Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Tribune file photo) Former Utah Transit Authority CEO John Inglish.
UTA’s ex-boss pension: $200K
Transit » Agency says the amount is based on formula used for all employee benefits.
First Published Nov 20 2012 11:34 am • Last Updated Mar 06 2013 11:33 pm

John Inglish, the just-retired head of the Utah Transit Authority, is receiving a lifetime pension of $200,000 a year, or slightly more than former U.S. presidents currently receive in their pensions.

That comes on top of a generous severance package he received two years ago, when he stopped overseeing daily UTA operations. That gave him two years of salary — at $364,000 a year total compensation — and sent him traveling worldwide to represent the agency at industry conferences with the mostly honorary title of chief executive officer.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

UTA says the pension is fair for Inglish’s 35 years of service and is based on the same formulas used for all its employees. But critics point to it as another example of compensation that is too high for executives at an agency facing financial difficulties.

"We believe John Inglish has contributed significantly to UTA and the local Utah economy," said UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter.

The legacy of his work includes "the light rail that is here, the commuter rail and all of the new lines that will be opening over the next year."

Carpenter said UTA essentially followed the same pension formula for him as other employees. It takes an average of their highest five consecutive years of salary times their years of service times 2 percent.

That formula using Inglish’s final five years of salary would have come to $205,600 a year — but Carpenter said he is paid $200,000 a year because of a cap imposed by Internal Revenue Service rules. Inglish’s pension alone would be about 2 percent of the $10.1 million annual pension costs that UTA reports.

It is also just a bit more than the $199,700 a year that U.S. presidents are paid currently in their pensions.

"You put that in context with John Inglish getting $200,00 a year, it’s absolutely ludicrous," said Claire Geddes, a citizen watchdog who has often been critical of UTA.

"You have an agency that is short of money, that is closing bus routes, and at the same time they are paying that kind of benefit," she said. "It is unfortunate we are using public funds to enrich someone to that extent."

story continues below
story continues below

UTA released data about the pension first to KSL through an open-records-law request it filed and later to other media. UTA initially denied KSL’s request for data, but released key parts after mediation as part of an appeal to the State Records Committee.

Earlier this year, a documents request by The Salt Lake Tribune showed that during Inglish’s final two years — as he held the largely honorary role of CEO at high salary — he traveled to Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Spain (twice), Switzerland, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and 17 U.S. cities to represent UTA at conferences.

He averaged 1.6 out-of-state trips a month and appears to have been on the road almost constantly.

Inglish declined a request for an interview.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.