Monday, March 28, 2011

Pension battle overlooks the deeper numbers

More than half of workers in the Florida Retirement System earn less than $40,000. The average annual benefit for retirees is $17,465. At least 297 executive branch workers earn salaries low enough to qualify them for Medicaid.

Absent from the web site is data that puts the list of high earners into context. For example, the Florida Department of Management Services calculates that the average FRS employee earns a salary of $34,651, retires with 21 years of service, and collects an average annual benefit of $11.642, or $970 a month. Of the 304,337 beneficiaries in the state retirement system, fewer than two in 1,000 – .17 percent – draw more than $100,000 a year.

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