Meotti likely to leave state service with no pension

Michael P. Meotti will likely be leaving state service without a pension.

Meotti, who announced earlier this month that he will be resigning as the vice president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education after helping out with a “brief transition period,” is approximately five months shy of having worked for the state to get a lifelong pension.

“We expect his [departure] to be sooner than that,” said Colleen Flanagan Johnson, the spokeswoman for the 100,000-student college system. The transition “certainly won’t be anywhere near five months.”

Meotti’s looming departure follows a trio of controversies.

Michael Meotti

Michael Meotti

According to the state comptroller’s office, Meotti has accrued four years and seven months of state service. Someone has to spend at least five consecutive years working for the state “immediately” proceeding their departure from the state’s workforce to qualify for a lifelong monthly pension payment and to receive state health benefits. Additionally, someone must have 10 years of state service to qualify.

Meotti’s 8-year tenure as a state senator does not count toward his time served, as a spokeswoman for the comptroller’s office said he was away from state service for too long before returning.

How much Meotti’s monthly pension payments will be if he does stick around until March were not available.

While no date has been set yet for Meotti’s departure from the college system, Interim President Philip E. Austin wrote Meotti last week about scheduling his departure.

“I expect that within two weeks I will have a better understanding of the state of affairs and will be in a position to provide you with a definite timetable for your permanent departure from the office,” he wrote.

Meotti also will be leaving the job with no separation package, as he did not have a contract with the Board of Regents. He did have a contract as the commissioner for higher education, but Flanagan Johnson has said he is not invoking the terms for separation required.

Reporter Keith M. Phaneuf contributed to this report.

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