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Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of its annual study of the top government pensions in the State of Illinois.
“Illinois House Speaker, Michael Madigan (D), and Senate Majority Leader, John Cullerton (D), continue their political charade of pension reform while the number of six-figure pensioners grows 47% in one year to 9,900”, according to TUA president, Jim Tobin.
“Illinois is quickly running out of time to deal with the government-created crisis of unfunded pension liabilities. Madigan and Cullerton engage in a carefully choreographed pension reform debate that provides political cover for their allegiance to the union bosses who keep them in power.”
“The reality is that they have crafted legislation packaged as sweeping reform that will do more harm to taxpayers than no reform at all. The Madigan version of pension reform will provide a funding guarantee that places the cost of this elite group of government pensioners squarely on the backs of taxpayers and make these outrageous pensions the first priority of the budget – before any other services or obligations of the state.”
“Real pension reforms were proposed in HB3303 which was introduced by representatives Tom Morrison and Jeanne Ives, but that bill did nothing to help the union bosses maintain favor with their rank and file and was quickly rejected by Boss Madigan.”
“The purpose of our study is to put some perspective around individual pensions, to put them in terms to which the average taxpayer can relate. Illinois taxpayers, whose average household income is $53,234, and struggle with 9.3% unemployment need to know how much Illinois’ government retirees are being paid not to work and the astronomical accumulation of those payments over an average lifetime.”
“We actually expanded our list from the top 100 to the top 200 since there are so many six-figure pensioners now. The top 200 are all over $189,000a year.”
“Still topping our list of Illinois’s government elite in annual payouts is Tapas Das Gupta, retired from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He collected a cool $439,672 in his last annual pension payment and will accumulate a stunning $5.2 million in lifetime pension payments.*”
“Beverly Lopatka retired from DuPage Government HSD 88 at the ripe old age of 56 and has an annual pension of $399,652, with a staggering estimated lifetime payout of $11,524,643. Her contribution of the estimated lifetime payout would be only 0.8%.* ”
“The highest lifetime payout estimate goes to Larry K. Fleming, retired from government school district Lincolnshire-Prairie View 103. Having retired at the age of 55 with a cushy annual pension of $258,163, he will accumulate a breathtaking $11,868,155 in pension payments over a normal lifetime.”
View Pension Amounts Below
“Illinois’ financial condition is in the tank. We have the worst credit rating, the highest unfunded pension liabilities and one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We had a net loss of 74,000 productive, taxpaying residents last year. What does it take to get serious about pension reform that will solve problems, not create new ones?”
“Without sweeping and immediate reform, Illinois’ government pension system will collapse by 2015. It’s mathematically impossible to tax your way out of this problem. Illinois has more than 9,900 retirees collecting more than $100,000; in 2020, that will be over 25,000 six-figure pensioners. Real pension reform must include raising the retirement age to 67, increasing employee contributions by 10%, increasing healthcare contributions to 50%, eliminating all COLA’s, and replacing the defined benefit system with a defined contribution system for all new hires.”
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).
Why don’t you talk about the charter school CEO that earns $6,000,000 a year. That is taxpayer dollars that could be used for the children. Oh, that is a good business model: “Find that big chunk of money and let ALEC write the laws to make it legal.” We won’t discuss that.
Is the really THE Carl LaFong? Anyway Carl it’s really very simple. Like many others have done over the years, our family left illinois just recently because of the taxes. We took our adult children (professionals all) with us. We moved to a low-tax state (Texas) where we pay no income tax, our property taxes are half what they were in illinois and our house has about 8 times the acreage and half the property taxes of our place in Libertyville. Its great for our kids also because there are many more jobs being created in Texas. The weather here is better too. It’s pretty obvious that most, possibly all, of the illinois state and local muni and school employees with these excessive pensions will not receive anything close to their projected payouts. Because illinois will run out of taxpayers in a few years. If local and state govs raise taxes further the out-migration will only increase. The PRIVATE charter schools you reference will either offer an improved product or they will die-off naturally. Illinois taxpayers are already very familiar with the grossly substandard product produced in the unionized public school system. The battle is over, the hugely over-fed dinosaur of government is dead. The only thing left for illinois is the whimpering of the fat unions as their pensions are cut and or terminated. The state and local bond-holders, on the other hand will do quite well. Why? Because there’s only one thing politicians of both parties like more than getting re-elected and that is access to the bond market to borrow money to spend on their respective voters. In the end the remaining citizens of illinois will have a state that looks a lot like Michigan. A few industries, largely located around large muni population centers and mostly impoverished cities with destitute inner cores. The rest of the state will be largely agrarian big and bigger corporate farms. There will be little to no upward financial mobility for the remaining residents. Children with talent – and any ambition – will leave for states with better opportunities.
“Why don’t you talk about the charter school CEO that earns $6,000,000 a year? ”
Why don’t I? I guess it is because he is not charging me for his salary and his pension, Carl. If he sent me a bill for $6,000,000 I would have a beef with him. But he isn’t.
Heres why the pension plan going broke. Fix it within . Leave medicaid and medicare alone. Im a sick man on disabilty with help from medicaid and barely getting by. Every day is a strugle. I get a wholr114dollars for food and a medical card.and its hard to get by no. My weight down to115pounds. Please dont reduce medicaid im strugling now