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Retired Educators Top List Of Highest Pensions In Pennsylvania

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A new report on pension costs in Pennsylvania shows retired educators collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Among the top recipients is a former Penn State University administrator who pleaded guilty to charges connected to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Traditionally pensions are calculated by taking a look at the state employee's highest average salary over three years. It also takes years of service into consideration.

The top 20 highest pensions in the state earn more than $215K per year in benefits. That amount is so large that it has to be paid by two plans because it exceeds the IRS' maximum for pension caps.

Here are the top five pensions in the state:

  • Rodney Erickson – Penn State - $477,591
  • Stephen Benkovic – Penn State - $443,880
  • William Kingsley - Shippensburg University - $385,819
  • Leonard Jefferson – Penn State - $371,994
  • Irene Mitchel - East Stroudsburg University - $332,017

Former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz, who pleaded guilty in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, ranks near the top of the pension list with $330,699.

Earlier this year, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said the pension fund has some room to improve when it comes to reducing fees and making better investments. While things have improved, the state fund is still $20 billion short to cover the promised pensions.

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