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.