The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled … that the public has a right of access to the names of state pension benefit recipients as well as the amounts they receive. The court decided that the public interest in releasing the information outweighed any privacy interests of the individuals named within the records.
The court’s ruling affirms a lower court's order last year to the New Hampshire Retirement System to disclose the same records.
In February 2010, a reporter for The Union Leader made a request to the agency under the state’s Right-to-Know Law for a list of state retirement system members who received the 500 highest annual annuity payments in 2009, as well as the amounts paid to them.
When the agency refused to release the names, offering instead to provide a list of the amounts paid, the newspaper sued.