CHICAGO–A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that Bowling Green and Warren County government employees are not only receiving generous salaries, but that over a normal lifetime, many of these government employees, when they retire, will become pension millionaires. Kentucky bureaucrats refuse to release pension figures, so total pension payouts were estimated* for this report.
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“Warren County taxpayers struggle through this recession with an average wage of $35,000, a median home value of $133,100, and 7.8% unemployment, government employees really rake it in while they are employed and then when retired,” said Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President.
“Starting first with the top 25 salaries and estimated pensions (2010) for Bowling Green government employees, heading the list is City Manager, Kevin Defebbo, whose annual gross wages were $122,981. When he retires, he will receive an estimated annual pension of $81,168. Defebbo’s estimated total pension payout over a normal lifetime is $3,246,709.”*
“The top 25 estimated lifetime pensions for Bowling Green government employees are all well over $1.6 million*, more than three times as much as the life time Social Security pension of approximately $484,000**!”
“Warren County Jailer, Jackie Strode received annual gross wages of $104,829Strode will receive an estimated lifetime pension payout of   $2,767,486 with an estimated annual pension of $69,187.”*
“Bowling Green government teachers, who can enjoy retirement at age 52, are collecting pensions far in excess of the private sector workers.  Private sector workers max out their Social Security pension at $22,000 annually, regardless of how much their wages were throughout their working years.  Additionally, private sector workers must work to age 62 to be eligible for their Social Security”*
“Bowling Green government teacher, Rebecca Painter received annual gross wages of $70,046 and will enjoy an estimated annual pension payout of $52,535 with an estimated lifetime pension payout of $2,101,389.”*
“Bowling Green and Warren County government pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Although some reforms have been made to the Kentucky government employee pension systems, additional reform is critical. Ending pensions for all new government hires would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions; putting new government hires into social security and 401(k)s would achieve this. If each current government employee were required to increase contributions toward his or her pension, taxpayers would save billions of dollars. We need to knock all politicians out of office who make deals with bad government union bosses and bad corporate power brokers at the expense of the taxpayers.”
*Assumes retirement after 30 years, 2.2%/yr worked,  retirement at age 52, life expectancy 32 years (IRS Form 590),  COLA of 2% per year (1.5% guaranteed plus .5 add-on),  last salary is avg. salary.
**Assumes retirement after 40 years, retirement at age 62, life expectancy 32 years (IRS Form590), earnings eligible of maximum pension benefit.