Spilling the tea on pension payouts for MBTA early retirees
Take a close look at the chart next to this and tell me you don’t wish you had gone to “work” for the MBTA right out of high school — so that you too could have retired with a full pension at age 41 just like all the cool kids did, and continue to do.
Remember when it was announced with such great fanfare that the T’s 23-years-and-out scam for hacks had been ended, and that henceforward, the MBTA’s payroll patriots would have to “work” a little longer, like the rest of us do?
By the way, if we’d had more room, the chart next to this column would have been bigger. Had we included everybody under the age of 55 who left the T with a pension last year, there would have been another 19 slots on the list – 32 in all.
If you ever talk to a financial planner, ask him how much money you’d need upfront to put into an annuity to start grabbing $97,009 a year at age 51 for the rest of your life, the way one T retiree cashed out last year.
How much would a 42-year-old need to put in up front to collect $52,685 a year for life? That guy’s right there on your chart.
The Democrat candidates for president love the word “sustainable.” Guess what — these pensions are not sustainable. That’s why the hacks at the State House tried in 2014 to impose an automatic annual gas tax increase, which the voters repealed at the ballot box.
And this highway robbery is the reason why the governor, Tall Deval, is now trying to double the state gasoline tax without allowing any debate — so that he can keep all the Ponzi schemes going for a while longer.
Charlie Baker’s phony-baloney T.C.I. is nothing more than a T.A.X., and the only thing that will be capped by his new, unlegislated 17-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax is your disposable income.
Anything to keep the kleptocracy afloat, and that’s what this 23-and-out grift is an integral part of it.
Check out the pension list and the same names keep popping up, starting with Bulger, as in Mr. Bulger’s Transportation Authority.
One of Mr. Bulger’s sons is named Patrick, and he retired from the T in 2007, at age 43, and has been collecting $55,546.92 a year ever since. That’s not so much compared to his father’s $200,000 a year kiss in the mail since 2003, but, to quote the Bulger family motto, it beats working.
Pat’s cousin is Mark Bulger. He retired from the T in 2008 at age 45 with a pension of $34,732.44 a year. Mark’s sister is Beth Ann Bulger Zodda, still on the State House payroll for $82,000 a year. Her husband is Robert Zodda, who retired from the MBTA at age 52 in 2010 with a pension of $42,822.24.
Speaking of the same names, I just checked out the annual take of James Rooney, longtime Bulger associate who used to run another of the family’s affiliated rackets, the Mass. Convention Center Authority. Rooney retired from the T in 1999 … at age 41, and has been since been grabbing $62,541.24 a year.
When I looked up the name “Rooney” on the T pension list, three additional Rooneys popped up. The other Rooneys went out at the ages of, respectively, 48, 52 and 53.
Which is nothing compared to the Kineavys. I was checking on a Timothy Kineavy, brother of a former Mumbles Menino coatholder named Mike Kineavy. Tim retired at age 52 in 2016 with a pension of $80,470.32.
Age 52 sounds pretty early to retire, until you check the other four Kineavys who are gone but not forgotten from the T. Three of the other Kineavys with MBTA pensions went out at the advanced age of 44 — that’s right, three at age 44 — and the fifth one cashed out at age 51.
Think about all these early retirements the next time you hear Tall Deval demanding almost a doubling of the state gasoline tax, an extra 17 cents in the first year alone.
Ask yourself, what’s more important, money for you and your family, or for the Bulgers, the Rooneys, the Kineavys and the rest of Mr. Bulger’s Transportation Authority?