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Former MBTA pension chief earned $2.2 million since 2009

Michael Mulhern, the former leader of the MBTA Retirement Fund, earned $2.2 million in compensation from 2009 to 2016.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/File 2016

Michael Mulhern took home $2.2 million in compensation as chief of the MBTA Retirement Fund in the eight years after the financial crisis, including $216,329 in 2016, when he worked just seven months.

The compensation, released in response to a records request by the Globe, included pay for unused vacation time, representatives of the pension fund said. Based on his prior year’s pay rate, that would be about $50,000 for accrued vacation.

Mulhern stepped down as executive director of the $1.5 billion pension fund for transit workers at the beginning of August, after a tumultuous period during which the retirement board came under fire for its lack of transparency and for controversial accounting practices.


Mulhern was 57 when he resigned last summer, after a decade on the job. He retired in 2005 from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, where he had worked his way up from bus driver to general manager.

In addition to his pay at the retirement fund, he has been receiving about $149,000 a year in T pension benefits and deferred compensation, according to previously published reports.

Pension fund representatives did not say how much unused vacation time Mulhern had accumulated. Under the T’s vacation policy, executives can roll over unused vacation time for one year.

“He was paid in accordance with his contract,’’ said Lauren Goldberg, an attorney with KP Law in Boston who has been retained to help handle public records requests. A new state records law that took effect in January calls for the T pension fund to disclose records to the public for the first time.

Mulhern did not respond to a request for comment.

For his role leading the pension fund, Mulhern earned $282,000 annually from 2012 through 2015, according to the newly released records. His peak pay was in 2010, when a $10,000 bonus pushed his total compensation to $301,075.


The pension fund’s acting director, John P. Barry, earned $196,000 last year and in each of the three prior years as deputy director, according to the records. He has earned a total of nearly $1.6 million since 2009.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.