ABC 7 | Some Illinois retirees getting millions from taxpayers

Taxpayer Education Foundation’s recent study on pensions was featured in a story by ABC 7 on the amounts of Illinois pension payouts.

“One out of every four dollars taken from taxpayers by the state goes into a system that is giving more than $11,000 government retirees tax-free, six-figure pensions worth as much as, in one case, $450,000 per year,” Rauner said.
Government pensions in Illinois are tax-free by Illinois, one of the few states that does not tax government pensions. Federal taxes are not exempt.
READ: Illinois’ top government pensions
The person receiving a $450,000 pension went unnamed, but the I-Team has learned he is a man named Tapas Das Gupta, a doctor retired from University of Illinois Chicago Hospital. Currently taxpayers are footing his annual pension of $452, 843, but what the governor didn’t mention is that the No. 2 top pensioner also makes about that much.
According to state pension records obtained by the I-Team, there are dozens of retired state workers with pensions of more than $200,000 per year, several at more than $300,000, and two atop the list at more than $400,000. The tax-free money is subsidized by taxpayers.
No. 1 is the UIC doctor, Tapas Das Gupta, a surgical oncologist schooled in Calcutta, India and who retired at 72.
Runner-up top state pensioner is Dr. Edward Abraham, a UIC orthopedic surgeon educated in Beruit, Lebanon, who retired at age 66 and receives a $439,000 a year pension.
Even as he receives that pension, Dr. Abraham has been hired back here at UIC part-time. It’s double dipping that is perfectly legal in Illinois and that other state pensioners take advantage of.
According to state records, Abraham is projected to receive more than $9 million in pension payouts from the State of Illinois during his retirement.
And there are dozens of retirees whose lifetime payouts are expected to be between $5 and $10 million.
The top-grossing state pensioner is expected to be a former kindergarten teacher, now retired school from his job as superintendent of Lincolnshire District 103, Larry K. Fleming. After retiring recently at age 55, Fleming is projected to receive $11, 535, 660 during the rest of his life.
Nearly all of the biggest state pensions are being paid to university medical doctors, local school administrators and teachers. In his speech Wednesday, the governor said those retirees- and all current state pensioners- will get everything they were promised, but that changes are needed for future state retirees.

My Rock River Radio | Taxpayers United of America Says Sauk Valley Taxpayers Are Still Being Robbed

TUA’s Rae Ann McNeilly and Jared Labell were featured in an article by My Rock River Radio  on the release of pension data for Dixon, Sterling, Lee County and Whiteside County.

MRRRPress350Is the financial system of state and local governments destined for collapse if a change in the pension system not made immediately.  The group Taxpayers United of America thinks so.  Executive Director Rae Ann McNeilly and Director of Operations Jared Labell made a stop in Dixon to present what they called a robbing of Lee and Whiteside County taxpayers to pay unsustainable pensions for government workers.  One of the points raised during the press conference was the amount of money retired school teachers and government municipal workers were receiving in the Sauk Valley.  McNeilly was asked if it was fair to list names of individuals and the amounts they are receiving in their pensions from the state.  McNeilly said the taxpayers pay the pensions and everything should be out in the open.
McNeilly admitted that the retirees are simply receiving the pensions as the unions and the government agreed upon.  She says the unions in the state are the major problems.
McNeilly says the unions make the deals with the politicians and they also give large sums of money to campaign coffers here and statewide.  McNeilly said the state needs to get rid of what she called cronyism in the state.  She said they have hopes Governor Rauner will be able to make some changes, but, she admits so far all they have seen are campaign talk.  She said in the mean time Lee and Whiteside governments will be forced to raise tax levies in order to meet pension obligations.