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CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of their 10th Annual Illinois State Pensions Report, which analyzes Illinois’ General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), Judges’ Retirement System (JRS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), State Universities Retirement System (SURS), State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).
Click to view TUA’s 10th Annual Illinois State Pensions Report
This new report examines Illinois’ government-pension troubles since 1989, providing background information outlining the poor policies and political blunders that produced the state’s ongoing fiscal fiasco. Included in the analysis is a case study of the Top 40 Pensioners from 2006–2016, based on estimated lifetime pension payouts. Surveying the growth of these pensions over the past decade provides a snapshot of the financial burdens Illinois taxpayers face, illustrating the extent of the unfunded liabilities accrued and the cost of not implementing reform.
TUA’s 10th Annual Report also expands the annual list of top government pensions, this year revealing updated data for the Top 400 Illinois Pensioners of 2016, who will collectively receive $91.5 million in pension payouts this year alone.
“Nearly seventy-five percent of these top government pensioners are collecting more than $200,000 a year in taxpayer-funded pensions,” said TUA’s executive director, Jared Labell. “These government pensions accumulate to multi-million dollar payouts over a natural lifetime, and for many government retirees, they will collect more than their total contributions to their pension fund while employed within two years of retirement.”
TUA’s analysis of Illinois’ government pensions, based on data collected through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, shows that there are now 15,661 state pensioners collecting more than $100,000 annually and 92,386 state pensioners collecting more than $50,000 annually in Illinois.
“Taxpayers should not be expected to suffer under devastating income tax hikes and skyrocketing property taxes while continuing to fund an insolvent government pension system resistant to reform,” said Labell.
“Illinois’ government-employee pensions are unsustainable. The Illinois Constitution’s pension-protection clause – Article XIII, Section 5 – unfairly chains generations of taxpayers to an uncontrolled financial burden created by the disastrous decisions of politicians in Springfield,” said Labell.
“Taxpayers in Illinois are nearing a tipping point. The Illinois General Assembly continues to fail to pass a balanced budget and correct decades of financial mismanagement. As the tax burden weighs heavier upon residents, a growing number of taxpayers are talking about tax protests and tax strikes, and rightfully so,” said Labell. “Taxes are revolting, so why aren’t you?”
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