Taxpayer Alert

Teachers’ Retirement System Millionaires – It’s Not For the Children

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CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of their updated analysis of Illinois’ Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS).
“In forty years of fighting government fraud, waste and abuse, nothing compares to TRS,” stated Jim Tobin, TUA president.
“This group of government employees uses our children as pawns in their demand for higher wages and benefits and yet there is no accountability, no measure of what makes a good teacher, and no way to get rid of the bad ones. All of the annual pensions on the TRS Top 200 are greater than $185,000.”
“Illinois overpays its teachers in the classroom and in retirement. 80% of all of those property tax and income tax increases go to fund government employee salaries and benefits. Clearly, it is not for the children,” added Tobin.

  • Total number of TRS pension beneficiaries is approximately 114,434
  • 8,507 collect pensions in excess of $100,000
  • 56,717 collect pensions in excess of $50,000
  • The average annual TRS pension is $52,752
  • The average amount that employees paid into their own pension fund is $74,470, or 4.1% of their estimated lifetime pension payout
  • The average estimated lifetime payout is $1.5 million*
  • The average age at retirement is 58
  • The average years of employment are 27
  • In fiscal year 2015, taxpayers were forced to pay $3,523,256,530 into the government pension fund
  • In fiscal year 2015, teachers’ paid $935,451,049 into their own government pension fund
  • The net return on investment for TRS was only 4%, or $1,770,549,533
  • As of the end of fiscal year 2015, TRS had a 42% funded ratio with a $62 billion unfunded liability

tobintrsj“These are not poor civil servants! The average Illinois government teacher salary is $69,538 – that average includes part-time teachers. Nearly half of the Top 200 TRS pensioners collect more in retirement than their final salary while employed.”
“Consistent with our findings of JRS and GARS, taxpayers have already paid more than their fair share of retirement benefits for these government teachers. Taxpayers made their payments on time and in good faith and yet these government employees expect us to pay again, and again.”
“Just a couple of examples of what these ‘poor civil servants’ are forced to live on in their retirement, that is if you can call it retirement at the age of 58, underscore the lavish, gold-plated government pension problem in Illinois,” said Tobin.

“Lawrence A. Wylie tops our list with a stunning $312,081 annual pension benefit! The accumulation of those payments will, over a normal lifetime, reach a cool $3.1 million. His contribution to that gold-plated pension was only $366,522.”
“John R. Harper tops the list for estimated lifetime payouts. Retiring at only 54, he could collect more than $11.1 million in taxpayer funded pension benefits. His current annual pension is a very comfortable $239,019.”
“Donald V. Strong tops our list for the highest total government pension collected to date at $3,633,776. His own payment into this extravagant government pension was a meagre $95,659.”

“We are hopeful that taxpayers will put Illinois Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) and his cronies out of business. It is impossible to defend this system any longer. To expect taxpayers to bail-out the bloated promises of powerful politicians is just criminal,” charged Tobin.
“Boss Madigan has had the Illinois taxpayers in his death grip for far too long. Every taxpayer needs to vote in the upcoming General Primary on March 15, 2016 and vote out every incumbent who has played a part in taxpayer abuse that strips wealth from us to put in the pockets of the government retirees.” concluded Tobin.
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).
**Blank spaces in the data are intentional and due to government redactions or withheld data points in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Tax Accountability Announces its Candidate Endorsements

View as PDF Chicago – Tax Accountability (TA), the political action arm of Taxpayers United of America, has announced its candidate endorsements for the March 15, 2016 primary election.
“I am proud to announce endorsements of such qualified candidates in these critical races,” said Jim Tobin, Chairman of TA.
“Illinois voters need to look long and hard at the records of the incumbents in every race and ask themselves if they are truly represented. TA can stand behind every one of these candidates who have pledged to fight tax increases.”
General Primary March 15, 2016
Dan Patlak for Cook County Board of Review, 1st District
Kelly Liebmann for McHenry County Board District 6
Joe Tirio for McHenry County Recorder
Tom Wilbeck for McHenry County Board District 1
Allen Skillicorn for Illinois State Rep – 66th district
James Marter for U.S. Senate
State Senator Kyle McCarter for U.S. Congress – 15th district
Please click on the links to read more about each candidate.

Taxpayer Group Fights Property Tax Increase Referenda March 15

View as PDF Chicago – Government bureaucrats in Westchester, Franklin Park, and Summit have placed referenda on the March 15, 2016 ballot for voters to approve Home Rule status for these villages. According to Taxpayers United of America (TUA), Home Rule means higher taxes.
“For decades, I’ve called it ‘Home Ruin,’” said Jim Tobin, president of TUA. “Why would any taxpayer want to give up their right to vote on property tax increases?”
“Home Rule always means higher taxes. Home Rule status in Illinois means that the cap limiting the amount that bureaucrats can increase property taxes is removed. It gives bureaucrats a blank check to do what they wish with your tax dollars – and without a vote. How many government bureaucrats would you trust with a blank check bearing your signature?”
“Home Rule also gives local government authority to tax nearly any product or service they want. What they don’t tell you is that such taxation drives consumers to neighboring communities, where the taxes on products and services are lower.”
“And if high taxation isn’t enough, Home Rule is used extensively to add regulations, fees, and licensing that create even more red tape for business and entrepreneurs,” said Tobin.
“We are helping taxpayers in each of these communities by revealing the truth about home rule and how damaging it is. We are working with local activists and organizations to educate voters on Home Rule and the ramifications of its implementation.”
Voters and taxpayers in Roselle SD 12 are also facing a property tax increase referendum on the ballot for the March 15, 2016 primary, costing roughly $500 every year in increased property taxes for homes valued at $250,000.
“These bureaucrats are seeking an additional $1.5 million of taxpayer funds annually for a school district totaling about 725 students. They have failed to properly account for taxpayers’ dollars, as the district is already facing a budget shortfall of $844,000 for the 2016-17 school year, and we know that 80% of these funds are typically diverted to pay for government employee salaries and benefits,” said Tobin.
“Residents of Roselle cannot afford these proposed property tax hikes, as the area’s unemployment rate is 6% with only a .85% job growth rate. Taxpayers should not be forced to take a $500 pay cut to continue business as usual in the district. Cuts must be made, consolidation must be pursued, and the government bureaucrats need to look over their options again before squeezing more taxpayers for loot, driving more homeowners out of the area by hiking their already ridiculously costly property taxes.”
You can download PDFs of our ‘Vote No’ flyers for printing and distribution below.

“Government needs to live within its means and cut spending when tax revenue declines. 80% of Home Rule and other local taxes go to pay for government employees’ salaries and their benefits. By adding new taxes, government bureaucrats ensure their own high pay and lavish pensions.”
“Illinois currently has more than 12,154 annual state pensions totaling more than $100,000 each and more than 85,893 government pensions totaling more than $50,000 annually. It is economically disastrous and mathematically impossible to raise enough taxes to sustain the defunct state pension system, and yet every unit of government continues to try to do while the state has more than $111 billion in unfunded government pension liabilities and an unpaid bill backlog of more than $6 billion,” said Tobin.
“Illinois has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, the state is losing taxpayers by staggering rates every year, and you have to wonder how many people could have stayed in their homes if the property taxes weren’t so high – the second highest property taxes in the country.”
“TUA has defeated 417 local tax increase referenda since 1977. We urge voters in these four communities to tell bureaucrats that they have had enough of government leeching off of their livelihood. These tax increases are not for the benefit of the many, but the politically-connected and government employee class. This comes at the expense of taxpayers, who cannot afford such tax increases, so we urge votes to Vote No.”
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.


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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