IMRF – The Gold Standard in Taxpayer Abuse

View as PDF CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of their updated analysis of Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).
“The IMRF, although touted as the gold standard in government pension funds, is just as efficient at stealing taxpayer wealth to benefit the political elite as any Illinois State pension fund,” stated Jim Tobin, TUA president.
“The entire list of the top 200 IMRF annual pensions exceeds $116,000 with multi-million dollar lifetime payouts that are largely taxpayer funded. Although the IMRF is adequately funded, that doesn’t make it fair to taxpayers, especially considering that the total unfunded liabilities for Illinois government pensions is far in excess of $111 billion.”
“All of these top 200 ‘poor civil servants’ collected salaries of at least $100,000 with some as high as $400,000. Nearly all IMRF employees are also eligible for Social Security benefits in addition to their IMRF pensions,” added Tobin. “Let’s not forget that 80% of municipal taxes, including property taxes, go to pay government employee salaries, pensions, and benefits.”

  • Total number of IMRF pension beneficiaries is approximately 119,556.
  • 478 collect pensions in excess of $100,000.
  • 5,916 collect pensions in excess of $50,000.
  • The average 2014 annual IMRF pension is $17,268.
  • The average amount that employees paid into their own pension fund is $19,030, or 4.6% of their estimated lifetime pension payout.
  • The average estimated lifetime payout is $411,998*.
  • The average age at retirement is 62.
  • The average years of employment are 18.
  • In fiscal year 2014, taxpayers were forced to pay $923,382,825 into the government pension fund.
  • In fiscal year 2014, local and county government employees paid $351,089,445 into their own pension fund.
  • The net return on investment for IMRF in fiscal year 2014 was only 5.8%, or $2,001,440,028.
  • As of the end of fiscal year 2014, IMRF had an 87.3% funded ratio with a $4.8 billion unfunded liability.

“Taxpayers are forced to pay $2.63 for every $1 the multi-millionaire pensioners pay into their own IMRF pension fund annually, or 263%. I can’t think of a single private sector employer who does that. Social Security payments by the employer are an equal match to employee payments. You won’t see any gold-plated, multi-million dollar Social Security lifetime payouts. The maximum Social Security payout for 2016 is $31,668, and there are no cushy, automatic cost of living increases in Social Security benefits. And again, let’s not forget that nearly all of IMRF members also get Social Security payments in addition to the pension payments highlighted in our study.”
“Until all government employees are moved from the current defined-benefit pension system to 401(k) style retirement savings accounts, the system will remain unsustainable and unfair to taxpayers. But this type of positive, sweeping reform cannot occur without first amending the Illinois Constitution by removing the government employee pension protection clause. However, the Illinois General Assembly could immediately require that all new government employees be placed in a 401(k) style defined-contribution plan, which would eliminate additional unfunded government pension liabilities immediately.”
“Today’s taxpayers should not be required to pay for services rendered years ago, just as bureaucrats and politicians should not be allowed to balance today’s budgets on the backs of tomorrow’s taxpayers. Let’s make necessary reforms that will benefit all of Illinois economically and finally do something that actually is ‘for the children.’”
“To help the average taxpayer understand the problem, we list the names of the pensioners and the amounts they collect in retirement,” added Tobin. “It really hits home when people see the names of their local ‘civil servants,’ people in their community that they know at least by name, and the outrageous amount of taxpayer dollars they collect in retirement while doing absolutely nothing.”
“Edward A. Anderson, retired from CGH Medical-Sterling, tops our list with a mind-boggling $306,621 annual pension! The accumulation of those payments, over a normal lifetime, will reach about $6.2 million. His contribution to that gold-plated pension was only $312,570.”
“Roy F. McCampbell tops the list for estimated lifetime pension payouts. Retiring at only 56 from the Village of Bellwood, he could collect more than $6.8 million in taxpayer funded pension payments. His current annual pension is a very lucrative $263,809. He collects this wealth from taxpayers in a community where 12.8% of the population lives below the poverty level and the per capita income is only $20,395!”
“Albin D. Pagorski tops our list for the highest total IMRF pension collected to date at $3,083,099. His own payment into this extravagant government pension was a meagre $93,910 or 2% of his estimated lifetime pension payout.”

“Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, AKA: Boss Madigan, has had the Illinois taxpayers in his death grip for far too long. Every taxpayer needs to vote in the upcoming Illinois Primary on March 15, 2016 and vote out every incumbent who has played a role in taxpayer abuse, stripping wealth from us to put in the pockets of the government retirees. The constitutional protection of this redistribution of taxpayer wealth is criminal,” charged Tobin. “The only way to enact real reform is to oust the guilty parties who answer to union thugs, rather than the taxpayers they are elected to represent,” he concluded.
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% COLA (simple interest) and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590). Nearly all IMRF pensioners also receive Social Security benefits in addition to their IMRF pension. Any blank spaces in the data are intentional and due to government redactions or withheld data points in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

1 Comment
  1. IMRF employees have to contribute 3.5% of their salary into the pension while they work. The employer is essentially contributing a very good match. IMRF employees have paid for their benefits. You focus on a few earners that look like they abused the system; but a majority of people get a very modest payout. The employer dictates the salary of the employee which dictates the amount they contribute to IMRF. Just reduce the wages of those high earners and you reduce their benefits.

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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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