN PROFESSOR 1 (former pres)||
|RICHARD||JUDD||CENTRAL CONN S U (former pres)||
|EUGENE||SIGMAN||UCONN HEALTH CENTER||
|ANTHONY||DIBENEDETTO||UCONN PROFESSOR 1||
|JOHN||RAYE||UCONN HEALTH CENTER||
|LESLIE||CUTLER||UCONN HEALTH CENTER||
The full list of $100,000 pensioners can be downloaded here.
The state paid out $1.4 billion in pension pay to 44,346 beneficiaries in 2012. Since the Yankee Institute began collecting pension benefit data in 2007, the number of beneficiaries climbed 15 percent, from 38,604 individuals. Adjusted for inflation, the total payout amount rose 32 percent during that time, from $1 billion to $1.4 billion.
“Overly generous pension benefits continue to grow faster than the rest of the state’s budget, to outstrip inflation, and to crowd out other spending,” said Fergus Cullen, executive director of the Yankee Institute. “This is why the Yankee Institute supports having state government move toward a defined benefit, 401(k)-styled retirement pension reform system through which state employees contribute more to their own retirement funding.”
Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed a new way to fund Connecticut teacher pensions Friday with towns and cities contributing one third of the costs or roughly $407 million. "At a time when state government is making difficult cuts to services, we can no longer afford to exclude how we pay for teacher pensions from the conversations,” Malloy said in a statement.