2010 State Pensions: 4,200 Over $100,000 Up 27% From 2009

Top 100 Average $219,000 – Ninety-nine Are Educators

10 Amazing Facts About Illinois State Pensions:

1. Based upon current rules more than 25,000 public employees will have $100K plus pensions by 2020.

2. Every one of these public “Servants” is a tax funded multi-millionaire.

A $100,000 pension at age 55 is worth $2.4 million in cash. That’s based upon the cost of an equivalent pre-paid annuity providing the same income over the assumed life expectancy of a 55 year-old.

3. Illinois taxpayers on the hook for at least $1 Trillion Dollars in taxes to pay for state pensions and retiree health care.

That’s about $200,000 per Illinois household over next 35 years. That’s $200,000 of your money for other people’s retirement, money you will not have available for your own retirement.

4. Top 100 average of $219,000 is $20,000 greater than President Clinton’s pension.

5. Top 100 SURS retirees in 2010 average 27 years worked, $114,000 pension.

Compare that to 45 years to retire with the $27,876 maximum Social Security pension.

6. One SURS employee worked 5 years, received $130,000 pension.

7. Top Cost-of-living-adjustment = $11,721 vs. Average Annual Social Security Payment of $13,968.

(The COLA for a $400k/year pension is almost equal to the entire yearly pension of a Social Security recipient.)

8. Top pension of $402,418 exceeds president Obama’s salary of $400,000.

9. Three “Public Servants” pull down pensions of more than $1,000 Per Day, 365 days/yr.

10. More than 40 retirees have pensions greater than $100,000 after working less than 20 years.

Should part-time public employees and those with abbreviated careers get 6-figure pensions from taxpayers?

Pension reform must include all 970,000 current members, not just future members.

Just lowering pensions of future employees leaves $100’s of billions of excess pension taxes to be paid on current members by Illinois hard-pressed taxpayers.

Taxpayers should not have to make millionaires out of part-time employees.

If we define “full-time employee” as someone who works 12 months a year for at least 40 years, then only 2% of all those who have $100,000 pensions meet that definition. Compare that with 45 full time years to get $28,000 max Social Security at age 66.

The Unsustainable Must Be Made Sustainable: Social Security For All Public Employees

Illinois provides a great example of how public sector workers retire earlier and with greater pensions than private sector workers. Why should public sector employees pay 8% to retire with a superior pension at age 55 when private sector employees pay 11% (Soc. Sec. + 401K) to retire with an inferior pension at age 66?

The excessive tax burden placed on the private sector worker requires him to work longer and accept less in retirement benefits. This is an inherently unfair and unsustainable approach and must be rectified to the benefit of the private sector worker.

Social Security and 401K for all workers, public and private is the only fair answer.

Bill Zettler is a free-lance writer and consultant specializing in public sector compensation. He can be contacted at this email address.