Whatever else stepping down as governor will cost Christine Gregoire, she doesn’t figure to suffer financially.

In fact, her state pension currently projects to be $3,000 a year more than she’s earning as Washington’s chief executive.

According to documents obtained in a public disclosure request by the Freedom Foundation, Gregoire’s pension was calculated last July by the Washington State Department of Retirement System at $169,248 annually.

He salary as governor is $166,899 — the 10th highest of any U.S. governor, while Washington’s population ranks it No. 13 in the nation.

By the time of her retirement next January at age 64, Gregoire will have worked a total of 40 years in state government, including 20 in non-elective offices and 20 as an elected official with two terms as attorney general and governor, respectively.

Under the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) Plan 1, Gregoire will receive a monthly check totaling $14,104, which includes $8,377 for her elected service and $5,724 for her non-elected positions.

PERS Plan 1, in which Gregoire participates, offers a single-life benefit, meaning she will receive the highest possible monthly payment and her beneficiary will not continue to collect her pension after her death.

She also opted for a plan that does not include an annual cost of living adjustment in order to maximize her payments immediately.

Gregoire’s husband Mike, who retired in 2003 after 30 years as a healthcare investigator in the Department of Social and Health Services, currently earns a pension of $2,699.23 per month — a total of $32,390.76 annually.


[Reprinted from The Olympia Report; photo credit: npimultimedia]