Ingham and Eaton and Lansing, Oh My! Top Government Pensions Exposed!

LANSING–A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that retired Ingham and Eaton County, and Michigan state government employees are not only receiving lavish, gold-plated pensions, but that their pension payments, in many cases, are larger than some salaries in the private sector. Furthermore, over a normal lifetime, many of these government employees, when they retire, become pension millionaires.
“While Ingham and Eaton Counties stagnate with 10.4% and 9.0% unemployment; median home values of $140,000 and $155,000; and average annual wages of $49,000and $42,000, respectively, retired area government employees are enjoying lavish, gold-plated pensions that have made some of them pension millionaires,” said Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.
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“The city of Lansing responded to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with invoices totaling more than $23,000 to retrieve the data.  Assistant City Attorney and FOIA Coordinator, Donald J. Kulhanek’s outrageous bill is tantamount to a refusal to release the pensions for Lansing?”
“Eaton and Inghan County retired government employees are doing much better than the average area worker in the private sector. Retired Eaton county government employee James Stewart receives an annual pension of $81,841.Stewart’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,725,320.”
“Retired Ingham County government employee, Diane H. Gorch, receives an annual pension of $60,967. Gorch’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,194,840.”
“State Police retiree, Tadarial Sturdivant receives an annual pension of $88,403. Sturdivant’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,943,841.”
“Retired government teacher, Albert Lorenzo receives an annual pension of $174,617.  Lorenzo’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $6,003,321.”
“The city of Lansing needs to follow the law and give pension information to the public who owns it.  Transparency is the key in holding the government accountable.”
“Ingham and Eaton County pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Ending pensions for all new government hires would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions; putting new government hires into social security and 401(k)s would achieve this. If each current government employee were required to contribute 10% toward his or her pension, taxpayers would save billions of dollars.”
“We need to knock all politicians out of office who make deals with bad government union bosses and bad corporate power brokers at the expense of the taxpayers.

5 Comments
  1. “Retired government teacher, Albert Lorenzo receives an annual pension of $174,617. Lorenzo’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $6,003,321.”
    I don’t understand this statement and the information you provided on air on the 5 o’clock news on Tuesday.
    I am a teacher of 20 years. I make about $68,000 per year and expect to get a pension of about $20,000 a year when I retire which will total $400.000,not $6,000,000. I don’t understand and question your numbers. Please explain how you came up with those numbers.

  2. I will give the amounts of my pension/retirement to compare.
    My longest employer of 20 years I recieve $328.00 month
    My second employer of 5 years is 153.47 month.
    I have a college education worked in the capacity of a nurse,
    risk management and utilization management.The later two
    positions saved and recovered my employers millions of dollars.
    I have no health insurance.Both pensions were reduced by 20%
    for an early 58 retirement, after loss of my job.

  3. I find it ironic, that some of the biggest opponents to the public employee Defined Benefit Pensions, are infact themselves recieving or will recieve the benefit.
    They are our lawmakers who have exempted themselves from the “new retirement plans” and allowed themselves to be grandfathered in to keep those benefits.
    On a local level, just one instance is looking at the local sheriff. In most cases they were previously employed by the agency until retirement age. Once they reached retirement age, they ran for the office, enabling themselves to recieve the pension PLUS the wage of the elected office along with its benefits (health insurance). Eaton County and Ionia County Sheriffs are perfect examples of this. Both are recieving pensions plus salary of the position.
    On the State level, look at the former sheriff from Eaton County, who got himself elected as a Representative (term limited out) and then as Senator (shortly term limted). He is collecting the wage from his elected position, and his pension.
    This is happening in the Office of the Governor also. There are individuals who have retired from the State of Michigan as an employee, recieving a DEFINED PENSION, and getting a salary from the State of Michigan. This is in violation of State of Michigan policy.
    The same goes for judges(former prosecuters)teachers moving on to colleges (getting two pensions).
    It is very frustrating to watch these elected officials complaining loudly about the Defined Benefit programs for public employees(cops, firemen, teachers, etc), yet if anyone looks, typically they and their staffs have seperate pensions and health programs from the public sector, with guarenteed life long benefits.
    Frustration rains on the people, when you try and secure employment in a stable field with certain benefits when you begin and work the following years, work the years required to obtain retirement, and have it yanked out from under you without the benefit of planning for and investing in a secondary means of funding for a retirement . Look at the ELECTED OFFICIALS GRAVY TRAIN to the $$ please. Check on the double dipping going on.

  4. Why do you have to sensationalize this by not pointing that these pensions are NOT going to the 99.9% of state employees?? Would that not be a more accurate report?

  5. You need to go back and redo your math. most of the individuals you are naming have contributed for 25 years to their retirement at 21% of thier wages ,and do not get a cost of living increase they are not getting a free ride. Mr. Waltersdorf has maid a very good point look to the legislatures who stand to get life time benifits for 8 years of employment payed for wtih 100% taxpayers money.

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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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