GRAND RAPIDS–A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that retired Grand Rapids and Kent County 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.

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“While Grand Rapids stagnates with 8.8% unemployment, a median home value of $148,000 and an average annual wage of $45,000, retired Ann Arbor government employees are enjoying lavish, gold-plated pensions that have made some of them pension millionaires,” said Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.

“Grand Rapids retired government employees are doing much better than the average Grand Rapids worker in the private sector. Randall J. Fisher receives an annual pension of $96,179. Fisher’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $3,410,513.”

“Retired Grand Rapids Police or Fire Pensions, Robert Vansolkema receives an annual pension of $97,125. Vansolkema’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $3,391,588.”

“Retired state employee, Robert Vansolkema receives an annual pension of $97,125. Vansolkema’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $3,391,588.”

“Kent County retired government employee, Curt A. Kemppainen, receives an annual pension of $76,497. Kemppainen’s estimated lifetime pension payout is $2,506,042.”

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

“Grand Rapids and Kent 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.”