“There are 3,500 employees in the Illinois State Police Department, but only 2,000 are certified troopers. We were astounded to find more than 35% of these 2,000 Illinois state troopers had salaries in excess of $100,000 per year,” said Jim Tobin, President of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF). “No wonder some state cops receive literally multi-million dollar, gold-plated pensions during their retirement.”

“Even more outrageous, we have discovered 17 Illinois State Police employees retired at age 50 and now have lavish pensions greater than $100,000 per year. A fifty year-old state cop with a $100,000 pension, including a 3% automatic annual increase, will receive more than $5 million in pension payments over his 31 year life expectancy, despite contributing only about $200,000 in pension payments.”

“Below is a comparison of a private-sector employee in the Social Security system making the same salary over his career as an ISP employee, both ending at $125,000, except the private-sector employee works until age 62. Illinois State Police employees have pension plans worth 5 to 10 times that of their taxpaying peers in the private sector.”

  • Age at Retirement
    • ISP Employee: 50
    • Employee in SS System: 62
  • Pension at retirement
    • ISP: $100,000
    • SS: $22,000
  • Total Employee Contribution
    • ISP: $200,000
    • SS: $150,000
  • Lifetime Payout
    • ISP: $5 million
    • SS: $630,000

“State employees should be on Social Security and 401K retirement plans, and work until at least age 62, like the rest of us. Just because they are government employees doesn’t make them more privileged than employees in the private sector.”

“Pension and retiree health care payments for suburban and downstate government school employees and state employees will be $5.5 billion this year, compared to $2.2 billion if they had been on Social Security, Medicare and 5% employer 401K contribution like the rest of us. That $3.3 billion would go a long way towards balancing the state budget without a state income tax increase.”

“If each government employee were required to contribute an additional 5% toward his or her pension, it would reduce the pension funds’ unfunded portions by 27%. A mandated 10% increase in contributions would reduce the unfunded portions by 54%, and long-term, requiring all new government hires to fund their own retirements with 401(k) plans would eventually eliminate the current state pension system and its problems.”

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