CEDAR RAPIDS—A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals salaries and top pension estimates for the government employees of the cities of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, Linn and Johnson Counties, and area government teachers. These government employees are not only receiving generous salaries, but as retirees, many will become pension millionaires. Iowa bureaucrats refuse to release pension figures, so total pension payouts were estimated* for this report.
“One really has to question why Iowa lawmakers keep individual pension information in a shroud of secrecy. Prohibiting public review of this information sends a message to taxpayers that lawmakers are more concerned with protecting abusers and double-dippers than imposing adequate reforms on a system that holds taxpayers hostage,” said Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.
“Cedar Rapids and Iowa City taxpayers struggle through this recession with average wages of $30,000 to $43,000, while government employees really rake it in for as many as 30 years of retirement.”
“Cedar Rapids’ City Manager, Jeffrey Pomeranz can look forward to an estimated lifetime pension payout of $4,095,000, that is $146,250 annually, based on his current gross wages of $225,000.”*
“Iowa City’s Assistant City Manager, Dale Helling had annual gross wages of $162,485 and looks forward to an estimated annual pension starting at $105,615 with an estimated lifetime payout of $2,957,229.”*
“Linn County elected official, Jerry A. Vandersanden had annual gross wages of $139,496. Vandersanden will enjoy $2,538,827 in estimated lifetime pension payouts or $90,672 annually.”*
“Linn County government teacher, Ronald Tower grossed $95,924 annually and stands to receive an estimated annual pension of $62,351 with a lifetime estimated pension payout of $1,745,817.”*
“Johnson County government teacher, Jeffrey Kuepker had annual gross wages of $83,884. Kuepker will enjoy $1,526,689 in estimated lifetime pension payouts or $54,525 annually.”*
“Iowa government pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Although some reforms have been made to the Iowa government employee pension systems, additional reform is critical. Ending pensions for all new government hires and replacing with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If current government employees increase contributions toward his or her pension, taxpayers would save billions of dollars. We need to knock all politicians out, of office who make deals with bad government union bosses and bad corporate power brokers at the expense of the taxpayers.”
*For Police and Fire employees 30 years with retirement at age 55; for others 35 years retirement at age 62; assumes dividend (COLA) averages 1.5% per year; assumes current salary is same as retirement salary; Est. Total Pension Payout 30 years at age 55, 24 years at age 62. 6. Est. Total Pension Payout does not include Soc. Sec. payments if any; P&F pay 8.94%, others 4.5% plus 6.2% Soc. Sec., P&F max. 82% after 30 years, others 65% after 35 years; SS wages were covered up to the federal limit of $245,000 for calendar years 2010 and 2011 or max. pension of about $159,000.