VIDEO: Retired Doctor Who Worked Less than 5 Years Receiving Pension of $150,000

Government pension expert Bill Zettler talks with Fox 32 News in Chicago:

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) – A retired doctor who worked for the state for less than five years is now collecting a pension of more than $150,000 per year.

Critics said it’s a perfect example of why Illinois’ pension system is broke. However, the doctor is firing back saying don’t blame the retirees getting the money.

“I feel blessed. I don’t feel as though I’ve milked the system or anything like that,” said Dr. Renee Hartz.

Hartz has drawn lots of attention over the years for her trailblazing career as a cardiac surgeon. Now, she’s drawn the attention of pension expert Bill Zettler, who literally wrote the book on Illinois’ broken pension system.

“Five years and a pension of 150-thousand dollars. It’s outrageous,” Zettler said.

While doing research, Zettler found that Hartz was employed by the University of Illinois at Chicago between 1991 and 1996, making about a half million dollars a year.

At that time, the state university retirement system — or SURS — had something called the “money purchase formula,” which required the state to continue contributing to participant’s pensions whether or not they were still working.

“Even if you leave the state it keeps clicking up at eight and a half percent a year. She quit in 1996, but every year, kachunk kachunk kachunk. Until she says I want to retire,” Zettler said.

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FOX 32 News Chicago