(KMOV) – Seven years ago, Dr. Don Senti, the then Superintendent of the Clayton School District, discovered that his public pension was so generous that he was making less on the job than he would in retirement.
Senti decided to pull out nearly $600,000 from his account to supplement his salary as superintendent. It was an unusual move that he says allowed him to stay on the job without feeling like he was making a financial mistake.
Dr. Senti is now the Parkway district's Interim Superintendent where he earns $229,000 a year, adding even more money to his already lucrative pension.
Many public pension systems in Missouri and Illinois guarantee extraordinary benefits for life without requiring employees to contribute a penny of their own money. In Illinois, the State University Retirement System pays 1,456 retirees more than $100,000 a year, including two people receiving more than $400,000 a year.
In Illinois and Missouri, lawmakers made changes that will reduce benefits for new employees and make them wait longer to collect pensions. In Missouri, employees must wait 10 years to get vested in the program and contribute 4% of their own pay. But the part-time lawmakers who made the rules will still qualify for full pensions after six years, and statewide elected officials will get pensions after only four years. Elected officials can get their pensions at age 62, five years before other employees.
For superintendent retirement pension spreadsheat, click here.