October 23rd, 2019
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News | Taxpayer group releases local officials' salaries and estimated pensions
The group, based in Chicago, was in Wichita Thursday to bring awareness to public pension funds.
It wants the current system changed so new public employees pay into a private retirement system and current employees pay more into the system which it says is unsustainable.
“We want all of the current employees to put more in…10 percent more. If they don’t the system will collapse and they will get nothing,” says Christina Tobin with Taxpayers United of America.
The group lists the top 25 “estimated” pensions of city, county, and state employees. It wants Kansas to release the actual pension amounts of current and retired employees.
“We’re here to shed a light on the need for transparency in Kansas.” says Tobin.
Tobin says the group can only estimate pensions based on the state formula and 2010 salaries.
“We’re here to urge Governor Brownback to release the pensions with the names.”
The group would not disclose its donors.
It says it names employees to get attention and admits the numbers are only estimates and are at the high end.
“If I don’t see the names with the numbers I can’t relate to what they meet. Yes, we do intend to sensationalize the numbers and we intend to outrage taxpayers. It’s the outrage with taxpayers that’s going to cause them to contact legislators and bring about change,” Rae Ann McNeilly, director of outreach with Taxpayers United of America.
It says it wants to introduce legislation in Kansas to change the current formula, but says it’s still searching for a lawmaker to sponsor the bill.
Attached are links of public employee salaries and estimates by Taxpayers United. The group says it did not attempt to contact any of the employees on the list.
Below are formulas used by the group to estimate pensions:
((2010 Gross x 0.6125) x (24 years)
For police and fire
((2010 Gross x .80) x (30 years)