STATE PENSIONS FATTEN WALLETS OF RETIRED ILLINOIS POLITICIANS

View as PDF

Top 200 GARS Pensions

Retired Illinois politicians have become pension millionaires and are getting richer by the day, while Illinois taxpayers lose their jobs, get behind on their mortgages and have trouble paying their bills, according to the most recent study of state pensions by the Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF).

“These bloodsuckers that raised state taxes billions of dollars, and then retired, are getting lavish, gold-plated pensions and benefits,” said James L. Tobin, economist and TEF president. “Their functionally-bankrupt state pension plan, the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), like the other state pension plans, has been kept on life-support with billion-dollar increases in the state income tax.”

“Thanks to the tax increases that many of these reprobates voted for, the state is economically dying and has lost population six years in a row.”

For 2019 and 2020, two GARS pensions exceed $200,000. From 2019 to 2020, the number of pensions exceeding $100,000 has gone from 62 to 71, and the number exceeding $50,000 has gone from 218 to 221.

The highest annual pension, $265,428, goes to retired legislator Arthur L. Berman (D), the author of the failed Berman Tax Increase Amendment, which we helped defeat years ago. Berman’s total pension paid to date is $3,670,815.

A central figure responsible for much of the pension crisis is former governor James R. Thompson (R), one of the worst tax-raisers in Illinois history. Thompson currently receives an annual pension of $165,987. He has received a total pension to date of $3,219,842. His estimated lifetime pension payout is $3,385,829.

Former governor, Patrick J. Quinn Jr. (D), the so-called “reform” governor, currently receives an annual pension of $149,882. He has received a total pension to date of $694,733. His estimated lifetime pension payout is $3,255,658.

Former legislator and governor, James R. Edgar (R), receives a current annual pension of $175,952. He has received a total pension to date of $2,502,093, and his estimated lifetime pension payout is $4,755,649.

Edgar signed into law Senate Bill 3 in 1998, the biggest government pension increase in the history of Illinois. SB3 gave retired government teachers 75% of their salary at retirement, with annual compounded increases of 3 percent. SB3 will cost taxpayers $4.5 billion in 2020, which is 12% of the Illinois state budget!

The taxes to support these outrageous Illinois government pensions are driving taxpayers out of Illinois. Almost all of the last $5 billion-dollar state income tax increase was used to prop up the state pension funds. This is why Illinois governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker (D) wants to pass his Nov. 3. 2020 Income Theft Amendment, a massive state income tax increase for Illinois taxpayers. Instead of seeking pension reform, Pritzker wants another massive income tax hike.

Pritzker is destroying the Illinois economy. He wants to place more taxes on the backs of the state’s taxpayers, while he stubbornly enforces the Soviet-style state shutdown. Pritzker should explore significant reforms to the state’s bankrupt pension plans for retired government employees. He wasn’t elected to declare war on the state’s middle class.

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

View as PDF

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.

OUTRAGEOUS GOVERNMENT-EMPLOYEE PENSIONS HARMING MCHENRY COUNTY TAXPAYERS!

TUA logo

View as PDF

The Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its study of the McHenry County area government-employee pensions, highlighting the top pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study.

“It is no mystery what’s driving the economy-killing property tax increases in McHenry County,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “It’s the state’s lavish, gold-plated pension plans for retired government employees.”

“The perpetual tax increases that plague Illinois residents have nothing to do with children, roads, or services. They are about pensions for the privileged government class. This money may be ‘earmarked’ for buildings or whatever, but in reality it only frees up increased taxes for government pensions. It’s a shell game.”

“Those of us in the private sector must reduce our spending if our income decreases; we can’t just go to our employer and demand more money to fund irresponsible spending. That’s not true for the political class.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is subsidized by property taxes. If that isn’t bad enough, IMRF pensioners are also eligible to receive Social Security pensions.”

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are partly 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 state income tax again. They placed, on the November 2020 ballot, another statewide income tax increase. What does a statewide income tax increase mean for you? It means stealing from you to subsidize government pension millionaires.”

“The federal graduated income tax was sold to taxpayers as ‘a tax cut for the middle class.’ How did that turn out?”

“The state government employee pension system is the single cause of Illinois’ critical financial situation and it is mathematically impossible to tax our way out of this situation.”

“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 outrageous. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security.”

“Here are some egregious examples.”

“Kirk Reimer retired from Crystal Lake Park District at the age of 55. His current IMRF annual pension is $104,096. His estimated lifetime pension is $987,511 over a normal lifetime. He also is eligible for a Social Security pension.”

“Ronald Miller retired from Crystal Lake CCSD 47 at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $185,140. For a total contribution he made to his pension of only $284,287, he will accumulate $6,435,383 in taxpayer funded pension payments over a normal lifetime.”

“Teresa Lane retired from McHenry CHSD 156 at the age of 55. Her current annual pension is $158,038. For a total contribution she made to her pension of only $183,460, she will accumulate $5,777,191 in taxpayer funded pension payments over a normal lifetime.”

“Christine Harris retired from Crystal Lake CCSD 47 at the age of 54. Her current annual pension is $150,228. For a total contribution she made to her pension of only $210,249, she will accumulate $5,657,601 in taxpayer funded pension payments over a normal lifetime.”

“Douglas Evans retired from Seneca TWP HSD 160 at the age of 55. His current annual pension is $147,007. For a total contribution he made to his pension of only $209,384, he will accumulate $5,420,343 in taxpayer funded pension payments over a normal lifetime.”

Click Here to view top McHenry County government pensions.

“The Illinois government in Springfield has failed us. It’s in everyone’s best interest to solve the pension problem before the system completely collapses. It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ it will collapse, but when.”

“All new hires should be placed into 401(k) style retirement savings accounts. Member contributions to their retirement funds should be increased. Retirement age for full benefits should be increased to at least 65, preferably to 67, and contributions for health care also should be increased. Anything short of these reforms will do nothing to permanently solve the problem.”