EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 1, 2013

Few can match chief's retirement jackpot|Editorial: Few can match chief’s retirement jackpot

There’s no question Andover police Chief Brian Pattullo has served the town and its residents well in his 32 years on the force.

But his pending “retirement” in July illustrates once again the extraordinary benefits available to public employees — all funded by taxpayers who will never see such payouts available to themselves.

Few in the private sector can walk away from a job at age 55, begin collecting a pension in the ballpark of $127,000 for the rest of one’s life — all while working another job with a six-figure salary.

Pattullo, 54, will “retire” as Andover’s police chief July 31. He has been with the department for 32 years and served since 1998 as chief.

But Pattullo isn’t really “retiring” at all. He is doing what those of us in the private sector would call “leaving one job for another.” Pattullo will become the chief operating officer of a Boston security firm he declined to name.

“It’s not a retirement. I’m leaving the Andover Police Department, but I’m moving on to another challenging chapter,” Pattullo told our reporter Dustin Luca. “I want to make sure I’m innovative and using my talents as much as I can.”

When a private sector employee leaves one job for another, his or her retirement funds go along. If the employee opts to cash out that retirement early, he does so with substantial financial penalties.

But not so in the public sector. Given sufficient age and years of service, leaving a public sector job for private employment is the start of a financial bonanza that will provide that employee with dual paychecks for the rest of his working days.

Pattullo has chosen his retirement date of July 31 wisely. By that time, he will be 55 years old and have reached 32 years of service. The combination, for public safety officers, means the retiree will collect 80 percent of the average of his highest three consecutive years of salary.

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