SALEM -- Newly released documents from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System show former University of Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti is the state's top public pension beneficiary at $496,000 per year.
The names of more than 100,000 retired public employees in Oregon and how much they receive in pensions are being made public as part of a court settlement between the state retirement system and Oregonian and Statesman-Journal newspapers.
The newspapers demanded the records last year. Such records are readily available in other states and the information provides information about how PERS is mananage, according to the Oregonian report.
Pensioners had argued that it was an invasion of their privacy. "It's going to make people subject to identity theft and fraud," Greg Hartman, an attorney representing unions and pensioners told the Oregonian.
The Statesman Journal says PERS pays out $231 million a month to all beneficiaries combined.
The Oregonian reported that there are 837 pensioners who get in excess of $100,000 a year in PERS benefits. They comprise about 3.4 percent of total retirees. About 68 percent get less than $36,000 a year. About 17 percent earn more than $50,000, the newspaper reported.
Bellotti told The Oregonian he simply accepted the package he was offered when he signed on at the university in 1989.
"Put in all the taxes I've paid to the state of Oregon," he told the Oregonian.
The Oregonian reported that a more detailed accounting of pension benefits was expected to be released next spring that includes a pensioner's final salary, years of service, retirement date and the means with which benefits were calculated.
The Oregonian created an interactive list of those who get more than $100,000 a year.
The top 10 includes Steve Goldschmidt, brother of disgraced former governor Neil Goldschmidt, former University of Oregon president and attorney general Dave Frohnmayer, former head of Oregon Health & Sciences University Dr. Peter Kohler and Lake Oswego school superintendent Bill Korach, who still works for the district.
Republican state Rep. Dennis Richardson of Central Point told the Statesman-Journal that the top 10 were people who retired under a system called Tier 1, a more generous plan than workers get now.