Connecticut paid $100,000 in pensions each to a record 525 retirees in 2012, with 36 retired state employees collecting pensions of at least $150,000 annually, according to a new report by the Yankee Insititute for Public Policy.
The top 10 state pensioners are largely former employees of the University of Connecticut or its health care center in Farmington, the Institute reports.
Studying data provided by the Connecticut Comptroller's Office, the conservative-leaning think tank, headquartered in East Hartford, determined that in all, the state paid out $1.4 billion in pensions to 44,346 retirees in 2012.
Since it began collecting pension benefit data in 2007, the Yankee Institute said, the number of state pensioners has climbed 15 percent. 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.”
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Here, according to the institute, are the top 10 pensioners for 2012.First Name Last Name Agency Amount JOHN VEIGA UCONN PROFESSOR 1
$276,364.26JACK BLECHNER UCONN HEALTH CENTER
$270,234.60ELEANOR HENKEN UCONN HEALTH CENTER
$239,708.52EDWARD BLANCHETTE DOC – CENTRAL OFFICE
$226,658.28HARRY HARTLEY UCONN PROFESSOR 1 (former pres)
$211,652.28RICHARD JUDD CENTRAL CONN S U (former pres)
$208,335.30EUGENE SIGMAN UCONN HEALTH CENTER
$204,352.26ANTHONY DIBENEDETTO UCONN PROFESSOR 1
$203,594.04JOHN RAYE UCONN HEALTH CENTER
$200,597.34LESLIE CUTLER UCONN HEALTH CENTER