February 19th, 2020
Govt. School Employees and Retirees of Macon County Revel at Taxpayer Expense
DECATUR–A new report by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that many government school employees and retirees of Macon County, Illinois receive lavish, gold-plated salaries and pensions that far exceed average annual wages of workers in the private sector.
“These outrageous government-employee pensions are bankrupting the state,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Springfield House and Senate Democrats just temporarily raised the state personal income tax 67%, all $6.4 billion taxpayer dollars of which is being used to fund the state’s lavish retired government employee pension programs.”
“Despite Macon County’s 10.5% unemployment rate and average annual wage of $45,000, public university employees are really raking it in,” said Tobin. “The largest pension goes to Charles Novak, of Richland Community College, whose annual pension is $138,467. James Troutman, of Richland Community College, is close behind, with an annual pension of $114,432.”
“Iroquois County’s retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are also getting rich” said Tobin. “The largest annual TRS pension goes to Elmer B McPherson formerly of Decatur School District 61, whose annual pension is a staggering $132,610– $11,051 a month. Donald Wachter, formerly of Decatur School District 91, already has received a total pension payout of $1,332,187.
Those in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), which is funded by our property taxes, are collecting lavish pensions. One of the largest IMRF pensions in Macon County goes to Lawrence R Fichter, who has made $1,204,593 off of his pension to date, and is still collecting $133,146 annually. Jon C Baxter collects a pension of $90,836 a year. To date Baxter has raked in an accumulated $273,429.
“Three crucial reforms can save the system and spare Illinois taxpayers. First, new government hires should be put into social security and required to fund their own retirements with 401(k) plans. Ending pensions for new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. Second, in Illinois, if each current state pension fund employee were required to contribute an additional 10% to his or her pension, taxpayers would save over $150 billion over the next 35 years. And finally, requiring Illinois government employees and retirees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more – an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”