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Rick Perry ‘Retires’ Early To Collect Pension Benefits

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rick Perry’s personal financial disclosure released Friday shows the Texas governor essentially “retired” in January to begin the early collection of pension benefits, drastically increasing his take home pay as governor.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosure revealed Perry’s gross annual income as governor of Texas of $150,000 was supplemented in the last year by a $7,698 annuity each month, totaling $92,376 a year. This raises the Texas governor’s total annual income to more than $240,000.

The story was first reported by the Texas Tribune.

Ray Sullivan, communications director for Perry, told ABC News the governor started receiving the Texas state employee retirement annuity on Jan. 31, 2011, and said “the annuity is consistent with Texas state law and Employee Retirement System rules.”

Per Sullivan, Perry, 61, qualified for the annuity based on the state’s rule of 80, which combined Perry’s service in the U.S. military, state service and age.

Sullivan noted “Perry continues to pay into the Employees Retirement System with a 6.5 percent withholding from his state salary.”

Perry has admonished the distribution of special perks to members of Congress and also called for reforms to the Social Security system.

The FEC disclosure also revealed Perry’s wife, Anita, received an $65,000 annual consulting fee from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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