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“How much pension should be paid to part-time employees with partial careers?” asks pension analyst Bill Zettler in his book Illinois Pension Scam, published on April 1, 2012.
Illinois government-employee pensions and the amount of “work” performed to earn these pensions is explored by Zettler, and the results of his research raise many questions, especially when comparing salaries and pension benefits of Illinois government employees with workers in the private sector.
And according to Greg Hinz writing in Crain’s Chicago Business, the percentage of workers in the private sector who are covered by a defined-benefit plan has shrunk to a miniscule three percent, down from 28 percent from 20 years ago.
Using Illinois government-school teachers as an example, Zettler makes these points:

  • The average retired government-school teacher was a part-time employee with a part-time career.
  • Teachers work 170 days or 34 weeks a year or less (182 workdays minus 12 sick days or personal days, per the standard teachers’ contract). Teacher pensions that teachers describe as “modest” are four to seven times larger than Social Security.
  • The average pension in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) is $46,000. Average age of retirement is 58, and the average years worked is 25.
  • For private-sector employees with college degrees, a career typically begins at age 22 and ends at its earliest after 40 years at age 62 or more likely after 44 years at age 66. For government-school teachers, on the other hand, less than one percent work 40 years or more before they retire, and the average teacher works only 25 years.

The Illinois Education Association (IEA) and other public unions, in their members’ letters to the media, claim that that the average pensions of government state employees are “modest” and “reasonable.” Concludes Zettler: “Twenty-five years is not a full career nor are 170 days a full-time job. So the IEA’s ‘average’ is not the same thing that we private sector workers consider ‘average’.”

Click here to view the top 100 Illinois teacher pensions as of April 1, 2012
This release is the first in a series. Stayed tuned for subsequent releases at:

  1. PART TIME WORKER ???? What a misleading lie !!!

  2. These ridiculous pensions has killed Illinois. Madigan needs to go. (years ago) They invest $150K in their short career and end up with a $2 MILLION DOLLAR RETIREMENT PAID BY THE TAXPAYERS.
    These jobs are not that hard. Some you don’t even need a degree. (Post Office. Pension for sending me junk mail.) Where are they going to get the money that we already paid once, to pay down the debt? Adds $50 million a month to Illinois debt. 9 months no budget. They should all be fired. Everyday there is a teacher, cop and politician in the news for committing crimes.

  3. ON THE MATTER OF: Illinois’ Budget Deficit
    “. . . whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive . . . it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”
    The $100,000 plus salaries of Illinois’ Public Service Employees (PSE) and their union leaders is just A FRAGMENT of IL’s financial woes. The recipients of $100,000 annual salaries will typically receive annual lifetime pensions beginning at $80,000: (80% of $100,000 = $80,000). Further, those pensions will be compounding at an annual rate of 3%, which, by definition, will likely triple during their lifetime.
    Aside: Public school teachers are the largest group of public service employees. While the Chicago Public Schools is the largest school district in the state, CPS teachers are far from being the highest paid public service employees. The full pension of current Chicago Public School teachers hovers around $70,000; i.e., 80% of their $90,000 salary. The teachers are not anywhere near the top of the pension pyramid of public service employees.
    Be reminded that many public service employees are now retiring at age 57. Assuming a full pension and an actuarial life span of 30 plus years, that translates to an initial $80,000 annual pension growing to $160,000 by age 79 and north of $250,000 (over one-quarter million dollars) by age 90. Those public service employees receiving annual salaries of $200,000 will receive pensions that extrapolate to $500,000 during their actuarial life. You can do the math for those PSE with starting annual pensions as high as $800,000.
    Be reminded of who is required to pay for the mushrooming pensions of these public service employees being promoted and endorsed by politicians in league with the Public Service Employees’ Unions. Those mushrooming pensions are paid for by the likes of a single mother working a second job as a waitress to provide for her children and a senior couple, well beyond their employment years, working the night shift at their local hospital in their struggle to keep her home.
    Public Service Unions (PSU) will argue:
    1. The average PSE pension is $48,000. (That $48,000 average includes the $1,000-$3,000 annual pensions of those who only worked a few years and the pensions of those who retired decades ago when a 3-bedroom air-conditioned home cost $25,000. Recent PSE are the ones wreaking havoc on the pension funds.)
    2. The pension was a promise by the employers, on behalf of the taxpayers. Thus, the taxpayers have an obligation to pay it. (The pension was extorted by the Public Service Unions from OUR elected officials.)
    3. PSE pension are simply a payback of the money the PSE employees paid into their pension funds. (Public Service Unions have extorted concessions from elected officials so that today well over 50% of the largest segment of PSE make no payment into their pension plans.)
    4. Teachers and other PSE do not receive social security. (To receive SS benefits, PSE must, like everyone else, pay into the SS fund.)
    “. . . whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive . . . it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”