Bloated, Broke, and Bullied

In 2013, a police lieutenant at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey retired with an annual salary of $129,000; the next year, he began collecting a lifetime pension of $172,000, or one-third above his base pay. The officer had managed to juice up his annual pension through pay sweeteners provided by the Port Authority, including lots of overtime work. He was far from alone. An assistant operations manager at one of the Port Authority–controlled New York airports retired at a salary of $89,000, but soon began collecting a pension of $103,000, 16 percent above annual pay. An electrician quit working with a base salary of $76,000 and started collecting a pension of $79,000. These are extraordinary numbers, culled from a database of Port Authority pay practices provided by OpenTheBooks.com.

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