Lansing's Early Retirees of 1992
Revised 12/14/2012

Sorted by:

straight life pension amount
retirement age
difference between actual pension and straight life pension

Where this information came from

The list of early retirees was obtained in August 1993 by Russell Smith, a member of Concerned Citizens to Save Lansing. the group formed to support Ken Vaughan in his lawsuit against the City. He requested the list under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act. I have a copy of the list because I was a member of the group. The list came with an explanatory memo.

Russell used the list to calculate the real cost of the early retirement, and I doubt very much that he used a computer. Maybe he had a calculator. He did produce a hand-written report. The accuracy of his figures is unknown; I doubt that anyone took the trouble to check them.

I've blanked out the birthdates on the original list to give the retirees a little privacy.

There are a few retirees on the list with no pension amount given. My guess is that they were in a defined contribution plan rather than a defined benefit plan.

The original list contains some items that I did not include in my lists:

  • Salary

  • Longevity

  • Hire date

  • Retirement date

  • Employee contributions

How my lists were compiled

I keyed the information from the original list into an Excel spreadsheet. I didn't include the birth date on my lists (above), but it is on my Excel spreadsheet. I used it and the retirement date to calculate the retirement age using a "chronological age calculator" I found on the internet.

The "Annual Pension" on the original is the amount the retiree receives after he has chosen a retirement option. For example, a retiree might choose to take a reduced amount so that his spouse can continue receiving the same amount after his death. Or he might choose the "equated" option which increases his pension until age 62, then decreases it below the straight life amount when his social security kicks in, giving him approximately the same total before and after age 62. These options are explained on the third page of this presentation for prospective early retirees. On the lists, I'm calling the annual pension the "Actual Pension".

I've added 5 columns that were not on the original:

  1. Pension w/o bonus is the straight life amount without the retirement incentive/bonus. It is calculated by multiplying the Final Average Compensation (FAC) by the Service Credit by .025.

  2. Pension w/bonus is the straight life pension amount with the bonus. It is calculated by multiplying the Final Average Compensation (FAC) by the Service Credit plus 5 years by .0275.

  3. Bonus is the difference between Pension w/bonus and Pension w/o bonus.

  4. S/L Pen - Actual Pen is the difference between the Actual Pension and the Pension w/bonus. I calculated that difference to test my theory that the pension amount on the original list was the amount received after the retirement option was taken. Where the difference is negative (and more than $1), the equated option was taken. Where the difference is positive (and more than $1), a survivor option was taken. Where the difference is less than $1, the straight life option was taken, and the difference is from rounding. The straight life option is usually chosen by employees who have no dependents.

  5. Deferred Ret Date. An employee takes a deferred retirement when he is not yet old enough to receive a pension - that is, age and service doesn't add up to 65 even with the 5 year bonus. They are leaving, but won't be able to draw a pension until the Deferred Ret Date. Those dates were at the end of the original list of early retirees.

Questions? Comments? Email me at or call me at 517-505-2696.