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

$276,364.26

JACK BLECHNER UCONN HEALTH CENTER

$270,234.60

ELEANOR HENKEN UCONN HEALTH CENTER

$239,708.52

EDWARD BLANCHETTE DOC – CENTRAL OFFICE

$226,658.28

HARRY HARTLEY UCONN PROFESSOR 1 (former pres)

$211,652.28

RICHARD JUDD CENTRAL CONN S U (former pres)

$208,335.30

EUGENE SIGMAN UCONN HEALTH CENTER

$204,352.26

ANTHONY DIBENEDETTO UCONN PROFESSOR 1

$203,594.04

JOHN RAYE UCONN HEALTH CENTER

$200,597.34

LESLIE CUTLER UCONN HEALTH CENTER

$198,318.00

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.”

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