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Connecticut Wants You to View Your Neighbor’s Pension. Here’s Why

If you’ve always wondered how your retired professor friend can afford such lavish vacations, now’s your chance to find out. Well, in Connecticut at least.

Wednesday the state’s financial controller Kevin P. Lembo launched Open Pensions, a website where the public can consult the state’s $2 billion in annual pension payments (the site was down as of Thursday morning, presumably thanks to millions of nosey locals). You can also find data covering 2010 to 2017 at Transparency Connecticut.

The winner? A retired University of Connecticut professor with a pension of over $322,000. The loser? Someone who took home just $45 this year (the average is $38,212).

Connecticut is the richest U.S. state per capita thanks to its cluster of financial bedroom communities huddled against the New York border. But it has also been among the most irresponsible when it comes to funding its public pension obligations.

Similar databases also exist in other U.S. states, including some of the biggest public pension systems in the country such as California and New York.

The country is divided about halfway between states that require such disclosure and states that prohibit it. Some anonymize the data to a greater or lesser degree — although it’s usually pretty easy to find out who the head football coach is at a public university.