Around New England

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Leaving Court For 60+ Percent Higher State Salary and Pension

November 29, 2023

A member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is leaving the court six years before mandatory retirement age for a state university job that will significantly increase his salary and pension.

David Lowy, 63, became an assistant district attorney in Essex County in 1992 and has worked in state jobs ever since, according to his online court biography.

If he stays in his new job long enough, he will hit the maximum state pension – 80 percent of the average of the highest three years of base salary.

Lowy’s current salary on the state’s highest court is $212,713 – for a current maximum pension of $170,170.40.

As the next general counsel of the University of Massachusetts, Lowy is in line for a major salary increase. His predecessor made $344,427 last year – or 62 percent more than Lowy. The maximum pension on that figure is $275,541 – or 62 percent higher than what Lowy is currently in line for.

Lowy will need to serve at least three years as UMass’s top lawyer to hit the higher pension.

Both pension calculations assume no survivor benefit for his wife if he dies first. If he takes the survivor benefit, the yearly pension would be less.

Lowy’s departure from the state’s highest court is scheduled for February 4, 2024, his 64th birthday, according to State House News Service.

Lowe’s forthcoming resignation opens a second seat on the state’s highest court for Governor Maura Healey to fill. Elspeth Cypher, 64, is planning to leave the court in January 2024 to become a visiting professor at Boston College Law School.

Healey, a Democrat, was not initially expected to nominate a single member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court during her current term because no one on the court will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 during that time.


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