CTA President Dorval Carter gave up a $137,000 pension earned at the CTA through 2009 to return and run the place, according to an exclusive Sun-Times report.
And he earned just over $750,000 in total pension payouts from November 2009 till April of this year. He returned to the CTA in May at a salary of $235,000.
How did he manage to qualify for the large CTA pension? Well, it’s all perfectly legal in the wacky world of pensions.
From the Sun-Times report:
He’d worked for the CTA from 1984 to 1991, then, after working for the Federal Transit Administration, returned in 2000, staying until he accepted the early-retirement deal in 2009.
That amounted to a total of 16 and a half years with the CTA. But he was able to get a pension based on nearly twice that — 30 years of service — because the CTA, hoping to save money by encouraging higher-paid employees to retire early, allowed him to get credit for the nearly eight years he’d worked for the federal government and to buy credit for additional time.
Carter had been making contributions to the CTA Employee Retirement Plan — the pension plan for rank-and-file transit workers, who typically would be expected to retire by 65.
He also was vested in a separate “supplemental retirement plan” offered to CTA executives.
In 2008, the CTA board decided to close the supplemental plan for executives and offer them the early-retirement incentive. It offered a “voluntary termination program” allowing about 150 executives like Carter to move the money they’d put into the CTA’s regular pension fund to the supplemental plan if they agreed to retire by June 30, 2011.
For its part, CTA spokesman Brian Steele says Carter didn’t get any special treatment in the various machinations of the deal.
It’s well worth reading the rest of the Sun-Times story for more details.
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