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Stimulus Czar Criticized For Pension Pay

The man chosen by Gov. Deval Patrick to oversee the state's disbursement of federal stimulus money has received over $400,000 in enhanced state pension payments under a special law that has led to calls for retirement reforms.

Treasury spokeswoman Francy Ronayne confirmed Thursday that developer Jeffrey Simon bought credit for five years of Ipswich School Committee service - during which he originally had not contributed to the retirement system - so he could accumulate over 20 years of collective state work experience.

The extra time allowed Simon to start collecting $29,000 annually in 1997, when he was 47 years old. The payments have since grown to $32,000, and were credited back to when Simon was 45.

Retirement records show that if Simon had not been credited for the extra time, he would have received only $14,000 per year, starting when he reached age 55.

A Patrick spokesman said Simon disclosed his pension before his appointment Wednesday and is "imminently qualified" to serve the state.

This program aired on February 13, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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