New limit placed on judges’ pensions

One of the late additions to the implementer was a change in how pensions are computed for judges who retire after less than 10 years of service — a reaction to the recent appointment of a politically prominent judge, Anthony V. Avallone, 66, who will who get a $100,000 pension after less than four years of service.

Under existing law, judges are eligible for a maximum pension of a two-thirds salary – about $100,000 for a Superior Court judge — once they reach the mandatory age of 70, regardless of years of service.

The change, originally sought by Sen. Dante Bartolomeo, D-Meriden, will reduce the pension for by 10 percent for each year less than 10 years. House Republicans insisted on its inclusion in the implementer, or they intended to force a separate vote by offering an amendment, said House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr.

The change affects only judges appointed to the bench after July 1.

Even under the change, judges will get a pension hard to find elsewhere: A 66-year-old lawyer who serves four years as a judge will retire with an annual pension of $40,000 after four years.

Avallone, a former Democratic National Committee member and state senator, was one of three 66-year-old lawyers named to the bench by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. In all, 10 of the 38 Superior Court nominations made by Malloy since he took office in January 2011 went to lawyers age 61 or older.

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