Should Part-time Public Employees with Partial Careers get Six-figure Pensions?

As Illinois stares into the pension payment abyss, we have to question the morality of unlimited pensions for part-time employees. Just last week the state announced $1.2 million in cuts to the meals on wheels program for poor seniors. However, the checks continue to be cut for the 5,200 state pensions with pensions in excess of $100,000.

The worst example would be school teachers (not administrators) with a 170-day work year contracts (182 day contract less 12 days sick leave) who have pensions in excess of $100,000.

Since we already know that most teachers do not work full careers (average 25 year careers with pensions equal to 400% of Social Security) and in fact more than 90% do not work even 35 years. Assuming an age of 22 at college graduation, 35 years would get you to age 57. Since those in the private sector can’t take Social Security until age 62, we really should consider 40 years to be a minimal career for a full pension. Assuming that definition of full-time career is correct less than 1% of teachers work full careers before they retire. See here.

Below I just list the ones with less than 35 years work in IL. And assuming they were 170-day-a-year teachers most of their careers they also worked 1/3 less than the average private sector worker (235 days vs. 170 days). So part-time employees with partial careers receiving 6 figure pensions.

Notice the prevalence of non-academic teachers lead by 12 Phys Ed, 9 Guidance Counselors and 4 Music teachers not to mention teachers in Drama, cabinet making and Radio-TV whatever that is.

In closing do you know any private sector employee with less than 35 years worked who has a pension over $100,000? How about any private sector employee period?

If not why do public employees have such a good deal?

Because they control the politicians with $50 million of political contributions, that’s why.

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

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