Pension Reform

CBS Chicago|Head Of Anti-Tax Group Calls Lake County Pensions Excessive

Taxpayers United of America’s president, Jim Tobin, was interviewed by CBS Chicago about the recent pension study of Lincolnshire, Deerfield and Highland Park.

(CBS) — The head of an anti-tax group says the latest government pension survey of Lake County shows some outrageous payouts to retirees, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
Tobin, founder and president of Taxpayers United of America, says a study of Lake County government pensions shows about a third of the retired teachers surveyed are getting annual pensions of over $100,000 and he cites a retired Lincolnshire employee with a $218,000 annual pension payout.

But haven’t these government workers earned their pensions? No, says Tobin, who urges pension reform.
“They don’t deserve to steal egregious amounts of money from the taxpayers so they can retire in their 50s, kick back, live the life of Riley while we taxpayers have to work into our 70s to pay our own bills and pay for their lavish, gold-plated pensions to boot,” Tobin said.
Tobin says such pension payments are not sustainable, and the state is forced to cut services to make those payments.
“It’s all stolen money, stolen from the taxpayer.”
Tobin says one way voters can fight back is by voting down all tax increase referendums on the next ballot.

Turnaround Can’t Come too Soon for Lake County Taxpayers

View as PDF Chicago, IL—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of their study of the government pensions for Lincolnshire, Deerfield, Highland Park, and local government schools.

“Nearly one third of the teachers retired from these government schools are getting annual pensions over $100,000!” said Jim Tobin, founder and president of TUA. “85% of these retirees will collect more than $1,000,000 in lifetime pension payments and their average personal investment in their own gold-plated pension is a mere 5.5%.”

“Some government school boards have absolutely no regard for the taxpayers they are supposed to serve. Not only are we forced to fund these outrageous pensions, now Highland Park wants taxpayers to approve a $198 million property tax increase referendum to build a new campus ‘for the children,’ which really means that it’s a new fortress for government bureaucrats.”

“At least the Lincolnshire Village Board showed political courage and regard for their constituents by passing an ordinance that prohibits local employers from collecting union dues through payroll deductions, effectively making it a ‘right to work’ municipality. They will likely face lawsuits over this ordinance, but then the union thugs can’t stand to give people the freedom to choose whether they join a union or not.”

“House Speaker Michael Madigan is strongly opposed to Right to Work freedom, but then he and his policies have brought us the financial crisis Illinois now faces. This is all largely due to his cronyism with unions, as demonstrated by his decades long support of the government pension system which he was instrumental in codifying into law,” said Tobin.

“The government pensions are unsustainable. Illinoisans are enduring cuts to services, the defunding of programs, and having their earnings confiscated. Tax dollars continue to be diverted from services required by today’s taxpayers into the pension funds for government employees, whose services were rendered long ago,” said Tobin. “Unfortunately, with Illinois having entered its seventh month without a budget and an enduring financial crisis, taxpayers regretfully see no relief in sight from Springfield.”

“Our study of Lincolnshire, Deerfield, and Highland Park government teacher pensions, in particular, clearly illustrates the inherent problems with the current defined benefit pension systems in Illinois,” said Tobin. “Not only do they collect massive amounts of taxpayer money under the guise of a pension they ‘earned,’ they also retire, on average, at the age of 59. Many of us who fund these pensions will have to work long past 65 to afford our own retirement and most of our retirements won’t compare to the largesse enjoyed by so many government retirees.”

“The problem isn’t limited to teachers though. The data clearly show that municipal and park district employees enjoy the same bloated pensions as the teachers,” added Tobin.

“Local governments are continuously seeking to raise property taxes – nearly 80% of local taxes go to fund salaries and benefits of government employees.”

“Retired Lincolnshire-Prairie View 103 government employee, Larry K. Fleming enjoys an annual taxpayer funded pension of $258,163. Over a normal lifetime, he will get about $11.2 million in pension payments. His personal investment in this rich payout is about 3.4% or $378,683.”

Robert D. Franz retired from the Deerfield municipal government and his current annual pension is $218,795. He will collect about $6 million while he only put in $160,009 of his own money, slightly more than one year’s pension payout. That’s a 3% investment in his own multi-million dollar retirement payout!”

Highland Park’s Park District retiree, Ralph J. Volpe collects a comfortable annual pension of $161,077. Retiring at the ripe old age of 58, he will receive about $4.9 million in lifetime pension payments. His personal investment in his own retirement? About 2% or $120,746!”

Click to view pensions for:

 “The choice is clear: without sweeping, meaningful pension reform, taxpayers throughout Illinois will have to choose between fully funding the pension systems to pay for past services rendered, or pay for the services we need today,” concluded Tobin.

*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% compounded COLA and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590).

Don’t be Fooled by Pro-State Income Tax Propaganda

View as PDF Chicago—Illinois’ political bosses have a lot of bad news in store for taxpayers in 2016, no doubt, but the worst trick up their sleeves is the looming threat of confiscating vast sums of taxpayer dollars by implementing changes to the state’s income taxes, according to Jared Labell, director of operations for Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

“The recurring theme from many of the political elite, government unions, and phony government watchdog groups has been to balk at any discussion of reforming Illinois’ unrestrained spending and unfunded liabilities, instead shifting the focus to raising more revenue by increasing the Illinois state personal and corporate income tax rates. This is not only a foolish policy, considering Illinois’ recent history with state income tax hikes, but some politicians in Springfield have gone a step further and suggested imposing a new state income tax on retirement benefits as well,” said Labell.
Unfortunately, this is not simply a partisan issue, but rather the most important struggle this year – between those who champion the taxpayers and those who ingratiate themselves with the state.
For instance, it’s expected that most of the Democratic Caucus in the Illinois General Assembly will support this new state income tax on retirement benefits. But even Republicans can’t be relied upon to reject this destructive new income tax.
Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake), has voiced support for a new Illinois state income tax on retirement benefits. In remarks printed by the Northwest Herald within the last week, Wheeler stated that she is against taxing private sector pensions, but would support a new state income tax on government pensions,” said Labell.
Wheeler went on to say that, “Nobody likes the word ‘tax,’ but I do believe it’s the kind of back-door pension reform the state desperately needs because so much of our budget goes into paying pension [sic].”
“Besides the questionable legality of such a proposal, the claim that a new income tax – whether it be on private sector or government pensions – will help solve the government pension fiasco in Illinois is extremely dubious. The 2011 67% income tax hike was a complete and total failure for Illinois in numerous ways. Not only did the state apply 90% of those newly generated taxpayer dollars to the government pensions, but its effect on the unfunded government pension liabilities, now totaling more than $111 billion, was negligible, and an abject failure of policy. More taxpayers left the state, the economy has worsened, and Illinois’ credit rating has plummeted.”
An Associated Press analysis of state records reported two weeks ago by The Daily Herald showed at least $4 billion in cash in 531 separate accounts for special state funds. While raiding such funds has become commonplace, and perceived as a deceptive practice to perpetuate, Illinois taxpayers would be much better off if those billions of taxpayers’ dollars were put to use now, rather than squeezing taxpayers for untold billions more of their hard-earned dollars. Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF), the research organization arm of TUA, has reported on this story and proposed abolishing these special state funds for more than a decade.
Unlike Wheeler, Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), is opposed to a retirement income tax and filed House Resolution 890 on December 2 to state his opposition, and has since been joined by 41 of his colleagues from both parties.
TUA will release a report concerning local government pensions tomorrow, Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – one of the leading factors driving the demand for increasing the state income tax and imposing a new income tax on retirement benefits. TUA’s analysis will cover Lincolnshire, Deerfield, and Highland Park government pensions. That data will be available on our website,
“Now is the ideal time to hold elected officials responsible for their records and the policies they support. Illinois taxpayers are encouraged to contact their members of the Illinois General Assembly and demand that they prevent the enactment of one of the worst tax policies possible for the state’s long-term financial health: raising the Illinois state income tax and creating a new state income tax on retirement benefits,” Labell concluded.


Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.


Chicago, IL 60606 205 W. Randolph Street, Suite 1305
Phone: (312) 427-5128
Fax: (312) 427-5139