With the impending retirement of Bankruptcy judge John C. Ninfo II of Rochester, it might be interesting to review the retirement package available to bankruptcy judges. Under 28 USC Sect. 377, a bankruptcy judge over the age of 65 who has served at least 14 years is entitled to a lifetime annuity equal to his or her salary upon retirement.
The retired judge is not entitled to the annuity if he or she starts practicing law after retirement. Bankruptcy judges are paid 92% of the salary of United States District Judges (28 USC Sect. 153). A bankruptcy court judge’s current salary is $160,080.00.
In the Western District of New York, retiring Judge Ninfo graduated from Georgetown in 1968 and was appointed to the bench in 1992. Buffalo judge Michael J. Kaplan graduated from Columbia University in 1968 and was appointed a bankruptcy judge in 1991. Chief Judge Carl L. Bucki graduated from Cornell in 1974 and was appointed bankruptcy judge in 1993.