Gov. Paul LePage’s communications director wrote a letter to the editor published March 22 in which he protested the contents of a column by Mike Tipping.

Dan Demeritt disagreed with Tipping’s column for mischaracterizing the governor’s failure to require the same increase in his contribution to his retirement in his budget that he did for state employees. After all, he said, the LePage administration had only 37 days to put a budget proposal together, and increasing the governor’s contribution was, after all, not significant: $1,400 is 2 percent of $70,000 per year. OK, maybe so.

Demeritt, however, did not mention one other interesting fact. LePage will pay 7.65 percent of his salary into his retirement account during his four years in office, for a total of $21,420.

In return, because he is already more than 60 years of age, LePage will be able to apply for three-eighths of his salary per year immediately upon leaving office.

That is $26,250 per year for the rest of his life. Not a bad return on his investment for four years’ work, even if he did have to take a pay cut to become governor.

LePage had plenty of time to figure out his total compensation and benefits before running for office, especially since he is a businessman. To now plead innocence because of a short time frame to put together a budget that affects most state employees, but exempts his own pension contribution, is absurd.

I thought about my retirement benefits when I went to work for the state. Unfortunately, I did not anticipate the possible rule changes a governor might come up with decades later.

Anne P. Schaad


Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.