Top local MONTHLY pensions

By: Diane Benjamin

All Illinois government salaries and pensions can be found from this link: https://www.openthebooks.com/illinois/#School%20District

Every time a unit of government hires additional staff or provides lavish salaries, the pension costs go up. They know it doesn’t matter because YOU will be forced to pay by law.

Your “public servants”.

This one is interesting, Peterson got a cut?

Salary reported:

20 thoughts on “Top local MONTHLY pensions

  1. One thought on Mark Peterson and his “cut.” First, I sure hope he can put food on the table with a monthly cut of $2,000. But, more to the point, does this have anything to do with him collecting a salary as interim director of Connect Transit? Also keep in mind he did get a job as a consultant for some organization recruiting government employees in addition to his stint at Connect. Living large off the public trough. Glad to know he’s doing the hard thing. Monday night he proclaimed that it’s easier to turn away public tax dollars coming your way than it is receive them. Try to follow that logic.

    Also, the town of Normal was paying a similar amount to Peterson’s predecessor, David Anderson who died within the last year or so. Peterson was 58 when he started collecting his. Normal will be paying this one for quite some time to come.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beyond out of control and only happens in the public sector. This can only be changed by the state legislature and when you ask them (Brady) about it they cannot change the subject quick enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Diane, didn’t know if you were aware of this,  so thought I’d pass it along. Disturbing to say the least. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10227533141063408&id=1510899801Sent via the Samsung Galaxy, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

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  4. This works just fine for all these people until they run out of other people’s money. We pay way too many people in Illinois way too much money to do nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Why exactly are you denying people recompense for their work? Who the heck appointed you to sit around bloviating about how they should actually receive a pittance? Let’s see you go to school get a masters degree and go to school further and get a PhD. You then accumulate experience and you get opinion writers taking apart your pension. Which by the way was negotiated as part of a contract. No only that pensions are guaranteed by Illinois Constitution.

    Salaries from Michigan Public Schools Superintendent Compensation Database.https://www.mackinac.org/depts/epi/salary.aspx

    “We pay way too many people in Illinois too much money to do nothing”. Who determined that they are “doing nothing”? Again after working many years you really think they were doing “nothing”?
    Why would anyone come to Bloomington/Normal to work as a teacher, school superintendent to have people declare that you do nothing?

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      1. No why would anyone come to Bloomington or Normal to become a school superintendent or teacher? Especially after you declare they do nothing? In fact School Superintendents do have employment contracts.So do teachers. Again anyone with experience would go to another city who values their talents

        Or why would anyone want to work as an employee for Bloomington Normal which you also declared to be overpaid. If I was working as an employee in any of those towns I’d go else where. Which would make both cities more of a backwater. I guess that’s what you aiming at with this hit piece.

        Craig Stimpert, do you have an advanced degree a masters or higher? No only that, do you have years of experience to give to the job you’re in? All most all of the jobs being pointed out as “extravagant” involve advanced degrees and years of experience. It appears that this blog and Illinois Policy Institute really, really want to deny people their pensions.

        It’s amazing in this discussion that the fact that blog is running around stating that people are paying taxes for people pensions, that taxes are somehow being wasted. Those superintendents and teachers and city workers are also paying those taxes you’re crying about. The thing that you and this blog is glossing over is that each and everyone of these employees have paid into their pensions for years. So someone who is a Superintendent with a PhD and experience will have a good pension, one he/she paid into. Same with teachers who also have advanced degrees and years of experience. None of the pensions based on pay is out of line with any other state or city pay scale. Apparently the writer of this blog wants any talent to go else where and to under value good teachers and police and fire fighters.

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    1. Jacqueline, I for one do not want to deny anyone their pension and what’s coming to them according to the terms of their working contract. If they’ve paid into it they deserve to be compensated accordingly. Nobody’s arguing with you about that. What we need is a fair contract and fair pension plan that fairly serves municipal employees and tax payers.

      However, that’s not what we’re dealing with as far as people vested into the public pension system in Illinois and thus a system that’s in desperate need of reform. Your comparison to Michigan is not an apples to apples comparable. Illinois has the worst funded public pensions in the nation. We also lead in government corruption, out migration and pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. It’s a recipe for a financial crisis of epic proportion and with Illinois state legislators highly vested in the system themselves, I don’t see it getting fixed anytime soon. Government constantly over promises and under delivers with public pensions. Their focus is on the votes of police and fire unions and AFSCME Illinois employee union members and taxpayers are footing the bill.

      First, we’re talking about defined benefit plans as opposed to a defined contribution plan as most in the private sector are vested in. Taxpayers are on the hook to fund the shortfall of these funds that last I checked is in the billions of dollars in debt. If higher property taxes were the answer to fixing the problem, this crisis should have been fixed a long time ago. Yet government keeps taxing and funding levels continue to decrease. As a resident of the town of Normal I fully expect another property tax at the end of this year.

      Another problem is what government employees pay into these funds is no where proportional to what they collect in retirement. To a certain degree that should be true of all pension accounts, but in Illinois it’s excessive. Add to the problem, many can and do retire as early as 55. In many cases there are pension earners earning more in retirement than they ever earned while on the job or even what they paid into it. There are retired state legislators right here in McLean County who are earning over $100,000 per year in public pension. This is far more than what they ever earned while in office and many are now millionaires by just earning a public pension. An Illinois state senator earns just over $69,000 in office per year. In neighboring Indiana it’s $27,000, in Iowa it’s $25,000, in Missouri it’s $35,000 and Wisconsin it’s $52,000. See a problem?

      Illinois Policy Institute defines the average tax payer in Illinois as the servant class. In other words, we are the working poor who are paying taxes to fund government employee pensions that far exceed our own standard of living. And yes, you are absolutely correct, living large off the public trough is protected by the Illinois State Constitution. Don’t expect reform anytime soon when the ones who should be doing the reforming are vested in the very system they need to reform. The state constitution was written to protect them, not you and me.

      Why would anyone want to be a police or fireman in Bloomington / Normal when their pensions are funded less than 60%?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Jacqueline, I do have a master’s degree and I am paying into a defined contribution pension plan. There seems to be some confusion as to what we’re talking about on this blog. Illinois has six state pension plans, the Illinois teacher retirement system being one. The other five include state employees retirement system, general assembly retirement plan, the Illinois judges retirement system, the Illinois university retirement system and the Illinois municipal retirement fund.

      Police and fire personnel have their plans in the municipality where they are employed. There are over 600 local systems in Illinois. Again, this is unprecedented in any state. In both Bloomington and Normal those funds are protected by a property tax levy and in both towns they are severely underfunded. In Normal, where I live, it’s resulted in at least 14 increases to the property tax levy in the last 17 years. Taxes have gone up, while pension funding has decreased to dangerously low levels. Why is that?

      One reason is the structure of these plans. They are a defined benefit plan in which taxpayers are on the hook to fund the shortfall. This is a benefit plan that rarely exists in the private sector. Employers do not want to be stuck funding such a risky plan in which benefits are not determined by market performance of the investment. Taxpayers, on the other hand, have deep pockets. When we’re talking pension reform, this is where it has to begin.

      Another reason is years of neglect. Financial experts agree, once these funds dip below 60% funding they’ve reached a point of no return. Normal Town Council members seem to think the only way to fund these plans is through the property tax, and thus the tax increases. That gives Normal extra money to build an underpass, but I digress. My point, however, is that money is there to fund these plans, it’s a matter of misplaced priorities of our elected officials combined with the structure of the plans that have gotten us in the mess we’re in.

      I cannot speak with regard to the Illinois Teachers Retirement System other than it is part of the most indebted pension system in any state. The one that is really out of wack in Illinois, as I pointed out in my previous post, is the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System. In most states being a state legislator is a part time job with no pension. Not in Illinois. It’s a full time career, and they’ve voted themselves into the pension mess. Overall the system is over $42 billion in debt. That’s bad news for any teacher in Illinois who has spent their life teaching and is dependent on retirement income. I believe as you do they deserve what’s been promised, but it’s going to have to come by way of pension reform. If we keep doing what we’re doing, it’s only going to get worse. I fear we’ve reached the point of no return and there’s going to be a lot of teachers who will suffer as a result.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. illinois municipal pensions are a joke and everyone knows it. publicly funded pensions should be no more than the best pensions available from private employers. that being said, i’m guess i’m just jealous that i didn’t figure out when i was young how lucrative being a retired teacher or city worker would be after 30 years. i respect those that do these jobs, but $90k a year for a retired trash collector?

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  7. I believe Ms Alemany must live in a VERY nice little world, insulated (isolated?) from a lot of the realities of life, such as people who do have countless years of experience or training that more than surpasses a masters or PhD (and some have those little pieces of paper as well) and they dedicate themselves and the best years of their lives to many different occupations outside of the public sector. I am relatively sure she speaks from the land of academia or perhaps “public service” (cough) where it is not only expected but the norm to be OVER compensated for whatever they do. These people are drawing down more in pension alone than 35+ year RNs make in both SS and pension combined and I guarantee you those RNS did more than some desk jockey, pass the buck paper shuffler who went to a lot of seminars and retreats and maybe “made some deals”. As others have said the pensions these people make (as well as their salaries) are a joke, a mean joke on all of those who help pay those outrageous salaries and fund those outrageous pensions.

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      1. If I’m not mistaken, Jacqueline Alemany is a congressional correspondent for the Washington Post. So, we either have the Washington Post following this blog or a disgruntled Unit 5 or District 87 teacher who is afraid to put her name out there. You decide.

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