BOSTON (AP) — Newly released details of the MBTA’s pension program show that more than one-third of the transit agency’s former employees getting pensions retired before the age of 55 and more than a thousand started collecting pensions in their 40s.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on Thursday released a list of nearly 6,400 names, many of whom are receiving pensions as a vestige of a program that allowed employees to start collecting pensions after 23 years of service. That long-criticized system has since been abolished and replaced.

The T’s retirement fund has long resisted making the information public, saying it is a private trust, but a transportation finance bill passed in July required that the information be released.

Eight retirees are collecting more than $70,000 annually, and all retired before age 60.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.