Illinois

Illinois Gov't Pensions Over $100,000 Up 27% Since Last Year

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CHICAGO—Retired Illinois government-employees pull in huge pension payments while Illinois taxpayers bail out the floundering government pension plans with the 67% increase in their state personal income tax, according Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of Illinois (TUA). Tobin added that the number of retired government employees in Illinois getting annual pensions over $100,000 jumped 27% from last year.
The number of government retirees in the Illinois state pension funds getting over $100,000 a year in pension payments rose from 5,294 to 6,706.
Tobin projected that by year 2020, 25,000 government retirees will be getting annual pensions over $100,000.
“The Teachers Retirement System (TRS) pension fund had 3,499 retirees pulling in over $100,000 a year in pension payments as of April 1, 2012,” said Tobin. “The State University Retirement System (SURS) pension fund had 2,108 retirees getting more than $100,000 a year.”
Click here to view the top 100 Illinois State pensions as of April 1, 2012.
“In the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), 84 of the top 100 are retired State Troopers, including 28 troopers who retired at age 50 and are getting over $100,000 a year.”
“The largest pension of all retired Illinois government-employees again is Tapas Das Gupta, formerly of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Gupta’s annual pension (as of April 1, 2012) is an astronomical $426,885 — $35,573 a month. So far, Gupta’s pension payout to date is a whopping $3,001,481.”
“With lavish, gold-plated pensions like these, it’s no wonder that the Illinois government pension programs are going broke, and that Springfield politicians are trying to bail them out with tax increases on Illinois citizens whose annual incomes often are lower than what these guys get a month.”
“Immediate and real pension reform is long-overdue. Ending pensions for all new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions,” said Tobin. “New government hires should plan for their own retirements by being placed in Social Security and 401(k) plans.”
“Furthermore, if each government employee were required to contribute an additional 10% toward his or her pension, taxpayers would save $150 billion over the next 35 years.”
“Finally, requiring Illinois government employees and retirees to pay for one half of their healthcare premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”

Springfield Pols to Vote on Cigarette Tax Hike Impacting Poor As They Look Forward to Lavish, Gold-Plated Pensions

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SPRINGFIELD–A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) shows that former members of the Illinois General Assembly are now enjoying lavish, gold-plated, million-dollar pensions that they authorized, and that some retired legislators already have collected over a million dollars in pension payments.
Click here to view the top 100 pensions in the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS).
“Our list of the ‘Top 100’ pensions of the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) is topped by Arthur Berman, author of the infamous ‘Berman Tax Increase Amendment’ to the Illinois Constitution,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Berman receives (as of 4/1/12) an annual pension of $209,531. That’s $17,461 a month. So far, Berman’s total pension paid to date is $1,837,857.”
“Number two on the list is Edward Petka, who receives an annual pension of $166,119, and whose total pension paid to date is $359,844.”
“Two king-size tax-raisers are on the list, one a former governor and the other a former legislator and governor. Former governor James R. ‘Big Jim’ Thompson receives an pension of $10,919 a month, and his total pension paid to date is a mind-boggling $2.1 million.”
“Former governor and legislator, Jim Edgar, receives an annual pension of $138,898, and his total pension paid to date is a sumptuous $1,287,026. He also gets $176,000 from the University of Illinois as a ‘distinguished scholar.’ I wonder how many hours a week he works for his 176 grand.”
“It’s no wonder that Illinois’ government pensions funds are finding themselves under water, and that all of the recent temporary 67% increase in the state personal income tax is being funneled into the state government pension funds.”
“It’s ironic that while members of the state legislature are looking forward to a cushy retirement, House members are considering raising the state’s regressive cigarette tax by a huge $1.00 a pack. This proposed tax hike is a job-killer. It will drive many small shops out of business and will impact the poor most of all. The black market for cigarettes will keep growing. And small shops near the state border that are dependent on cigarette sales might as well just close their doors as smokers drive out of state to purchase cigarettes.”
This release is the fourth in a series. To see the first, click here: Pension Millionaires Draining Lifeblood from TRS Pension Fund. For the second, click here: State Troopers & Corrections Officers Quick to Capture Lavish Pensions. And for the third, click here: For REALLY Big Bucks, Try the State University System.

For REALLY Big Bucks, Try the State University System

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CHICAGO–The most outrageous pensions in all the Illinois state pension funds are to be found in the State University Retirement System (SURS), according to Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“If you want to see why the pension funds in Illinois are lurching toward insolvency, look no further than the State University Retirement System,” said Tobin. “The pensions are so mind-boggling that if I didn’t have our list of the Top 100 SURS pensions, no one would believe it.”
Click here to download the Top 100 SURS pension amounts (PDF). “The highest of the ‘Top 100’ list again is Tapas Das Gupta, of the University of Illinois-Chicago, whose annual pension is an absolutely astounding $426,885 (as of 4/1/12). Each month he pulls in $35,574. His monthly pension is about the same as the median full-time annual wage in Illinois, which is $35,256.”
“Since 1/1/98, Gupta’s total pension payout is $3,001,481.”
“Number two on the Top 100 list is Edward Abraham, also of the University of Illinois-Chicago. His annual pension is $414,709. That’s $34,559 each month. Since 1/1/98, Abraham has collected a total pension payout of $1,979,314.”
“Number three on the Top 100 list is Riad Barmada, also of the University of Illinois-Chicago. His annual pension is $397,919 — $33,160 a month. His total pension payout since 1/1/98 is an astronomical $4,627,975 — the highest total pension payout of the Top 100 SURS pensions.”
“Who says teachers are underpaid?”
“The way to fix the broken pension system is to replace pensions for all new government hires with social security and 401(k)s, and increase current employee contributions. This is the only way to eliminate the unfunded liabilities that plague taxpayers.”
“In addition, voters should kick all Springfield Democrats out of office on November 6, 2012. They are the ones who approved the temporary 67% state income tax surcharge, all of which is being put into the state pension programs.”
This release is the third in a series. To see the first, click here: Pension Millionaires Draining Lifeblood from TRS Pension Fund. For the second, click here: State Troopers & Corrections Officers Quick to Capture Lavish Pensions.

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Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.

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