Joe Paterno’s retirement windfall, set to earn over $500,000 in annual pension

Penn State’s Joe Paterno is set for a retirement windfall.

ESPN reported that “Joe Pa,” the former Penn State football coach, is set to earn a pension of more than $500,000 a year, according to an Associated Press analysis of state public pension records.

Paterno’s pension records show he has 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 according to ESPN.

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

ESPN reports that when Paterno 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 or take a one-time, lump-sum payment of his own contributions.

Paterno, 84, was fired as head football coach last week after his onetime top assistant Jerry Sandusky was charged with raping and sodomizing young pre-teen boys, including some on campus, for more than 15 years.

Paterno has faced criticism for how ineffectually he responded when a graduate assistant Mike McQueary said he saw Sandusky raping 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.

NBC News got hold of an email from Mike McQueary said that “the truth is not out there fully”, that he “didn’t just turn and run.”  Instead, McQueary states in the email, “I made sure it stopped.”

McQueary went on to write that “I did the right thing… you guys know me” and he “had to make quick, tough decisions.”

NBC reported that the grand jury wrote in its 23-page indictment of Sandusky that, after McQueary witnessed the alleged rape, he “left immediately, distraught.”  Nowhere does it state that McQueary “did the right thing” by stopping the alleged rape of a child that was already in progress.

Sandusky, the former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator who was Joe Pa’s right hand, was interviewed by Bob Costas on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams” last night and revealed disturbing things.

Sandusky called out McQueary as a liar by denying his allegations to Costas, and revealed he showered with young boys and hugged them and touched their legs but saying his behavior was nothing more than horseplay.

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


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