Many federal retirees receiving six-figure pensions

M. Spencer Green/AP

One in every 125 retired federal civilian workers receives more than $100,000 in annual benefits, Bloomberg reports.

The website released the results of its Freedom of Information Act request Thursday, showing nearly 15,000 former federal employees collect six-figure pensions even as government pension programs had a shortfall of $674.2 billion in 2010. This deficit could increase if congressional pay rises in 2013, thereby increasing the pensions current lawmakers will earn upon retirement. Office of Personnel Management data indicate the average career length of a federal worker is 27 years, Bloomberg found.

The Treasury Department "pays about $4.9 billion every month for about 1.8 million retirees, an average of $31,633 annually," the report said.

The list of high-earning retirees includes former congressional staff members as well as physicians and public university employees. Topping the list with a pension of $375,900 was former Gallaudet University President Irving K. Jordan Jr. Among other big earners were GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Additionally, due to cost-of-living differences, Bloomberg reported, "at least 48,500 retirees are making more now than they did on the federal payroll."

The most lucrative agency to retire from? The Securities and Exchange Commission, where 9.3 percent of retirees receive six-figure pensions.

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