Disclosure News Online | WHO’S COLLECTING THE BIGGEST ILLINOIS PENSIONS?

Taxpayers United of America’s recent study of the top 200 Illinois pensioners was cited by Disclosure News Online.


discartBefore getting into the list of individuals with the biggest pensions in Illinois, here’s a look at the average pension payout in the state’s five pension systems and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (you can view the rest of the fast facts and figures here):

  1. Judges’ Retirement System (JRS) – $128,628
  2. General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) – $56,520
  3. Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) – $51,288
  4. State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) – $38,025
  5. State Universities Retirement System (SURS) – $37,248
  6. IMRF – $13,278*
*The average annual pension figure is from IMRF’s 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the latest available. The 2014 report will be published in June.

Taxpayers United of America, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to tax relief and “fighting government pensions,” released its updated study of the top 200 Illinois pensioners who, as of Feb. 1, 2015, receive more than $200,000 a year in pension benefits.
“There are now 12,154 Illinois government pensions over $100,000 and 85,893 over $50,000,” TUA President Jim Tobin said. “Those are staggering numbers considering the taxpayers who fund these pensions get an average Social Security pension of about $15,000 a year.”
Of the state’s 200 biggest pensioners, 81 belong to TRS and 111 to SURS. A Better Government Association investigation in 2013 revealed many of the top annuitants were University of Illinois at Chicago employees who retired, began collecting their pensions, and then were rehired after waiting the required 60 days in order to work part-time for a smaller salary.
Listed below are the top 25 pensioners along with their current or previous titles and employers. A data table follows with all 200 individuals who are receiving the most in Illinois pensions. Last year’s report can be viewed here.

*Estimated lifetime pension payout includes the 3 percent compounded cost-of-living adjustment and assumes life expectency of 85 (IRS Form 590), according to TUA.

1. Tapas Das Gupta (SURS)

  • Title: Professor, Head of Department of Surgical Oncology, Chief of Service (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $466,409
  • Employee Contribution: $475,331
  • Age at Retirement: 72
  • Pension Collected to Date: $4,256,321
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $5,203,131*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 9.1%

2. Edward Abraham (SURS)

  • Title: Orthopedic Surgeon (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $453,164
  • Employee Contribution: $535,165
  • Age at Retirement: 66
  • Pension Collected to Date: $3,198,430
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $9,002,459*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 5.9%

3. Mahmood Mafee (SURS)

  • Title: Clinical Professor of Radiology (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $404,463
  • Employee Contribution: $562,570
  • Age at Retirement: 64
  • Pension Collected to Date: $3,038,008
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $8,778,156*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 6.4%

4. Herand Abcarian (SURS)

  • Title: Professor of Surgery, Division of Colorectal Surgery (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $370,140
  • Employee Contribution: $628,987
  • Age at Retirement: 67
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,092,580
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $6,833,263*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 9.2%

5. Ronald Albrecht (SURS)

  • Title: Associate Professor of Anesthesiology; Chief, Anesthesiology Service, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $368,742
  • Employee Contribution: $462,077
  • Age at Retirement: 70
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,554,786
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $5,380,260*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 8.6%

6. James Ausman (SURS)

  • Title: Former Head of Neurosurgery at UIC. Currently Professor of Neurosurgery at UCLA
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $338,630
  • Employee Contribution: $418,471
  • Age at Retirement: 70
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,143,866
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $5,155,075*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 8.1%

7. Jacob Wilensky (SURS)

  • Title: Professor of Ophthalmology (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $315,649
  • Employee Contribution: $410,791
  • Age at Retirement: 62
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,822,676
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $7,302,378*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 5.6%

8. Phillip Forman (SURS)

  • Title: Professor Emeritus in Health Policy & Administration Department (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $307,702
  • Employee Contribution: $376,541
  • Age at Retirement: 67
  • Pension Collected to Date: $3,237,873
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $4,871,504*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 7.7%

9. Lawrence Wyllie (TRS)

  • Title: District Superintendent
  • Employer: Lincoln-Way HSD 210
  • Annual Pension: $302,991
  • Employee Contribution: $398,488
  • Age at Retirement: 75
  • Pension Collected to Date: $461,651
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $3,155,952*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 12.6%

10. Joel Sugar (SURS)

  • Title: Professor of Ophthalmology; Cornea Service Vice Chair; Clinical Operations (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $299,512
  • Employee Contribution: $446,643
  • Age at Retirement: 59
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,732,588
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $8,303,189
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 5.4%

11. Edward Andersen (IMRF)

  • Title: Former President & CEO, currently Senior Advisor
  • Employer: CGH Medical-Sterling
  • Annual Pension: $298,123
  • Employee Contribution: $312,570
  • Age at Retirement: 64
  • Pension Collected to Date: $561,267
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $8,049,191*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 3.9%

12. Henry Bangser (TRS)

  • Title: District Superintendent
  • Employer: New Trier TWP HSD 203
  • Annual Pension: $294,524
  • Employee Contribution: $275,366
  • Age at Retirement: 57
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,156,709
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $9,554,224*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 2.9%

13. Gary Catalani (TRS)

  • Title: District Superintendent
  • Employer: CUSD 200
  • Annual Pension: $293,214
  • Employee Contribution: $289,151
  • Age at Retirement: 56
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,890,723
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $10,299,070*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 2.8%

14. Craig Bazzani (SURS)

  • Title: Former Vice President for Business Affairs, currently Senior Advisor for Foundation Advancement at the University of Illinois Foundation
  • Employer: U of I Urbana-Champaign
  • Annual Pension: $290,220
  • Employee Contribution: $298,686
  • Age at Retirement: 55 (Retired under a pension formula intended for police officers and firefighters)
  • Pension Collected to Date: $3,070,262
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $9,385,910*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 3.2%

15. Laura Murray

  • Title: District Superintendent
  • Employer: Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233
  • Annual Pension: $288,472
  • Employee Contribution: $298,591
  • Age at Retirement: 57
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,676,100
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $9,948,462*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 3.0%

16. George Honig (SURS)

  • Title: Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics (Current)
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $288,017
  • Employee Contribution: $401,027
  • Age at Retirement: 67
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,712,912
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $4,919,828*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 8.2%

17. Joel Milner (SURS)

  • Title: Professor Emeritus, Psychology (Current)
  • Employer: NIU
  • Annual Pension: $285,635
  • Employee Contribution: $429,142
  • Age at Retirement: 63
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,978,988
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $6,859,441*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 6.3%

18. Mary Curley (TRS)

  • Title: District Superintendent
  • Employer: Hinsdale CCSD 181
  • Annual Pension: $280,172
  • Employee Contribution: $248,708
  • Age at Retirement: 55
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,806,626
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $10,362,182*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 2.4%

19. John Folse (SURS)

  • Title: Chair of Department of Surgery
  • Employer: SIU Carbondale College of Medicine
  • Annual Pension: $279,703
  • Employee Contribution: $288,201
  • Age at Retirement: 67
  • Pension Collected to Date: $3,356,496
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $4,221,029*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 6.8%

20. James Schuler (SURS)

  • Title: Surgeon, Division of Vascular Surgery
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $277,703
  • Employee Contribution: $564,913
  • Age at Retirement: 59
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,330,531
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $7,928,160*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 7.1%

21. Gerald Moss (SURS)

  • Title: Dean of UIC College of Medicine
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $274,386
  • Employee Contribution: $475,674
  • Age at Retirement: 70
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,251,535
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $3,708,289*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 12.8%

21. Henry Gmitro (TRS)

  • Title: District Superintendent
  • Employer: CCSD 93
  • Annual Pension: $273,573
  • Employee Contribution: $282,750
  • Age at Retirement: 56
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,314,213
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $10,192,462*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 2.8%

22. Reginald Weaver (TRS)

  • Title: President
  • Employer: National Education Association
  • Annual Pension: $273,113
  • Employee Contribution: $264,894
  • Age at Retirement: 69
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,576,733
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $4,351,312*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 6.1%

23. Maureen Hager (TRS)

  • Title: District Superintendent
  • Employer: North Shore SD 112
  • Annual Pension: $271,653
  • Employee Contribution: $277,774
  • Age at Retirement: 58
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,353,397
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $9,143,454*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 3.0%

24. Melvin Lopata (SURS)

  • Title: Professor Emeritus of Medicine
  • Employer: UIC
  • Annual Pension: $270,174
  • Employee Contribution: $417,772
  • Age at Retirement: 62
  • Pension Collected to Date: $2,625,165
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $6,085,494*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 6.9%

25. Stephen Rugg (SURS)

  • Title: Comptroller, Vice President for Planning and Administration
  • Employer: U of I Urbana-Champaign
  • Annual Pension: $266,138
  • Employee Contribution: $318,649
  • Age at Retirement: 63
  • Pension Collected to Date: $1,773,886
  • Estimated Lifetime Pension Payout: $6,321,201*
  • Percent Contributed to Estimated Lifetime Payout: 5.0%

DISCLAIMER

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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