Perry worth less than GOP rivals, collects retirement pension while governor

The Friday release of Rick Perry's financial reports proves the candidate's personal wealth is far less than some of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, but also stirred controversy over the revelation that Perry is officially retired.

Perry receives almost $133,000 annually as his salary, financial disclosure documents show. The record also indicates that his wife receives $65,000 per year as her annual consulting fee from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

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The Texas governor also receives almost $7,700 in additional monthly payments from the state as part of his retirement pension, even though he still serves as governor, the documents show.

The Texas Tribune first reported that Perry officially retired in January.

Perry said at a campaign stop on Friday that the Texas Employees Retirement System contacted him when he turned 60 last year to inform him that he was eligible.

"Perry continues to pay into the Employees Retirement System with a 6.5 percent withholding from his state salary," Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan told the Tribune.

"ERS called me and said, 'Listen, you're eligible to access your retirement now with your military time and your time in service,'" Perry said on MSNBC. "I think it would be rather foolish to not access what you earned."

Perry is worth almost $1.07 million with no income included, according to an analysis by The Hill of the financial disclosure documents.

In contrast, multiple news reports estimate the personal worth of Perry's rival GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at between $190 million and $250 million.

Romney’s personal wealth has made useful fodder for his Democratic opposition who have criticized him as “out of touch” with working class Americans.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) blasted him in a statement on Friday as a “corporate buyout specialist laying off workers, shipping jobs overseas and bankrupting companies for his own profit.”

Even Perry raised his eyebrows at Romney for offering him a "$10,000 bet” during a debate in Iowa this month.

"I would suggest to you that $10,000 is pocket change for Mitt to make that statement," Perry said this week, according to published reports.

Front-runner Gingrich is worth close to $6.7 million, an analysis by The Hill of Gingrich’s financial disclosure indicated.

Perry’s disclosure also indicates that he closed a revocable blind trust in August, around the same time he announced his candidacy for president.

When the trust was revoked, it was “largely liquidated into cash or cash equivalents," Sullivan said.

“Our team has consulted with the Office of Government Ethics and are fully compliant with state and federal laws and disclosure rules,” Sullivan told The Hill, regarding the trust.