LIRR retiree’s overtime more than doubles his pension

| New York Post

This Long Island Rail Road retiree is really taking taxpayers for a ride.

The transit worker who hauled in $344,147 in overtime pay last year will likely score a cushy pension of $162,000 a year — $93,000 of which came from loading up his time sheet over the past three years.

The Post revealed this week that recently retired chief measurement operator Thomas Caputo took in the jaw-dropping overtime sum as part of a staggering $461,646 pay total in 2018.

He left the generous gig this month after 30 years at the LIRR — but the gravy train will chug on for the rest of his life.

Caputo’s pension will be based on what he earned during his most lucrative three consecutive years on the job, according to the MTA — and he should be able to hit the maximum possible annual payout of $162,000 after logging massive overtime hours in his final years on the job.

In addition to the $344,147 in 2018, Caputo scored an extra $176,550 in 2017 and another $170,747 in 2016.

The resulting pension is more than his base salary of $117,499 — and more than double what it would have been without the overtime.

Earning his base salary alone, Caputo would only be eligible for a pension of around $69,000, according to the formula provided by the MTA.

But Caputo logged a staggering 3,864 overtime hours in 2018 — clocking in almost every weekend while averaging 15 hours a day, ­according to the MTA.

As chief measurement operator, Caputo’s job was to run the “track-geometry car,” which examines the rails for defects.

But the agency admitted he didn’t even log in most of his overtime hours doing his regular job — he mostly used his seniority to get first dibs on “opportunities” in other areas.

Thanks to the terms of his union contract, Caputo was able to pull rank to grab extra hours in roles including driver, track welder, track patroller and mechanic, the MTA said.

“The collective bargaining agreement and its rules about seniority allow those with the most years on the job to get first pick at overtime opportunities,” the MTA said in a statement.

Caputo’s hefty payday came as the LIRR shelled out $224.6 million for overtime in 2018 — up nearly $50 million from the previous year’s $175.4 million, according to data released this week by the Empire Center.

Former MTA board member Allen Cappelli on Wednesday slammed the LIRR’s management for allowing the costs to get out of control.

“You should not be paying those kinds of overtime figures on a regular basis. It’s patently ridiculous,” Cappelli said. “These are real dollars you’re talking about.

“It is incumbent on the MTA to get an explanation of why this OT is occurring and come up with a plan so it doesn’t keep occurring.”

But the agency insisted that it is “absolutely committed to reducing spending, including a hard target of an additional $500 million in annual savings across all MTA agencies next year.”

Caputo could not be reached for comment.

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