$1,000 Per Day Pension for Former State Employee; Illinois Top 100 Pension Payouts 2005-2006 Fiscal Year

By Bill Zettler

The top pension in 2006 was $357,800 or $980/day. To give you an idea of what that pension is worth think about it this way: the average Social Security pension is $955 PER MONTH.
In 2006 the State of Illinois continued to make tens of thousands of pension millionaires out of retired public employees with the taxpayer picking up 85% of the tab. Here are some more disturbing pension facts:
  • In 2006 1,847 former public employees had pensions of over $100,000, up 17% from 2005.
  • 18 former public employees had pensions greater than $200,000 compared to 14 in 2005.
  • You need a pension of at least $154,000 to even make it into the Top 100.
  • Ninety four of the 100 were University or K-12 employees meaning they probably spent the majority of their careers working 9 months a year with tenure.
  • Over 80% of the pension payment comes from taxpayers.
  • Over 328 state pensions had MONTHLY payments greater than average Social Security ANNUAL payment of $11,000.

Another way to look at it is the top pension is 33 times the amount the average Social Security recipient receives and 12 times the median wage of the average full time Illinois worker ($28,806).

Why do average people, most of whom do not have enough money for their own retirement, have to pay taxes to buy the equivalent of a $7 million CD for one public employee?

If these former Illinois Public employees had been on Social Security and a 401K program during their working years (like the rest of us) taxpayer liability for their pensions would be zero as opposed to $182 Billion for the Teacher Retirement System alone. (See Below)

 
Bill Zettler is a free-lance writer and consultant specializing in public sector compensation. He can be contacted at this email address. Click here to read more by Mr. Zettler.