40% of ex-judges’ pensions higher than old salaries

It’s not just ex-judges’ pensions that more taxpayers need to learn about — and if Republicans and conservatives were in the information war and reaching more people with the facts (like those found in this book) then we’d make some progress on election day and begin the clean-up. Here’s Jake Griffin writing in the Daily Herald:

Thousands of former Illinois public employees get more each year in retirement benefits than they were paid when they were actually working, and nowhere is that more pronounced than among the state’s former judges.

Nearly 40 percent of the state’s 789 retired judges make more money in retirement than when they sat on the bench, according to a Daily Herald analysis of the six statewide pension programs.

In 2015, 311 judges made an average of $25,304 more in retirement than they were paid in their final salaries. All told, those same judges will receive nearly $7.9 million more this year than the combined total of their final salaries.

“That seems like a significant number,” said state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat who drafted a pension reform plan that ultimately was struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court. “This is all part of the problem with the benefits structure in Illinois, especially when it comes to those programs like the judges’ and General Assembly’s that allow beneficiaries to retire on a higher percentage of their salary.”

Because they are eligible to receive 85 percent of their final salary after just 20 years on the bench, judicial pensions are among the most lucrative in Illinois.

Read more: Daily Herald

Image credit: www.thepulse2016.com/blogdnd-via-Flickr-CC-BY-2.0.