Most of 67% State Income Tax Increase To Go Into Lavish, Gold-Plated Government Pensions
OTTAWA–LaSalle County-area retired government employees receive lavish, gold-plated pensions, and, according to Jim Tobin, Chairman of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF), the real reason Springfield politicians passed the 67% state income tax increase is to pump more taxpayer dollars into the floundering pension plans of retired government employees, including those from LaSalle County.
“Those receiving the largest annual pensions are retired government-school educators,” said Tobin, “and the state income tax increase pumps even more tax dollars into these pension funds. LaSalle County’s retired public school teachers in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) are really raking it in. The largest annual TRS pension went to James C. Bagley, formerly of Peru Elementary SD 124, whose annual pension is $122,491 — $10,208 a month. Charles E. Hager, formerly of Streator TWP HSD 40, not only received an annual pension of $86,219, but already has collected $1,810,595 in pension payments.”
“The state income tax increase will also pour more tax dollars into state college pension funds. The largest Ill. Valley Community College pension goes to Alfred Wisgoski, who received an annual pension of $122,661 — $10,222 a month. Wisgoski already has collected $1,405,264 in pension payments from our state taxes.”
“Retired LaSalle County bureaucrats also are doing well, paid by property taxes. Steven G. Schoeph received an annual pension of $60,436. Anthony M. Condie already has collected $613,989 in pension payments from local property taxes.”
“Pension plan reforms are needed. Ending pensions for all new government hires will eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions; putting new government hires into social security and 401(k)s would achieve this. And 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. Furthermore, requiring public employees to pay for one-half of their health care premiums would save even more-an estimated $230 billion over current projections.”