So what will Commissioner Evans’ Pension Be?

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A few weeks ago, Boston Police commissioner William B. Evans announced his retirement, and just this week William Gross was sworn in as the new Boston Police Department Commissioner at a ceremony held at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan.

After 38 years on the Boston police force and four years as commissioner, William Evans decided to end his career of constant on-the-clock service. By all accounts, his service to the city was exceptional.  

Commissioner Evans was noted for rising through the ranks of the Boston police force. He joined as a cadet, and since has served every position. As a captain, Evans was first stationed in Boston’s most densely populated region. As superintendent, he peacefully mitigated Occupy Boston, which resulted in his promotion of interim commissioner in 2014, which then led to a permanent position.

Evans is a marathoner and in 2013 he ran the ill-fated Boston Marathon when at the finish line the Tsarnaev brothers left bombs that would injure dozens and kill a number of the fans watching the race.  Only a few days after running it, he played a key role in the capture of the bomber.

Those he worked with had nothing but glowing thoughts about Evans. “His unassuming demeanor masks a leader who was fiercely committed to leading a department that would embody the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and innovation and it made him one of the very best partners we as prosecutors could ask for,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said about Evans.  

Boston residents are not the only ones proud of Evans’ accomplishments. Evans himself is proud of the progress he and the members of the police force made. “The stat I’m most proud of is we’re down 23 percent on people we’ve had to arrest so our crime numbers are continuing to go down and we’re doing that through a lot of good community work. Also, the amount of guns., we’ve almost taken 3,800 guns off the street. Our use of force complaints are down 46 percent since 2013,” Evans said. “I think under our administration, we’ve taken community policing to a new level and I hope other departments around the country do the same.”

In early August, Evans moves on to lead the public safety department at Boston College. Good for him, as he had a great career in public service.  What follows is not an attempt to pick on former Commissioner Evans, but we were curious: What will his public pension be, well merited as it may be for his many years on the force?

According to the City of Boston’s website, retiree benefits depend on group classification, years of service, and the average of their three highest years of pay. Group classification covers different occupations. According to Boston Retirement Department’s executive director, Commissioner Evans falls into Group 4. As noted in the previous blog, confirming Commissioner Evans’ group number was anything but easy; we had to traverse a series of phone calls, emails, and city officials to answer our question.

Member of Group 4 who have 10 years of service and are older than 55 may retire, and those who have more than 20 years of service may retire at any age. The pension benefits start at 20 percent of the average of the highest three years salaries, and increase depending on age and number of years in service.  

At 60 years old with 38 years of service, Evans can collect 80 percent of the average of his highest three years of salary upon retirement. From this calculation, Evans can pull in up to $184K annually in retirement, depending on the retirement option he chooses.

Year Annual Salary 80% of earnings
2015 $207,017.37 $165,613.90
2016 $221,323.00 $177,058.40
2017 $229,999.90 $183,999.92
Maximum Annual pension benefit $175,557.40

Source: The Boston Herald

So how does $176K stack up against those who retire from the state?

MassOpenBooks lists the pensions of all state employees. Based on a listing of state retirees, Evans’ pension potential would rank him 25th highest for a job well-done.