Roberta Schaefer’s...

Roberta Schaefer’s Testimony at University of Massachusetts Medical School on The Commission on the Commonwealth’s Disability Retirement System

Disability pensions are very expensive. In 2008, the Worcester Retirement System’s (WRS_ average superannuated retirement benefit for retirees was $18,576 and for accidental disability pensions, it was $31,374, or 70% higher on average. Disability pensions accounted for almost 20% of the system’s costs. This is due to the high rates at which public safety personnel retire on accidental disability pensions. As Table 1 below indicates, as of 2008, about 50% of all retired firefighters and police officers were drawing accidental disability pensions.