Former Oregon Public University President Gets Monthly $76,111 Taxpayer-Funded Pension

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)
Eric Prado/Flickr

A former eye surgeon and president of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is reportedly receiving a monthly taxpayer-funded pension of more than $76,000 a year.

Dr. Joe Robertson, the former president of the public university, is receiving an annual pension of $913,000 after his retirement last year, the Daily Mail reported.

The Oregon Public Employees Retirement System — the taxpayer-funded state retirement system commonly known as PERS — shows that Robertson’s pension is the largest one in the state out of the nearly 130,000 people enrolled in the pension system as of January.

The average retiree, according to the state’s database, makes $32,000 a year in the PERS.

But the New York Times reported Saturday that the high pensions paid out by PERS are cutting into essential spending that funds police departments, street repairs, and school sports programs.

City managers told the Times that they had to cut down on repairing infrastructure to fund the rising costs associated with PERS.

Robertson, who retired in October 2017 after a 33-year career at the university, had such a high pension due to the length of his career, unused vacation and sick time, and $1.7 million per year salary over the past three years.

The former university president told the Oregonian in March that he decided to retire after receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis but insisted that he would continue to serve as president of OHSU without taking a salary until the end of the 2017-2018 academic year and work with one of the university’s health institutes.

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