Taxpayers were in Galesburg Saturday, September 7, 2019 for the wonderful IL LiberTEA Fest 2019. Jim Tobin, President of TUA gave a speech exposing the Illinois government pension scam. Local taxpayers were amazed at just how much former government employees were receiving. For example: Ronald L. Cope, who retired at the age of 56 receives an annual taxpayer funded pension of $142,268 a year! Ronald, and many other goons were listed on a flyer handed out to the crowd. These flyers were so popular they ran out.
Jim Tobin will be visiting another city to release even more government pension data soon. Will it be your city? Stay tuned!
Click HERE to view top Galesburg Govt. Pensions as a PDF.
CHICAGO—The head of Taxpayers United of
America (TUA) today voiced his group’s opposition to long-standing requests of
Illinois cities and towns to consolidate more than 650 police and fire pension
funds, saying that the funds are in such bad financial condition that property
tax increases, without property tax increase referendums, would result, and
that the funds still would be essentially insolvent. Jim Tobin, TUA president,
also voiced opposition specifically to House Bill 1567, sponsored by St. Rep.
Ryan Spain (R-73, Peoria), which would amend the Illinois Pension Code to merge
all Article 3 police officers’ pension funds and Article 4 firefighters’
pension funds into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) on January 1,
“Illinois’ five statewide
government-employee pension funds have a staggering $134 billion in unfunded
liabilities,” said Tobin. “Chicago’s four pension funds are struggling with $28
billion in unfunded liabilities.”
“Merging government pension funds would
solve nothing, and the better-funded pension funds would see their assets
“Illinois Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’
Pritzker (D) has appointed a task force to recommend changed to the statewide
pension funds, but we know what’s coming. Cook County machine boss Pritzker
orchestrated placing the Income Tax Increase Amendment on the 2020 statewide
ballot, which would strangle Illinois’ economy with a graduated state income
“Almost all the money from the last huge
income tax increase was plowed into the state’s floundering pension plans for
retired government employees, and it didn’t even move the needle. If boss
Pritzker succeeds in fooling voters into approving his income tax increase
amendment, even that crushing tax hike would not solve the state pension
“To be clear: It is impossible for the
state to tax its way out of the state’s pension fund crisis. The pension funds
are too far gone.”
“The only solution is to place all
newly-hired government employees in 401(k) retirement plans, and, if necessary,
place the worst of the present pension plans into bankruptcy.”
Chicago — Taxpayer
Education Foundation (TEF) today released the results of its 13th annual
Illinois state pensions report. This new report analyzes government-retiree
pensions of Illinois’ General Assembly Retirement System (GARS), Judges’
Retirement System (JRS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), State Universities
Retirement System (SURS), state employees’ retirement system (SERS), and the
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). The report demonstrates that
the Pritzker administration has allowed the Illinois pension crisis to worsen.
government pension liabilities Springfield politicians placed on the shoulders
of Illinois taxpayers have grown. The amount liabilities grew was over $2.1
billion, bringing the new total to $143,593,104,031 for 2019. Keep in mind that
these are the numbers the state of Illinois has issued. Moody’s estimates the
Illinois pension liabilities to be roughly $100 billion higher.
One look at these gargantuan pensions illustrates why the situation
is deteriorating. Leslie Heffez retired from the university of Illinois
at Chicago (UIC) at the age of 55. His current annual pension is a
mind-boggling $616,624. This former government employee is the first
person in the six major Illinois pension funds to rake in over $600,000 a
year. Heffez is on track to receive $21,093,181 by the time he is 85,
thanks to a 3 percent compounded cost of living adjustment (COLA)
Illinois Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker declines to do anything about.
The compounded cola is
the most dangerous part of the Illinois pension scam. The three percent cola
can double a single government pension in 24 years. This happens often because
the average Illinois government employee retires at 61. The IRS estimates that
for a person 65 years of age, his estimated life expectancy is 85. We can
expect many government pensions to double by that age.
A central figure
responsible for the pension crisis is former Illinois governor James R.
Thompson (R), one of the worst tax-raisers in Illinois history. Thompson also
retired at age 55 and currently receives an annual pension of $161,152.
Thompson was one of the key members of the state government who started the
pension crisis. If not for his 3 percent compounded cost of living increase for
retired Illinois government employees, the crisis would not be as bad as it is.
An example of the
crisis worsening is how the number of millionaire government retirees is
growing. There are now 2,572 more government retirees receiving over $100,000
compared to last year. This brings the new total to 22,053 retired government
employees receiving over $100,000 a year.
are now 111,809 Illinois government pensioners collecting more than $50,000 in
taxpayer funded payments yearly. This is an increase of 4,717 from last year,
that total being 107,092. The average annual social security pension for taxpayers
in 2019 is $17,532.
The taxes to support
these outrageous Illinois government pensions are driving taxpayers out of
Illinois. Almost all of the last $5 billion-dollar income tax increase was used
to prop up the state pension funds. This is why Illinois governor Pritzker
wants to pass the graduated income tax increase amendment, a huge income tax
increase for Illinois taxpayers. Instead of seeking pension reform, Pritzker
wants another massive income tax hike.
There is no reason to
believe this amendment will only affect the “rich.” Pritzker passed a
multibillion-dollar regressive tax increase including the recent 19 cent
Illinois gasoline tax hike. It is estimated that Pritzker’s gasoline tax will
extract from Illinois taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars more a year. These taxes
affect Illinois’ most struggling residents disproportionately. There is every
reason to believe that future tax hikes planned by Springfield politicians will
affect the state’s middle class, and will be used to further prop up the
state’s lavish, gold-plated pensions for retired government employees.
Rather than placing
more taxes on the backs of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, and plotting
to increase taxes on the state’s middle class, Pritzker should explore
significant reforms for the state’s bankrupt pension plans for retired
Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts.
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