ST. CHARLES–A new report by pension researcher Bill Zettler reveals that Kane County retired government employees 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 up to 67%. He wants to pump taxpayer dollars into the state’s floundering pension programs.”
Jim Tobin speaks to reporters from the Elgin Courier, Daily Herald, and Kane County Chronicle at a press conference on December 15, 2010
“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired public-school educators,” said Tobin. “Kane County’s retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are really raking it in. The largest annual TRS pension goes to Norman Wetzel (USD300), whose annual pension is $212,651 — $17,721 a month. The second-highest TRS annual pension goes to Marvin Edwards (SD U46), who received $205,460 a year. That’s $17,122 a month.”
“The largest pension in Kane County’s Elgin Community College pension system goes to Michael Shirley, who received an annual pension of $158,687. That’s a monthly pension of $13,224. Number two in the list of largest pensions is Paul Hegele, who received an annual pension of $128,565. That’s a monthly pension of $10,714.”
“Retired local government employees of Kane County also are receiving huge pensions. The largest pension went to Larry Maholland, former employee of the City of St. Charles. He received an annual pension of $118,724 — $9,894 a month. The second-largest pension went to Philip Bus, a former employee of the Kane County. He received an annual pension of $109,986 — $9,166 a month.
“With a median household income of $44,100 and a median housing value of $160,400, Kane County residents are stagnating, while some of these retired government employees are well on their way to becoming pension millionaires.”
“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