CHICAGO—4,352 retired Illinois government retirees received over $100,000 in pension benefits for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, according to pension researcher, Bill Zettler. This is the 9th annual report by Zettler on the top 100 government pension recipients in Illinois.
“The number of retired government employees receiving more than $100,000 a year in retirement pensions rose 20% from 3,597 government employees from fiscal year 2009,” said Zettler. “These pension millionaires are quickly draining the state’s pension funds; the financial burden is clearly unsustainable.”
“Almost all of these multi-millionaire government retirees are educators,” said Jim Tobin, president of National Taxpayers United of Illinois, “The top recipient is Tapas K. Das Gupta, whose annual pension for FY2010 was $402,418. That works out to $33,535 a month.”
“And it doesn’t end there,” said Tobin, “Laura L. Murray holds the spot for highest pension for a public school teacher at $238,882 ($19,907 a month), while Elizabeth Kutska receives the highest pension for a municipal employee with an annual $235,193 ($19,599 a month). St. Senator Arthur Berman receives the highest payout for a legislator with annual pensions totaling $197,503 ($16,459 a month).”
“A state income tax increase is unnecessary. Property tax increases or service cuts are not necessary,” said Tobin. “New government hires should be required to fund their own retirements with 401(k) plans. Ending pensions for new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions.”
“In Illinois, if each current state pension fund employee were required to contribute an additional 10% to his or her pension, taxpayers would save over $150 billion over the next 35 years.”
“Requiring public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”