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Chicago Police Pensions Worth Three Times Social Security Pensions With Less Time Worked

Chicago Police Pensions Worth Three Times Social Security Pensions With Less Time Worked

Chicago Police Pensions Worth Three Times Social Security Pensions With Less Time Worked

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CHICAGO–The average Chicago police pension is worth three times that of Social Security and police can retire with six years less work, according to research by Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

“The maximum Social Security pension is $22,000 at age 62, with a minimum of 35 years of work,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “The average Chicago police pension (2009-10) is $62,000 at age 58 after 29 years.”

“For a person on Social Security age 62 getting $22,000 a year, the estimated total pension payout over a normal lifetime is $560,000. Compare this to an average Chicago police pension of $62,000 starting at age 58. In this case, the estimated total pension payout over a normal lifetime is $2,500,000.”

“The average Chicago police pension is worth three times that of Social Security with retirement four years earlier and with six years less work.”

“In other words, they retire four years earlier, work six years less, and get three times as much.”

“For the Top 100 Chicago Police Pensions, the average pension is over $110,000 a year.”

“Police contribute 9% to their pension fund. The total Social Security contribution by employee and employer is 12.4%. Employers in the private sector pay employees less to compensate for their mandated Social Security contribution. Self-employed individuals pay 13.3% into Social Security on incomes up to $106,800.”


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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    Not a cop

    Police officers burn out quicker than any other field. Working in a chicago ghetto must be hell but someone has to do it. So they get to retire earlier after they risk getting killed every day. Things might be rough in the orivate sector right now but they will get better . Not for cops though. It stays the same for them. BNo comission. No bonus. All in all a cop is not your regular overpaid public employees.

    • Posted March 2, 2013

      Honest Cop

      Bullshit!!! Kids who live in poverty in the ghetto can make this claims
      Not police officer, they live as long as anyone else, and there many, other
      Professions with similar risks, work hour, stress, you name it and most pay
      Their own retirement! You must be a cop who believes his own bullshit, and I
      Bet you are 80 years old

      • Posted June 27, 2013


        Police risk their lives to protect people every day, that is pure brainwashed lies. The police in Chicago are jeks they have this superman syndrome and expect everyone to bow down to them. They are pompus and abusive, most of the time they are are just tax collectors via fines and fees. The cops usually investigate the crime after it has been commited not during.

        I have never been helped by a police officer only taxed and fined. They are here to quell the public into submission they work for the rich not for everyday taxpayer not to mention they drive like arses!

      • Posted March 2, 2015


        It is grave sin to covet what others have. …please say sorry to God from your heart immediately you never know when you are going to die….you can’t die in grave sin. …if and I say IF Chicago cops receive a sweet deal God commands us to be happy for our neighbor…..

        • Posted April 14, 2015

          Kyle Marino

          Seriously? Is this some bible thumper telling us this bullshit? People choose which profession they want to enter – and they know the associated risks. Many police officers are not college educated and make more than most for driving in a car and collecting fees which add to the city’s tax base. They go into the profession b/c they like it…find it exciting…but know full well…they can retire early…and get a lot of money at the end of the rainbow. Most are jerks.

  • Posted October 14, 2012

    Police officer Michael Spaargaren

    It’s true. Then become a cop.

  • Posted October 25, 2012

    John Garrido

    “Police contribute 9% to their pension fund. The total Social Security contribution by employee and employer is 12.4%. Employers in the private sector pay employees less to compensate for their mandated Social Security contribution. Self-employed individuals pay 13.3% into Social Security on incomes up to $106,800.”

    Your agenda comes across loud and clear when you mislead readers. If you’re going to compare contributions then compare apples to apples.

    According to official website of the Social Security Administration, an employer contributes 6.2% and an employee contributes 4.2%; that’s right, an employee contributes 4.2% to social security. Compare that to an officer who contributes 9% to his pension.

    According to the same website, the self-employment rate is 10.4%

    You should also know that a 2009 FBI Stats law enforcement bulletin pointed to a study that found that “age-mortality rate for officers was, on average, 12 years lower than their civilian counterparts…and the average life expectancy after retiring was 5.05 years less than that of people in other occupations.”

    This same study found that police suicides are 3 times higher than the average rate.

  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Peter White

    It’s a pretty bad world when for 30+ years a person, literally, risks their own lives in order to keep people safe and most of the people who never notice how risky that job is (because police make sure their peace is constant) treat the police with less respect than dirt.
    Don’t go blaming the police for the pensions they have EARNED. Blame the politicians for the pension problems that are now present because the politicians have borrowed, used and stolen all the money from the police/fire pension funds to pay for their own pet projects. These same politicians have NEVER REPAYED what the took. Also, the City of Chicago and State of Illinois has NEVER contributed the amount of pension money that was contracted for them to pay.
    Oh… And by the way… Police officers are barred by the laws of Illinois to collect Social Security. However, the police officers still pay for Social Security with every check…. You’re welcome Social Security Recipients!

  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Detective W. Kirby

    Less time worked? Sure. All you have to do is work weekends, holidays, midnights, in freezing cold winters, in humid summers, during storms when others won’t even look out the windows–all while people are trying to kill you! Great job! Oh, did I mention evry goof in the city is trying to sue you because they crashed the stolen car they were driving when you were trying to arrest them? How about you can’t get a day off because the squad cars aren’t manned becuase politicians won’t hire more cops? My kids used think Christmas fell on the 29th becuase there was no way I was getting Christmas day off. And what the hell is this New Year’s Eve party I keep hearing about? Twenty or thirty years of this crap and you are lucky to be alive and well enough to even pull a retirement–if there is a pension left. Politicians have been failing to fund our pensions as state law requires for years now. Keep misinforming the voters! Most Americans can easily see through this nonsense and don’t support the uneducated viewpoint this article holds. Just remember, you can pick up a telephone at 3:13 AM on a Sunday in January and still get a cop to pull up to your front door. SAME CAN’T BE SAID WITH MOST OTHER JOBS IN THE WORLD!! Think about what you are saying before you open your stupid mouth in order to push your political agenda on the backs of good people. Most people in the Land of the Free support us and appreciate what we do.

    • Posted December 8, 2012


      Hi, im a high school senior and was seriously considering beging a career detective, would you say its worth it or provides a life for you r family? or do you have a family? im just trying to figure some stuff out. Your opinion would really help.

    • Posted June 27, 2013


      Typical response by an arrogant cop, Most people dont want to be policed, they want to be free. You guys are a gestapo police force who violate our civil liberties and treat the people who scum. You know you can get away with it because you have a whole gang of police backup all packing heat. You treat the people who pay your salaries like dirt then complain why you get no respect. Work weekend, holidays, nights, yes welcome to the real world.

    • Posted June 30, 2017

      James Klein

      My dad was a police officer and your remarks are right on.The officers paid into the pension and the city didn’t contribute a dime. Also hospitalization comes out of their pensions.

  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Ed Riordan

    A very slanted one side article that show little fact.
    The officers pay at least 9% of the money they make, the city was also supposted to pay into this gund, but seems to have forgotten how.
    With social security, the emloyer must make monthly payments or face federal action.
    With the police pension, they quit paying the monthly payments, then topped it off by using the funds as piggy bank and lost tons of money ( But the mayors buds all made out )
    Also, lets remember they politicians tried to put non police political friends on the pension.
    Also, what happened to all the social security money I paid in for 35 years on side jobs and miltary time? That was taken away with no refund by a greatful democratic congress.

  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Soma People

    Your article is quite misleading. I’d like to understand the point of the report but I’m at a loss. Are you jealous of police pensions? I’d suggest you apply, hit the streets for 30 years and see how you do. All the while, you won’t miss a single payment into your pension. Why? You have no choice. You were told that you will give up 9% of your check every payday and retire with 75% after 30 years. However, you have to realize that your life expectancy is greatly reduced and the likelihood of you collectig those pension payments for a long time is slim to none. And for the record, based on your article, officers are paying almost 50% more into their pensions than those paying into FICA (6.2% vs. 9). Your numbers are as ignorant of fact as you are.

    • Posted October 26, 2012


      According to CALPERS and National Criminal Justice Reference Service, safety officers have the same life expectancy as non-safety officers. Private sector Social Security payments 100% privately funded. While the employee pays half, the private sector employer pays the other half. No taxpayer dollars are used as they are in government employment.

      • Posted August 10, 2015


        As you said, “employers and employees each pay their share toward social security”. Perhaps you don’t realize but the taxpayer is the employer of the public sector jobs and therefore are responsible via the appropriate taxing body to pay the employers’ share, something the city and state have neglected to do for years. Perhaps you should be firing those who didn’t responsibly exercise their fiduciary duties both to the public employees and the taxpayers.

  • Posted October 25, 2012


    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that police officers (in Chicago anyway) are still contributing to Social Security while contributing to their pensions. However, they will not be allowed to collect SS when they retire because they have the pension, which they were promised upon being hired and was a major reason why they took such a dangerous job. So they are contributing to their own pensions for retirement as well as to that of those who will collect SS.

    • Posted October 25, 2012

      Frank Rodriguez

      no… we do not and are not allowed to contribute to SSI, but i have contributed the qualifying number of years prior to joining the department, but will not be able to collect social security when i retire due to having a police pension

  • Posted October 25, 2012

    Frank Rodriguez

    I would like to see TPUOA do a piece on politicians pensions. Must of them receive a pension of 80% of their salaries based on 8 years of service. If these articles and this organization is truly bipartisan and meant to inform the public, then they should report on the pensions of the people creating the problem

  • Posted October 25, 2012

    George A. Rosebrock

    One of the things that I found interesting about the article is that they calculate the police pension worth on an estimated “normal” lifetime. I wish the “researchers” would have taken the time to check the statistics on the average length a police officer lives to collect a pension. Also, a pension is just that-a retirement pension. Social security is not and never was meant to serve as a pension. It is a “security” system to aide individuals-not a retirement fund for them to live off of.

    • Posted October 26, 2012


      According to CALPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) public safety officers live as long as non-public safety officers.

      • Posted October 30, 2012


        Well let’s see my Dad collected 3 pension checks after he served for 40 years on in Chicago. My Uncle died on the job didn’t collect a pension. My neighbor died on the job- no pension. I know many officers who work part time jobs or who had jobs before being on the Police Department and have contributed to SS and will not see any of that. The Pension has not been funded properly by the government that is NOT the employees fault.

  • Posted October 29, 2012

    Retired Det. J. Molitor

    Life expectancy after retiring from the JOB is not the same in the private sector. How many of us (police)have lost friends/partners to a multitude of fatal injuries be it cancer, heart attacks, shootings to name a few. Personally, I retired at 55 &, due to health problems, don’t expect to see 75. Where’s my 2.5 million?

  • Posted November 10, 2012

    Rick Aztlan (CPD Retired)

    First of all, Social Security was never intended to be a Pension, so how can it be compared to the Police Annuity? Secondly, many police officers have earned the credits to receive full Social Security Benefits, but cannot because the law has been written to only give retired police a fraction of what they earned and paid into the system.

    The real issues here involve the way corrupt politicians manipulated the Social Security System to make it the a primary source of entitlement handouts to people who never contributed a cent to the System. Prior to my retirement my officers arrested an individual who stated that he was addicted to illegal drugs, and was therefore receiving Social Security Disability payments. Illegal Aliens who have never contributed a cent into the system, receive Social Security! Police officers earn their pensions, and deserve better ones, perhaps like those of Congressmen and Senators, with their full top of the line medical coverage for life. I can still remember when former Cong. Dan Rostenkowski was sitting in Federal Prison, receiving his full pension, even though he was a convicted felon, sitting in prison! Social Security is doomed because it is being spent on way for which it was never intended. Our pension is doing what it was intended to do, for the inidviduals for whom it was created.

  • Posted May 24, 2013

    Jose Rodriguez

    Contributions to your retirement should be a benefit, reviewing the thread and discussion your points are valid. there are other approaches and options. everyone should have more control since this is your money your putting away. have you heard of the 3 tax buckets? Tax now, Tax later or Tax free. most have a tax later plan and more possible taxation or loss depending the rules. the biggest challenge is financial education. why pay more into something to receive less. I have worked with some police officers regarding their retirement plan, exposed some areas of potential income loss because of their plan. Police officers do a lot for our city and deserve more.

  • Posted August 24, 2013

    R.C.F. Jr

    The thieving politicians are the blame for this pension mess that we are
    in. Why did these crooked politicians pass a law where as a politician could retire after so many years, and receive his or her pension, and then get another working position in Illinois Government, but work only a few months, resign from that position, and have thousands dollars added on to his or her original pension for life !

    Also, why didn’t the City and the State make the required pension contributions under law like they were supposed to. These crooked City and State politicians should be prosecuted if the ordinary City and State workers lose their rightful pensions !

  • Posted December 4, 2013


    Cops do not get Social Security and they respond to your 911 call. Oh they also sign up to get shot at possible. If you have questions and or arguments email me. Timobrien17793@gmail.com

  • Posted December 20, 2014

    Steve Ridgner

    I became a police officer at age38 , had worked since I was 18 yrs. old so I have all quarters in for social Security, but won’t be able to receive but a small portion of what I’ve earned.and by the way I’ve been shot in the line of duty, had a triple by pass followed by 2other heart attacks, I probably wont live long enough to collect my 2.5 million.i have out lived 2 partners.so please forgive me if I dont believe (calpers) who ever they are for their miss information .

  • Posted April 27, 2015


    Please stop misleading the public ! The pension “crisis” was created when state and local governments did not make their contributions as mandated by law. So stop attempting to make this an issue of greedy “cops”. The name of your organization is misleading, your attack on working people is repugnant.

  • Posted May 20, 2015


    I feel sorry for none of them, first off these damed politicians cement themselves in so that they get pensions that only require 5 yrs in office and if they get caught skimming or taking bribes and go to jail they still get collect that pension, they also seem to be able to find money to give themselves pay raises on a regular bases so screw them. As for the cops, yes it’s a dangerous job but you know that when you sign up, the problem here is if the so called good cops would stop letting these asshole thugs with badges brutalize citizens and stop with the code of silence bullshit you get a few benefits from it, first when one of these badge wearing criminals is off the streets they don’t get to hide in your good work and glory when they get caught, second millions of dollars would be saved on civil suits, finally the citizens would be right there with you when the pols try and bend you over a squad car and try and make you take it in the shorts arguing that should you get the pensions you deserve because they then have a force that they really want to go to bat for.

  • Posted September 23, 2016


    My father was a Cook County Sherri police for over 20 years, his pension a month while he was still alive was at best $2500, that’s what 30k a year.
    He worked John Wayne Gaceys house, as they were pulling bodies out of the crawlspace. I want you to know, when I was a kid I didn’t even have decent medical coverage, when I was 16 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, but my father informed me the 7 vials of blood they drained from me, was for nothing, because my HMO was canceled and I had no coverage.
    I have never seen an endocrinologist, and I’m definitely suffering for it now, when my father passed, he had nothing to show for the 20 something years he spent on the force. So thanks for making it apparent Chicago cops are more important to the county Than county deputies.
    See if they’ll fly state to state picking up serial killers and flying them back.

  • Posted November 30, 2016


    Police put their lives on the line and save civilians lives , you can’t put a price on that. I get a social security pension as an office worker, where I sit at a desk and enjoy holidays with my family. They earned it and it was promised as a condition to take a dangerous job, give them what is due!

  • Posted January 8, 2017

    Bonny Hamel

    Was Chicago forced to put promote many police officers In 2012 & 2013 because many seasoned police officers took their retirement because of the politics and pensions?

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