ALTOONA—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today revealed retired government employee pensions for Altoona and Blair County. Many Pennsylvania government employees are becoming pension millionaires when retired.
“Many government retirees make more in pension payments than the private sector taxpayers make in salaries,” stated Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President. “Both the economy and the pension system are in serious trouble. While taxpayers struggle to save for their own retirement and fund the pension system, government retirees have to be concerned that their pension payments will continue.”
“I will deliver letters to Gov. Corbett and each member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, calling for meaningful pension reforms that will be both fair and sustainable. TUA is ready to work with legislators to implement reforms that will preserve the system for those that are relying on it, and bring relief to the taxpayers who are obligated to fund it.”
“Private sector taxpayers are struggling in the ‘Great Recession,’ with an average income of $34,000.
The unemployment/underemployment rate (U6) is 14.9%. The maximum Social Security annual payout is $22,000, regardless of how much one may have earned in their working career.”
“Reynold D. Santone, Jr., retired from the city of Altoona, collects an annual pension of $48,328. His estimated lifetime payout is $1,449,835.*”
“Mitchell Cooper, retired from the Altoona Police, has an annual pension of $42,852 with an estimated lifetime payout of 1,285,564*.”
“Retired Blair County employee, Mary A. Beckwith, has a lifetime estimated payout of $1,351,058* based on her actual annual pension of $45,035.”
“Pennsylvania government pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Ending pensions for all new government hires and replacing with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If government employees would just increase their pension contributions, they would preserve their pension benefits. Anything less will ensure the system’s collapse and Pennsylvania government retirees will get nothing. We need a stable system that is fair to both taxpayers and beneficiaries.”
“Every employee deserves a fair wage for the work they do at the time they do it so they can plan for their own retirement, rather than counting on the bureaucrats who helped create such an unstable situation.”
“This is the time for the political courage to do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers, rather than the special interests. Let’s knock any politician out-of-office, who cuts bad deals with union bosses and corporations! Republican or Democrat, what’s the difference, with numbers like these?”
View pension amounts below:
*TUA submits FOIA requests for actual pensions. Since personal information is not available, lifetime pension payouts must be estimated based on retirement at 55, life expectancy of 85 and without COLA.
All annual pensions included in this report are derived by annualizing the benefit amount provided by the legal representative of the subject fund.
UPDATE: An update to this release has been made here.