AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a double-dipper, collecting a salary and retirement benefits simultaneously, according to a personal financial disclosure form made public Friday.
The report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows that Perry is collecting his $7,700 monthly state pension in addition to his nearly $133,000 annual salary as governor. State law allows any employee to begin collecting retirement benefits if their years of military and state service plus their age adds up to more than 80.
To qualify, the 61-year-old Perry counted his five years in the Air Force and 24 years in public service in Texas, including as a part-time legislator, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor.
Perry was required to file the disclosure form because he is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
His decision to begin collecting retirement pay while on the public payroll will likely expose him to criticism from conservatives who complain that public sector employees are too generously compensated. The Republican comptroller of Texas said just this week that lawmakers need to review the pension system because it was burdening state finances.
The Texas Democratic Party condemned Perry’s decision.