MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A list of the top 50 recipients of Alabama's DROP, the Deferred Retirement Option Program, has been compiled by the Retirement Systems of Alabama and distributed by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Office.
The program, in danger of being cut amid massive state budget deficits, was initially designed to hold on to experienced state workers rather than having them retire immediately and collect the retirement fund. Now, some Republicans, including Gov. Robert Bentley, are pushing to end the decade old program.
The document lists Joe L. Reed, Associate Executive Secretary of the Alabama Education Association as the largest beneficiary of the program. Reed's DROP balance is just under $1.5 million. Reed is closely followed by the Executive Secretary of the AEA, Paul Hubbert, who holds a balance of just under $1.4 million. Hubbert says AEA pays the costs of DROP for its employees, including for himself and Reed.
Malcom Portera, Chancellor of the University of Alabama System and Gordon Moulton, President of the University of South Alabama are the only other people in the top ten to hold a balance of more than $1 million. They hold DROP balances of $1.3 and $1.2 million respectively.
The ten highest balances come to a total of approximately $9.5 million.
TOP TEN BALANCE HOLDERS
- Joe L. Reed - Associate Executive Secretary, AEA - $1,475,952
- Paul Hubbert - Executive Secretary, AEA - $1,374,311
- Malcom Portera - Chancellor, University of Ala. System - $1,325,210
- Gordon Moulton - President, University of South Ala. - $1,188,669
- Keith Peevy - Pediatrician, University of South Ala. Hospital - $850,979
- Mal Moore - Athletic Director, University of Ala. - $849,659
- Jack Hawkins - Chancellor, Troy University System - $841,726
- Wayne Davis - Vice President, University of South Ala. - $836,460
- Lawrence Delucas - Optometrist, University of Ala. at Birmingham - $835,433
- Joseph Mason - $769,941 - Dean, University of Ala. College of Business
Troy University Football Coach Larry Blakeney and State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton are also among those named on the list.
The Legislative Fiscal Office says DROP costs the state roughly $46 million in the Teachers Retirement System and $12 million in the Employee Retirement System.
During his state of the State of the State address, Governor Robert Bentley urged lawmakers to repeal the program, citing its high cost.
WSFA 12 News' parent company, Raycom Media, lists the Retirement Systems of Alabama as a financial lender to the company.