Posts Tagged Pension Reform

148,654 Illinois Government Pension Millionaires!

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Pension Overview for 2020

Government pensions affect every taxpayer in Illinois. Now Pritzker’s pension madness threatens to reach across the state and ravage taxpayers with the most insidious effect of Covid-19: theft of taxpayer wealth. As businesses and workers across the country struggle to keep afloat during this pandemic, Pritzker promises to increase your taxes.

How does Pritzker expect to fund the untouchable government pensions if no commerce is allowed? He expects the entire country to bail out the bankrupt state of Illinois. However, he is playing a very dangerous game of chicken and the livelihood of every Illinoisan is at risk. Everyone except the government employees and retirees whose pensions are protected by the Illinois Constitution, that is.

And there are billions at stake. It doesn’t take a lot of pension millionaires to bankrupt the system. Not when there are more than 148,654 Illinois government pensioners who will receive more than a million dollars in pension payments. That only represents the six statewide pension funds. There are tens of thousands more government pension millionaires in the Chicago pension funds and the hundreds of local police and fire pension funds. That number will continually increase with the constitutionally protected 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA). For the six state-wide government-employee pension plans, the COLA is compounded, making new pension millionaires every day.

The average pensioner gets $1.5 million in lifetime pension payments, and for every $1 they deposit to their own pensions, taxpayers are forced to pay $4.74. Government employees don’t have to work very long to qualify for that $1.5 million; the average number of years employed is only 20.1 and the average age of retirement is about 61.

In thousands of cases from the State Employees Retirement System, (SERS) and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), pensioners also receive Social Security pensions.

There is currently an estimated $143.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities across all six statewide Illinois government pension funds. Some of the funds like IMRF like to brag that they are in good shape. However, IMRF is only 90% funded because of the massive property tax burdens of taxpayers that subsidize it. Other funds, like the General Assembly Retirement System is barely solvent at 15.65% funded. It is for this reason that Pritzker is so determined to raise Illinoisans’ income tax with his “Nov. 3rd” Income Theft Amendment

If Pritzker continues this path, suffering taxpayers will find their incomes diverted to pension millionaires like Leslie Heffez. Currently, Heffez receives $635,123 a year from taxpayers, which he will receive regardless of the lockdown. Taxpayers cannot afford the lockdown or these pensions. The sooner Pritzker realizes this, the sooner Illinois can begin to truly recover.

All Illinois Government Pensions Over $100,00

Top 200 GARS Pensions

Top 200 TRS Pensions

Top 200 JRS Pensions

Top 200 SERS Pensions

Top 200 SURS Pensions

Top 200 IMRF Pensions

HINSDALE SD 181 ANNUAL PENSION OF $315,336 JUST TIP OF THE ICEBERG

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A recent article in the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Patch revealed that retired Hinsdale SD 181 elementary Supt. Mary Curley receives an annual pension of an astounding $315,336, and that this enormous pension was made possible by two 20 percent raises in her final two years.

See: https://patch.com/illinois/hinsdale/ex-hinsdale-official-gets-315k-pension

“Curley retired at 55 after 34 years with the district,” said Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “For years, many districts granted superintendents and teachers two 20 percent raises in their last two years. Finally, the state legislature passed a law limiting end-of-career spiking to 6 percent annually in the last four years, which is still a huge amount.”

“This egregious example is just the tip of the iceberg. Retired government school bureaucrats and teachers in Illinois are receiving lavish, gold-plated pensions and benefits that enable them to enjoy luxurious lifestyles while the state’s government pension funds have become functionally bankrupt.”

“To make matters worse, Illinois taxpayers have had their state income taxes raised by a substantial amount so that their hard-earned dollars can be pumped into the floundering government pension funds.”

“While the average Social Security pension for taxpayers is $17,532, our Taxpayer Education Foundation’s (TUA) research shows that 111,809 Illinois Government Pensioners collect more than $50,000 in taxpayer funded payments, and over 22,000 of those pensioners collect more than $100,000 in taxpayer funded payments. This is outrageous.”

“Retired government employees who receive IMRF pensions, one of the state’s six government pension plans, are subsidized with our property taxes. They also are eligible for Social Security payments!”

“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the state’s government pension plans are effectively bankrupt, and why the state itself is going under as it tries to save these funds with more taxpayer dollars. Springfield politicians must now bite the bullet and consider an amendment to the Illinois Constitution to enable pension benefits to be lowered.”

“In the meantime, taxpayers must defeat all property tax increase referenda on the March 17 primary ballot.”

“Finally, it’s crucial that taxpayers vote against the Income Theft Amendment that Gov. Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker put on the November 3 ballot.  

Click here to view the 2019 overview of the six major Illinois pension funds.

Peoria Property Tax Squeeze: Pay More to Fund Gov. Pensions

This story was featured by NBC Peoria and CBS Peoria. Click the links to view their coverage.

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Peoria, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Peoria municipal and county government pensions, including the top 200 pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and the State University Retirement System (SURS). TUA issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study:

“Peoria City bureaucrats showed their contempt for taxpayers by finding creative ways to increase property taxes,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “Peoria now has a ‘public pension safety fee.’ Every little shed on homeowners’ property now costs $50 a year. And if you have a building larger than 5,000 square feet, you must pay an additional $300 a year. This is on top of the already high 2.5% effective property tax rate on their homes.”

“Of this property tax increase, 100% of the revenue, estimated at $2.2 million the first year, is earmarked for IMRF pensions. This ‘fee’ will increase regularly now that it’s in place.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded by property taxes. $903 million in property taxes have been shoveled into this fund to keep it afloat.”

“The IMRF pension fund, like the other government pension funds, is a Pyramid Scheme that cannot be sustained as more and more people leave the Peoria area for lower tax communities. Peoria has already eliminated 22 firefighter positions and 16 police positions.”

“Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis recently stated that over 95% of all property taxes are poured into the city’s local pension funds.”

· Click Here to see the top 200 Peoria area TRS pensions

· Click Here to see the top 200 Peoria area municipal, and Peoria County IMRF pensions

· Click Here to see the top Illinois Central College SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded by the state income tax. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated income tax, so they can make it through the next election cycle. When the state goes under, they will be enjoying their retirements in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class Peoria taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker income-tax hike if it passes. There is nothing fair about his ‘fair tax’ that will, by design, siphon even more wealth out of the pockets of the middle-class. Pritzker’s tax increases won’t stop there as we’ve seen with the gargantuan gasoline tax increase.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer funded pensions, you can get a better idea of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so egregious. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security, and that most IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Francis Hinton retired from Peoria SD 150. His current annual TRS pension is $ 217,419. His estimated lifetime payout is a lucrative $4,809,603.

Kevin W. Lyons retired from Peoria County at the age of 55. His current IMRF pension is $147,760 and will accumulate to about $3,961,654 over a normal lifetime. Kevin is also eligible for a social security pension.

Illinois Central College retiree, Thomas Thomas collects $225,070 in annual pension payments. His payments into SURS total $148,054. He will collect, over a normal lifetime, $4,895,542.

“All Illinois government new hires should be placed in a 401(k) style retirement savings account, beginning immediately, and the retirement age should be increased to 65. These measures would at least stop the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.”

This story was featured by NBC Peoria and CBS Peoria. Click the links to view their coverage.

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Peoria, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Peoria municipal and county government pensions, including the top 200 pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and the State University Retirement System (SURS). TUA issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study:

“Peoria City bureaucrats showed their contempt for taxpayers by finding creative ways to increase property taxes,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “Peoria now has a ‘public pension safety fee.’ Every little shed on homeowners’ property now costs $50 a year. And if you have a building larger than 5,000 square feet, you must pay an additional $300 a year. This is on top of the already high 2.5% effective property tax rate on their homes.”

“Of this property tax increase, 100% of the revenue, estimated at $2.2 million the first year, is earmarked for IMRF pensions. This ‘fee’ will increase regularly now that it’s in place.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded by property taxes. $903 million in property taxes

have been shoveled into this fund to keep it afloat.”

“The IMRF pension fund, like the other government pension funds, is a Pyramid Scheme that cannot be sustained as more and more people leave the Peoria area for lower tax communities. Peoria has already eliminated 22 firefighter positions and 16 police positions.”

“Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis recently stated that over 95% of all property taxes are poured into the city’s local pension funds.”

· Click Here to see the top 200 Peoria area TRS pensions

· Click Here to see the top 200 Peoria area municipal, and Peoria County IMRF pensions

· Click Here to see the top Illinois Central College SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded by the state income tax. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated income tax, so they can make it through the next election cycle. When the state goes under, they will be enjoying their retirements in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class Peoria taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker income-tax hike if it passes. There is nothing fair about his ‘fair tax’ that will, by design, siphon even more wealth out of the pockets of the middle-class. Pritzker’s tax increases won’t stop there as we’ve seen with the gargantuan gasoline tax increase.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer funded pensions, you can get a better idea of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so egregious. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security, and that most IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Francis Hinton retired from Peoria SD 150. His current annual TRS pension is $ 217,419. His estimated lifetime payout is a lucrative $4,809,603.

Kevin W. Lyons retired from Peoria County at the age of 55. His current IMRF pension is $147,760 and will accumulate to about $3,961,654 over a normal lifetime. Kevin is also eligible for a social security pension.

Illinois Central College retiree, Thomas Thomas collects $225,070 in annual pension payments. His payments into SURS total $148,054. He will collect, over a normal lifetime, $4,895,542.

“All Illinois government new hires should be placed in a 401(k) style retirement savings account, beginning immediately, and the retirement age should be increased to 65. These measures would at least stop the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.”

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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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