The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 4, 2012

Missouri Rep. Akin failed to report state pension

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin on Thursday released a decade’s worth of federal financial reports he has updated with nearly $130,000 in state pension income that he received, but failed to disclose, over that time.  

“This was an unintentional oversight and I regret any inconvenience this may cause,” the Missouri congressman wrote in a letter dated Tuesday to the chairman of the House Ethics Committee.

Akin’s congressional office released copy of the updated reports Thursday after The Associated Press asked why he had not listed his retirement benefits. In his letter, Akin described the lack of information about his pension payments as a mistake that only recently came to his attention.

Members of Congress are required to file annual reports listing their income and assets. The guidance book provided to lawmakers specifically states that they should list pension payments from any source other than the U.S. government.

Akin and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, whom he is challenging in the Nov. 6 election, both receive pensions from their prior service in state government, as do three other members of Missouri’s congressional delegation. Yet Akin was the only one of them who had not reported his pension payments.

His amended report shows Akin received $15,138 in annual pension payments last year and has received a total of $129,109 from his state pension since 2002. Akin is due a state pension because he served 12 years in the state House before winning election to Congress in 2000.

McCaskill, who previously served as Missouri auditor and a state House member, reported a pension payment of $40,031 last year. That was the most among Missouri’s congressional delegation. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, a former secretary of state, reported a state pension payment of $36,721; Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer reported a state pension of $12,600; and Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay reported a state pension of $8,787.

This marks the second time that Akin has amended a decade’s worth of personal financial disclosure reports while running for the Senate.

In July 2011, Akin amended his reports from 2001 through 2010 to show his stake in properties owned by family partnerships in the St. Louis and Cape Cod, Mass., areas.  A spokesman said at the time that Akin did not originally think the items needed disclosure because he has no controlling interest and received no money from the properties, but he later listed them based on an advisory opinion he sought from the House Ethics Committee.

Akin included those properties on the annual report he filed this May, valuing his share of the Massachusetts property between $250,001 and $500,000 and his share of the two St. Louis area properties between $15,001 and $50,000 each. The financial reporting forms categorize assets by dollar-value ranges, instead of requiring a precise figure.

 

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