The number of retired Illinois government employees receiving pension benefits of over $100,000 a year has climbed to 5,294 as of April 1, 2011, an increase of 22% from June 30, 2010, according to the president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). Of the six state pensions systems, the highest number of affluent retirees, 2,668, belong to the Illinois Teacher Retirement System (TRS).
“The total of retired Illinois government employees pulling in over $100,000 has accelerated. The number of these prosperous retirees took only 9 months to increase 22%, from 4,352 to 5,294,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President.
“When we published our November 2010 study of the ‘Top 100 government pension recipients in Illinois,’ there were 4,352 retired Illinois government retirees receiving over $100,000 in pension benefits as of June 30, 2010, an increase of 21% over the previous year.”
“That’s quite an increase of well heeled retired government employees: from 3,597 to 4,352 to 5,294. And it’s Illinois taxpayers who are footing the bill for these lavish, gold-plated pensions. The huge, temporary 67% state income tax increase passed by Illinois General Assembly Democrats and signed by Gov. Patrick Quinn (D) will pour an estimated $6.4 billion annually into the state’s floundering, underfunded state pension programs. Other than present and future government employees, Illinois taxpayers will not see a cent of the money from this gargantuan state income tax increase.”
“The present government employee pension program is broken and must be replaced. 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. Requiring government employees and retirees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more—an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”
“But the long-term solution is to throw from office all the Springfield Democrats, who conspired in a structured vote to pass Quinn’s temporary 67% state income tax increase.”