From Bill Zettler at Champion News, we get a list of ten little-known facts about Illinois pensions.
I will excerpt a few:
3. Less than 1% of state retirees worked 40 years.
If you work in the private sector from age 22 to 62 and retire on early Social Security at a maximum of $22,000, you will have worked 40 years. It is extremely rare for state workers to work that long in spite of the large pensions. In fact, the top 100 pensions average only 31 years of work in Illinois for their average $227,000 pension. And educators are not the only employees with a good deal. Most state employees (SERS) who work at least 40 years will have retirement income greater than their final salary take-home-pay (pension plus Social Security).
9. If the pension rules in effect in 1970 when the “Pension Guarantee” was added to the state constitution were still in effect, there would be no unfunded pension liability.
In December 1970 the phrase “shall not be diminished or impaired” was added to the Illinois state constitution, guaranteeing pensions for state employees. One month later, in January 1971, new laws were passed that increased pension benefits by 11%—to 53%. Boy, that didn’t take long. Then pension benefits were increased by another 17-30% in 1998.
10. Teachers’ unions have given IL politicians of both parties more than $50 million in contributions since 1995.
Unions give politicians tens of millions—and they get tens of billions back in increased pension benefits. For instance, Rod Blagojevich gets $1.8 million from teacher unions, and then pushes a $10 billion pension bond through the legislature.
Surprised by Ingram’s memo now?