AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a double-dipper, collecting a salary and retirement benefits simultaneously, according to a personal financial disclosure form made public Friday.
The report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows that Perry is collecting his $7,700 monthly state pension in addition to his nearly $133,000 annual salary as governor. State law allows any employee to begin collecting retirement benefits if their years of military and state service plus their age adds up to more than 80.
To qualify, Perry, 61, counted his five years in the Air Force and 24 years in public service in Texas, including as a part-time legislator, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor, and governor.
Perry was required to file the disclosure form because he is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
The Texas Democratic Party condemned Perry's decision.
"When you start getting more money from your employer while also continuing to receive your salary, that's called a raise," spokesman Anthony Gutierrez said. "If Perry wants retirement benefits, he should do us all a favor and actually retire. Giving himself a raise while thousands of teachers are losing their jobs is unconscionable."
Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for Perry's presidential campaign, issued a statement citing the state code that permitted the governor to begin collecting his retirement pay in January of this year.
Sullivan said Perry continues to pay into the state employees' retirement system with a 6.5 percent withholding from his salary.