CHAMPAIGN–A new report by pension researcher Bill Zettler reveals that retired government employees in the Champaign area receive lavish, gold-plated pensions that far exceed actual wages of workers in the private sector.

“These government-employee pensions are bankrupting the state pension funds,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI). “That’s the real reason Gov. Patrick Quinn (D) wants to raise the state personal income tax anywhere from 33% to 66%. He wants to pump taxpayer dollars into these floundering state pension programs.”

Jim Tobin speaks to a Champaign television station at the press conference held on November 18, 2010

“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired government-school educators,” said Tobin. “The largest pension in Champaign’s County ‘top 100 college pensions’ goes to Craig Bazzani, who received an astonishing annual pension of $250,346. That’s a mind-boggling monthly pension of $20,862. Number two in the top 100 list of largest pensions is Stephen Rugg, who receives an annual pension of $229,573. That’s a bountiful monthly pension of $19,131.”

“Champaign County’s retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) also are raking it in. The largest annual TRS pension goes to Michael W. Cain, whose annual pension is $142,810 — $11,901 a month. The second highest TRS annual pension goes to John Alumbaugh, who receives $135,189 a year. That’s $11,266 a month.”

“These retired government employees are sucking the system dry. But there is no need to raise the state income tax or cut government services. Three crucial reforms can save the system and spare Illinois taxpayers.”

“New government hires should be required to fund their own retirements with 401(k) plans. Ending pensions for new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions.”

“In Illinois, if each current state pension fund employee were required to contribute an additional 10% to his or her pension, taxpayers would save over $150 billion over the next 35 years.”

“Requiring Illinois public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”

Click the above image to view a PDF of Champaign’s Top 25 Government Teacher Pensions

Click here to view a PDF of Champaign’s Top 25 IMRF Pensions

Click here to view a PDF of Champaign’s TOP 100 College Pensions

Click here to view this news release as a PDF