Pension Reform

Vermilion County First|Watchdog Group Cites Vermilion County Pensions

President of Taxpayers United of America, Jim Tobin, was quoted by Vermilion County First during the pension release of Vermilion County.

A government watchdog group is citing some Vermilion County government pensions as examples of what it calls over-inflated pensions.  Taxpayers United of America President, Jim Tobin, says many Vermilion County government retirees are enjoying seven-figure life-time pension payouts.  ‘’Well over 1,000 of Vermilion County area government pensioners receive million-dollar life-time pension pay-outs.  The pensioners average personal investment is only about five-and-a-half percent of the life-time pay-outs,’’ says Tobin.
‘’While local taxpayers, whose average household income is about $41-thousand dollars, struggle to make their property tax payments – working well beyond retirement age – these government pensioners enjoy lavish, gold-plated retirements beginning, on average, at the age of 58,’’ says Jim Tobin.  He is the president of Taxpayers United of America, which released the report.  Taxpayers United of America is urging state lawmakers to do away with what it calls over-inflated pensions.
Tobin made his comments during a news conference in Urbana.  He added the state will soon have to start reducing pension payments, due to a lack of funds.  But he could not pinpoint when that is expected to happen.
Tobin thinks the pension payouts to many Illinois government retirees is outrageous.  ‘’I think taxpayers should be outraged as I am that these people are retiring in their fifties and sixties and living the ‘Life of Riley’ on our dime.  We have to keep working into our sixties and seventies, and in some cases we have to work until we drop – we taxpayers – so these people can retire in their fifties and live the ‘Life of Riley’ on our dime,’’ added Tobin.
More information on the study conducted by Taxpayers United of America on pensions in Vermilion and Champaign Counties can be found at

Prospect Heights SD 23 Teachers: Tone Deaf, Dumb, and Blind?

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Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) responds to Prospect Heights SD 23 Strike.
“It is incomprehensible that the teachers of SD 23 could actually strike at this time. By no measure are these ‘civil servants’ underpaid in employment or retirement,” stated TUA executive director, Rae Ann McNeilly.
“These teachers are effectively demanding that their neighbors take another pay cut, which will come in the form of even higher property taxes, so the teachers can make more today and in retirement. The reality is that these striking teachers must look their neighbors in the eyes and say, ‘I don’t really care if you can no longer afford to live in your home, as long as I get what I want.’”
“Government school teachers make more than their counterparts in the private sector in both wages and benefits, they enjoy virtually iron-clad job security, and are only active for about 8 months out of the year,” added McNeilly.
“In any case, the State of Illinois is near implosion, financially speaking, and it is just irresponsible for any government employee to expect compensation increases when the taxpayers who fund them can barely keep their own heads above water.”
“The most recent report indicates that the Prospect Heights Education Association, the union at the heart of the strike, expects taxpayers to cough up pay increases of 4.5% for the first two years of the three year contract and 4.25% for the third year. How many taxpayers have received comparable pay increases recently or expect such huge increases over the next three years? Most of our members are worried about hanging on to their homes and keeping up with their property taxes as is, yet Illinois tries to tax its way out of the financial debacle, the same way bureaucrats created it.”
“It’s about time for teachers, and any other government employees, to suck it up and live on the very fair wages they are already getting and give the taxpayers a break.”
“If they really want to do what’s best ‘for the children,’ they will let the kids’ parents keep more of their hard-earned money and hopefully continue to afford their property taxes.”
“The following data shows taxpayers what a few of these ‘poor civil servants’ are making in retirement; we can only imagine what kind of salaries warrant these pensions.”
Click here to see the complete list of SD 23 pensions.
“Although many of the top pensioners retired as administrators, they were all teachers first,” concluded McNeilly.

Kankakee on the Brink With Gov. Pension Liabilities

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CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of their updated study of the top government pensioners of Kankakee County, Kankakee County government schools, Kankakee Community College, and Kankakee municipal.
“Well over 1,000 of the Kankakee area government pensioners receive multi-million dollar lifetime pension payouts,” stated Jim Tobin, TUA president. “The pensioners’ average personal investment is only about 5.5% of the lifetime payouts.”
“While taxpayers struggle to make their property tax payments, working well beyond retirement age, these government pensioners enjoy lavish, gold-plated retirements beginning, on average, at the age of 58.”
“This is not a retirement system or a safety net for ‘the poor public servants’ who have given their lives to public service. This is theft. These government pensions are immoral and unethical theft of taxpayers’ hard-earned money to be given to the political elite to do absolutely nothing.”
“Kankakee police and fire pensions are some of the most troubled funds in the country. With 27.7% and 18.8% funding ratios, respectively, and more retirees collecting benefits than employees paying into the fund, they are rapidly spiraling to insolvency.”
“There are now 12,154 Illinois government pensions over $100,000 and 85,893 over $50,000 annually! Those are staggering numbers considering the taxpayers who fund these pensions get an average Social Security pension of about $15,000 a year.”
“I defy teachers, or any government employee, to look into their neighbors’ eyes and say, ‘You deserve another pay cut so I can make more in retirement than you make working.’ They have to be able to say to their neighbors, ‘I don’t care if you can no longer afford your home’s property tax payment; I want more. I want more of your money. I want more of your wealth. I want more of your property.’ That is the reality of demanding more lavish government pensions. If you are a government employee, your neighbor is your employer,” challenged Tobin.
“Retired Pembroke CCSD 259 government employee, Barbara J. Howery enjoys an annual taxpayer funded pension of $151,441. Over a normal lifetime, she will get about $4.4 million in pension payments. Her personal investment in this rich pension is about 5.3%, or $234,403.”
Larry Huffman retired from Kankakee Community College at only 54 years of age and his current annual pension is $134,960. He will collect about $4.4 million while he only put in $157,199 of his own money, slightly more than one year’s pension payout. That’s a 3.6% investment in his own multi-million dollar retirement payout!”
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“Although we did not support or endorse SB 1 as any kind of pension reform, as it did more harm than good, the unanimous ruling of the Illinois Supreme Court clearly illustrates the limited options available to solve the pension crisis…and the answers are not tax increases!”
“A constitutional amendment that is fair to taxpayers, as well as government employees, must be approved next year in 2016. In the meantime, if the Illinois General Assembly increased individual government employee contributions to their own gold-plated pensions by 10 percentage points, it would save taxpayers about $150 billion over the next 35 years, or about $4.3 billion a year, and save the State of Illinois from financial ruin. If nothing else, the Illinois General Assembly must pass legislation that permits local governments and taxing districts to file for Chapter 9.”
“Taxpayers must pursue these three paths forward to avoid disastrously higher taxes in the immediate future.”
“Rather than finding ways to perpetuate this horrible system that places copious amounts of cash in the hands of bureaucratic hacks, rank and file union members should be calling for the complete reform and conversion to 401(k)-style funds that places employees in control of their own futures. The union and political bosses must know that they just can’t tax their way out of this problem.”
“The choice is clear: without sweeping, meaningful pension reform, residents of Kankakee and nearly every other city in Illinois will have to choose between fully funding the pension systems to pay for the services provided in the past, or pay for the services we need today.”
“With Kankakee being rated the 6th most dangerous city in the state, we need to continue to provide services to the taxpayers living here now and ensure that their tax dollars aren’t squandered on propping up the unsustainable government pension system,” concluded Tobin.
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).



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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