Highest former PA lawmaker pensions
Many are about double what the average PA resident makes a year.
HARRISBURG – Many former lawmakers collect a pension richer than what most taxpayers make in a year.
Rock the Capital, a non-profit voter education organization, released a voluminous report on Wednesday detailing pension payments made to current and former lawmakers. Part of the report focuses on lawmakers who voted in 2001 to increase their pensions by 50 percent.
Eric Epstein, founder of Rock the Capital, said it’s important for voters to ask if they are better off now than they were before that vote – but right now, the only ones better off are the legislators.
According to the United States Census Bureau, median household income in Pennsylvania is $51,651. Former Rep. Frank Oliver, D-Philadelphia, annually collects more than five times that amount as part of his taxpayer-funded pension.
But Oliver, 91, is one of many former lawmakers who collect pensions larger than the state’s average median household income.
Former Rep. Mario Civera, R-Delaware, receives an annual pension in excess of $70,000 in addition to his salary earned as a member of the Delaware County Council.
Former Sen. Raphael Musto, D-Luzerne, was indicted in 2010 on corruption charges. But he continues to receive an annual pension of more than $100,000.
Former Rep. Merle Phillips, R-Northumberland, receives an annual pension of $120,261; which is more than $30,000 what he made as a member of the state House of Representatives.
The top ten largest pensions received by lawmakers who voted for the controversial pension bump in 2001 are listed below. Excluded from the list are two deceased lawmakers, as well as former Sen. Robert Mellow, D-Scranton, who forfeited his pension as a result of a guilty plea in a federal investigation.
Former Rep. Frank Oliver, D-Philadelphia – $286,118
Former Sen. Raphael Musto, D-Luzerne – $127,033
Former Rep. Merle Phillips, R-Northumberland – $120, 261
Former Sen. Allen Kukovich, D-Westmoreland – $98,951
Former Sen. Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona – $90,934
Former Sen. Roger Madigan, R-Towanda -$88,023.96
Former Sen. Richard Tilghman, R-Delaware -$86,586.84
Former Rep. Bruce Smith, R-York -$83,087
Former Rep. George Hasay, R-Mountain Top – $79,049
Former Rep. Mario Civera, R-Delaware – $73, 275
Contact Gary Joseph Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pennsylvania Independent is a public interest journalism project dedicated to promoting open, transparent, and accountable state government by reporting on the activities of agencies, bureaucracies, and politicians in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a conservative national nonprofit journalism organization.