BLOOMINGTON–A new report by pension researcher Bill Zettler reveals that many McLean County retired government employees receive lavish, gold-plated pensions that far exceed average annual 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 the state’s floundering pension programs.”
Christina Tobin, President of The Free and Equal Elections Foundation, speaks at an NTUI press conference in Bloomington on January 5, 2011.
“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired government-school educators,” said Tobin. “McLean County’s retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are really raking it in. The largest annual TRS pension goes to Alan R. Chapman, formerly of McLean County USD 5, whose annual pension is $119,966 — $ 9,997 a month. The second-highest TRS annual pension goes to Donald F. Hahn, formerly of Olympia CUSD 16, who received $110,109 a year. That’s $9,176 a month.”
“The largest pension of former university employees in McLean County goes to David Strand, formerly of Illinois State University, who received an annual pension of $165,012 — $13,751 a month. The second largest annual pension goes to Stephen Bragg, also formerly of Illinois State University, who received an annual pension of $140,581 — $11,715 a month.”
“Many retired local government employees in McLean County also are becoming pension millionaires. The largest pension in the IMRF pension fund goes to Thomas A. Hamilton, formerly with the City of Bloomington, who received an annual pension of $113,092 — $9,424 a month. The second largest IMRF pension goes to David S. Anderson, formerly with the Town of Normal, who received $100,745 a year — $8,395 a month.
“With an average annual wage of $47,900 for McLean County, and an average housing value of only $114,400, the county’s 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.”