ROCKFORD–A new report by pension researcher Bill Zettler reveals that retired government employees in Winnebago County receive lavish, gold-plated pensions that far exceed actual wages of workers in the private sector.
“These government-employee pensions are bankrupting the state pension funds,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI). “That’s the real reason Gov. Patrick Quinn (D) wants to raise the state personal income tax up to 67%. He wants to pump taxpayer dollars into the state’s floundering pension programs.”
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WIFR Channel 23 (CBS) News coverage of press conference
“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired government-school educators,” said Tobin. “The largest pension in Winnebago County’s ‘top 100 college pensions’ goes to Karl Jacobs, who received an astonishing annual pension of $137,714. That’s a mind-boggling monthly pension of $11,476. Number two in the top 100 list of largest pensions is Aubrey Durst, who received an annual pension of $100,534. That’s a bountiful monthly pension of $8,378.”
Jim Tobin Addresses Rockford News Stations Channel 23 (WIFR CBS), Channel 17 (WTVO ABC), Channel 39 (WQRF Fox), and Channel 13 (WREX NBC).
“Winnebago County’s retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) also are raking it in. The largest annual TRS pension goes to Alan Brown, whose annual pension is $140,506 — $11,709 a month. The second highest TRS annual pension goes to John Hurley, who receives $114,117 a year. That’s $9,510 a month.”
“With an unemployment rate of 14.8%, a median household income of $46,646 and a median housing value of a paltry $91,900, Winnebago County residents are struggling, while some of these retired government employees are well on their way to becoming pension millionaires.”
“These retired government employees are sucking the system dry. But there is no need to raise the state income tax or cut government services. Three crucial reforms can save the system and spare Illinois taxpayers.”
“New government hires should be required to fund their own retirements with 401(k) plans. Ending pensions for new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions.”
“In Illinois, if each current state pension fund employee were required to contribute an additional 10% to his or her pension, taxpayers would save over $150 billion over the next 35 years.”
“Requiring Illinois public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”