RSA board approves $135,000 annual judicial pension for Roy Moore

RSA board approves $135,000 annual judicial pension for Roy Moore
Source: WBRC

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Retirement Systems of Alabama Board approved a 135-thousand dollar a year pension for U.S. Senate Candidate Roy Moore at their regular meeting yesterday in a move that may be eye-catching, but not unusual.

State law says judges who've served at least 10 years are entitled to 75 percent of their salary if they retire at age 70, which is what then-Chief Justice Moore did last Spring when he announced his run for the Senate seat.

The Judicial Retirement Fund handbook says "A Justice or Judge with judicial service only will receive a service retirement benefit equal to 75 percent of the salary payable by the state for the judicial position on the date the Justice or Judge terminates active service."

The state's online checkbook lists then-Chief Justice Moore's last paycheck (in September of 2016 before his suspension by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary) as $$15,093.98, or an annual salary of $181,127.76 and 75% of that is $135,845.82.

State law says a judge's suspension doesn't have any bearing on their retirement payout.

Moore was only eligible to get chief justice pay once he reached a full term in that role.

He got that by combining his two years as chief justice before his first removal from office and the four years he spent on the bench in his 2nd term as chief justice before his suspension.

We've learned Moore's staff reached out to Director of Benefits Bill Kelly to learn when he would reach that eligibility months before his 2016 suspension. The RSA board has no authority to reject or change a judge's pension, only to put it into their list of retirees as a formality.

The board also Friday debated but didn't approve a proposal to hire outside counsel to help write a new board code of ethics.

RSA's general counsel Leura Canary told the board adding another legal voice to the mix could weaken the RSA's position in court if the 2 disagreed.

The RSA is the primary lender for Raycom Media, the owner of WBRC (WSFA, WAFF).

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