ITEF Comment – Volume 15, Issue 11
NEW INVESTIGATIVE VIDEO BLOWS LID OFF ILLINOIS GOVERNMENT TEACHER GET-RICH PENSION PLAN!
By Dennis Constant
A new video featuring pension expert Bill Zettler analyzes the pensions and benefits plans for retired Illinois public school teachers. The video dramatically shows how teacher unions over the years, with huge political contributions, have carefully engineered a lavish, gold-plated pension plan that can honestly be called a get-rich road paved with gold bricks.
Zettler, interviewed by Jack Roeser, Founder and President of the Family Taxpayers Foundation, details how retired Illinois public school teachers and administrators are literally getting rich on the backs of Illinois taxpayers. Some points he makes:
• According to state actuaries, Illinois public school teachers get, on average, a seven percent increase in salary each year. In recent years, the cost of living has increased less than half of that percentage. The “low” salaries of beginning teachers that education spokesmen like to talk about will be ten times higher (7% compounded for 35 years) when that teacher retires 35 years later with a pension that is 75% to 80% of his or her final salary. Because of tenure, teachers cannot be fired. If they choose, they are employees of that school system until they decide to retire.
• $70 billion is unfunded for pensions in Illinois.
• The average Social Security pension in Illinois is $11,000 a year. The highest annual state pension to a retired government employee is $379,000!
• One has to receive an annual pension of $171,000 just to make it into the top 100 largest pensions.
• Out of the top 100 pensions, only one is a former politician. Ninety four of the top 100 are retired educators.
• By law, these pensions cannot be “diminished or impaired.” As they increase, they are paid for with tax increases. Illinois taxpayers are trapped in this vicious cycle.
Dennis Constant is the research director of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation.