in Houston, Texas
Investment officers, medical positions highest paid in state agencies, but executive pay disparities emerge in Texas state audit
Friday, Aug 24, 2012, 04:15PM CST
By Curt Olson

A new report from State Auditor John Keel confirms that investment officers and medical positions remain the best paid in state government.

The audit on executive pay at state agencies also shows some deputy administrators and other employees earn as much or more than the executive who manages the agency where they work.

One chart in the audit shows the 25 highest-paid investment officers in state government earn salaries between $180,000 and $480,000. The top three, two investors with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and one with the Employees Retirement System of Texas, make more than the highest paid state agency executive. ERS Executive Director Ann Bishop earns $312,000 and is eligible for a bonus from the ERS board.

Some of the investment officers in this list may be paid incentive compensation if investment returns surpass goals. Keel outlined incentive compensation in this report about three months ago for certain investment officers in TRS, ERS and the Permanent School Fund.

Meanwhile, the top 25 medical positions identified by Keel, all physicians or psychiatrists, earn between $208,260 and $216,652.

Some of the trends in Texas state agency executive pay disparities Keel found include:

  • A total of 181 employees at 12 state agencies had salaries that exceeded the annual salaries of the executive officer at their agencies.
  • A total of 107 employees at 37 state agencies had salaries that were the same as or within 10 percent less than the annual salaries of the executive officer at their agencies.
  • The Health and Human Services commissioner, who oversees five agencies and budget of about $32 billion, has a lower salary than the annual salaries for eight other management positions at state agencies.

These trends occur in a time of budget reductions at state government, with state agency leaders instructed to brace for more in the budget for 2014-15.

Contact Curt Olson at or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Photo of the money by flickr user Steve Rhodes, used via a Creative Commons license.

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