The president and CEO of a Salinas, Calif.-area public hospital district will receive nearly $4 million in retirement pay on top of his $150,000 annual pension. Such ‘supplemental’ pensions are one focus of criticism over the way public officials are compensated in retirement.
April 28, 2011
When he turned 65 two years ago, Samuel Downing received a $3-million retirement payment from a public hospital district in Salinas, Calif., where he serves as president and chief executive.
But Downing continued working at his $668,000-a-year job for another two years, and after he retires this week, he will receive another payment of nearly $900,000. That comes on top of his regular pension of $150,000 a year.
The payments amount to one of the more generous pension packages granted to a public official in California and come amid growing debate about “supplemental” pensions that some officials receive on top of their basic retirement benefits.