LANSING–A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that retired Ingham and Eaton County, and Michigan state government employees are not only receiving lavish, gold-plated pensions, but that their pension payments, in many cases, are larger than some salaries in the private sector. Furthermore, over a normal lifetime, many of these government employees, when they retire, become pension millionaires.

“While Ingham and Eaton Counties stagnate with 10.4% and 9.0% unemployment; median home values of $140,000 and $155,000; and average annual wages of $49,000and $42,000, respectively, retired area government employees are enjoying lavish, gold-plated pensions that have made some of them pension millionaires,” said Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.

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“The city of Lansing responded to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with invoices totaling more than $23,000 to retrieve the data.  Assistant City Attorney and FOIA Coordinator, Donald J. Kulhanek’s outrageous bill is tantamount to a refusal to release the pensions for Lansing?”

“Eaton and Inghan County retired government employees are doing much better than the average area worker in the private sector. Retired Eaton county government employee James Stewart receives an annual pension of $81,841.Stewart’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,725,320.”

“Retired Ingham County government employee, Diane H. Gorch, receives an annual pension of $60,967. Gorch’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,194,840.”

“State Police retiree, Tadarial Sturdivant receives an annual pension of $88,403. Sturdivant’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,943,841.”

“Retired government teacher, Albert Lorenzo receives an annual pension of $174,617.  Lorenzo’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $6,003,321.”

“The city of Lansing needs to follow the law and give pension information to the public who owns it.  Transparency is the key in holding the government accountable.”

“Ingham and Eaton County pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Ending pensions for all new government hires would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions; putting new government hires into social security and 401(k)s would achieve this. If each current government employee were required to contribute 10% 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.