TUA Calls for Government Pension Reform in Lake County
Merrillville–A report released today by Taxpayers United of America (TUA) reveals that local and state government employees are not only receiving generous salaries, but that over a normal lifetime, many of these government employees when they retire will become pension millionaires. Indiana bureaucrats refuse to release pension figures, so total pension payouts were estimated for this report. The bureaucrats of Gary Community Schools have refused to provide salary information, violating Indiana state law.
“While Lake County taxpayers struggle through this recession with an average wage of $38,800, a median home value of $129,000 and 10.7% unemployment, government employees really rake it in while they are employed and then when retired. Taxpayers not only foot the entire bill for the lush salaries, but 100% of these government employee pensions are funded by the taxpayer. In many cases, even the lump sum Annuity Savings Account is also completely funded by the taxpayers who will have to work until they drop to fund their neighbors’ retirement,” said Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President. “
“Starting first with the top 25 Pensions and Lump-sum Distributions (2010) for the entire state, heading the list is T. A. Crean of Indiana University, whose salary is $600,000. When he retires, he will receive an estimated annual pension of $198,000. In addition to his pension, he will receive either a lump-sum of $510,000 or an annuity. Crean’s estimated total pension payout over a normal lifetime is $7,425,000.”*
“Lake County employee, Speros Batistatos rakes in an annual salary of $170,351 and is eligible for a $144,799 lump-sum payout on top of his 100% taxpayer funded lifetime pension payout of $2,304,854. Another Lake County pension millionaire will be Rogelio Dominguez with a $113,957 lump-sum on top of his taxpayer funded $1,813,927 pension payout. Of today’s current Lake County employees, 34 are projected to be eligible for millionaire payouts when factoring the lump-sum payment and lifetime pension payout.”
“State employee Peggy Sue Stephens of Madison St. Hospital received an annual salary (2010) of $243,586. Her estimated lump-sum payment at retirement is $207,048, and her estimated total pension payout over a normal lifetime is $3,295,725.”
“Gary and Lake County pension systems are making millionaires out of public employees at taxpayer expense. Ending pensions for all new government hires would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions; putting new government hires into social security and 401(k)s would achieve this. If each current government employee were required to contribute 10% toward his or her pension, taxpayers would save billions of dollars.”
“We need to knock all politicians out of office who make deals with bad government union bosses and bad corporate power brokers at the expense of the taxpayers.”
*Assumes retirement at age 55 after 30 years.