Ex-Penn State Coach Joe Paterno In Line For $500K-Plus Annual Pension

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s long service at the university theoretically puts him in position for a pension of more than $500,000 a year, according to an Associated Press analysis of state public pension records.

Paterno’s pension records obtained Tuesday from the State Employees’ Retirement System credit him with more than 60 years in the system. The formula used to determine benefits makes him eligible for a pension equal to 100 percent of the average of his three highest-salary years.

His pay rose from $541,000 to $568,000 over the past three full calendar years.

When Paterno officially retires, he will have to make a set of choices to determine his pension, including whether to designate a survivor to receive benefits after he dies and whether to obtain a one-time, lump-sum payment of his own contributions.

State Employees’ Retirement System spokeswoman Pamela Hile said Internal Revenue Code and Retirement Code benefit limits may also apply, so the agency does not issue estimated pension benefits ahead of time. There also is a long-service supplement that could boost Paterno to 110 percent of his final average salary.

A 2006 report on Pennsylvania state pensions said the largest pension at that time within SERS was $254,000, being collected by a Penn State surgery professor who had withdrawn a $554,000 lump sum.

Meanwhile, rumors swirled on Wednesday that Penn State was in the process of removing their statue of Paterno.

The hubbub was quickly debunked on Twitter.

“There have been no discussions about the Joe Paterno statue,” the university later tweeted.

But it raises the debate: Should Paterno’s 7-foot-tall bronze likeness continue to stand in front of Beaver Stadium?

Paterno, 84, lost his job as head football coach last week after his onetime top assistant Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing boys, including some on campus, for more than 15 years.

Paterno has not been charged with any crime, and state prosecutors have said he is not a target. But he has come under criticism for how he responded when a graduate assistant said he saw Sandusky sexually attacking a boy in the football team locker room shower. A grand jury report said Paterno contacted the athletic director but did not go to police, and he has said he wishes he had done more.

Sandusky has denied the allegations against him, acknowledging he showered with young boys and hugged them but saying his behavior was nothing more than horseplay. He told NBC News’ “Rock Center” on Monday that he is not a pedophile but should not have showered with the boys he’s charged with sexually assaulting.

The retirement system also confirmed Tuesday that Sandusky collects a $59,000 annual pension and withdrew $148,000 upon retirement.

The New York Times also reported Tuesday night that Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife, Sue, for $1 in July. The couple had previously held joint ownership of the house. Paterno’s attorney Wick Sollers told the paper in an e-mail that the transfer had nothing to do with the scandal but was part of an ongoing “multiyear estate planning program.”

What should Penn State do with their Paterno statue? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. Meme Meyagi says:

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  2. Luke Cage says:

    The Statue needs to come down. We should not be building statues for any human being. It amounts to idol worshiping. They need to remove all Joe Paterno’s items on University properties. Everytime you see that statue it is a painfull reminder of a supposed leader who did not lead when leadership was needed the most.

  3. pete says:

    I would give this bum just a little slack on the rope before I hang him high. With this undeserved pension he should compensate the victims of PEDOPENN STATE !!! He is probably the highest Pedo in the country and he did not earn this salary managing football but splitting a little boys rear door.

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  6. Enuff is Enuff says:

    I can’t believe these people.
    Joe Pa is a co pedofile. For all we know , he was spreading the kids butt cheeks while Sandusky was slipping it in!

    Enough of Ped State!!!

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  8. Tommy C says:

    I admit Paterno dropped the ball big time . For Christ Sake now theirs erroneous reports of Penn State removing his statue. The man was there for 60 yrs and in those yrs the sports program was a model by which all other colleges were compared.Give the guy an break . What was done to those poor kids is heinous and people will pay and believe me the Gov Of Penn damn well knew as well. Now thats its out in the open heads will fall . Paterno did what was asked legally NOT morally and fro that he will held accountable …. Im just asking cut
    the guy some slack ….he is 84yrs and probably has only a few more yrs left.Let him out with some diginty

    1. J. Tressel says:

      It is truly amazing just how loyal the fans of JoePa are! What part are you not getting that he KNEW about child abuse by a subordinate and let it go on. He chose to protect the Penn State brand over protecting kids. Lapse in judgement? YES. Let is slide? NO. You make it seem like Joe was Mother Theresa. He was a football coach who did whatever it took to win games. EVERYTHING he did was with Penn State football as the reason. Humanitarian? NO. Even without the scandal. Take down the statues and pictures.

    2. Luke Cage says:

      Dignity you have to be joking(painful laugh)
      What about the children’s dignity. Who cares about his 60years in the program this might of been going on in his program for 30 years. He hired the creep who was his number guy and the coach is not responsible. That is a bunch of jabberwocky!!!!. Poor deluded Penn State fans. What about the Children??

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